1988 in Israel

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Events in the year 1988 in Israel.



Ivan Demjanjuk hearing his death sentence on 25 April 1988 in Jerusalem, Israel
  • 6 January - Michel Sabbah is consecrated as Roman Catholic Bishop of Jerusalem becoming the first Palestinian Arab to hold this position.[1]
  • 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.[2]
  • 18 February - Israeli authorities close Tari al-Sharara a Hebrew/Arabic newspaper published in Israel.[3]
  • 25 February - A camera crew working for a US network film four Israeli soldiers breaking arms of two bound Palestinian Arabs.[4] On 15 March the IDF announced that one of the soldiers had been sentenced to 21 days in prison, a second to ten days.[5]
  • 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.[6]
  • 24 March – An Israeli court sentences Mordechai Vanunu to 18 years in prison for disclosing Israel's nuclear weapons program to The Sunday Times.
  • 25 April – In Israel, Ivan Demjanjuk is sentenced to death for war crimes committed in World War II. He was accused by survivors of being the notorious guard at the Treblinka extermination camp known as "Ivan the Terrible". The conviction was eventually overturned in 1993 by the Israeli Supreme Court.
  • 18 June - UK government expels Israeli diplomat and orders end of Mossad activities in UK following the killing of Naji al-Ali.
  • 16 August - Two prisoners are killed when 1,000 Palestinian Arab detainees riot at Ktzi'ot Prison.[7]
  • 19 September – Israel launches Ofek-1, its first reconnaissance satellite, into space.
  • 1 November – In the Israeli election, Likud wins 47 seats, Labour wins 49, but Likud Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir remains in office.
  • 22 December – Yitzhak Shamir presents his cabinet for a Knesset "Vote of Confidence". The 23rd Government is approved that day and the members are sworn in.

Israeli–Palestinian conflict[edit]

The most prominent events related to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict which occurred during 1988 include:

  • 6 April - A 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.[8]
  • 7 December – Yasser Arafat recognizes the right of Israel to exist.

Notable Palestinian militant operations against Israeli targets

The most prominent Palestinian Arab terror attacks committed against Israelis during 1988 include:

  • 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.[9]

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 1988 include:

  • 2 January - Israeli helicopters and fighter jets attack Palestinian targets in South Lebanon killing at least 19, wounding 14.[10]
  • 11 January - The Israeli army declares the Gaza Strip a closed military zone and imposes curfews on Khan Yunis, Dayr al-Balah, Maghazi, Nusyrat and Burayj refugee camps.[11]
  • 13 January - All refugee camps in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are put under curfew.[12]
  • 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.[13] In the same period three Palestinians had been beaten to death by members of the Israeli armed forces.[14]
  • 14 February - A bomb kills three PLO officials in Limassol, Cyprus.[15]
  • 23 March - The IAF rockets Palestinian targets in South Lebanon killing or wounding fifteen.[16] A second raid the following day kills or injures five.[17]
  • 30 March - The Israeli High Court upholds an Israeli army order banning the international media from the West Bank.[18]
  • 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.[19]
  • 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.[20]
  • 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.[21]
  • 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.[22]

Unknown dates[edit]

Notable births[edit]

  • 2 February – Eliyahu Asheri, Israeli civilian kidnapped and murdered by Palestinian Arab terrorists (died 2006).
  • 22 June – Omri Casspi, the first Israeli basketball player in the NBA.

Notable deaths[edit]

Major public holidays[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Journal of Palestine Studies. Volume XVII No 3 (67) Spring 1988. ISSN 0377-919X. Page 221. Chronology compiled by Katherine M. LaRiviere.
  2. ^ JoPS (67). Page 225. Cites New York Times 1/18.
  3. ^ Journal of Palestine Studies ISSN 0377-919X. Vol XVII No 4 (68) Summer 1988. Page 209. Chronology by K.M. LaRiviere.
  4. ^ JoPS (68). Cites Washington Post 2/27.
  5. ^ JoPS (68). Page 220. Cites Washington Post 3/16.
  6. ^ JoPS (68) Page 219. Cites New York Times 3/14 and Washington Jewish Week 3/17. Organised by Gush Emunim.
  7. ^ B'Tselem, (October 1992), Detained without trial. http://www.btselem.org/Download/199210_Detained_without_Trial_Eng.doc - Page 31. Names those killed as Ibrahim Samudi (27), As'ad Jabri Shoo (19).
  8. ^ JoPS (68). Page 230. Cites New York Times 4/9.
  9. ^ JoPS (68). Page 241. Cites Washington Post 5/12.
  10. ^ JoPS (67). Page 219. Cites Wall Street Journal, Washington Post 1/4.
  11. ^ JoPS (67). Page 223. Cites Al-Fajr 1/17.
  12. ^ JoPS (67). Page 223. Cites Al-Fajr 1/17.
  13. ^ JoPS (67). Page 238. Cites Washington Post 2/12.
  14. ^ JoPS (67). Page 237. Cites New York Times 2/10.
  15. ^ JoPS (67). Page 239. Cites New York Times 2/15.
  16. ^ JoPS (68). Page 224. Cites New York Times 3/24.
  17. ^ JoPS (68). Page 225. Cites New York Times 3/25.
  18. ^ JoPS (68). Page 227. Cites Christian Science Monitor 3/31.
  19. ^ JoPS (68). Page 231. Cites Christian Science Monitor (4)/13; Washington Post 4/12.
  20. ^ JopS (68). Page 233. Cites Washington Post 4/17, 4/18.
  21. ^ JoPS (68). Pages 237, 238. Cites New York Times 5/3.
  22. ^ JoPS (68). Page 238. Cites Washington Post 5/5.

External links[edit]