The following data has been compiled from a PBS documentary:
Jan. 21, 2009 Israel Announces a Unilateral Ceasefire and Israeli Troops Leave Gaza
“The Israeli army says it has completed its withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, following a three-week assault against militants from the Hamas group… Earlier, the UN urged Israel to fully open all of Gaza’s borders to allow reconstruction work to begin… A temporary ceasefire between Israeli troops and Hamas came into effect on Sunday – but it does not include any agreement on the opening of crossings, which are tightly controlled by Israel…
Overall, Palestinian medical sources in Gaza say at least 1,300 Palestinians were killed during the three-week conflict, which began on 27 December. Thirteen Israelis, including three civilians, were killed, the Israeli army says. Thousands of homes were destroyed, and the territory’s infrastructure has been badly damaged.”
Mar. 26, 2009
Close Israeli Elections Results in Netanyahu Forming a Government
“Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of the right-leaning Likud party, became Israel’s prime minister on March 31, 2009 following unusual parliamentary election results that saw the centrist Kadima party (led by Tzipi Livni) win the most seats but not enough to forge a coalition government.
Netanyahu, however, was able to form a coalition of about 70 seats in the 120-member Knesset and, in the process, created the largest Cabinet in Israel’s history when he increased the number of ministers to 30 in order to satisfy his coalition partners’ competing demands.”
June 4, 2009
Obama Supports Two-State Solution and Opposes Settlements in Cairo Speech
“In his long-anticipated Cairo address to the Muslim world, U.S. President Barack Obama reaffirmed Washington’s strong backing for a Palestinian state, using the term ‘Palestine’ numerous times to highlight his administration’s commitment to follow through on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. While reaffirming Washington’s ‘unbreakable bond’ with Israel, Obama said that there can be no denying of the right of ‘Palestine’ to exist, and that he would ‘personally pursue’ the realization of a Palestinian state ‘with all the patience that the task requires.’
”Israelis must acknowledge that just as Israel’s right to exist cannot be denied, neither can Palestine’s,’ Obama said. The president also issued a blunt repudiation of Israel’s settlement enterprise in the West Bank, an issue that has strained Washington’s ties with Jerusalem.”
June 14, 2009
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Conditionally Endorses Palestinian State
“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu endorsed a Palestinian state beside Israel for the first time on Sunday, reversing himself under U.S. pressure but attaching conditions such as having no army that the Palestinians swiftly rejected. A week after President Barack Obama’s address to the Muslim world, Netanyahu said the Palestinian state would also have to recognize Israel as the Jewish state – essentially saying Palestinian refugees must give up the goal of returning to Israel. With those conditions, he said, he could accept ‘a demilitarized Palestinian state alongside the Jewish state.”
Aug. 4, 2009
Fatah Holds First Party Congress in 20 Years
“Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas sought to reinvigorate his Fatah movement Tuesday, launching the party’s first congress in 20 years — and its first ever in the West Bank. More than 2,000 delegates from around the world have gathered here to choose a new party platform and hold elections for Fatah institutions. ‘Although peace is our choice, we reserve the right to resistance, legitimate under international law,’ Abbas told the delegates in an animated two-hour speech. The Palestinian leader made it clear that by ‘resistance,’ he meant nonviolent protests rather than armed confrontation, praising peaceful weekly demonstrations against a controversial barrier Israel is building in and around the West Bank. Abbas also said that Palestinians remain committed to the goal of establishing an independent state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, with Jerusalem as its capital.”
Aug. 26, 2009
Palestinian Authority Issues Plan to Create Palestinian State within Two Years
“The government of Salam Fayyad, Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority issued a detailed plan to establish a de-facto Palestinian state within two years, outside the framework of the Roadmap and of the Oslo Interim Agreement. The Palestinian Authority had rejected a proviso of the roadmap that would allow them to declare a state within the framework of the second stage of the roadmap. The state program would bring them into direct conflict with Israel, especially since the borders of the state are declared as including all of the land occupied by Israel in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem. The Hamas, which rules the Gaza strip, objected. The European Union expressed support for the plan, but Israel’s foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman warned that Israel would prevent unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state.”
