JanuaryThe OC Central Command declares that the “security envelope” surrounding the built-up area of every settlement borders the houses on the edge of the neighboring Arab villages.
March 18Mahmoud Abbas is appointed as the first Palestinian prime minister by President Yasser Arafat.
AprilThe group Anarchists against the Wall is founded. The group undertakes direct action in the struggle against construction of the Separation Wall—often known simply as “the Wall”—organizing joint nonviolent demonstrations of Israelis, Palestinians, and international activists.
April 14An advisor to Prime Minister Sharon, Dov Weisglass, delivers to Condoleezza Rice an official letter in which Israel promises, among other things, to establish an Israeli-American team that will set a limit for the building of settlements in the West Bank and to hand over within thirty days a list of unauthorized outposts that are to be evacuated, along with the date the evacuation is to take place. None of these promises are kept.
April 30President George W. Bush announces the formal release of the “road map” to Israeli-Palestinian peace. The plan aims to lead toward a two-state solution through clearly defined reciprocal steps carried out by Israel and the Palestinian National Authority. It includes, in part, the obligation of Israel to evacuate all the outposts established after March 2001 and an obligation on the part of the Palestinians to cease all violence.
JuneThe United States makes $9 billion in loan guarantees available to Israel without setting any conditions relating to progress in Israeli-Palestinian relations, a freeze on settlements, or the easing of restrictions on the Palestinians. In 1991, granting of the guarantees was conditioned on a freeze on settlements.
June 29Palestinian resistance organizations declare a hudna (cease-fire) for the first time. The Palestinian Authority accepts security responsibility for the Gaza Strip and Bethlehem. The cease-fire collapses in August, following the renewal of Israel’s targeted killing policy and the bombing of a bus on the Number 2 line in Jerusalem.
OctoberWithin the framework of building the Separation Wall, the military commander declares the Seam Zone, the enclosed area between the Separation Wall and the Green Line, a “closed area.” The order states: “Nobody shall enter or remain in the Seam Zone,” and “a person located in the Seam Zone must leave it immediately.” This restriction applies only to Palestinians. It does not apply to Israelis, Jews who come within the Law of Return, and foreigners. The order requires Palestinians in the Seam Zone to have permits to enter and remain in their own homes.
December 1The Geneva Accord is signed. This document, an unofficial outline of a permanent arrangement between Israel and the Palestinians, is the result of discussions held in 2002–3 between teams headed by Yossi Beilin and Yasser Abed Rabbo. Among the main elements of the accord are reciprocal recognition, the cessation of violence, division of Jerusalem, a partial resolution of the refugee problem, a viable border based on the Green Line, and the exchange of territory on a one-for-one basis in a few locations in order to keep some of the more populated settlements within the Israeli border.
December 8The UN General Assembly requests the International Court of Justice in the Hague to render an advisory opinion on the legality of the construction of the Separation Wall. In the hearings, the Palestinians will claim that the route of the Wall violates international treaties. Israel will not take part in the hearings, but will submit a written statement to the court in which it will challenge the court’s jurisdiction and stress Israeli's right of self-defense. Both Israel and the Palestinians will conduct a public-relations campaign during the hearings, sending, respectively, grieving parents and farmers cut off their lands to demonstrations in Hague.