an independent state of Israel was established in 1948, the nation's
history goes back much further.
trace the settling of the land to the 13th and 12th centuries BC. Israelites
established a kingdom under Saul. The second king, David, made Jerusalem the
capital circa 1000 BC.
trace their roots in the region back 2000 years further, considering
themselves descendants of the original Canaanites.
centuries saw the area conquered by Alexander the Great and later governed
under Roman, Byzantine, and Arab rule until the European Crusaders arrived
in 1099 AD.
the 16th century the Ottoman Turks embarked on a 400-year reign, building
Jerusalem's Old City walls which still enclose the city's major Christian,
Jewish, and Muslim sites.
the end of World War I the Ottoman Empire dissolved, giving way to Great
Britain's Mandate for Palestine. Israel gained its independence when
the Mandate came to an end in May of 1948 with a United Nations-led
partitioning plan for the region.
End of British Mandate
The state of Israel is proclaimed (May 14). Five neighboring Arab states
declare war on the new state the following day. Israel forms Defense
Forces (IDF) and fights the War of Independence (May 1948-July 1949).
David Ben-Gurion declaring new state of Israel (1948)
Israel signs armistice agreements with Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon.
Jerusalem is divided under Israeli and Jordanian Rule. The first Knesset
(parliament) is elected, and Israel is admitted to the United Nations
as 59th member.
Mass immigration from Europe and Arab countries.
In the early 1950s, Egypt blocks Israeli ships from passing through
the Suez Canal, a major international waterway. In July 1956, Egyptian
President Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalizes the Suez Canal, threatening
British and French oil interests and western trade. Israel, Britain
and France attack and Israel captures the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula.
The U.S. voices strong opposition to the joint attack and urges Israel
to withdraw from Egyptian territory.
National Water Carrier is completed, bringing water from Lake Kinneret
in the north to the semiarid south.
On June 5, Israel attacks
Egypt and captures the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip. Jordan attacks
Israel and Israel captures the West Bank and the eastern sector of Jerusalem.
Israel then captures the Golan Heights from Syria. The war ends on June
Israelis take East Jerusalem in the 1967 War
Yom Kippur War
On Oct. 6, Egypt and Syria jointly attack Israel on Yom Kippur, the
holiest day of the Jewish calendar. Following a Soviet airlift to the
Arab states, the U.S. sends an airlift to Israel.
Arabia leads the Arab world in an oil embargo on the United States and
other western nations. The war officially ends on Oct. 22 but fighting
continues on the Egyptian-Israeli front.
The Likud Party forms a new government after Knesset elections, ending
30 years of Labor rule. Egyptian President Anwar Sadat visits Jerusalem.
Camp David Accords
President Jimmy Carter, Sadat and Prime Minister Menachem Begin gather
at U.S. presidential retreat to work out a framework for peace in the
Middle East and a proposal for Palestinian self-government.
Prime Minister Begin and President Anwar Sadat sign a peace
treaty and receive Nobel Peace Prizes. Sadat is later assassinated.
of the Israel/Egypt Treaty (1979)
Widespread rebellion by Palestinians, known as the Intifada,
begins in Israeli-administered areas.
Likud government returns to power following elections.
Israel establishes diplomatic relations with China and India. A new
government is headed by Yitzhak Rabin of the Labor party.
A Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements
for the Palestinians is signed by Israel and PLO.
House ceremony post-Oslo (1993)
Yasser Arafat returns to Gaza after living in exile for three decades.
Palestinian self-government in Gaza Strip and Jericho area implemented.
Israeli-Jordan Peace Treaty is signed and Rabin, Peres, Arafat accept
Nobel Peace Prizes.
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is assassinated at a peace rally. Shimon
Peres becomes prime minister. Broadened Palestinian self-government
is implemented in West Bank and Gaza Strip and the Palestinian Council
Benjamin Netanyahu surprises many by beating Shimon Peres in Israeli
elect Arafat President of the Palestinian Authority -- the governing
body that rules the areas no longer under Israeli control.
Wye River Negotiations
After a week of heated negotiations, Israeli and Palestinian leaders
sign a "land-for-peace"
Ehud Barak wins
elections, declaring the "time for peace has come."