The famous handshake between the then Palestinian president, Yasser Arafat, and Yitzhak Rabin, the then Israeli prime minister, at the Clinton White House in 1993. Photograph: (Photo: Reuters)
Here is a chronology of events:
-- Nov 1: The Madrid Peace Conference sets out a peace process framework.
-- Sept 13: Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization sign a Declaration of Principles on autonomy after months of secret negotiations in Oslo.
-- May 4: Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat sign autonomy accord in Cairo.
-- July 11-25: US president Bill Clinton hosts talks with Arafat and Israeli premier Ehud Barak at Camp David that collapse over the issues of Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees, sparking a new Palestinian uprising, or intifada.
-- Jan 21: Talks in Taba, Egypt, fail to revive the peace process.
-- June 4: Launch of a "roadmap" for the creation of a Palestinian state by 2005 at a summit in Jordan with US president George W. Bush, Israeli premier Ariel Sharon and Palestinian prime minister Mahmud Abbas.
-- Feb 2: Sharon and Abbas -- now Palestinian president -- meet in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, and declare an end to hostilities.
-- Nov 27: Abbas and Israeli premier Ehud Olmert formally restart negotiations at Annapolis, Maryland.
-- Dec 27: Israel begins a devastating 22-day military offensive in the Gaza Strip, prompting the Palestinians to suspend talks.
-- Sept 2: US President Barack Obama launches direct talks at a White House summit with Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
-- Sept 26: A partial freeze of West Bank settlement building expires, leading to the collapse of direct talks.
-- May 19: Obama's call for a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, namely the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, is rejected by Netanyahu.
-- Sept 23: The Quartet -- the United States, Russia, European Union and UN -- unveil a plan to relaunch talks that include a resumption of dialogue within a month and a commitment to securing a peace deal by the end of 2012.
-- Oct 31: Palestinians win entry to UN cultural organization UNESCO. Israel announces the construction of 2,000 settler homes in east Jerusalem and the West Bank and the freezing of funds due to the Palestinian Authority.
-- Jan 3: Palestinian and Israeli negotiators meet discretely in Jordan.
- Jan 25: A senior Palestinian official rules out any more talks after a fifth meeting.
-- June 10: While direct talks remain in deep freeze, senior officials from both sides have been holding a quiet dialogue, both sides say.
-- April 30: The Arab League flags a shift in the terms of its 2002 Arab Peace Initiative to incorporate the idea of mutual land swaps.
-- July 18: A Palestinian official says leaders will vote on a US plan under which peace talks with Israel will not depend on a settlement ban.
-- July 19: At the end of his sixth visit to the Middle East in as many months, Kerry announces agreement has been reached on a basis for resuming final status negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis.
-- July 28: The State Department announces direct negotiations will resume in Washington on July 29 and July 30.