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2003

News
  1. 02-09-03 Israeli Prime Minister Issues Stark Warning (BBC News)
      "Ariel Sharon says the new Israeli Government that he has been asked to form will end "Palestinian terrorism" and remove its 'leader,' Yasser Arafat." 2-03

  2. 02-14-03 Arafat Agrees to Share Power (BBC news)
      "Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has agreed to appoint a prime minister - a key demand by the US and international mediators for progress on a political settlement." 2-03

  3. 03-07-03 Top Hamas Leader Killed (CBS News)
      "Israeli attack helicopters fired missiles at a passing car Saturday, killing one of Hamas' key leaders and three of his body guards. The strike came a day after the militant Islamic group claimed responsibility for two deadly attacks that killed 16 Israelis."

      "The apparent target of Saturday's strike was Ibrahim Makadmeh, 51, a key figure in the Islamic group's military and political wing accused of engineering several terror attacks that killed 28 Israelis, the last being a tank attack that killed four soldiers in Gaza last month."

      "Meanwhile, embattled leader Yasser Arafat on Saturday asked the PLO's Central Council to approve the first Palestinian prime minister - a move that international mediators have demanded."

      "Arafat offered the job to deputy PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas, a longtime advocate of peace with Israel." 2-03

  4. 03-07-03 Top Hamas Leader Killed (Independent - Huggler)
      "The Israeli military yesterday assassinated one of the founders of Hamas, the most powerful Palestinian militant group."

      "Hamas responded yesterday by openly threatening for the first time to target directly Israeli government ministers and members of parliament. The violence is spinning out of control here once again, even as the world waits for a probable American attack on Iraq."

      "On Thursday, Naji abu Jalili, a Palestinian fireman, was killed as he tried to put out a fire. Television footage appeared to show that an Israeli tank fired a shell at Jalili and a large crowd of civilians watching him. Seven others died, among them at least one child." 3-03

  5. 04-23-03 Palestinians Make Way for Peace (CBS News)
      "Yasser Arafat and his prime minister-designate, Mahmoud Abbas, ended their bitter standoff over the composition of a new Cabinet on Wednesday, clearing the way for a new Mideast peace initiative by Washington."

      "The long-awaited 'road map' holds out the prospect of ending 31 months of Israeli-Palestinian fighting and establishing a Palestinian state in stages." 4-03

  6. 04-30-03 Reactions to New Middle East Roadmap (BBC News)
      "The UN, US, Russia and the EU have finally presented their plan for peace...to Palestinian and Israeli leaders."

      "BBC News Online looks at the reaction to the 'roadmap' from key players in the conflict." 4-03

  7. 05-27-03 Israel's Sharon Shocks Supporters (CBS News - Berger)
      "Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has signaled that he is serious about the latest peace plan, declaring that Israel's occupation in the West Bank must end. His words adopted the language of his dovish opponents and shocked his hardline allies."

      This article also summarizes the key provisions of the "road map to peace" proposed by the U.S., U.N., Russia, and the EU. 5-03

  8. 06-06-03 Hamas Refuses to Negotiate (CBS News)
      "In a surprise move, the Islamic militant group Hamas said Friday it will not hold talks with the Palestinian prime minister on halting attacks on Israelis." 6-03

  9. 06-11-03 Israelis Attempt to Kill Hamas Leader (Sky.com)
      "US President George Bush has condemned the latest Israeli helicopter attacks in Gaza City."

      Israel admitted it launched a failed attempt to kill Hamas leader Abdul Aziz al-Rantissi in Gaza City, though two people were killed and more than 25 others wounded in the attack." 6-03

  10. 06-13-03 Israelis Defy Plea for Restraint (Independent - Huggler)
      "An Israeli helicopter again fired missiles into a crowded area of the Gaza Strip last night in an assassination of a Palestinian militant. Children were among the 23 wounded by the missile strike."

