The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
A R A F A T ' S C O N F I N E M E N T

Main events during the confinement of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat by Israel, first to the West Bank town of Ramallah and then to his compound there:

Dec. 3: Israel destroys Arafat's three helicopters in Gaza City, grounding him and effectively confining him to Ramallah.

Dec. 24: Despite European and U.S. intervention, Israel says it will not let Arafat attend Christmas Mass in Bethlehem unless he arrests the assassins of Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Zeevi.

Jan. 18: Two Israeli tanks and an armored personnel carrier park outside Arafat's Ramallah headquarters, confining him to his office complex a day after a Palestinian gunman bursts into a banquet hall and kills six Israelis.

March 6: Israeli helicopter fires a missile at Arafat's headquarters while the Palestinian leader meets with European envoy Miguel Moratinos.

March 18: Vice President Dick Cheney arrives, meets Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon but declines to see Arafat in Ramallah.

March 26: Arafat decides not to attend an Arab League summit in Beirut after Sharon hardens conditions for the Palestinian leader's trip.

March 27: Suicide bombing at Israeli hotel kills 28 guests attending a Passover seder, the ritual meal ushering in the weeklong Jewish holiday.

March 29: Israeli Cabinet declares Arafat an enemy, launches military offensive and takes over most of Arafat's Ramallah compound, confining Arafat and dozens of aides to several rooms.

April 1: Israeli troops tighten encirclement of Arafat's compound with more tanks and barricades.

April 2: Arafat, responding to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's offer of permanent exile, says he will rather die than leave the West Bank.

April 4: Israel prevents European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana and Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Pique from meeting with Arafat.

April 5: U.S. envoy Anthony Zinni meets with Arafat; the first foreign official to see the Palestinian leader since the start of the military offensive.

April 14: Secretary of State Colin Powell holds more than three hours of talks with Arafat, calls the meeting "useful and constructive" but reports no progress toward a cease-fire.

April 17: An agitated Arafat appeals for international help to end his confinement, after second meeting with Powell ends with little results.

April 18: Arafat receives a visit from Jordan's foreign minister and gets a checkup from his neurologist, Dr. Ashraf al-Kurdi, who proclaims him in good health.

April 21: Sharon declares that Israel has completed the latest stage of its "war on terrorism" and troops will withdraw from Palestinian-run areas, except Arafat's compound and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, where armed Palestinians are holed up inside.

April 25: Arafat approves the sentencing of four men convicted of Zeevi's murder in a makeshift court inside his compound. Sharon dismisses the decision, saying Israel still demands they be extradited.

April 26: Israel's policy of isolating Arafat appears to be unraveling as Turkish and Greek foreign ministers enter Arafat's compound.

April 28: Israel's Cabinet reluctantly agrees to a U.S. proposal to release Arafat from his confinement and transfer six wanted men in his compound to a West Bank prison where their detention will be supervised by U.S. and British experts.

Source: The Associated Press