Timeline of Israeli history

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This is a timeline of modern Israeli history, comprising important legal and territorial changes and political events in Israel and its predecessor states, along with important events

19th century[edit]

Year Date Event
1882 15 May The Russian emperor Alexander III issued the May Laws, severely restricting the rights of Jews in the Pale of Settlement.
31 July First Aliyah: Ten Hovevei Zion pioneers from Kharkiv established the city of Rishon LeZion in the Ottoman Empire.
1896 February Theodor Herzl published Der Judenstaat, arguing for the establishment of an independent Jewish state.
1897 29 August First Zionist Congress: A congress of some two hundred delegates of zionist organizations, most from Eastern Europe, convened in Basel.
30 August First Zionist Congress: The Congress adopted the Basel Program, setting out as the goal of the zionist movement the establishment of a Jewish homeland.

20th century[edit]

Year Date Event
1917 2 November Balfour Declaration calls for the establishment of the Jewish Homeland
1920 25 April The League of Nations assigns Britain the creation of Mandatory Palestine
1929 23-29 August Pogroms in mandatory Palestine made by Arabic nationalists.
1939–1945 World War II: Germany invades Poland and The Holocaust occurred in German-occupied Europe killing 6 million Jews.
1947 25 November United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine that proposed a creation of one Arab state and one Jewish state passes with the Jewish leaders accepted and Arab states rejected the move. A major civil war between the Arab populations and Jewish populations began shortly after.
1948 14 May On the last day of the British Mandate, David Ben-Gurion, executive head of the World Zionist Organization and chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, issued the Israeli Declaration of Independence which declared the establishment of a Jewish state on Mandatory Palestine in the land of Israel to be known as the State of Israel.[1]
15 May 1948 Arab–Israeli War: Hours after the expiration of the British Mandate of Palestine, Iraq, Egypt, Jordan and Syria invaded Israel.[2]
1949 25 January 1949 Israeli legislative election: Elections were held to a constituent assembly. Ben-Gurion's center-left Mapai won a plurality of seats.
24 February 1948 Arab–Israeli War: The first of the 1949 Armistice Agreements ending the war was signed between Israel and Egypt. An armistice line was agreed along the prewar border with the exception that Egypt remained in control of the Gaza Strip.
8 March The first government of Israel, in which Mapai, the Jewish United Religious Front, the liberal Progressive Party, the Sephardim and Oriental Communities and the Arab Democratic List of Nazareth ruled in coalition with Ben-Gurion as prime minister, was established.
11 May The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted United Nations General Assembly Resolution 273, according to which Israel was admitted to membership.[3]
13 December Ben-Gurion proclaimed Jerusalem the capital of Israel.[4]
1950 5 July The Israeli legislature the Knesset passed the Law of Return, which granted all Jews the right to migrate to and settle in Israel and obtain citizenship.
1956 26 July Suez Crisis: In a broadcast speech, Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser gave a codeword order for the occupation and nationalization of the Suez Canal and the closure of the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping.
29 October Suez Crisis: The Israeli air force began bombing Egyptian forces in the Sinai Peninsula.
1960 11 May Eight agents of the Israeli internal security service Shin Bet and its foreign intelligence service Mossad abducted Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi officer primarily responsible for the actual implementation of the Holocaust, near his home in San Fernando, Buenos Aires.
1966 The martial law imposed on Israeli Arabs from the founding of the State of Israel was lifted completely.
1967 5 June Six-Day War: The Israeli air force destroyed the Egyptian air force on the ground over a period of three hours.
11 June Six-Day War: Israel signed a ceasefire with its enemies Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq. It remained in control of the formerly Egyptian Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula, the Syrian Golan Heights and the Jordanian West Bank and East Jerusalem.
30 June Mayor Teddy Kollek of Jerusalem announced that the city had been fully reunified.[5]
1973 21 February A Boeing 727-200 serving as Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 114 from Tripoli to Cairo was shot down over the Sinai Peninsula by Israeli fighter aircraft, killing over one hundred passengers and crew.
21 July Lillehammer affair: A team of fifteen Mossad agents assassinated a Moroccan waiter in Lillehammer in a case of mistaken identity.
6 October Yom Kippur War: Egyptian and Syrian forces simultaneously attacked Israeli positions in the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights, respectively, on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.
