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Quick Facts About Israel
Glossary of Key Terms/Events in Israel's History
Responses to Common Inaccuracies About Israel
Key Dates in Vatican-Israel Relations
Key Dates in Israel's History
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   Key Dates in Israel's History
 1896 - 1947
February 14, 1896 Publication of Theodor Herzl's treatise "The Jewish State"
August 29, 1897 Opening of First Zionist Conference at Basel, Switzerland
November 2, 1917 Issuing of Balfour Declaration: British support for a "Jewish Homeland"
April 24, 1920 Britain assigned mandatory power over Palestine at San Remo conference
August 23, 1929 Arab attack on Jewish community of Hebron
April 15, 1936 Arab revolt begins
May 17, 1939 British White Paper limiting Jewish immigration to Palestine passes
December 1945 Initiation of Arab League Boycott (on the Jewish community of Palestine)
July 22, 1946 Irgun bomb King David Hotel
February 14, 1947 Britain Gives U.N. Responsibility for Palestine
November 29, 1947 U.N. Partition Plan approved (Resolution 181)
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 1948 - 1967
May 14, 1948 Declaration of the State of Israel
May 15, 1948 - January 1949 War of Independence
January 25, 1949 Israel's first national election takes place; David Ben-Gurion elected Prime Minister
May 1950 Operation Ali Baba begins; brings 113,000 Iraqi Jews to Israel
September 1950 Operation Magic Carpet completed; 47,000 Yemeni Jews brought to Israel
October 29 -November 6, 1956 Suez Campaign
October 10, 1959 Creation of Fatah
January 1964 Creation of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)
January 1, 1965 Planned Fatah Attack of Israeli Water system (Land Day)
May 15 - 22, 1967 Egyptian Mobilization in the Sinai/Closure of the Tiran Straits
June 5 - 10, 1967 Six Day War
November 22, 1967 Adoption of U.N. Security Council Resolution 242
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 1968 - 1973
April 4, 1968 Establishment of Jewish settlement in Hebron
July 18, 1968 Hijacking of El Al airliner by PLO
February 1 - 4, 1969 Arafat becomes PLO Chairman
March 8, 1969 - August 7, 1970 War of Attrition
September 5, 1972 Massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at Munich Olympics
October 6 - 24, 1973 Yom Kippur War
October 17, 1973 Arab Oil Embargo
October 19, 1973 U.S. Sends $2.2 billion in military aid to Israel to counter Soviet arms shipments to Egypt
October 22, 1973 Adoption of U.N. Security Council Resolution 338
November 5, 1973 Kissinger begins shuttle diplomacy
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 1974 - 1979
May 15, 1974 Attack on school in northern Israeli town of Ma'alot
November 10, 1975 "Zionism Is Racism" resolution passed by the U.N.
May 17, 1977 Menachem Begin becomes PM/Likud victory in Israeli elections
November 19, 1977 Egyptian President Anwar Sadat visits Jerusalem
September 17, 1978 Camp David accords signed
March 26, 1979 Egypt-Israel peace treaty signed
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 1981 - 1987
June 7, 1981 Israel attacks Iraq's Osiraq nuclear reactor
October 6, 1981 Assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat
April 25, 1982 Final Israeli withdrawal from Sinai
June 6, 1982 Operation "Peace for the Galilee" launched; start of Lebanon War
August 21, 1982 PLO evacuation of Lebanon
September 16 - 17, 1982 Attack on Sabra and Shatila by Christian Phalangists
September 15, 1983 Begin resignation
October 23, 1983 Bombing of U.S. Marine barrack in Beirut
September 14, 1984 Formation of Israeli National Unity Government
November 1984 Operation Moses airlifts 7,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel
June 10, 1985 Withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon; Isrsel retains buffer zone in southern Lebanon
October 7, 1986 Hijacking of Achille Lauro
December 8, 1987 Start of the Intifada
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 1991 - 1995
January 16 - February 27, 1991 Gulf War; Iraq launches SCUD missilies at Israel
May 24, 1991 Operation Solomon airlifts 14,400 Ethiopian Jews to Israel
October 30, 1991 Madrid Peace Conference
