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JEWISH TIMELINE (from Abraham until 2011)
  For a synopsis timeline

From Abraham - 17th century BCE, until end of BCE period
From beginning of 1st century until 11th century

F
rom 11th century until the 20th century
From the 20th century to the 40s
The 40s  to the 50s
The 50s  to the 70s
The Peace Plans
The 80s

T
he 90s
From the 21st century and on

C. 17th Century BCE     The Patriarchs of the Israelites, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob bring the belief in One God to the Promised Land where they settle.

C. 13th - 12th Century BCE    Moses leads the Israelites from Egypt, followed by 40 years of wandering in the desert. The Torah, including the Ten Commandments received at Mount Sainai  

Moses was chosen by God to take his people out of Egypt and back to the Land of Israel promised to their forefathers.  They wandered for 40 years in the Sinai desert, where they were forged into a nation and received the Torah (Pentateuch), which included the Ten Commandments and gave form and content to their monotheistic faith. 

During the next two centuries, the Israelites conquered and settled d most of the Land of Israel and relinquished their nomadic ways to become farmers and craftsmen; a degree of economic and social consolidation followed. Periods of relative peace alternated with times of war during which the people rallied behind leaders known as 'judges,' chosen for their political and military skills as well as for their leadership qualities.

C. 1020 - 1000 BCE     Jewish Monarchy established.   Jerusalem made capital of David's Kingdom.
The first king, Saul (c. 1020 BCE), bridged the period between loose tribal organization and the setting up of a full monarchy under his successor, David. King David (c.1004-965 BCE) established Israel as a major power in the region by successful military expeditions, including the final defeat of the Philistines, as well as by constructing a network of friendly alliances with nearby kingdoms.  David was succeeded by his son Solomon (c.965-930 BCE) who further strengthened the kingdom.  Crowning his achievements was the building of the Temple in Jerusalem, which became the center of the Jewish people's national and religious life.

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 960 BCE   
1st Temple, the national and spiritual center of the Jewish people, built in Jerusalem by King Solomon.

C. 930 BCE    Kingdom divided into Judah and Israel.  
After Solomon's death (930 BCE), open insurrection led to the breaking away of the ten northern tribes and division of the country into a northern kingdom, Israel, and a southern kingdom, Judah, on the territory of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin.

The Kingdom of Israel, with its capital Samaria, lasted more than 200 years under 19 kings, while the Kingdom of Judah was ruled from Jerusalem for 350 years by an equal number of kings of the lineage of David. The expansion of the Assyrian and Babylonian empires brought first Israel and later Judah under foreign control.

722 - 720 BCE    Israel crushed by Assyrians; 10 tribes exiled (Ten Lost Tribes).

586  BCE    Judah conquered by Babylonia; Jerusalem and 1st  Temple destroyed (960 bce  - 586 bce) stood for 374 years; most Jews exiled to Babylonia.   The Babylonian conquest brought an end to the First Jewish Commonwealth (First Temple period) but did not sever the Jewish people's connection to the Land of Israel.  The exile to Babylonia, which followed the destruction of the First Temple (586 BCE), marked the beginning of the Jewish Diaspora. There, Judaism began to develop a religious framework and way of life outside the Land, ultimately ensuring the people's national survival and spiritual identity and imbuing it with sufficient vitality to safeguard its future as a nation.

536-142 BCE    PERSIAN AND HELLENISTIC PERIODS

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538-515 BCE (Purim)  Many Jews return from Babylonia; 2nd Temple rebuilt. Following a decree by the Persian King Cyrus,  conqueror of the Babylonian empire (538 BCE), some 50,000 Jews set out on the First Return to the Land of Israel, led by Zerubabel, a descendant of the House of David.  Less than a century later, the Second Return was led by Ezra the Scribe.

The repatriation of the Jews under Ezra's inspired leadership, construction of the 2nd Temple on the site of the First Temple, refortification of Jerusalem's walls and establishment of the Knesset Hagedolah (Great Assembly) as the supreme religious and judicial body of the Jewish people marked the beginning of the Second Jewish Commonwealth (Second Temple period).

332 BCE    Land conquered by Alexander the Great; Hellenistic rule.
As part of the ancient world conquered by Alexander the Great of Greece (332 BCE), the Land remained a Jewish theocracy under Syrian-based Seleucid rulers. 

