The misery of war in Bosnia brings The Independent and the Hulton Getty Picture Collection's photo-history of the 20th century to 1993. Tom Pilston's image of Sarajevo, the Bosnian capital, captures the terror of modern siege warfare for citizens striving to maintain a vestige of normality.

The women pictured knew that queuing for water made them targets for Serbian snipers and artillery units perched above the city.

The plight of those trapped in the city aroused the compassion of the rest of the world; in 1992, the ITN reporter Michael Nicholson adopted a child from a stricken orphanage - and, in 1993, the British public was moved by television images of an orphaned five-year-old girl severely injured by a mortar explosion. Under intense pressure, Prime Minister John Major arranged for her to be brought to London's Great Ormond Street Hospital For Sick Children.

However, a peace deal seemed even further away. Serbian military supremacy enabled President Slobodan Milosevic to reject the plan put forward by Lord Owen - 10 semi-autonomous provinces in a unified Bosnian state - in favour of a vision of Bosnia divided into three ethnically homogenous states, with the Muslims apportioned just 10 per cent of the total territory.

But as ethnic hatreds pulled Yugoslavia apart, two of the world's oldest enemies appeared to be on the point of breaking a similar cycle of murderous antagonism. Bill Clinton, the US President, may have dithered over an effective policy in Bosnia, but he presided over a new Palestinian-Israeli agreement in September.

Months of secret negotiations in Norway between representatives of the PLO and representatives of the Israeli government had contributed to a new accord and a historic handshake on the White House lawn between Yasser Arafat, chairman of the PLO, and Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli Prime Minister. The short-term aim of the accord was a measure of Palestinian self-rule in Gaza, Jericho and parts of the West Bank, to be followed, ideally, by a permanent peace agreement at the end of 1998.