14 October Operation Nickel Grass: The United States began an airlift of tanks, artillery, ammunition and supplies to Israel.
25 October Yom Kippur War: Israel, Egypt and Syria agreed to a ceasefire. Israel remained in control of new territory north of the Golan Heights and west of the Suez Canal in the south.
1976 4 July Operation Entebbe: Sayeret Matkal freed some hundred hostages held at Entebbe International Airport by hijackers belonging to the Palestinian nationalist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – External Operations and the far-left Revolutionary Cells.
1977 10 May 1977 Israeli Air Force Sikorsky CH-53 Sea Stallion crash: An Israeli Air Force Sikorsky CH-53 Sea Stallion crashed in the Jordan Valley, killing some fifty soldiers.
1978 17 September Israel and Egypt signed the Camp David Accords at the White House. The framework agreement provided for the establishment of an autonomous authority in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and for withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Sinai Peninsula in exchange for the establishment of full diplomatic relations with Egypt.
1979 26 March Egypt and Israel signed the Egypt–Israel peace treaty under the framework of the Camp David Accords at the White House.
1980 24 February The old Israeli shekel replaced the Israeli pound as the currency of Israel.
30 July The Knesset passed the Jerusalem Law, asserting that Jerusalem was and would remain the undivided capital of Israel.
1981 7 June Operation Opera: Israel carried out a surprise air strike on an Iraqi nuclear reactor some ten miles southwest of Baghdad.[6]
1982 23 April The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) forcibly evacuated Yamit per the terms of the Egypt–Israel peace treaty.
3 June Shlomo Argov, the Israeli ambassador to the United Kingdom, was shot in the head in London in an attempted assassination organized by Iraq's Iraqi Intelligence Service and carried out by the Palestinian nationalist Abu Nidal Organization.
6 June 1982 Lebanon War: The IDF invaded southern Lebanon in response to repeated attacks by the Palestinian nationalist Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), whose militants were sheltered there, on Israeli civilians.
1984 12 April Bus 300 affair: Four Palestinian nationalists hijacked a bus from Tel Aviv to Ashkelon and took its forty passengers hostage.
13 April Bus 300 affair: Sayeret Matkal forces stormed the bus. Two hijackers and one hostage were killed. The two surviving hijackers were taken to a nearby field and shot.
21 November Operation Moses: The first of some eight thousand Ethiopian Jews were covertly evacuated to Israel from refugee camps in Sudan.
1985 5 January Operation Moses: Prime minister Shimon Peres confirmed the existence of the airlift. Sudan immediately halted flights.
1987 30 August The Cabinet voted to cancel development of the IAI Lavi.
9 December First Intifada: Protests began in the Jabalia Camp in response to the death of four Palestinian civilians in a car crash with an IDF truck.
1989 19 September Mount Carmel Forest Fire: A forest fire began on Mount Carmel which would burn over two square miles over the next three days.[7]
1991 22 January Gulf War: An Iraqi Scud missile landed in Ramat Gan, killing three and injuring nearly a hundred.
24 May Operation Solomon: An airlift began which would transport some fourteen thousand Ethiopian Jews from Ethiopia to Israel over a thirty-six-hour period.
30 October Madrid Conference of 1991: A conference opened in Madrid with the goal of reviving the Israeli–Palestinian peace process.
1992 17 December Israel deported some four hundred Palestinians to Lebanon.
1993 13 September Israel and the PLO signed the Oslo I Accord in Washington, D.C. The accords provided for the withdrawal of some IDF forces from the West Bank and Gaza Strip and for the establishment of a self-governing authority for the Palestinians, the Palestinian National Authority.
1994 26 October Israel and Jordan signed the Israel–Jordan peace treaty in the Arabah. The treaty clarified the borders of the two countries and their water rights; each pledged that neither would allow a third country to use its territory to stage an attack on the other.
1995 4 November Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin: The radical nationalist Yigal Amir, an opponent of the Oslo Accords, shot and killed prime minister Yitzhak Rabin after a rally in Tel Aviv.
1997 4 February 1997 Israeli helicopter disaster: Two transport helicopters en route to southern Lebanon collided in midair above She'ar Yashuv, killing all on board.
14 July Maccabiah bridge collapse: A pedestrian bridge collapsed over the Yarkon River in Tel Aviv, killing four.
2000 24 May Israel withdrew the last of its forces from southern Lebanon.
1 October October 2000 events: The first of a series of riots began in which thirteen Arabs and one Jew would be killed over nine days.[8]
7 October 2000 Hezbollah cross-border raid: The Lebanese Shia Islamist militant group and political party Hezbollah abducted three Israeli soldiers from the Israeli administered side of the Blue Line, the internationally recognized border.[9]