166-160 BCE (CHANUKAH)    Maccabean (Hasmonean) revolt against restrictions on practice of Judaism and desecration of the Temple
When the Jews were prohibited from practicing Judaism and their
2nd Temple was desecrated as part of an effort to impose Greek-oriented culture and customs on the entire population, the Jews rose in revolt (166 BCE). First led by Mattathias of the priestly Hasmonean family and then by his son Judah the Maccabee, the Jews subsequently entered Jerusalem and purified the 2nd Temple (164 BCE).

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142-129 BCE    Jewish autonomy under Hasmoneans.
Following further Hasmonean victories (147 BCE), the Seleucids restored autonomy to Judea, as the Land of Israel was now called, and, with the collapse of the Seleucid kingdom (129 BCE), Jewish independence was again achieved.

129-63 BCE  Jewish independence under Hasmonean monarchy.
Under the Hasmonean dynasty, which lasted about 80 years, the kingdom regained boundaries not far short of Solomon's realm, political consolidation under Jewish rule was attained and Jewish life flourished.

63 BCE       Jerusalem captured by Roman general, Pompey.

63 BCE-313 CE     ROMAN RULE

37 BCE - 4CE      Herod, Roman vassal king, rules the Land of Israel; 2nd Temple in Jerusalem refurbished.

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20 - 23 Death of the Nazarene   

66    Jewish revolt against the Romans.

70     Destruction of Jerusalem and 2nd Temple. 515 bce - 70 (stood for 585 years)

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132-135   
Bar Kokhba uprising against Rome.

210      Codification of Jewish oral law (Mishnah) completed.

313-636    BYZANTINE RULE
By the end of the 4th century, following Emperor Constantine's adoption of Christianity (313) and the founding of the Byzantine Empire, the Land of Israel had become a predominantly Christian country. Churches were built on Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Galilee, and monasteries were established in many parts of the country. The Jews were deprived of their former relative autonomy, as well as of their right to hold public positions, and were forbidden to enter Jerusalem except on one day of the year (Tisha b'Av - ninth of Av) to mourn the destruction of the Temple.

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614      Persian invasion
The Persian invasion of 614 was welcomed and aided by the Jews, who were inspired by messianic hopes of deliverance. In gratitude for their help, they were granted the administration of Jerusalem, an interlude which lasted about three years. Subsequently, the Byzantine army regained the city (629) and again expelled its Jewish population.

636-1099   ARAB RULE
The Arab conquest of the Land came four years after the death of Muhammad (632) and lasted more than four centuries, with caliphs ruling first from Damascus, then from Baghdad and Egypt. At the outset of Islamic rule, Jewish settlement in Jerusalem was resumed, and the Jewish community was granted permission to live under "protection," the customary status of non-Muslims under Islamic rule, which safeguarded their lives, property and freedom of worship in return for payment of special poll and land taxes.

However, the subsequent introduction of restrictions against non-Muslims (717) affected the Jews' public conduct as well as their religious observances and legal status. The imposition of heavy taxes on agricultural land compelled many to move from rural areas to towns, where their circumstances hardly improved, while increasing social and economic discrimination forced many Jews to leave the country. By the end of the 11th century, the Jewish community in the Land had diminished considerably and had lost some of its organizational and religious cohesiveness.

691    On site of First and Second Temples in Jerusalem, Dome of the Rock built by Caliph Abd el-Malik.

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1099-1291   CRUSADER DOMINATION  
Mishneh Torah of the Rambam
(Maimonedes) waas published circa 1170.
For the next 200 years, the country was dominated by the Crusaders, who, following an appeal by Pope Urban II, came from Europe to recover the Holy Land from the infidels. In July 1099, after a five-week siege, the knights of the First Crusade and their rabble army captured Jerusalem, massacring most of the city's non-Christian inhabitants. Barricaded in their synagogues, the Jews defended their quarter, only to be burnt to death or sold into slavery. During the next few decades, the Crusaders extended their power over the rest of the country, through treaties and agreements, but mostly by bloody military victories. The Latin Kingdom of the Crusaders was that of a conquering minority confined mainly to fortified cities and castles.

