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March 31, 2008
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May 14, 1948: Israel declares independence, “open for Jewish immigration and in the ingathering of the exiles.”












May 1948 to July 1949 War of Independence—Israel attacked by five Arab nations, 1% of Israelis killed















May 31, 1948 Israel Defence Forces established

July 17, 1948 Israeli currency created

November 15, 1948 EL AL, Israel’s national airline, created

1949 Greatest year for aliyah—239,954 olim (new immigrants) January 25, 1949 Israel becomes first nation in the Middle East to hold democratic elections
February 17, 1949 Chaim Weizmann elected first president of Israel

March 4, 1949 Israel joins the United Nations

March 10, 1949 First government is formed with David Ben-Gurion as Prime Minister

January 23, 1950 Jerusalem declared Israel’s capital

July 5, 1950 Law of Return passed, grants every Jewish immigrant automatic citizenship

1951 Immigration since 1948 doubles population
October 29, 1956 to March 23, 1957 Sinai Campaign—Egypt closes Suez Canal; Israel, the UK, and France invade Sinai and reopen Canal
Immigration since 1948 doubles population

June 5, 1967 Six-Day War begins against Egypt, Jordan, and Syria
June 7, 1967 Israel captures the Old City of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount

June 11, 1967 Israel wins the Gaza Strip, West Bank, the Sinai, and the Golan Heights

1967–1970 War of Attrition over the Sinai with Egypt, Russia, and the PLO


















March 17, 1969 Golda Meir becomes PM and only the 3rd woman in the world to lead her country

September 5, 1972 Israeli Olympic team massacred in Munich by the Palestinian terrorist group “Black September”

October 6–26, 1973 Yom Kippur War in response to surprise attack by Egypt and Syria

July 4, 1976 Operation Entebbe—IDF commando units free 102 in Uganda taken hostage on a hijacked plane

August 5, 1976 Israel creates the “Good Fence” opening the border of Lebanon to allow the Lebanese Israeli medical aid

May 17, 1977 Center-right wing Likud Party wins elections for first time; Menachem Begin becomes prime minister

November 19, 1977 Egyptian President Anwar Sadat becomes the first Arab head of state to visit Israel and address the Knesset

September 7, 1978 Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin sign the Camp David Accords (peace with Egypt), first time an Arab nation recognized the State of Israel

March 26, 1979 Israel–Egypt Peace Treaty signed by Sadat and Begin
June 7, 1981 Israeli warplanes destroy the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak

June 6, 1982 First Lebanon War in response to assassination attempt on Israel’s ambassador to UK; Israel occupies Southern Lebanon




November 21, 1984 to January 5, 1985 Operation Moses­—8,000 Ethiopian Jews airlifted to Israel












December 8, 1987 to 1993 First Intifada (Arab uprising), killing 160 Israelis

February 11, 1988 Terror group Hamas is established, dedicated to the destruction of the Jews

1990 Greatest Russian aliyah—185,227 olim

1991 Second greatest Russian aliyah—147,839 olim
May 24, 1991 Operation Solomon— 14,500 Ethiopian Jews airlifted to Israel in 36 hours on 34 flights


January 18 to February 28, 1991 First Gulf War—Israel hit by 39 Iraqi Scud missiles

September 13, 1993 The Oslo Accords signed by Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin

October 26, 1994 Israel–Jordan Peace Treaty signed

December 10, 1994 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Yitzhak Rabin, Yasser Arafat, and Shimon Peres;
November 4, 1995 Prime Minister Rabin assassinated in Tel Aviv

March 21–26, 2000 Pope John Paul ll visits Israel

May 24, 2000 Israel withdraws from Lebanon

July 11, 2000 Prime Minister Ehud Barak offers Yasser Arafat 97% of the pre-1967 West Bank and Gaza, which Arafat refused

September 28, 2000 Second Intifada erupts after Ariel Sharon visits the Temple Mount; 1,000 Israelis killed by 2007

July 23, 2001 Israeli decides to build the Security Fence in response to terrorists entering Israel from the West Bank;
March 27, 2002 Passover suicide bombing in Netanya kills 30

April 30, 2003 Israel accepts the Road Map for a two-state solution

September 12, 2005 Disengagement from Gaza Strip leaves 8,000 Jews homeless, ending 38 years of an Israeli presence there

2006 More Jews live in Israel than America;
July 12, 2006 33-day Second Lebanon War begins in response to the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers by Hizbullah;
2007 41% of world Jewry lives in Israel; North American aliyah reaches a 25-year high

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