Historical Timeline of Modern Israeli History 1860-2006

Quick Links:

1860 First neighborhood, Mishkenot Sha'ananim, built outside Jerusalem's walls.

1860 - 1904 Theodor Herzl, Father of Zionism, is born.

1866 Jews become a majority in Jerusalem.

1878
Petah Tikvah, first Zionist agricultural settlement, founded by Orthodox Jews.

1882 - 1903
First Aliyah, made up of mostly Eastern European Jews. Started settlements of Rishon Lezion, Rosh Pina and Zichron Yaakov. Also a small number of immigrants from Yemen.

1897
First Zionist Congress convened by Theodor Herzl in Basle, Switzerland.

1904 - 1914
Second Aliyah, consisting of mostly Russian and Polish Jews.

1909
First kibbutz, Degania, founded on the shores of the Kinneret.

Tel Aviv founded as Hebrew speaking Jewish city.

1909
HaShomer, the first Jewish self-defense organization is founded to replace Arab guards protecting Jewish settlements.

1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement - A secret agreement between Great Britain and France regarding the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire.

1917
Britain issues the Balfour Declaration, viewed as an endorsement of a national Jewish homeland in Palestine.

1919-1923
Approximately 40,000 Jews arrived from Russia for the Third Aliyah.

1920
Histadrut (Jewish labor federation) and Haganah (Jewish defense organization) founded.

Va'ad Leumi (National Council) established to conduct affairs of the Yishuv (pre-state Jewish community of Israel).

1921
First moshav, Nahalal, founded in Jezreel Valley.

1922
Britain grants Mandate for Palestine by League of Nations; Transjordan set up on three-fourths of the area, leaving one-fourth for the Jewish national home.

1924 -1929
Fourth Aliyah brings more than 80,000 Jews to Palestine, mostly from Poland.

1925
Hebrew University of Jerusalem opened on Mt. Scopus.

August 1929
67 Jews killed by Arab militants in Hebron massacre.

1929
Irgun Zva'i Leumi (Etzel), an underground Jewish militia formed and led by Ze'ev Jabotinsky.

1933-1939
Fifth Aliyah bring nearly 25,000 German Jews to Palestine.

1936 – 1939
Anti-Jewish riots instigated by Arab militants.

1941
Lohamei Herut Yisrael (Lehi), underground armed resistance movement formed.

Palmach, the striking force of the Haganah, organized.

1945
Arab boycott of companies doing business with Israel.

1947 UN proposes establishment of two separate states for the Arabs and the Jews.

1948
Establishment of the State of Israel.

1948 – 1949
Israel's War of Independence.

1948
Creation of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

1948 - 1952
Mass immigration from Arab and European countries.

1949
Armistice agreements signed with Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria; Jerusalem declared capitol of Israel and divided under Israeli and Jordanian rule; first Knesset elected, led by David Ben-Gurion; Israel admitted to UN as 59th member.

1951
Jordan's King Abdullah assassinated at al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem

1956
Sinai Campaign – fought to put an end to the terrorist incursions into Israel and to remove the Egyptian blockade of Eilat.

1960
Adolf Eichmann captured in Argentina by the Israeli Mossad and brought to Israel for trial.

1964
Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) established.

National Water Carrier built to bring water from the Kinneret to the semi-arid south.

1967 Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser closes straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping.

Six Day War leads to reunification of Jerusalem under Israeli rule.

Khartoum Conference - Arab summit states: No peace or negotiations with Israel.

November 1967
United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 - establishes principles to guide the negotiations for future Arab-Israeli peace settlements.

1967-1970
Egypt's War of Attrition against Israel.

1968
Jews return to Gush Etzion for first time since capture by Jordan in 1948; Jews return to Hebron, abandoned after the Hebron massacre in 1929.

1970
Black September - King Hussein of Jordan moves to eject the PLO following power struggles.

September 1972
Munich Massacre - 11 members of the Israeli Olympic team murdered by Arab terrorists.

1973
Yom Kippur War - surprise attack on Israel by Egypt and Syria.

October 1973
United Nations Security Council Resolution 338 - calls upon all parties to cease fighting immediately, implement Resolution 242, and begin peace negotiations.

1975
UN adopts Resolution 3379, equating Zionism with racism.

July 1976
Israel mounts heroic rescue of hostages taken to Entebbe, Uganda.

1977
After 30 years of Labor Party domination, the Likud Party, led by Menachem Begin takes over.

November 1977 Egyptian President Anwar Sadat visits Jerusalem and speaks in the Knesset.

March 1978
Israel invades Lebanon (Operation Litani); UN Resolution 425 calls for Israeli withdrawal.

