January 5Israel eliminates Yehiye Ayash, a senior Hamas explosives expert. Hamas promises revenge.
January 19The Palestinian Authority holds its first elections. Yasser Arafat is elected president; Hamas and other opposition groups ban the elections.
February–MarchA wave of suicide attacks in Israel: fifty-eight persons are killed and more than two hundred injured in four suicide attacks within a space of nine days.
MarchIsrael issues an order directing that all Gazan students studying in the West Bank return to Gaza. From then to the present time, Israel refuses to issue permits for Gazan students to live and study in the West Bank.
March 3The government decides to separate the population in Israel from the Palestinian population of the Occupied Territories. To achieve this objective, Israel will set up crossings in the Seam Zone and block other paths by which Palestinians enter Israel.
March 5Following a wave of terrorist attacks, Israel imposes a comprehensive closure on the territories. Simultaneously, Areas A and B are separated from each other, and an internal closure is imposed on 465 towns and villages. A protracted curfew is imposed on a few villages from which, Israel contends, the attackers came. In addition, the entire jurisdictional area of the settlements, 42 percent of the West Bank, is declared a “closed military area” into which Palestinians are forbidden entry.
August 2The new right-wing government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu removes the restrictions on development of the settlements and ends the partial freeze agreed to in the Oslo agreements. However, from 1996 on, only three new settlements will be built, among them Modiin Illit, a city populated by ultra religious Jews that will become the most heavily populated settlement. Most of the new construction of settlers’ houses takes place in new neighborhoods adjacent to established settlements.
September 23Prime Minister Netanyahu orders the opening of the portal of the Temple tunnel to the Muslim Quarter of the Old City in Jerusalem. Bloody rioting and protest actions follow in the Occupied Territories, in which sixty-nine Palestinians and eleven IDF soldiers are killed.
October 3Israel cuts off Internet lines in the Occupied Territories to block the flow of information.