In 2002, Israel was a nation with a population of more than 6 million people. Despite decades of conflict and political unrest, the country had made great strides towards economic development and had become one of the most prosperous nations in the Middle East. The economy was largely based on services and technology exports, though there were also agriculture and tourism sectors beginning to emerge. According to computerannals, Israel had an estimated GDP per capita of $20,000 USD. Poverty levels were relatively low and most people had access to basic services such as healthcare and education. Infrastructure projects such as roads, ports, airports, and power plants had been completed while foreign investment had also increased significantly. Additionally, the Israeli government had implemented various economic reforms which opened up new opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs. All in all, there were many reasons for optimism when it came to Israel’s future in 2002 despite some lingering issues that needed to be addressed.
Israel. According to Countryaah website, national day of Israel is every April 14. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, leader of Conservative Likud, retained his opposition to direct talks with Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat. Disbelief deepened when the Israeli military launched the Karine A ship at the beginning of January with a large weapon load on its way to the Gaza Strip. Sharon accused Arafat of participating in the smuggling operation.
The wave of assaults and suicide bombings against Israel continued and were answered with raids on Palestinian territories. Other measures were decisions to deport relatives of suicide bombers and to blow up houses, despite criticism that this was a collective punishment. An 11-mile-long fence against the West Bank began construction in June.
The crisis in the tourism industry continued and other sectors also receded, which was attributed to the consequences of the Palestinian uprising. This also contributed to the reduction of immigration of Jews from other countries by 27% in the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2001. This corresponded to 15,000 immigrants compared to 20,500 last year, according to Statistics Sweden.
In addition to the violence, Sharon also had to hold together the government coalition with the Labor Party, the ultra-Orthodox party Shas and five other small parties. In April, Sharon took on two more parties, including the Orthodox NRP (National Religious Party). The cooperation sometimes sparkled and a proposed budget tightening led to a crisis in May. Shas voted against the proposal because reduced child support would affect their voters, who by and large have large families. Sharon dismissed Sha’s four ministers and, in a second vote, managed to get through the proposal, but the government’s majority had shrunk in the west. In June, Shas resumed its pledge not to stop austerity.
The government of Israel agreed in August on continued austerity in the 2003 budget, but at the parliamentary debate in late October, the Labor Party jumped out of the government. The party said it wanted to invest more on poor Israelis at the expense of the government’s continued support to the West Bank and Gaza Strip settlers. The timing of the dismissal was also considered to be linked to the Labor Party’s November 19 election of party leader.
In the new government, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, aiming for a political comeback, was appointed Foreign Minister after Labor’s veteran Shimon Peres, while former Commander-in-Chief Shaul Mofaz replaced Labor Party leader Benjamin Ben-Eliezer as Defense Minister. Attempts to widen the government base failed and with only 55 out of 120 votes in Parliament, it was a matter of time before Sharon would request re-election, which he did on November 5. The date was set for January 28, 2003.
Ben-Eliezer lost the vote on the party leadership post in the Labor Party to Haifa’s mayor, former war hero Amram Mitzna. Mitzna, who becomes the Labor Party’s prime ministerial candidate, said he would propose to the Palestinians a peace agreement within a year and if it failed to implement a unilateral Israeli retreat from the Gaza Strip and most of the West Bank. Mitzna also said he was against joining a possible new government with Likud.
Sharon won the Nov. 28 Equal Rights Clear against Netanyahu. The victory was clouded by an explosive attack on an Israeli hotel in Kenya, where 16 people were killed, and by an attack on one of Likud’s premises in northern Israel
In early December, Sharon made an outrage against the Palestinians, the first of which being reforms by the Palestinian Authority. Later, a Palestinian state would be established with provisional borders. The difference with the so-called peace plan that was launched in September by the US, Russia, the UN and the EU is that no timetable was set. The “Quartet’s” three-step plan talked about a provisional Palestinian state as early as 2003 if the security situation had improved.
I’s relations with the UN were strained at the end of November when a British aid worker was killed by Israeli soldiers in Jenin on the West Bank. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan demanded an investigation. Israel accused the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees UNRWA of assisting terror.
