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Key events in Mideast march to peace

1948: British mandate in Palestine ends. Jews proclaim state of Israel, Arab armies invade. Palestinian refugee problem is born.

1967: Israel captures Golan Heights, Sinai Peninsula, Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Syria, Egypt and Jordan.

1973: Egypt and Syria attack Israel. War causes heavy casualties to all, disengagement leads to minor border changes.

1977: Egyptian President Anwar Sadat visits Israel to spur search for first Arab-Israeli peace treaty.

1979: Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin sign peace treaty under which Israel returns Sinai Peninsula but plan for Palestinian autonomy is never implemented.

1981: Sadat assassinated at military parade by group of Islamic fundamentalists.

1987: Palestinian uprising erupts in Gaza refugee camp and spreads to West Bank. Over the next years some 2,000 Palestinians, including collaborators with Israel, and hundreds of Israelis are killed.

1991: Middle East peace conference opens in Madrid between Israel, Palestinians, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

Sept. 13, 1993: Israel and PLO sign "Declaration of Principles" outlining a plan for Palestinian self-rule in occupied territories; PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin shake hands on White House South Lawn in Washington.

Feb. 25, 1994: Jewish settler Baruch Goldstein shoots dead kneeling Arab worshippers in a mosque in Hebron in the West Bank, killing at least 29 before survivors beat him to death.

May 4: PLO and Israel sign accord in Cairo, giving Palestinians self-rule in the West Bank enclave of Jericho and the Gaza Strip but allowing Israeli-guarded Jewish settlements to stay.

May 11: Israel hands over first military base in the Gaza Strip to Palestinian police officers.

May 13: Israel hands over Jericho to jubilant Palestinian police.

July 1: Arafat returns to newly autonomous Gaza after more than a quarter century of Israeli occupation; takes over as head of the Palestinian Authority.

Oct 19: Hamas Islamic Resistance Movement bomber Saleh Abdel-Rahim al-Souwi kills himself and 22 other people in suicide bomb attack on an Israeli bus in Tel Aviv.

Oct 26: Israel and Jordan sign a peace treaty in a border ceremony attended by U.S. President Bill Clinton.

Jan 22, 1995: Two Islamic Jihad suicide bombers kill 21 Israelis, all but one of them soldiers, in explosions that rip through a bus stop at Beit Lid near Netanya in central Israel.

Sept 28, 1995: Israel and the PLO sign agreement extending Palestinian rule to most of West Bank after months of tense negotiations.

Nov 2, 1995: Israel hands police station in West Bank town of Jenin over to PLO as part of gradual pullout from Palestinian cities; under handover starting in Jenin, PLO will take control in six West Bank cities and parts of Hebron, and Israel will transfer civilian authority and limited security responsibilities in some 450 towns, villages and refugee camps.


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