December 16, 1991 U.N. repeals "Zionism Is Racism" resolution
June 23, 1992 Labor victory in Israeli elections; Yitzhak Rabin elected Prime Minister
January 19, 1993 Israel repeals ban on contacts with PLO
August 30, 1993 Secret agreement between Israel and the PLO in Oslo announced
September 9, 1993 Israel-PLO letters of mutual recognition exchanged
September 13, 1993 Israel-Palestinian Declaration of Principles announced
February 25, 1994 Jewish gunman kills 29 Palestinian worshippers in Hebron
April 6, 1994 Afula suicide bombing
May 4, 1994 Agreement on the Gaza Strip and Jericho reached
May 13, 1994 Israeli withdrawal from Jericho
May 18, 1994 Israeli withdrawal from Gaza
July 1, 1994 Arafat enters Gaza
October 9, 1994 Hamas kidnaps and kills an Israeli soldier
October 14, 1994 Rabin, Peres and Arafat awarded Nobel Peace Prize
October 19, 1994 Tel Aviv bus bombing
October 26, 1994 Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty
December 1, 1994 Transfer of West Bank administrative control to Palestinians
December 11, 1994 Jordan and Israel open embassies
January 22,1995 Beit Lid suicide bombing
April 9, 1995 Gaza suicide bombings
September 28, 1995 Signing of Oslo II agreement
November 4, 1995 Assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
November 13 Israel redeploys from Palestinian population centers
December 27, 1995 Israel-Syria negotiations at Wye Plantation begin
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 1996 - 1999
January 20, 1996 First Palestinian elections
February 25, 1996 Jerusalem/Ashkelon suicide bombings
March 3, 1996 Bombing of bus in downtown Jerusalem kills 19
March 4, 1996 Tel Aviv suicide bombing
March 13, 1996 Sharm-el-Sheikh “Summit of Peacemakers”
May 29, 1996 Benyamin Netanyahu elected Prime Minister
September 24, 1996 Palestinian "Tunnel Riots" erupt
January 17, 1997 Israeli withdrawal from Hebron
March 13, 1997 Jordanian soldier kills 7 Israeli schoolgirls
June 10, 1997 United States Congress recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's "United Capital"
July 30, 1997 Hamas suicide bomber explodes in a Jerusalem market, killing 16
September 4, 1997 Three bombs on Jerusalem pedestrian mall, kill 5, injure 181
October 23, 1998 Israel-Palestinian "Wye Memorandum"
December 10, 1998 Palestinians vote to change PLO charter in presence of President Clinton
May 17, 1999 Ehud Barak elected Prime Minister
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 2000 - 2001
May 24, 2000 Israel withdraws from southern Lebanon
July 11 - 25, 2000 Camp David Summit
September 28, 2000 Ariel Sharon visits Temple Mount
September 29, 2000 Outbreak of widespread Palestinian violence, "Second (al-Aqsa) Intifada" begins
October 7, 2000 Hezbollah kidnaps 3 Israeli soldiers from Lebanon border
October 12, 2000 Two Israeli soldiers lynched by Palestinian mob in Ramallah
October 16 - 17,2000 Sharm el-Sheikh Summit
November 22, 2000 Suicide bomb in Hadera
February 6, 2001 Ariel Sharon elected Prime Minister
May 18, 2001 Suicide attack at Netanya shopping mall, 5 killed
May 20, 2001 Mitchell Report published
June 1, 2001 Suicide bombing of Tel Aviv night club kills 21 youths
August 9, 2001 Suicide bombing at pizzeria in Jerusalem, 15 killed
November 29, 2001 Bombing of inter-city bus, 3 killed
December 1, 2001 Suicide bombing in Pedestrian mall in central Jerusalem, 11 killed
December 2, 2001 Suicide bombing of bus in Haifa, 15 killed
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 2002 - 2003
January 4, 2002 Israel stops massive Palestinian arms shipment on Karine A ship
March 2, 2002 Suicide bombing outside bar Mitzvah Party in Jerusalem, 11 killed
March 5, 2002 Gunman opens fire at a Tel-Aviv restaurant - 3 killed
March 9, 2002 Suicide bombing of Jerusalem café, 11 killed
March 12, 2002 Hezbollah operatives open fire on Israeli vehicles in Kibbutz Metzuba, 6 killed
March 21, 2002 Suicide bombing in downtown Jerusalem , 5 killed
March 27, 2002 Suicide bomber kills 30 at Passover seder at Netanya hotel
March 29, 2002 Female suicide bombing attacks Jerusalem supermarket
March 29, 2002 IDF begins Operation Defensive Shield to Uproot Terrorist Infrastructure in West Bank