When the Crusaders opened up transportation routes from Europe, pilgrimages to the Holy Land became popular and, at the same time, increasing numbers of Jews sought to return to their homeland. Documents of the period indicate that 300 rabbis from France and England arrived in a group, with some settling in Acro (Akko), others in Jerusalem.

After the overthrow of the Crusaders by a Muslim army under Saladin (1187), the Jews were again accorded a certain measure of freedom, including the right to live in Jerusalem. Although the Crusaders regained a foothold in the country after Saladin's death (1193), their presence was limited to a network of fortified castles. Crusader authority in the Land ended after a final defeat (1291) by the Mamluks, a Muslim military class which had come to power in Egypt.

1198  Inquisition
The Inquisition was a Roman Catholic tribunal for discovery and punishment of heresy, which was marked by the severity of questioning and punishment and lack of rights afforded to the accused.

While many people associate the Inquisition with Spain and Portugal, it was actually instituted by Pope Innocent III (1198-1216) in Rome. A later pope, Pope Gregory IX established the Inquisition, in 1233, to combat the heresy of the Abilgenses, a religious sect in France. By 1255, the Inquisition was in full gear throughout Central and Western Europe; although it was never instituted in England or Scandinavia.

Initially a tribunal would open at a location and an edict of grace would be published calling upon those who are conscious of heresy to confess; after a period of grace, the tribunal officers could make accusations. Those accused of heresy were sentenced at an auto de fe, Act of Faith. Clergyman would sit at the proceedings and would deliver the punishments. Punishments included confinement to dungeons, physical abuse and torture. Those who reconciled with the church were still punished and many had their property confiscated, as well as were banished from public life. Those who never confessed were burned at the stake without strangulation; those who did confess were strangled first. During the 16th and 17th centuries, attendance at auto de fe reached as high as the attendance at bullfights.

In the beginning, the Inquisition dealt only with Christian heretics and did not interfere with the affairs of Jews. However, disputes about Maimonides’ books (which addressed the synthesis of Judaism and other cultures) provided a pretext for harassing Jews and, in 1242, the Inquisition condemned the Talmud and burned thousands of volumes. In 1288, the first mass burning of Jews on the stake took place in France.

In 1481 the Inquisition started in Spain and ultimately surpassed the medieval Inquisition, in both scope and intensity. Conversos (Secret Jews) and New Christians were targeted because of their close relations to the Jewish community, many of whom were Jews in all but their name. Fear of Jewish influence led Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand to write a petition to the Pope asking permission to start an Inquisition in Spain. In 1483 Tomas de Torquemada became the inquisitor-general for most of Spain, he set tribunals in many cities. Also heading the Inquisition in Spain were two Dominican monks, Miguel de Morillo and Juan de San Martin.

First, they arrested Conversos and notable figures in Seville; in Seville more than 700 Conversos were burned at the stake and 5,000 repented. Tribunals were also opened in Aragon, Catalonia and Valencia. An Inquisition Tribunal was set up in Ciudad Real, where 100 Conversos were condemned, and it was moved to Toledo in 1485. Between 1486-1492, 25 auto de fes were held in Toledo, 467 people were burned at the stake and others were imprisoned. The Inquisition finally made its way to Barcelona, where it was resisted at first because of the important place of Spanish Conversos in the economy and society.

More than 13,000 Conversos were put on trial during the first 12 years of the Spanish Inquisition. Hoping to eliminate ties between the Jewish community and Conversos, the Jews of Spain were expelled in 1492..

The next phase of the Inquisition began around 1531, when Pope Leo X extended the Inquisition to Portugal. Thousands of Jews came to Portugal after the 1492 expulsion. A Spanish style Inquisition was constituted and tribunals were set up in Lisbon and other cities. Among the Jews who died at the hands of the Inquisition were well-known figures of the period such as Isaac de Castro Tartas, Antonio Serrao de Castro and Antonio Jose da Silva. The Inquisition never stopped in Spain and continued until the late 18th century.

By the second half of the 18th century, the Inquisition abated, due to the spread of enlightened ideas and lack of resources. The last auto de fe in Portugal took place on October 27, 1765. Not until 1808, during the brief reign of Joseph Bonaparte, was the Inquisition abolished in Spain. An estimated 31,912 heretics were burned at the stake, 17,659 were burned in effigy and 291,450 made reconciliation in the Spanish Inquisition. In Portugal, about 40,000 cases were tried, although only 1,800 were burned, the rest made penance.

