The diary of violence

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The Independent Online
5 January: Yahya Ayyash, known as "The Engineer" and believed to be the mastermind of a wave of Islamic suicide bombings against Israel, is killed in the Gaza Strip when his cellular telephone blows up. The militant Islamic group Hamas vows to avenge his death, which it blames on Israel.

20 January: Palestinians hold first election for president and parliament to rule in the West Bank and Gaza under peace deal with Israel. Yasser Arafat, PLO chief, elected president.

25 February: Two Hamas suicide bombers kill 26 in attacks in Jerusalem and the southern Israeli town of Ashkelon. Bombings said to be in revenge for the killing of Ayyash.

3 March: Hamas suicide bomber on a bus in Jerusalem kills 18. Israel declares all-out war against Hamas.

4 March: A Hamas suicide bomber kills 13 at a busy Tel Aviv shopping mall.

23 March: Israel, rocked by the suicide bombings, puts off scheduled withdrawal from Hebron, the seventh and last West Bank town still occupied.

29 May: Benjamin Netanyahu, a right-winger, ousts Shimon Peres in national elections vowing to boost security.

23 July: Arafat meets David Levy, Israeli Foreign Minister, in Gaza.

2 August: Netanyahu infuriates Palestinians by lifting four-year freeze on West Bank Jewish settlement expansion imposed by previous government.

29 August: Palestinians hold first general strike in West Bank and Gaza in two years to protest at Israeli policy; heads of Israeli-PLO steering committee on implemention of interim peace deals hold first meeting since Netanyahu took office.

4 September: Netanyahu and Arafat hold first summit,.

24 September: Israeli government opens tourist tunnel near Islamic holy site, igniting protests reminiscent of Palestinian uprising and further souring relations with Arab states.

25 September: Israeli soldiers kill five Palestinians and wound about 300 during protests in West Bank town of Ramallah.

26 September: Thirty-nine Palestinians and 11 Israelis die in clashes in the worst violence since Israel and the PLO signed peace deal in 1993.

27 September: Seven Palestinians and three Israelis killed in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Arab East Jerusalem. Three of the Palestinians shot dead during stone-throwing protest outside Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque, Islam's third holiest shrine.

28 September: Arab shot dead in Gaza but Palestinian police keep lid on protests in most of the West Bank and Gaza.

29 September: President Clinton invites Netanyahu, Arafat, Jordan's King Hussein and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to White House summit.

6 October: Following White House summit, Israel and PLO launch weeks of marathon talks on Hebron redeployment.

11 December: Guerrillas from the Popular Front of the Liberation of Palestine shoot dead a 12-year-old Israeli boy and his mother in a drive-by shooting near the PLO-ruled West Bank town of Ramallah. Five other settlers wounded.

12 December: Israeli farmer shoots dead a Palestinian worker in southern Israel.

24 December: Netanyahu and Arafat meet on Hebron. US Middle East envoy Dennis Ross reports "real progress".