The Emirates can buy fighter jets
The United States has approved a major aircraft deal with the United Arab Emirates as a result of the emirate’s recognition of Israel, says Eliot Engel, chairman of the House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee. The sale of 50 F-35 fighter jets is controversial, as it affects the military balance of power in the Persian Gulf. If the deal, which is worth more than $ 10 billion, is completed, the emirate’s air force will have as many F-35 planes as Israel. The F-35 is one of the world’s most advanced fighter aircraft. Saudi Arabia and Qatar have also shown interest in the plane. Negotiations are underway between Israel and the United States on other armaments deals aimed at strengthening the Israeli military. The United States counts both Israel and the emirates as its allies against Iran.
Normalization between Sudan and Israel
Sudan and Israel are normalizing their relations. Behind the message from Washington is American pressure, as in the case of the Gulf states of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, which recently recognized Israel. Unlike the Gulf states, Sudan has repeatedly participated in Arab wars against Israel. The country has also hosted militant groups that are considered enemies of Israel and the United States. But Sudan has for some time had a transitional government with an interest in better relations with the United States; Sudan now avoids the US stamp of terrorism, which opens up for aid and investment, among other things. For his part, President Trump not only seeks to benefit Israel but also wants foreign policy successes to show to voters in the upcoming US presidential election. The Palestinian response to Sudan’s decision to recognize Israel is bitter.
The Balfour Declaration basis for legal action
Palestinians sue Britain in court over Balfour Declaration of 1917. The historic document, signed by Britain’s then foreign minister, supports the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, which was then under the Ottoman Empire. The Balfour Declaration was one of the documents that led to the establishment of the modern state of Israel in 1948, after the area became a British mandate. For the Arab world, the declaration was a shock and the Palestinians’ view is that the British gave away land that the country did not own. The lawsuit, which has been filed in Nablus in the West Bank, states that the act also gave rise to Palestinian suffering. Behind the atmosphere are several Palestinian organizations, among them a trade union country organization.
Israel abolishes visa requirements for emirates
At the same time as an official delegation from the United Arab Emirates is on an official visit, it is announced that Israel and the Emirates will mutually introduce visa-free travel for citizens of the other country. This is the first time that residents of an Arab country can travel to Israel without a visa. (Israel has long had peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan without removing the visa requirement.) 28 weekly flights between the countries are planned.
2,000 Ethiopians are allowed to immigrate
The Israeli government decides to allow 2,000 Ethiopians to immigrate. They are descendants of Ethiopian Jews who converted to Christianity (many probably under duress) during the 18th and 19th centuries. They are not approved as Jews by Israel’s Orthodox rabbinical authorities and there is opposition to them being allowed to immigrate. There are about 140,000 Ethiopian Jews living in Israel, who often claim to be discriminated against. Most came in the 1980s with the support of a law that states that all Jews have the right to immigrate. About 50,000 were born in the country.
Israeli-Emirati meeting at Holocaust Remembrance
The foreign ministers of Israel and the United Arab Emirates meet in Berlin and visit a monument commemorating the victims of the Holocaust. Gabi Ashkenazi, whose parents survived the Nazi extermination of the Jews, describes the visit together with Abdullah bin Zayid al-Nahyan as deeply touching. In the wake of the normalized relations between Israel and the Emirates, called the Abrahamic Agreements, the meeting is also seen symbolically as a sign of improved understanding between Jews and Muslims.
Israel balances Caucasian
Fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region has shed light on arms deals between Israel and the Azerbaijani state. It has been known for several years that the Aliyev regime is a customer of the Israeli defense industry, while Israel imports Azeri oil. Israel does not publish sales figures country by country, but Azerbaijan has confirmed the purchase of, among other things, equipped drones. Advanced weapons systems have made the balance of power in the Caucasus more uneven than before, and Armenia (which has not opened an embassy in Israel until recently) is concerned. A site that follows air movements also shows that an Azeri plane took off from an airfield in Israel, near a military base, as recently as just before the latest outbreak of war.
Border negotiations between Lebanon and Israel
Lebanon and Israel have agreed on a framework for UN-backed negotiations with US mediation on the disputed sea border between the countries. The talks will start on October 14. Out in the Mediterranean, there is natural gas that both want to extract. There is also no recognized land boundary between them, just a standstill line called the “blue line”. Several wars have been fought over the years and a functioning peace agreement has been lacking since Arab-Israeli fighting in the 1940s. The blue line was marked by the UN in 2000, when Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon after 22 years of occupation.