September 17, 1978
Camp David Accords - Set framework for comprehensive peace in the Middle East and peace between Egypt and Israel.

March 26, 1979
Peace treaty signed between Israel and Egypt.

1979
Prime Minister Menachem Begin and President Anwar Sadat awarded Nobel Peace Prize.

June 1981
Israel destroys Iraqi nuclear reactor shortly before it becomes active.

1981
Egyptian President Anwar Sadat assassinated; Succeeded by Hosni Mubarak.

1982
Operation Peace for Galilee leads to the Lebanon War as Israel attempts to drive out the PLO.

Israeli successfully evacuates PLO from Beirut as part of the Lebanon War.

September 1982
Christian Phalange forces kill hundreds in refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila.

1983
Kahan Commission found Ariel Sharon and others indirectly responsible for massacres of Sabra and Shatila.

Israel begins partial withdrawal from Lebanon.

April 1983
Hizbollah suicide bomber attacks U.S. marine headquarters in Beirut, killing 241 Americans.

1987 – 1991 First Intifada - Palestinians begin stone-throwing and rioting against Israel.

1990 - 1991
Operation Desert Storm/Gulf War - Iraqi missiles fall on Israel as US pushes Iraqi forces out of Kuwait; Palestinians support Saddam Hussein.

October 1991
Madrid Peace Conference aims for peaceful resolution of the Middle East conflict.

December 1991
UN rescinds Resolution 3379 equating Zionism with racism.

1992
New Israeli Government led by Yitzhak Rabin of the Labor Party.

Attack on Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires kills 29 and injures hundreds.

September 13, 1993 Oslo Declaration of Principles announced by Israel and Palestinian leadership.

October 26, 1994
Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty signed.

1994
Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres and Yassir Arafat awarded Nobel Peace Prize.

November 4, 1995
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin assassinated at peace rally in Tel Aviv by right-wing Israeli fanatic Yigal Amir.

1996
First and only election of the Palestinian Council; Arafat becomes president with 90% of the vote.

September 1996
Violence erupts as a tunnel is opened alongside the Temple Mount, claiming nearly 70 Israeli and Palestinian lives

1998
Israel celebrates 50 years!

May 2000
Israel withdraws troops unilaterally from Lebanon; UN certifies that Israel is in compliance with Resolution 425.

2000
Birthright Israel formed with the goal of sending thousands of Jewish young adults to Israel on a free trip.

July 11-25, 2000
Camp David Summit - Israeli PM Barak, US President Clinton and Palestinian Chairman Arafat fail to agree on a final peace settlement.

September 2000
Beginning of Second Intifada. On September 27, 2000 an Israeli soldier is killed at the Netzarim Junction. The next day, September 28, 2000 a Palestinian police officer shoots and kills an Israeli police officer. The latter incident coincides with Ariel Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount, which the Palestinians use as an excuse to begin riots and acts of violence.

January 2001
Peace talks held at Taba in Sinai Peninsula, but end after Arafat accuses Israel of being "fascist" at international conference.

February 6, 2001
Ariel Sharon becomes Prime Minster by largest margin in Israeli history.

2001
Mitchell Commission issues recommendations for restoration of peace and return to the negotiating table; Prime Minister Sharon announced on May 30, 2001 that Israel accepts the report in full.

September 11, 2001
Terrorist attacks carried out in America by fanatic Islamic al-Qaeda group; US initiates war on terror; Thousands of Palestinians take to the streets to celebrate while most of the world mourns and expresses outrage.  Israel declares a day of national mourning.

January 2002
Israel captures Karine-A ship filled with 50 tons of illegal arms bound for Palestinian Authority.

2003
Israel re-elects Ariel Sharon as Prime Minister of Israel.

August 2004
Gal Freidman captures Israel's first gold medal in the Olympic Games - in Windsurfing.

August 2005
Israel withdraws unilaterally from the Gaza Strip, uprooting thousands of Israeli settlers from their homes.

June 2006
Members of the Military wing of Hamas attack an Israeli border crossing killing 2 soldiers and kidnapping Corporal Gilad Shalit, triggering an international bid for his release.

July 2006
Terrorist organization Hezbollah attack Israel, killing  8 soldiers and kidnapping 2 others. The attack triggered a monthlong military conflict during which Hezbollah launched 3,970 missiles at Israeli cities and towns, killing 162 Israelis (men, women, children – Arabs and Jews).
4,262 civilians were treated in hospitals for injuries and more than a million citizens have been forced from their homes or are compelled to live in bomb shelters

Sources:  Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington, Myths and Facts