21st century[edit]

Year Date Event
2001 17 October Assassination of Rehavam Ze'evi: Tourism minister Rehavam Ze'evi was shot at a Jerusalem hotel by Hamdi Quran of the Palestinian nationalist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. He died of his injuries that night in hospital.
2002 23 June Construction of the Israeli West Bank barrier began.[10]
2004 29 January Some four hundred prisoners, the remains of sixty Lebanese militants and civilians, and maps showing the locations of Israeli mines in southern Lebanon, were transferred to Hezbollah in exchange for the bodies of the three soldiers abducted in 2000, as well as the abducted Israeli reservist Elhanan Tannenbaum.
2005 12 September Israeli disengagement from Gaza: The last Israeli settlers and security personnel were withdrawn from the Gaza Strip.
2006 4 January Prime minister Ariel Sharon suffered a severe hemorrhagic stroke and fell into a coma. The designated acting prime minister Ehud Olmert became acting prime minister.
12 July 2006 Hezbollah cross-border raid: Hezbollah forces crossed into Israel and ambushed two IDF vehicles, killing three soldiers and capturing two others.
2006 Lebanon War: Israeli forces began shelling Lebanese territory in response to the Hezbollah attack of earlier that morning.
2007 6 September Operation Orchard: Israel carried out a surprise air strike on a suspected nuclear reactor in Syria's Deir ez-Zor Governorate.
2008 27 December Gaza War: Israel began conducting a series of airstrikes on assets of the Palestinian Sunni Islamist organization Hamas in the Gaza Strip in response to ongoing rocket fire on the western Negev.
2009 18 January Gaza War (2008–09): The war ended with a unilateral Israeli ceasefire.
2010 31 May Gaza flotilla raid: The navy boarded a flotilla organized by the Free Gaza Movement and the Turkish Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief, which was attempting to break an Israeli and Egyptian blockade of the Gaza Strip, in international waters. During the takeover, a violent confrontation erupted on board the MV Mavi Marmara in which nine activists were killed.[11][12][13][14]
2 December Mount Carmel Forest Fire: A forest fire began on Mount Carmel which would kill forty and burn nearly twenty square miles over the next three days.[15][16][17][18]
2011 14 July 2011 Israeli social justice protests: Filmmaker Daphni Leef set up a tent in Habima Square and invited others to join a protest over the absence of affordable housing.
10 September 2011 attack on the Israeli Embassy in Egypt: A crowd of thousands of Egyptian protestors breached the Israeli embassy in Cairo.[19]
18 October Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange: Hamas released the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit to Egypt in exchange for one thousand Palestinian other Arab prisoners held in Israel, including some three hundred serving life sentences for planning and perpetrating terror attacks.[20]
2012 14 November Operation Pillar of Defense: The IDF began an eight-day anti-Hamas operation in the Gaza Strip, a response to ongoing rocket fire on the western Negev, with an airstrike on the senior officer Ahmed Jabari.
2014 8 July 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict: The IDF launched a series of airstrikes against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.
2017 6 December United States recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel: U.S. President Donald Trump formally announces the United States recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
2019 25 March United States recognition of Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights: U.S. President Donald Trump signed a presidential proclamation to officially recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights.[21]
2021 30 April 2021 Meron stampede: The deadliest civil disaster in Israel's history.
May 2021 Israel–Palestine crisis

See also[edit]

Timelines of older periods & wider concepts[edit]