      The killing came despite an opinion poll published yesterday which found that 67 per cent of Israelis want the assassinations to stop, at least temporarily, to give the peace process a chance." 6-03

  11. 06-25-03 Palestinians Agree to Possible Cease Fire (CNN)
      "Palestinian officials said Wednesday that Hamas, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and Islamic Jihad have agreed to a three-month suspension of attacks against Israelis, but a Hamas spokesman said no such agreement had been reached." 6-03

  12. 06-27-03 Mideast Truce to Begin (CBS News)
      A truce has been planned by three Palestinian militant groups to start the last weekend in June. 6-03

  13. 06-27-03 Mideast Truce to Begin (International Herald Tribune)
      A truce has been concluded by three Palestinian militant groups. 6-03

  14. 06-30-03 Israelis Withdraw from Gaza (Fox News)
      "Road traffic flowed smoothly through the Gaza Strip for the first time in nearly three years Monday, as bulldozers dismantled Israeli checkpoints put up after the current Palestinian uprising began in Sept. 2000." 6-03

  15. 07-01-03 Mid-East Peace: False Dawn or New Day? (BBC News)
      A new peace process has begun in the Palestinian territory and a cease fire has been called. "A lot depends on the psychology of this moment and whether the two sides have reached a state of fatigue and stalemate."

      "If that is so, then there is some hope. Progress could be made along the path the roadmap lays out - Palestinian elections and institution building, Israeli restraint, a peace conference, a Palestinian state with provisional borders and then a move towards those final issues - final borders, settlements, Jerusalem, refugees, acceptance of Israel in the Arab world." 6-03

  16. 07-30-03 Ceasefire at Risk (Guardian Unlimited - McGreal)
      "The Palestinian government said yesterday that Ariel Sharon had jeopardised last month's ceasefire by rejecting President Bush's plea to stop building his security fence through the West Bank."

      "Mr Bush left a meeting with the Palestinian prime minister, Mahmoud Abbas, last week saying the fence was a problem, but after seeing Mr Sharon at the White House on Tuesday he said merely that he had urged him to 'carefully consider all the consequences'. " 7-03

  17. 09-07-03 Qureia New Palestinian Prime Minister (Bloomberg)
      "Ahmed Qureia accepted the post of prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, replacing Mahmoud Abbas, who quit Saturday as the main go-between with the U.S. and Israel during peace negotiations, Agence France-Presse reported." 9-03

  18. 10-01-03 Both Sides of the Fence (BBC News - Reynolds)
      "Depending on who you are and on where you are, the barrier stands for something different."

      "For Israelis inside the fence, it stands for protection. For Palestinians looking at the same barrier from the other side, it is a symbol of theft and imprisonment." 9-03

  19. 10-01-03 Both Sides of the Fence (CNN News - Kessel)
      ""Israelis say the huge fence system being built along their border with the West Bank will give them more security. Palestinians say the construction of the barrier system will take some of their land."

      "When finished, the barrier will be a combination of fences, walls, ditches, patrol roads and electronic surveillance devices." Israelis say that the fence will provide them with security against the Palestinians. However, Palestinians see it differently.

      Part of the Israeli fence is being built on land the U.N. recognizes as Palestinian. "Palestinians say 30,000 villagers soon will find themselves on the wrong side of the fence, the lands of many more will be lost." 9-03

  20. 10-19-03 Palestinians Now Support Attacks Against Israelis (Gulf-News.com)
      "Seventy-five per cent of Palestinians support the suicide bombing of an Israeli restaurant two weeks ago in which 21 people died, a survey showed yesterday."

      "The survey by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, which questioned 1,318 respondents in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, also showed that 85 per cent of Palestinians support a 'mutual cessation of violence by both sides'." 10-03

  21. 10-21-03 Fence or Wall - Israel Rejects U.N. Order (International Herald Tribune)
      "Israel said Wednesday that it would not stop building a security barrier in the West Bank despite a United Nations resolution demanding that the fence be torn down." 10-03

  22. 10-21-03 Fence or Wall - U.N. Orders Israel to Stop Construction (CBS News)
      "The U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a resolution demanding that Israel halt construction of a barrier jutting deep into the West Bank and dismantle the section already built."

      The vote late Tuesday was 144 in favor, 4 opposed and 12 abstentions."

      "In late September, the UN issued a report which condemned the barrier as illegal and tantamount to 'an unlawful act of annexation.' "

      "The United States, which vetoed a Security Council resolution last week that would have declared the barrier illegal, voted against the General Assembly resolution." 10-03

  23. 10-30-03 Israeli Army Chief Criticizes Sharon (Christian Science Monitor - Barr)
      "The chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces has added his voice to those criticizing Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's hard-line policies for dealing with the Palestinians."

