Israel Key Dates

c 23000 BC    Stone Age peoples inhabit the area around the Sea of Galilee.
c 7000 BC    First towns and villages established by Canaanite migrants from the north.
c 3100 BC    Canaanite civilisation develops – collection of city states under Egyptian rule, including Jerusalem.
c 1100 BC    Former Egyptian slaves (Hebrews) conquer Canaanites and settle in the area.
c 1180 BC    Philistine invaders from Crete settle on the coastal plain of Palestine.
c 1020 BC    Hebrews conquer the Philistines and establish first Jewish Kingdom.
960 BC    Temple of Jerusalem first built.
930 BC    Kingdom split into Israel (Northern Kingdom) and Judah (or Judea).
722 BC    Israel crushed by Assyrian invasion.
606 BC    Jews exiled from Israel to Babylon (Iraq) – start of diaspora.
536 BC    Media-Persia Empire under Cyrus overthrows Babylonian Empire.
332 BC    Alexander the Great defeats Darius and conquers the region.
168 BC    Independent Jewish kingdom revived (Hasmonean Period).
63 BC    Jerusalem captured by the Roman Army – region becomes part of Roman Empire.
66 AD    Jewish revolt against the Romans.
73 AD    Last stand of the Jews at Masada.
132 AD    Uprising against Roman rule.
135 AD    Roman Army crushes Jewish revolt. Judea renamed Palestine. Many Jews forced into exile in other parts of the Empire.
313 AD    Area falls under the control of the Byzantine Empire.
614    Persian invasion, but recaptured by Byzantines in 629.
636    Arab invaders under Caliph Omar take control of the area, but Jewish minority remains.
691    Dome of the Rock built on site of Temple of Jerusalem.
800    Emperor Charlemagne allows Jews to settle in Germany – later known as Ashkenazi Jews.
1071    Seljuk Turks take control of Jerusalem.
1099    Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem established by Crusaders.
1291    Mamluk (Mameluke) Sultanate of Egypt defeats the last Crusader state.
1517    Mamluk Sultanate conquered by Ottoman Empire.
1785    Palestinian population reaches a low point of 350,000.
1882    First large scale immigration starts – mostly from Russia, (First Aliyah).
29 Aug 1897    First Zionist Congress held (in Switzerland) – sets up group to work for establishment of Jewish homeland.
1909    Tel Aviv founded – first modern all-Jewish city.
9 Dec 1917    British forces capture Jerusalem from Ottoman Army. Occupation of Palestine completed in 1918.
2 Nov 1919    Balfour Declaration – promising support in establishing a Jewish national home in Palestine.
April 1920    Conference of San Remo – began creation of mandate for British rule of Palestine.
1920    Haganah (Jewish defence organisation) set up.
1922    Transjordan detached from Palestine mandate territory
1923    Jewish Agency established to represent Jewish community. Officially recognised in 1929.
1932-35    Major Jewish and Arab immigration to Palestine (0.5 million).
1936-38    Arab revolt against British rule and Jewish immigration.
1937    British government proposes partition of Palestine. Opposed by Arabs.
1939    Limit on Jewish immigration imposed by British government to quell Arab unrest.
1939-45    Jewish personnnel serve in British and US armed forces during WW2.
15 May 1941    Palmach established by British military and Haganah to help defend Palestine. Later ordered to disband but went underground.
1945-47    Terrorist attacks on British security forces by Jewish extremist groups.
22 July 1946    Bomb attack on British security forces base in King David Hotel by Jewish terrorists.
April 1947    Britain refers Jewish immigration issue to the UN.
29 Nov 1947    United Nations approves plan for dividing Palestine into Arab and Jewish states.
14 May 1948    State of Israel established – Tel Aviv becomes capital city.
15 May 1948    Neighbouring Arab countries invade Israel – War of Independence starts.
July 1949    UN negotiated armistice begins. De facto borders established, giving Israel much more land than original UN plan.
1948-52    Mass immigration from Europe and Arab countries.
11 May 1949    Israel joins United Nations
23 Jan 1950    Jerusalem officially becomes capital of Israel.
29 October 1956    Start of Sinai Campaign alongside British & French assault on Suez Canal Zone.
6 Nov 1956    UN mediated ceasefire starts. USA forces Israeli withdrawal from all captured territory.
June 1964    Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) established with Egyptian support.
16 May 1967    UN truce monitoring force ordered out of Sinai by Egypt.
5 June 1967    Six Day War against Egypt, Syria and Jordan. Israel annexes Gaza Strip, Sinai Peninsula, Golan Heights and the West Bank of the Jordan river
1968-1970    War of Attrition pursued by Egypt.
6 Oct 1973    Yom Kippur War – surprise attack by Egypt and Syria on Yom Kippur day.
14 March 1978    Operation Litani – attack on PLO positions in southern Lebanon.
17 Sept 1978    Camp David Accords on Middle East peace
26 March 1979    Peace treaty with Egypt signed in Washington DC.
7 June 1981    Israeli Air Force destroys Iraq’s nuclear reactor near Baghdad.
25 April 1982    Israel completes withdrawal from Sinai – returned to Egyptian control.
6 June 1982    Israel invades Lebanon – Operation Peace for Galilee. PLO forced to leave Lebanon.
June 1985    Phased Israeli army withdrawal from Lebanon completed.
5 Oct 1986    Media reports appear that Israel has had a nuclear weapons programme since the 1960s.
9 Dec 1987    Intifada (uprising) starts in Palestinian territories against Israeli rule. (Lasts until 1991). Hamas militant group established.
Nov 1988    PLO recognises existence of Israel.
1989    Start of mass immigration of Jews from former Soviet Union. Many new settlements built to house newcomers – including in West Bank and Gaza.
Jan 1991    First Gulf War – Israel attacked by Iraqi Scud missiles.
May 1991    Operation Solomon – airlift of Jews from Ethiopia.
13 Sept 1993    Oslo Accords endorse Palestinian automony.
13 May 1994    Palestinian self-government starts in Gaza Strip and Jericho. Fatah party takes all key positions.
Sept 1995    Palestinian autonomy extended to most of West Bank.
1996    Fundamentalist Arab terrorist attacks on Israel escalate.
11 Apr 1996    Operation Grapes of Wrath – retaliation for Hizbollah attacks on northern Israel.
23 Oct 1998    Wye River Memorandum between Israel and PLO.
May 2000    Israel withdraws from security zone in Southern Lebanon.
Sept 2000    Second Intifada begins.
April 2002    Operation Defensive Shield – anti-terrorist incursion by IDF units into the West Bank.
2003    Start of construction of ‘Security Barrier’ physically separating Israeli and Palestinian territory
Sept 2005    Completion of unilateral disengagement from Gaza Strip – Israeli settlements abandoned.
27 Oct 2005    Iranian president calls for Israel to be ‘wiped out from the map’.
28 June 2006    Military operations against Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.
12 July 2006    Second Lebanon War starts after two Israeli soldiers kidnapped by Hezbollah.
14 Aug 2006    Second Lebanon War ends with UN arranged ceasefire.
17 March 2007    Joint Fatah-Hamas Palestinian unity government formed.

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