  1. ^ "Provisional Government of Israel: Official Gazette: Number 1; Tel Aviv, 5 Iyar 5708, 14.5.1948 Page 1: The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel: Retrieved 5 January 2015". Archived from the original on 14 July 2007. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  2. ^ Baylis Thomas (1999) How Israel was won: a concise history of the Arab-Israeli conflict Lexington Books, ISBN 0-7391-0064-5 p xiv
  3. ^ UNITED NATIONS: General Assembly: A/RES/273 (III): 11 May 1949: 273 (III). Admission of Israel to membership in the United Nations: Retrieved 5 January 2015 Archived 15 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Ben-Gurion, David (5 December 1949). "Statements of the Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion Regarding Moving the Capital of Israel to Jerusalem". The Knesset. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 2 April 2007.
  5. ^ "The Times-News - Google News Archive Search".
  6. ^ Grant, Rebecca. "Osirak and Beyond." Archived 11 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine Air Force Magazine, August 2002. Retrieved: 16 May 2008.
  7. ^ Rudge, David (20 September 1989). "Huge Blaze Raging Out of Control in Mount Carmel National Park 5 Fires Set Deliberately; 8,000 Dunams Destroyed Near Haifa". Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on 5 November 2012. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  8. ^ Yair Ettinger. "Extremism isn't Growing, but Fear is". Ha'aretz. Archived from the original on 1 October 2007. Retrieved 20 February 2006.
  9. ^ "Israelis Held by the Hizbullah – October 2000 – January 2004". mfa.gov.il. Archived from the original on 21 April 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  10. ^ Nissenbaum, Dion (10 January 2007). "Death toll of Israeli civilians killed by Palestinians hit a low in 2006". Washington Bureau. McClatchy Newspapers. Archived from the original on 20 November 2008. Retrieved 16 April 2007. Fewer Israeli civilians died in Palestinian attacks in 2006 than in any year since the Palestinian uprising began in 2000. Palestinian militants killed 23 Israelis and foreign visitors in 2006, down from a high of 289 in 2002 during the height of the uprising. Most significant, successful suicide bombings in Israel nearly came to a halt. Last year, only two Palestinian suicide bombers managed to sneak into Israel for attacks that killed 11 people and wounded 30 others. Israel has gone nearly nine months without a suicide bombing inside its borders, the longest period without such an attack since 2000[...] An Israeli military spokeswoman said one major factor in that success had been Israel's controversial separation barrier, a still-growing 250-mile (400 km) network of concrete walls, high-tech fencing and other obstacles that cuts through parts of the West Bank. 'The security fence was put up to stop terror, and that's what it's doing,' said Capt. Noa Meir, a spokeswoman for the Israel Defense Forces. [...] Opponents of the wall grudgingly acknowledge that it's been effective in stopping bombers, though they complain that its route should have followed the border between Israel and the Palestinian territories known as the Green Line. [...] IDF spokeswoman Meir said Israeli military operations that disrupted militants planning attacks from the West Bank also deserved credit for the drop in Israeli fatalities.
  11. ^ "Israeli assault on Gaza-bound flotilla leaves at least 9 dead" Archived 3 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine. CNN, 31 May 2010
  12. ^ Joshua Mitnick. "Flotilla Assault Spurs Crisis" Archived 3 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine. Wall Street Journal, 31 May 2010
  13. ^ Amos Harel, Avi Issacharoff, Anshel Pfeffer and News Agencies "Navy commandos: Gaza flotilla activists tried to lynch us". Haaretz, 31 May 2010
  14. ^ Edmund Sanders "Israel criticized over raid on Gaza flotilla". Los Angeles Times, 1 June 2010
  15. ^ "We'll evacuate you by force, residents told as Carmel wildfire sweeps towards homes". Haaretz. 3 December 2010.
  16. ^ Ahiya Raved. "Israel's Deadliest Fire Leaves 40 Dead" Archived 20 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine Ynetnews 2 December 2010
  17. ^ Ahiya Raved. "Carmel fire claims 44th victim" Archived 19 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Ynetnews, 18 December 2010
  18. ^ "Carmel fire fully extinguished" Archived 13 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Ynetnews, 6 December 2010
  19. ^ "Egypt declares state of alert in wake of attack on Israeli Embassy". CNN. 24 August 2011. Archived from the original on 11 September 2011. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  20. ^ "Gilad Shalit release: Palestinian prisoner exchange getting under way". The Guardian. London. 18 October 2011. Archived from the original on 12 February 2017. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  21. ^ Trump, Donald J. (25 March 2019). "Proclamation on Recognizing the Golan Heights as Part of the State of Israel". whitehouse.gov. Retrieved 25 March 2019 – via National Archives.