March 31, 2002 Suicide bombing in Haifa restaurant, kills 15
April 10, 2002 Suicide bombing of bus traveling from Haifa to Jerusalem , kills 8
April 12, 2002 Female suicide bomber attacks Jerusalem market, kills 6
May 7, 2002 Suicide bombing of Rishon Le-Zion billiards hall, kills 15
June 5, 2002 Suicide bombing of bus in Meggiddo Junction, kills 17
June 18, 2002 Suicide bus bombing in Jerusalem , kills 18, including children
June 19, 2002 Suicide bombing at bus stop in Jerusalem , kills 7
June 24, 2002 U.S. President George Bush speech calls for replacement of Palestinian Authority leadership to crack down on terrorism, to be followed by interim Palestinian state (basis of future Roadmap plan)
July 17, 2002 Suicide bombing of Tel-Aviv market, kills 5
July 31, 2002 Suicide bombing of cafeteria at Hebrew University , kills 9
August 4, 2002 Suicide bombing of bus in Meron Junction, kills 9
September 19, 2002 Suicide bus bombing in Tel Aviv, kills 6
October 21, 2002 Car bomb kills 14 people on a bus at Karkur Junction
November 10, 2002 An Al-Aqsa gunman kills 5 at Kibbutz Metzer
November 21, 2002 Suicide bombing of Jerusalem bus, kills 11
November 28, 2002 Gunman attacks Likud Party headquarters in Beit Shean as party members gather to vote in the primaries, kills 6
January 5, 2003 Two simultaneous suicide bombings in Tel Aviv, kills 23
March 5, 2003 Suicide bombing of Haifa bus, kills 17
April 20, 2003 Suicide bombing at Mike’s Place, a popular Tel-Aviv blues bar, kills 3
April 30, 2003 The “Road Map for Peace” is presented by the Quartet to the Israelis and Palestinians
May 18, 2003 Suicide bombing of Jerusalem bus, kills 7
June 11, 2003 Suicide bombing of Jerusalem bus, kills 17
August 19, 2003 Suicide bombing of Jerusalem bus, kills 24
September 8, 2003 Suicide bombing of cafeteria at Hebrew University , kills 9
September 8, 2003 Suicide bombing of Jerusalem caf,e kills 8
October 4, 2003 Suicide bombing at Haifa cafe, kills 21
December 18, 2003 Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon first makes reference to “Unilateral Disengagement” at a conference in Herzliya
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 2004 - 2005
January 29, 2004 Suicide bombing on Jerusalem bus, kills 11
January 29, 2004 Israel swaps prisoners with the terrorist group Hezbollah; releases 435 Arab prisoners in return for the remains of murdered soldiers and a kidnapped Israeli businessman
February 22, 2004 Suicide bombing of Jerusalem bus kills 8
March 14, 2004 Double suicide at an Ashdod port, kills 8
April 14, 2004 President Bush writes a letter to PM Sharon expressing support for disengagement and pledging that Israel will not be expected to return to the pre-1967 borders in any final status agreement
May 4, 2004 Sharon holds a Likud party referendum, where the disengagement Plan is rejected by a sound margin
June 6, 2004 Sharon ’s cabinet approves the “Amended Disengagement Plan,” which calls for a separate vote on the dismantling of each settlement. Effi Eitam and Yitzhak Levy (both National Religious Party members) resign from the cabinet as a result of the decision. Later, the entire NRP withdraws from the Government, leaving Sharon with a minority coalition
July 25, 2004 Tens of thousands of Israelis form a “human chain” from the Erez Crossing at Gaza to the Western Wall in Jerusalem to demonstrate opposition to the disengagement.
August 31, 2004 Two simultaneous suicide bombing in Beersheba kills 16
September 14, 2004 The cabinet approves plans to compensate the evacuated settlers.
October 26, 2004 Knesset preliminarily approves the Disengagement Plan.
November 11, 2004 Yassir Arafat dies in a Paris hospital
December 14, 2004 Israel , Egypt , and the US sign a partial free trade deal
December 23, 2004 The first phase of PA municipal elections are held; Hamas secure nearly half the seats
January 2005 Sharon forms a National Unity Government with the Labor Party. Shimon Peres is granted the title of “Vice-Premier”
January 9, 2005 Mahmoud Abbas is elected PA president by a wide margin
February 8, 2005 PA President Abbas and Israeli PM Sharon meet at Sharm- el-Sheikh , Egypt , and declare an “end to the fighting.”
