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Israeli History in Brief

This timeline highlights significant dates in Israel's 57 year history.

  • January 4-5, 2006 PM Sharon suffers a major stroke; Ehud Olmert becomes assumes the roles of Acting Prime Minister and leader of Kadima.
  • December 22, 2005 - Five IDF soldiers injured in Kassam attack on military base south of Ashkelon
  • December 19, 2005 - Binyamin Netanyahu wins race for Likud leader
  • December 18, 2005 - PM Sharon suffers light strike and is hospitalized for two days
  • November 22, 2005 - PM Sharon leaves the Likud to from Kadima, a new centrist party
  • November 21, 2005 - New Labor leader, Amir Peretz, pulls out of government forcing new elections
  • October 2005 - present - Despite Disengagement, terrorist groups continue to shoot Kassam rockets from Gaza into Israel
  • September 13, 2005 - Israel completes the Disengagement
  • August 2005 - Israel begins the historic pullout from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
  • February 20, 2005 - Government approves the new, Supreme Court mandated, route of the Security Fence
  • February 8, 2005 - The Disengagement is endorsed by Egypt, Jordan & the PA at a summit with Israel
  • October 25, 2004 - Knesset approves the Disengagement Plan
  • June 30, 2004 - Supreme Court held that the Security Fence serves an important function in national security, but mandates some changes in the route.
  • December 18, 2003 - PM Sharon announces his plan for withdrawing from the Gaza Strip & Northern Samaria
  • August 2003 - Government approves the 68km route of the Jerusalem portion of the Security Fence
  • April 30, 2003 - The Roadmap plan for peace is announced (sponsored by the UN, the EU, Russia and the US)
  • January 28, 2003 - PM Ariel Sharon's Likud party wins election in a landslide
  • August 2002 - Government approves northern route of Security Fence
  • January 7, 2002 - Party commercial broadcasts begin on Israel's state run TV station
  • December 11, 2002 - Finalized list of parties running for election confirmed
  • November 28, 2002 - Ariel Sharon defeats Benjamin Netanyahu in Likud primaries on day marked by terrorist attacks against Israelis in Kenya and at Likud polling station in Beit Shean
  • November 19, 2002 - Amram Mitzna beats Benjamin Ben-Eliezer in Labor Party primaries and leads Labor against Likud in elections
  • November 5, 2002 - Ariel Sharon calls for new elections, date subsequently set for January 28, 2003
  • October 2002 - Labor quits national unity government
  • June 24, 2002 - President George Bush calls for democratic reforms in the Palestinian Authority and new Palestinian leadership not compromised by terror
  • March 29, 2002 - Israel launches Operation Defensive Shield in response to series of brutal suicide bombings including one at a Passover Seder in Netanya
  • February 6, 2001 - Ariel Sharon elected prime minister, creates national unity government
  • July 23, 2001 - Government approves the building of the Security Fence
  • September 29, 2000 - Second intifada launched and waves of suicide bombings and armed attacks begin
  • July 11, 2000 - Camp David Summit between Barak and Arafat begins. It ends in failure two weeks later
  • May 24, 2000 - Israel withdraws from Lebanon. UN affirms that Israel is now in compliance with relevant UN resolutions regarding Lebanon
  • May 17, 1999 - Ehud Barak elected prime minister
  • January 1997 - Israel deploys from much of Hebron
  • May 29, 1996 - Benjamin Netanyahu elected prime minister
  • November 1995 - Israel begins deployment from centers of Palestinian populations
  • November 4, 1995 - Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin assassinated at rally designed to show support for peace in the aftermath of terror attacks. Shimon Peres takes over as prime minister
  • October 26, 1994 - Israel and Jordan sign peace agreement
  • 1994- 1996 - Palestinian terrorists implement campaign of suicide bombers in Israel
  • May 1994 - Israelis withdraw from Jericho and most of Gaza Strip
  • September 13, 1993 - Signing of Declaration of Principles on White House Lawn
  • September 9, 1993 - Israel - PLO mutual recognition agreement
  • June 1992 - Labor leader Yitzhak Rabin leads party to victory in general election
  • October 30, 1991 - The Madrid Peace Conference convenes. For first time in history Arab states (aside from Egypt) agree to direct, bilateral negotiations with Israel
  • January 16, 1991 - The Gulf War begins. Bowing to American pressure, Israel suffers 39 Scud missile attacks without responding
  • December 8, 1986 - The intifada begins
  • June 1982 - Operation "Peace for Galilee" begins. Ensuing Lebanon war keeps Israeli presence in the country for 18 years
  • March 26, 1979 - Egypt and Israel sign formal peace treaty
  • November 19, 1977 - Egyptian President Anwar Sadat visits Israel and addresses the Knesset in Jerusalem
  • May 1977 - Menachem Begin becomes prime minister of Israel - the first Likud victory in national elections
  • October 6, 1973 - Egypt and Syria launch a joint attack against Israel on Yom Kippur. The ensuing Yom Kippur war took a heavy casualty toll on Israel and shook Israeli confidence in its leadership
  • Early 1970's - War of Attrition, Egyptian shelling of Israeli positions on the Suez Canal
  • September 1967 - The "Three No's" of the Khartoum Conference in which a defeated Nasser set forth the Arab states' political path for the foreseeable future by calling for "No peace with Israel, No negotiations with Israel, No recognition of Israel."
  • June 5, 1967 - Six-Day War begins. Israel, facing imminent attack from Egypt, Syria and Jordan, launches pre-emptive strike crippling Egypt's army and capturing the entire Sinai Peninsula. Syria loses the Golan Heights and Jordan Jerusalem and the western bank of the Hashemite Kingdom (the West Bank).
  • 1964 - The Palestine Liberation Organization is founded
  • October 1956 - Suez Campaign. Israel, together with Britain and France fight Egypt in bid to safeguard free shipping after Nasser "nationalizes" the Suez Canal
  • 1950's - Mass immigration to Israel by Jews of Arab lands and remnants of European Jewry
  • May 15, 1948 - January 1949 - Israeli War of Independence
  • May 14, 1948 - State of Israel declared
  • November 29, 1947 - UN Partition Plan approved, calls for Jewish and Arab states