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A Chronology of U.S.-Middle East Relations

Article excerpt

Aug. 1: The Defense Department agreed to fund covert operations by the dissident Iraqi National Congress.

After a White House meeting with President George W Bush, Jordan's King Abdullah warned that foreign leaders were increasingly concerned about U.S. plans to invade Iraq.

In Washington, DC, American, Israeli and Egyptian officials discussed US. plans to cut peacekeeping forces in the Sinai.

Based on second-hand reports, the UN. dismissed claims that Israel massacred Palestinians in April, concluding that 497 Palestinians were killed in Israel's two-month occupation of the West Bank.

As Hamas claimed responsibility for a July bombing at Hebrew University, the Israeli Cabinet moved to deport relatives of suspected terrorists and formalized the policy of destroying their homes, razing the home of a Palestinian who wounded five in Jerusalem.

Afghanistan captured an alleged al-Qaeda member after he attempted to assassinate President Hamid Karzai.

Russia accused Georgia of aggression by allowing cross-border Chechen attacks.

Indonesia, Malaysia and others pledged to join the US. war against terrorism. Aug. 2: A DC federal judge ruled that the Justice Department must release the names of over 1,000 people held since the 911 attacks.

Israel reoccupied Nablus, killing five Palestinians, abducting 50 and destroying homes in Nablus, Tulkarm and Hebron. As President Bush said Israel must defend itself, the FBI opened an inquiry into a Jerusalem bombing that killed five Americans.

Iraq invited chief U.N. arms inspector Hans Blix to discuss renewed weapons inspections.

The U.S. denied an Afghan accusation that it had attacked a village south of Kabul, killing one civilian and wounding two. President Karzai dismissed allegations that the U.S. covered up earlier attacks on villages.

In Kashmir violence, 20 people were killed.

Aug. 3: Israeli troops killed a Palestinian truck driver in Hebron and abducted several Palestinians in Nablus.

Turkey moved to abolish the death penalty.

In Afghanistan, two unidentified men attacked a U.N. building in Kandahar with a hand grenade before escaping, while thousands in Khost protested the new government and ethnic fighting in Herat killed 70.

Despite facing imprisonment for corruption, former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto announced her imminent return to Pakistan to contest October elections.

Aug. 4: Sens. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) and Arlen Specter (R-PA) accused Iran, Iraq, Syria and Saudi Arabia of funding Hamas.

Hamas claimed responsibility for a bus bombing in northern Israel that killed nine and wounded 40, and the PFLP claimed responsibility for injuring three Israelis near a settlement outside Tulkarm. In Jerusalem, AlAqsa Martyrs claimed responsibility for killing an Israeli security guard, while in Nablus three Israeli soldiers were injured. The Brigades also claimed responsibility for wounding three Israeli settlers near Ramallah.

Israel destroyed nine homes in Nablus, Hebron, and Jenin, and Israeli troops in northern Gaza killed a Palestinian scuba diver.

Algerian forces killed 40 suspected Islamist rebels in the mountains west of Algiers.

Aug. 5: A federal judge in Manhattan ruled that federal prosecutors must investigate the FBI role in obtaining a coerced false confession from an Egyptian detained after 911.

USAID and CARE reported that 22.5 percent of Palestinian children are malnourished.

[As Israel invaded the West Bank village of Burka, killing two Palestinians, and imposed a travel ban on Palestinians in the northern West Bank and part of Gaza, Israeli helicopters bombed Gaza City, wounding three youths.

Palestinians killed two Israelis and wounded two on an Israelis-only road south of Nablus.

At least 23 Sudanese were killed and 24,000 fled when the Lord's Resistance Army attacked a refugee camp in northern Uganda. …