February 25, 2005 Suicide bombing at Tel Aviv nightclub, kills 5
February 26, 2005 The Knesset gives final approval to the Disengagement Plan, and rejects calls by some ministers for a national referendum
May 5, 2005 The second phase of the Palestinian municipal elections are held; Fatah improves showing, Hamas wins around 1/3 of the contested seats
May 9, 2005 The Disengagement is postponed from July 20th to August 15th to prevent it from falling during the 3-week traditional Jewish mourning period preceding the fast day of Tisha Ba’av
May 16 , 2005 Anti-disengagement protestors block over 40 intersections in Israel
May 26 , 2005 Bush hosts Palestinian President Abbas; Bush reaffirms his commitment to the creation of a Palestinian state
June 19, 2005 Sharon and Palestinian President Abbas agree that settler homes will be demolished following the withdrawal. According to the agreement, Israel will demolish the homes and the Palestinians will be paid with international funds to clean up the rubble
July 12, 2005 Suicide bombing of Netanya mall kills 5
July 13, 2005 The Gaza Strip is declared a “closed military zone,” meaning that non-resident Israelis can no longer enter the area
July 18 - 19, 2005 Tens of thousands of Israelis gather in the western Negev town of Netivot and plan to march on Gush Katif ( Gaza ). The IDF prevents the mass march from reaching Gaza
August 15, 2005 The evacuation of settlers from the Gaza Strip and four settlements in the northern West Bank begins
September 12, 2005 The Israeli military completes its withdrawal from the Gaza Strip
December 5, 2005 Suicide bombing at the entrance of a shopping mall in Netanya kills 5
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 2006 - 2009
January 4, 2006 Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has a massive stroke that incapacitates him; Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is appointed Acting Prime Minister and assumes Sharon’s responsibilities
January 26, 2006 Palestinian parliamentary elections; Hamas wins 74 seats in the 132-seat legislature
March 28, 2006 Israeli elections; Kadima wins 29 of the Knesset’s 120 seats
March 30, 2006 Suicide bombing outside Kedumim in the northern West Bank kills 4
April 13, 2006 Ehud Olmert officially assumes the post of Prime Minister of Israel
April 17, 2006 Suicide bombing near the old central bus station in Tel Aviv kills 11
June 25, 2006 IDF Corporal Gilad Shalit is kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists who crossed the border into Israel from Gaza and attacked an IDF army post; Israel responds with expanded military operations in Gaza aimed at rescuing Shalit and stopping the firing of Qassam rockets from Gaza into Israel
July 12, 2006 Hezbollah terrorists spark the second Lebanon War when they cross the border into Israel and attack an Israeli military patrol, killing eight soldiers and kidnapping two others
August 11, 2006 The United Nations Security Council unanimously adopts the U.S.-France authored Resolution 1701, which calls for the cessation of hostilities and the implementation of an armed international force comprised of 15,000 U.N. troops along with an additional 15,000 Lebanese troops to secure south Lebanon. The resolution mandates the disarming of Hezbollah.
August 14, 2006 The cessation of hostilities goes into effect, and Israeli troops begin a phased withdrawal from Lebanon.
April 30, 2007 Winograd Committee investigating Israeli decision making in Second Lebanon War releases preliminary report; final report issued in January 2008
June 15, 2007 Hamas takes over Gaza
November 27, 2007 Forty-six nations gather at Annapolis, Maryland for a U.S.-hosted conference intended to renew Israeli Palestinian peace talks
March 6, 2008 A Palestinian gunman attacked a Jerusalem yeshiva, killing 8.
July 16, 2008 Hezbollah releases the bodies of captive Israeli soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, whose kidnapping sparked the Second Lebanon War.
December 27, 2008 In response to increasing rocket barrages Israel launches airstrikes against Hamas terrorists in the Gaza strip.
January 18, 2009 Israel signs a unilateral ceasefire. Twelve hours later Hamas agrees to a week-long ceasefire.
February 10 2009 Israel hold elections.
March 31, 2009 Benjamin Netanyahu is sworn in as Israelís Prime Minister.
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* through March 2009
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