6 January - Michel Sabbah is consecrated as Roman Catholic Bishop of Jerusalem becoming the first Palestinian Arab to hold this position.
17 January - Education Minister Yitzhaq Navon orders the mobilisation of high school students to assist in the citrus fruit harvest in a crisis caused by the absence of Palestinian Arab workers.
18 February - Israeli authorities close Tari al-Sharara a Hebrew/Arabic newspaper published in Israel.
25 February - A camera crew working for a US network film four Israeli soldiers breaking arms of two bound Palestinian Arabs. On 15 March the IDF announced that one of the soldiers had been sentenced to 21 days in prison, a second to ten days.
13 March - An estimated 200,000-250,000 Israelis demonstrate in support of Prime Minister Shamir's rejection of US peace proposals. The day before, 12 March, Peace Now held a demonstration of 50,000 in favour of the plan.
The most prominent events related to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict which occurred during 1988 include:
6 April - An 15 year old Israeli girl is killed in the Palestinian village of Bayta in West Bank. First official announcements state that she had been stoned to death. A subsequent IDF investigation revealed that she had been accidentally shot by her group leader. Two Palestinian Arabs are killed in the incident.
7 December – Yasser Arafat recognizes the right of Israel to exist.
Notable Palestinian militant operations against Israeli targets
7 March – Mothers' Bus attack: A squad of three Palestinian Arab militants, members of the Fatah organization, infiltrated Israel from Egypt. The militants hijacked a bus full of women returning from work at the Negev Nuclear Research Center near Dimona and threatened to kill the passengers one by one if Israel would not release Palestinian prisoners from Israeli prisons. After the militants executed one of the passengers, members of the elite civilian counter-terrorism unit Yamam broke into the bus, killing all three hijackers, but not managing to prevent another two Israeli passengers from being killed. See Mothers' Bus attack.
11 May - A car bomb near the Israeli Embassy in Nicosia, Cyprus, kills three and injures 15. A caller claims that the Abu Nidal organization carried out the attack.
Notable Israeli military operations against Palestinian militancy targets
13 January - All refugee camps in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are put under curfew.
19 January - With 38 Palestinians killed since 9 December, Defense Minister Yitzhaq Rabin announces a new policy using "might, power and beating" to quell demonstrations. A month later a team of US physicians estimated that over 1,000 Palestinians had suffered broken bones and other injuries. In the same period three Palestinians had been beaten to death by members of the Israeli armed forces.
23 March - The IAF rockets Palestinian targets in South Lebanon killing or wounding fifteen. A second raid the following day kills or injures five.
30 March - The Israeli High Court upholds an Israeli army order banning the international media from the West Bank.
12 April - Israeli army Deputy Chief of Staff, Ehud Barak, announces that army reserve duty will be extended from 40 to 62 days. A day earlier he had said that there were 4,800 Palestinian activists being held in Israeli prisons, 900 of them under administrative detention.
16 April – Abu Jihad is assassinated in his Tunis home, allegedly by an Israeli hit squad. His driver and two bodyguards are also killed. In demonstrations that follow in the West Bank and Gaza Strip at least fourteen Palestinian are killed by Israeli army gunfire.
2 May - The Israeli government announces it will begin cutting water and electricity to towns in the West Bank and Gaza Strip that do not pay their bills.
4 May - Operation Law and Order. Between 1,500 and 2,000 Israeli soldiers kill 40 Hizbullah fighters around the Lebanese village of Maydun in a two day offensive. Three Israeli soldiers are killed and 17 wounded.