1961 in Israel

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See also: Other events of 1961
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Events in the year 1961 in Israel.



Adolf Eichmann inside his glass booth during his trial in Jerusalem, 29 May 1961
  • 1 January – Tzvi Tzur is appointed as the 6th Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces.
  • 11 January – The Pisces, a yacht carrying Moroccan Jews to Israel, capsized off the coast of Algericas, Spain, drowning the 40 passengers and all but 3 of the crew. The ship's captain survived.[1]
  • 5 July – The first Israeli rocket, Shavit 2, is launched.[2][3]
  • 11 April – Adolf Eichmann's trial begins before an Israeli court in Jerusalem. Eichmann is indicted on 15 criminal charges, including crimes against humanity, crimes against the Jewish people and membership in an outlawed organization. The trial is the subject of a great deal of international controversy and creates huge international interest.
  • 22 May – Population Census: 2,179,491 inhabitants in Israel.
  • 20 June - Ten weeks into his war crimes trial, the prosecution having rested, Adolf Eichmann took the witness stand in his own defense, but refused to swear on the Bible.[4]
  • July – The 1961 Maccabiah Games are held.
  • 5 July – The first Israeli rocket, Shavit 2, was launched.[5][6] At 4:41 am, the rocket was launched "from a secret installation on the Mediterranean".[7]
  • 14 August – The trial of Adolf Eichmann adjourned in Israel after 73 days, and the three judge panel began deliberating the evidence.[8]
  • 15 August – elections were held for the 120 seats in the fifth Knesset. The Mapai Party, led by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, lost five seats, retaining 42, with the Herut Party second with 17.;[9][10]
  • 2 November – Israel's Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion received approval to form a new coalition government, with the Knesset approving a vote of confidence, 63-46.[11]
  • 28 November – After Morocco's King Hasssan II agreed to allow the Arab nation's Jewish minority to leave, the first group 105 Jews was allowed to fly out to Israel. By the end of the year, 11,478 had left, and over the next two years, the 85,000 members of the community had emigrated.[12]
  • 1 December – Israel announced plans to establish "the world's first chain of industrial co-operative towns" in the Negev Desert, starting with the community of Mitzpe Ramon.[13]
  • 11 December – Adolf Eichmann is convicted of crimes against humanity by a panel of three Israeli judges.
  • 15 December – An Israeli war crimes tribunal sentences Adolf Eichmann to death for his part in The Holocaust.

Israeli–Palestinian conflict[edit]

The most prominent events related to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict which occurred during 1961 include:

Notable Palestinian militant operations against Israeli targets

The most prominent Palestinian fedayeen terror attacks committed against Israelis during 1961 include:

Notable Israeli military operations against Palestinian militancy targets

The most prominent Israeli military counter-terrorism operations (military campaigns and military operations) carried out against Palestinian militants during 1961 include:

Notable births[edit]

Notable deaths[edit]

  • 22 March – Gideon Mer (born 1894), Russian (Lithuania)-born Israeli physician, scientist and malaria researcher.
  • 30 April – Peretz Naftali (born 1888), German-born Zionist activist and Israeli politician.
  • 30 May – Binyamin Mintz (born 1903), Russian (Poland)-born Israeli politician.
  • 25 June – Ezra Ichilov (born 1907), Israeli politician.
  • 8 October – Moshe Smoira (born 1888), first President of the Supreme Court of Israel

Major public holidays[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Yacht Tips, 40 Are Dead", Milwaukee Journal, 11 January 1961, p1
  2. ^ "Missile Overview". Nuclear Threat Initiative. Archived from the original on 5 January 2008. Retrieved 18 December 2007.
  3. ^ "July 1961". NASA. Archived from the original on 17 November 2007. Retrieved 18 December 2007.
  4. ^ "EICHMANN SPEAKS— 'THEY ORDERED ME'", Miami News, 20 June 1961, p1
  5. ^ "Missile Overview". Nuclear Threat Initiative. Archived from the original on 5 January 2008. Retrieved 18 December 2007.
  6. ^ "July 1961". NASA. Retrieved 18 December 2007.'
  7. ^ "Israel Joins Ranks, Fires Space Rocket", Miami News, 5 July 1961, p1
  8. ^ Ahron Bregman, A History of Israel (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003) pp98-99
  9. ^ "Knesset Elections Results - Fifth Knesset". Knesset.gov.il. 15 August 1961. Retrieved 6 August 2011.
  10. ^ "Mr Ben-Gurion back but with fewer seats", The Guardian, 16 August 1981
  11. ^ "Israel Installs Coalition Regime", New York Times, 3 November 1961, p19
  12. ^ Ian Black and Benny Morris, Israel's Secret Wars: A History of Israel's Intelligence Services (Grove Press, 1992) p180
  13. ^ "Israel Town Created in Negev Area as First of Co-op Chain", Miami News, 2 December 1961, p6A

External links[edit]