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By Denise Youngblood Coleman

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Saab Erekat, Arafat's chief negotiations officer, met with Israeli military officials, in hope that they would offer a list of the 50 wanted men. He was also hoping to arrange political and security discussions with the Israeli authorities, which would ideally include the participation of the United States. Both of these goals are not likely to be realized. Despite international calls for the Israeli military to withdraw from the area of Arafat's complex, the Israelis remained in place. Some reports suggested that an Israeli flag was planted in the area of the complex.

International pressure led the Palestinians to postpone their self-imposed deadline for the proclamation of a Palestinian state, but Arafat stated that he would unilaterally declare an independent Palestinian state by the end of the year. On Sept. 26, 2000, Barak and Arafat met for the first time since Camp David, and their chief negotiators were on their way back to Washington to continue negotiations. The al-Aqsa Intifada and its Effects In clear contrast to the optimism generated after Camp David, events unfolding since have taken the future of the peace process into the bleak unknown.

Meanwhile, Israel carried out a test launch of its Arrow missile interceptors. The anti-ballistic missile test -- the biggest launch of Israel's new air defense system -- was carried out in anticipation of a war on Iraq. Elections of 2003 By mid-January 2003, pre-election polls suggested that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's right-wing Likud Party was headed for re-election. Meanwhile, the opposition Labor Party, which withdrew from Sharon's national unity government and prompted new elections, appeared headed for a substantial loss.

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