Israeli operation apprehends Karine A in the Red Sea, en route for the Gaza Strip, major illegal arms and ammunition shipment for the PA, funded by Hizbullah (Iran); estimated as tip of the iceberg. Captain is PA official; documents show complicity of PA officials, corroborated by further apprehensions at sea, May 2003.
Following almost daily suicide bombings with a high death toll, Israel retaliates against terror cells in the PA - Operation Defensive Shield - Arafat Documents funding terror cells discovered in Ramallah; allegations of Israeli atrocities in Jenin disproved. [link to Behind the Headlines]
Israel seeks out terrorist infrastructure and captures terrorists in PA cities following 3 major terror attacks: Operation Determined Path.
Israel begins constructing Security fence/barrier zone to prevent terrorist infiltration from the PA.
President Bush demands reform in the PA - emphasizing anti-terror and anti-corruption measures [link on BTH].
Following more terror attacks on Israeli civilians, the IDF enters Arafat's compound in Ramallah, seeking major terrorists, but fails and withdraws under US pressure, because of US negotiations to create an international coalition against terror to fight Iraq.
September 2002-April 2003
Israel is sidelined as the US and UK attempt to create wall-to-wall coalition against Iraq and UN Weapons Inspectors resume inspections in Iraq, to its detriment, but without finding unconventional weapons. The US & UK lead the war on Iraq without a broad coalition, ousting Saddam Hussein [link]. Israel issues gas masks and goes on alert, but remains outside the conflict.
November 2002- January 2003
Knesset dissolved. Israeli Elections return Ariel Sharon to power, with increased support and a secular/right wing cabinet, plus the NRP. [link]
President Bush launches the Road Map to Peace [link], joined by the Quartet, the Saudi Initiative and in the context of the War on Iraq.
January 28 - Elections for the 16th Knesset. Likud 37 seats, Labor 19 seats.
Abu Mazen becomes PA Prime Minister - the Road Map is officially published.