May. 31, 2010
Israeli Commandos Board a Flotilla of Ships Carrying Aid for Gaza and Kill Nine Activists
“At least nine people died, and 30 were wounded, when Israeli troops boarded a flotilla of ships carrying aid for Gaza on Monday, 31 May 2010. It was the ninth attempt since 2008 to break an Israeli and Egyptian blockade of the Gaza Strip by sea, but the first that has resulted in bloodshed. The six ships were boarded in international waters, about 80 miles from the Israeli coast. Commandos landed on the largest ship, the Turkish-owned Mavi Marmara, by descending on ropes from helicopters. They were attacked by the activists on board and opened fire….
The activists say the commandos started shooting as soon as they hit the deck. Israeli officials say the commandos fired in self-defence… There has been widespread condemnation of the violence. The UN Security Council has issued a statement calling for a ‘prompt, impartial, credible and transparent’ inquiry into the raid.”
Jan. 23, 2011
Leaked Documents Show Palestinians Willing to Make Major Concessions to Cut a Peace Deal
On Jan. 23, 2011, Al Jazeera television began leaking hundreds of pages of documents belonging to the Palestinian negotiating team. “For one thing, the documents show that Palestinian leaders appeared to be far more willing to cut a peace deal than most Israelis, and even many Palestinians, believed.
In contrast with Israelis’ portrayal of Palestinian leaders as rejectionists, the Palestinians come across in the papers as the side better-prepared, with maps, charts and compromises, even broaching controversial trade-offs that went beyond what their own people were probably ready to accept.
Though publicly Palestinians have insisted on a full right of return for refugees, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas acknowledged in March 2009 that deep concessions would have to be made. ‘It is illogical to ask Israel to take 5 million [refugees] or, indeed, 1 million,’ Abbas is quoted as telling his team…
As well, the Palestinians offered in 2008 to allow Israel to annex most of the large Jewish housing developments built around Jerusalem on land seized during the 1967 Middle East War. As part of the offer, Israel would have had to give up comparable land around Jerusalem and agree to evacuate several large West Bank settlements.”
May 4, 2011
Palestinian Rivals Fatah and Hamas Sign Reconciliation Pact
“The rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas have signed a landmark reconciliation pact aimed at ending their bitter four-year rift.
A ceremony marking the deal, which was mediated by Egypt, took place on Wednesday (May 4, 2011) at the Egyptian intelligence headquarters in Cairo…
The pact provides for the creation of a joint caretaker Palestinian government before national elections next year…
The deal calls for the formation of an interim government to run the occupied West Bank, where Abbas is based, and Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and prepare for parliamentary and presidential elections within a year.
Palestinians see this reconciliation as crucial for their drive to establish an independent state in the territories captured by Israel in the 1967 war.”
May 19, 2011
President Obama Calls for Negotiations to Begin for a Palestinian State Based on Israel’s Pre-1967 Borders
In a May 19, 2011 speech at the US State Department, President Obama “pressed Israel, in unusually frank terms, to reach a final peace agreement with the Palestinians, citing the boundaries in place on the eve of the June 1967 Arab-Israeli War as the starting point for negotiation about borders.
The formulation goes beyond principles outlined by President George W. Bush, who stated during his first term that ‘it is unrealistic to expect’ Israel to pull back to the 1967 boundaries, which were based on cease-fire lines established in 1949. Obama said the negotiations about final borders, which he indicated may include land swaps to accommodate Israel’s large settlement blocs, should result in ‘a viable Palestine, a secure Israel.’
The president said a ‘full and phased withdrawal of Israeli military forces’ from the West Bank should be carried out in coordination with Palestinian security forces. He described a future Palestinian state as ‘nonmilitarized,’ a key Israeli demand.”
Sep. 20, 2011
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas Seeks Full UN Membership for a Palestinian State
“President Mahmoud Abbas told the U.N. chief on Monday he would seek full membership for a Palestinian state at the United Nations, a move the United States and Israel warn could dash hopes of resuming peace talks.
Abbas told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon he would press ahead with plans to ask for a Security Council vote on Friday on Palestinian membership. Washington has threatened to veto any such move. Ban told Abbas he would send any application submitted to the Security Council and called for the Israelis and the Palestinians to resume talks ‘within a legitimate and balanced framework,’ U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said…
The White House underscored its threat to veto any Palestinian move at the Security Council and said it would focus on trying to nudge the two sides back to negotiations. ‘We’ve made our position clear, which is that we oppose actions to achieve a Palestinian state through the United Nations,’ Obama’s deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes told reporters…”