2003 in Israel

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Events in the year 2003 in Israel.



Space Shuttle Columbia disaster: The glow of reentry as seen out the front windows

Israeli–Palestinian conflict[edit]

The most prominent events related to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict which occurred during 2003 include:

  • March 16 – Rachel Corrie, an American member of the International Solidarity Movement in Rafah, in the Gaza Strip, is killed in a residential area of Rafah by an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) bulldozer while she was kneeling in front of the home of a local Palestinian Arab, acting as a human shield and attempting to prevent IDF forces from demolishing the home. The IDF has claimed that the death was due to the restricted angle of view of the IDF Caterpillar D9 bulldozer driver, while ISM eyewitnesses said "there was nothing to obscure the driver's view."[4]
  • March 24 – Hilltop 26, an illegal Israeli settlement near the city of Hebron, is peacefully dismantled by the IDF.
  • April 30 – A road map for peace sponsored by the US, UN, EU, and Russia is delivered to the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority.
  • May 25 – Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon wins cabinet approval for a peace plan that includes the creation of a Palestinian Arab state by 2005.
  • May 27 – Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon states that the "occupation" of Palestinian territories is "a terrible thing for Israel and for the Palestinians" and "can't continue endlessly." Sharon's phraseology prompts shock from many in Israel, leading to a clarification that by "occupation," Sharon meant control of millions of Palestinian Arab lives rather than actual physical occupation of land.[5]
  • June 3 – Israel frees about 100 Palestinian Arab prisoners before the Mideast peace summit with President George W. Bush in a sign of goodwill.
  • June 4 – "Road map" for peace: Israeli Prime Minister Sharon promises to dismantle illegal settlements in the West Bank, while new Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas renounces all terrorism against Israel.
  • August 14 – Israel frees another 76 prisoners, a week after releasing more than 300 people. Israel argues that it is a gesture of goodwill and in accordance with agreements. The Palestinian Authority disagrees and says that most were not arrested for terrorist activities, and that it was the people arrested for the latter that Israel originally agreed to release.[6]
  • September 7 – Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon declares that Hamas leaders are "marked for death" and will not have a moment's rest, after Israel failed in an attempt to kill the top-ranking members of Hamas with a 550-pound bomb dropped on a Gaza City apartment.
  • September 24 – A protest letter by a group of 27 Israeli pilots of the Israeli air force is publicized. In the letter, the pilots announce their refusal to fly further missions to bomb leaders of Palestinian terrorist groups in civilian areas. The pilots' letter calls the attacks "illegal and immoral". It draws quick condemnation from commentators, from politicians and from military leaders, with calls for severe punishment including jail, although a dismissal is considered the most likely result. The pilots' protest is a reaction to attacks like the one on Hamas leader Salah Shehade in July 2002, which killed Shehade, his bodyguard and 15 civilians, among them nine children.[7][8][9]
  • October 21 – The UN General Assembly approves a resolution demanding that Israel remove a security fence in the West Bank. The resolution passes by an overwhelming majority of 144 to 4 with the US voting against the motion.[10][11]

Palestinian militant operations against Israeli targets[edit]

Mike's Place a few days after the suicide bombing, April 2003

The most prominent Palestinian militant acts and operations committed against Israeli targets during 2003 include:

Israeli military operations against Palestinian militancy targets[edit]

The most prominent Israeli military counter-terrorism operations (military campaigns and military operations) carried out against Palestinian militants during 2003 include:

Notable deaths[edit]

Major public holidays[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ AP story
  2. ^ "One dead, five injured in Hezbollah shelling in Israel; Israel responds by attacking targets in Lebanon". The San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on October 22, 2004. 
  3. ^ "Israel unveils Saddam assassination plot". Archived from the original on February 28, 2007. 
  4. ^ Webley, Kayla (June 4, 2010). "Who Is Rachel Corrie?". Time. Retrieved June 6, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Bush to meet with Arab leaders before Sharon, Abbas summit". CNN. May 27, 2003. 
  6. ^ Yahoo! News - Latest News & Headlines
  7. ^ "Israel vows to punish rebel pilots for act of conscience". The Age. Melbourne. September 26, 2003. 
  8. ^ "Israel Reels at Pilots' Refusal to Go on Missions". Reuters. Archived from the original on October 2, 2003. Retrieved May 8, 2013. 
  9. ^ http://www.msnbc.com/news/971397.asp?cp1=1[dead link]
  10. ^ http://abcnews.go.com/wire/World/ap20031022_128.html Archived August 3, 2004, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ Semple, Kirk (October 22, 2003). "U.N. Resolution Condemns Israeli Barrier". The New York Times. 
  12. ^ a b Fisher, Daniel (13 August 2015). "Jury Will Put A Price On Terrorism -- And Stick A Bank With The Bill". Forbes. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  13. ^ Nightmare images from a Jerusalem commuter bus
  14. ^ "Suicide bombings in Israel, West Bank". CNN. August 12, 2003. 
  15. ^ "Suicide bombers kill 15 in Mideast". CNN. September 9, 2003. 
  16. ^ "Suicide bombers". The Washington Post. August 21, 2012. [dead link]
  17. ^ "Suicide bombers". Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. 
  18. ^ "At Least 2 Dead in Jerusalem Cafe Blast-Witnesses". Reuters. Archived from the original on September 20, 2003. Retrieved May 9, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Suicide bombers rock Israel". BBC News. September 10, 2003. 
  20. ^ "Islamic Jihad claims responsibility for the attack". Archived from the original on December 11, 2015. 
  21. ^ "Ten killed in Mid-East violence". BBC News. December 26, 2003. 
  22. ^ "Israel seals West Bank and Gaza". BBC News. December 26, 2003. 

External links[edit]