Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Today in
Middle East History

1981 - U.S. Secretary of State Alexander Haig announced that the U.S. would no longer hold up the delivery of promised F-16s and F-15s to Israel.

1987 - Charles Glass, American journalist, escaped his kidnappers and was rescued after being held for 62 days in Lebanon.

1988 - Pakistani President Mohammad Zia ul-Haq and U.S. Ambassador Arnold Raphel were killed in a plane crash.

1998 - The FBI announced that it was questioning a suspect concerning the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya on August 7th, 1998.

1999 - About 15,600 people were killed in an earthquake in Turkey. Several major cities were devastated.

2002 - Iraq's ambassador said that Iraq and Russia were close to signing a $40 billion economic cooperation plan.

2004 - In Najaf, Iraq, radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr accepted a peace plan that called for his militiamen to disarm and leave their hideout in a Shiite shrine.

2004 - In Israel, a Likud convention voted overwhelmingly to bar Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon from inviting the opposition Labor Party into the government. This was considered a setback to Sharon's plans to withdraw from the Gaza Strip.

2004 - Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat refused to sign anti-corruption legislation demanded by lawmakers. He admitted making "mistakes" and pledged to clean up the Palestinian Authority.

2006 - The Israeli army began handing over positions in southern Lebanon to the U.N.

2006 - In Lebanon, Beirut's international airport reopened to commercial traffic for the first time since July 13. The closure was due to damage as a result of a conflict between Israel and Hezbollah.

Middle East Quote

"For more than 40 years, the United States and Israel have enjoyed a friendship built on mutual respect and commitment to democratic principles. Our continuing search for peace in the Middle East begins with a recognition that ties uniting our two countries can never be broken."
- U.S. President George Bush