(1937- ) Also known as Abu Ala'. A Palestinian political figure. A long-time member of Fatah and numerous Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) bodies, Qurei formerly served as the speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council from 1996-2003 and was one of the leading Palestinian negotiators in the secret talks that led to the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993. Qurei has also held various positions in the Palestinian Authority, including Minister of Economy and Trade, Minister of Industry and Prime Minister from September 2003-February 2006. As of 2015, serves as the head of the PLO Department for Jerusalem Affairs and is a member of the PLO Executive Committee. Controversy erupted in 2004 when it was alleged that Qurei’s family’s cement company profited from the building of the Separation Barrier, an accusation Qurei denied. See "Biography - Ahmed Qurei," MidEast Web. See also "Palestinian cement sold to Israel for barrier, probe finds," Charles Radin, Boston Globe, July 28, 2004; and "Qurei calls for reconsidering one-state solution," Khaled Abu Toameh, Jerusalem Post, March 17, 2012.
A large Israeli military checkpoint that separates Ramallah from East Jerusalem. The checkpoint, which until the early 2000s consisted of a concrete block in the middle of the road staffed by a few soldiers, is now a large military installation that functions as a quasi-border terminal. The checkpoint underwent numerous expansions beginning in 2001, in conjunction with the building of the Separation Barrier. starting It bears the same name as the Qalandia refugee camp and town that is located just north of the checkpoint. Only Palestinians with Israeli-issued permits or Jerusalem IDs can pass through the checkpoint to the Jerusalem side. The Israeli Separation Barrier runs through the town and checkpoint, and Qalandia has been the site of frequent clashes between Palestinian youth and Israeli forces since the start of the Second Intifada, including the largest protest in decades when thousands of Palestinians marched from Ramallah to the checkpoint in protest of the 2014 Gaza War. Palestinians passing the checkpoint into Jerusalem must go through a series of cage-like passages of metal bars and turnstiles, with soldiers behind bullet-proof glass giving instructions through a loud speaker and checking IDs and permits. See "Checkpoint misery epitomizes a Mideast divide: Daily chronicles travails of Palestinians crossing from West Bank to Israel," Ben Hubbard, NBC News, Feb 21, 2010; " Qalandiya Checkpoint, March 2014: An obstacle to normal life," Amer Aruri, B’tselem, March 19, 2014; and "The largest West Bank protest in decades," +972mag, July 25, 2014.
Also known as the Madrid Quartet and the Middle East Quartet. Made up of the United States, European Union, United Nations and Russia. The Quartet came into being following a meeting in Madrid, Spain in April 2002. Representatives of each Quartet member met to discuss concerns over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and issued a joint-statement calling for a cease-fire. According to the April 10, 2002 statement, the Quartet "agreed on the need to keep the situation in the Middle East under review...at the principal’s level through regular consultations" while maintaining special envoys on the ground "to assist the parties in reaching an end to confrontation and resumption of political negotiations." Read the Quartet joint statement on the UNISPAL website, April 10, 2002.