Timeline: The peace process

The following is a timeline of the Arab-Israeli peace process since the Camp David Accords of 2000, said to be the closest the two sides have come to an agreement to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

    Sharon and Abbas shake hands at Sharm al-Shaikh on Tuesday

    25 July 2000


    A marathon summit hosted by US President Bill Clinton between Ehud Barak and Yasir Arafat at Camp David collapses when they fail to agree on, among other things, the future status of Jerusalem.

    28-29 September 2000


    In a highly provocative move, Israeli politician Ariel Sharon visits al-Aqsa Mosque, sparking a violent reaction from Palestinians. The peace process in the Middle East receives a deadly blow as Israel reoccupies the Palestinian territories amid fighting between the Palestinian resistance and Israeli army. A second intifada begins which, according to Israeli human rights organisation BTselem, kills 2171 Palestinians and 194 Israelis by 15 October 2003.

    17 October 2000

    hosts the Sharm al-Shaikh peace summit. The summit announces a plan to bring weeks of Israeli-Palestinian confrontation to an end. The plan does not succeed.

    6 February 2001


    Ariel Sharon was elected Israeli
    prime minister in 2001

    Ariel Sharon of the right-wing Likud party becomes prime minister of Israel after beating incumbent Ehud Barak in the Israeli general elections. 


    21 May 2001

    Former US senator George Mitchell releases his long-awaited report (the Mitchell Plan) on the Middle East conflict. It calls for a ceasefire, confidence-building measures and, ultimately, negotiations.

    16 June 2002

    begins construction of a wall to create a barrier between it and the West Bank.

    20 September 2002

    besieges Arafat's headquarters in Ram Allah, demolishing most of his office complex and confining him there, while simultaneously embarking on a policy of extra-judicial assassinations and imprisonment of Palestinian leaders.

    26 February 2003

    begins a series of incursions, repeated throughout the year, that lead to the reoccupation of parts of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, inflicting widespread damage and heavy civilian casualties.

    27 February 2003

    Crown Prince Abd Allah bin Abd al-Aziz of Saudi Arabia announces an Arab peace initiative in the Middle East.The plan insists on Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories in return for Arab recognition of Israel's right to exist. A similar version but with reservations is adopted later by the Arab League.

    29-30 April 2003

    Following the invasion of Iraq by US-led forces, Arafat, under intense international pressure, allows the election of Mahmud Abbas as Palestinian prime minister. The Israelis and Palestinians receive the long overdue, heavily promoted road map formula for peace, internationally backed by the quartet of the US, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations.

    4 June 2003

    Israeli Prime Minister Sharon and Palestinian Prime Minister Abbas meet at Aqaba, Jordan, to discuss the implementation of the peace road map.


    25 July 2003

    Palestinian Prime Minister Abbas visits the White House meeting US President Bush, in a visit designed to quicken the road map peace process. 


    6 September 2003

     Abbas (L) resigned as premier in
    2003 after a tussle with Arafat

    Mahmud Abbas, also known as Abu Mazin, resigns amid a power struggle with Arafat and an upsurge in violence. 


    2 February 2004

    Israeli premier Sharon announces his unilateral Gaza withdrawal plan, shocking Palestinians, the world, and many members of his own Likud party who are vehemently against giving up any Israeli settlements in occupied territory.

    22 March 2004

    Israel assassinates the wheelchair-bound spiritual leader of Hamas, Shaikh Ahmad Yasin, in an air strike which also kills several other civilians. Palestinians and the rest of the world strongly condemn the move, warning of greater instability.


    17 April 2004

    Shaikh Yasin's successor in Hamas, Abd al-Aziz al-Rantissi, is killed along with two others in another Israeli air strike, which has been targeting leaders of the Palestinian resistance. In all, hundreds of Palestinian civilians have been killed, including bystanders caught up in Israeli missile attacks from the air. Experts suggest the killings are an attempt to weaken Hamas in the run-up to Sharon's plan to withdraw from Gaza.


    11 May 2004

    Six Israeli soldiers are killed in fighting with Palestinian fighters in Gaza City, the highest Israeli toll in a single military operation in nearly two years. Five Palestinians are killed, including an 18-year-old, and 88 wounded in one of the fiercest battles in recent months.

    10 July 2004

    The World Court at The Hague brands Israel's separation wall being built between Israel and Palestinian territories, a de facto land grab on Palestinian land and tells Israel to tear it down and compensate the victims. Israel rejects the legitimacy of the World Court.


    30 September 2004

    Israeli forces kill at least 23 Palestinians on one of the bloodiest days of al-Aqsa intifada so far, as the Israeli army makes a push into the heart of a Gaza refugee camp.


    Abbas was elected president
    after the death of Yasir Arafat

    11 November 2004

    Arafat, president of the Palestinian Authority and veteran leader and founder of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), dies in a military hospital in Paris, France. Arafat flew to receive treatment due to a mystery illness two weeks earlier. Arafat had been virtually under house arrest for the previous two years at his government compound in Ram Allah due to Israeli restrictions and threats against his life. The world and Palestinians mourn the passing of a historic figure.


    9-10 January 2005

    Abbas, the former Palestinian prime minister, wins landslide presidential elections. Abbas pledges to end the occupation and make peace.


    8 February 2005


    Abbas meets Sharon for the first time since winning the election, at Sharm al-Shaikh, Egypt. Regional leaders including host Husni Mubarak attend. Abbas and Sharon declare a truce to al-Aqsa Intifada, which has killed many thousands of Palestinians and hundreds of Israelis.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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