      "Lt. Gen. Moshe Yaalon, in remarks published this week that were initially attributed to 'IDF officials' but later revealed as having been spoken by him, said that 'in our tactical decisions, we are operating contrary to our strategic interest.' "

      "Heller, principal research associate at the Jaffee Institute for Strategic Studies in Tel Aviv, says that Yaalon's comment about tactics undermining strategy makes sense if the strategy is to bring about a return to negotiations toward a two-state solution."

      "But, he continues 'if the strategy is to compel the Palestinians to sign on to a political deal which is acceptable to people who control the [Israeli] government now then [current tactics are] not necessarily counterproductive.' " 10-03

  24. 10-30-03 Israeli Army Chief Criticizes Sharon (Guardian Unlimited - McGreal)
      "Israel's army chief has exposed deep divisions between the military and Ariel Sharon by branding the government's hardline treatment of Palestinian civilians counter-productive and saying that the policy intensifies hatred and strengthens the "terror organisations".

      "The statements - which a close associate characterised to the Israeli press as warning that the country was 'on the verge of a catastrophe' - will also reinforce a growing perception among the public that Mr Sharon is unable to deliver the peace with security he promised when he came to office nearly three years ago."

      "Gen Ya'alon also waded into one of the most contentious issues of the day by saying the army had recommended a less controversial route for the steel and concrete "security fence" through the West Bank."

      "He said the military had warned that the fence, which digs deep into Palestinian territory, caging some towns and villages and cutting farmers off from their land, will make the lives of some Palestinians "unbearable" and require too many soldiers to guard it." 10-03

  25. 11-06-03 Palestinian Leadership Crisis Deepens (Guardian Unlimited - Daraghmeh)
      "At issue in the dispute is the appointment of an interior minister who would consolidate the security forces - some of which are under the command of Arafat - and play a key role in possible action against violent groups."

      "The deadlock between Yasser Arafat and Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia is also holding up renewal of high-level contacts with Israel, and it might derail a conference of international donors who have been supporting the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority."

      "Arafat has blocked Qureia's choice for the job, Gen. Nasser Yousef, in part because he does not want to relinquish control over the security services. Qureia's successor, Mahmoud Abbas, was pushed out by Arafat over the same issue." 11-03

  26. 11-28-03 Annan Asks Israel to Remove Wall (CNN News)
      "Israel's construction of a security barrier thwarts the peace process in the Middle East, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Friday, and the expansion of the barricade should stop and be reversed." 11-03

  27. 12-01-03 Former World Leaders Support Middle East Plan of Self-Appointed Negotiators (New York Times - Sciolino)
      "To prove that Middle East peacemaking is possible, self-appointed Israeli and Palestinian negotiators came together on Monday to celebrate a sweeping shadow agreement that would create a Palestinian state and resolve other contentious issues that have thwarted peace negotiators over the years."

      "Nelson Mandela, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and former president of South Africa, made a virtual appearance in a videotape shown on a vast screen. Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain, President Jacques Chirac of France, King Mohammed VI of Morocco, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and former President Bill Clinton, among others, sent messages of support that were read aloud. Fifty-eight former world leaders have also signed a statement of support." 11-03

  28. 12-22-03 Israeli Elite Commandos Refuse to Serve (IndianExpress.com - Moore)
      "Thirteen reservists from Israelís elite military commando unit stated on Sunday in a letter to the PM that they would no longer serve in the occupied territories, joining other influential security officials who have criticised Israeli military tactics and treatment of the Palestinians." 12-03

  29. Fence or Wall - What Is It? (BBC News)
      "Israel argues it will prevent terrorist attacks - but Palestinians say it will cut off hundreds of thousands of people from their livelihoods. And now the United Nations says it is illegal."

      "In late September, the UN issued a report which condemned the barrier as illegal and tantamount to 'an unlawful act of annexation.' "

      "In his report for the UN Commission on Human Rights, John Dugard, a South African law professor, warned that about 210,000 Palestinians living in the area between the wall and Israel would be cut off from social services, schools and places of work." 10-03

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