The Inquisition was not limited to Europe; it also spread to Spanish and Portuguese colonies in the New World and Asia. Many Jews and Conversos fled from Portugal and Spain to the New World seeking greater security and economic opportunities. Branches of the Portuguese Inquisition were set up in Goa and Brazil. Spanish tribunals and auto de fes were set up in Mexico, the Philippine Islands, Guatemala, Peru, New Granada and the Canary Islands. By the late 18th century, most of these were dissolved.


1291-1516    
MAMLUK RULE
The Land under the Mamluks became a backwater province ruled from Damascus. Akko, Jaffa (Yafo) and other ports were destroyed for fear of new crusades, and maritime as well as overland commerce was interrupted. By the end of the Middle Ages, the country's urban centers were virtually in ruins, most of Jerusalem was abandoned and the small Jewish community was poverty-stricken. The period of Mamluk decline was darkened by political and economic upheavals, plagues, locust invasions and devastating earthquakes.

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1517-1917    OTTOMAN RULE
Following the Ottoman conquest in 1517, the Land was divided into four districts and attached administratively to the province of Damascus and ruled from Istanbul.

1564     Code of Jewish law (Shulhan Arukh) published.
Orderly government, until the death (1566) of Sultan Suleiman the Magificent, brought improvements and stimulated Jewish immigration.  Some newcomers settled in Jerusalem, but the majority went to Safad where, by mid-16th century, the Jewish population had risen to about 10,000, and the town had become a thriving textile center as well as the focus of intense intellectual activity. During this period, the study of Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism) flourished, and contemporary clarifications of Jewish law, as codified in the Shulhan Arukh, spread throughout the Diaspora from the study houses in Safad.

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

1882-1903    First Aliya (large-scale immigration), mainly from Russia.

1897    First Zionist Congress convened by Theodor Herzl in Basel, Switzerland; Zionist Organization founded.

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1904-1914     Second Aliya, mainly from Russia and Poland. 

1909    First kibbutz, Degania, and first modern all-Jewish city, Tel Aviv, founded.

1917     400 years of Ottoman rule ended by British conquest;
British Foreign Minister Balfour pledges support for establishment of a "Jewish national home in Palestine".

1918-1948    BRITISH RULE

1919-1923    Third Aliya, mainly from Russia

1920    Histadrut (Jewish labor federation) and Haganah (Jewish defense organization) founded.
Vaad Leumi (National Council) set up by Jewish community (yishuv)to conduct its affairs.

1921    First moshav, Nahalal, founded.

1922    Britain granted Mandate for Palestine (Land of Israel) by League of Nations
Transjordan set up on three-fourths of the area, leaving one-fourth for the Jewish national home
Jewish Agency representing Jewish community vis-a-vis Mandate authorities set up.

1924     Technion, first institute of technology, founded in Haifa.

1924-1932     Fourth Aliya, mainly from Poland.

1925    Hebrew University of Jerusalem opened on Mt. Scopus.

1929    Hebron Jews massacred by Arab militants.  History Link

1931     Etzel, Jewish underground organization, founded.

1933-1939    Fifth Aliya, mainly from Germany.

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

1939     Jewish immigration severely limited by British White Paper.

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1939-1945    World War II; Holocaust in Europe.  

1941    Lehi underground movement formed; Palmach, strike force of Haganah, set up.

1944     Jewish Brigade formed as part of British forces.

1947     UN proposes the establishment of Arab and Jewish states in the Land.

1948     STATE OF ISRAEL
End of British Mandate (14 May)
State of Israel proclaimed (14 May).
Israel invaded by five Arab states (15 May)
War of Independence (May 1948-July 1949)
Israel Defense Forces (IDF) established

1949   Armistice agreements signed with Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon.
Jerusalem divided under Israeli and Jordanian rule.
First Knesset (parliament) elected.
Israel admitted to United Nations as 59th member.

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1948-1952    Mass immigration from Europe and Arab countries.   

1956     Sinai Campaign
In the course of an eight-day campaign, the IDF captured the Gaza Strip and the entire Sinai peninsula, halting 10 miles (16 km.) east of the Suez Canal. A United Nations decision to station a UN Emergency Force (UNEF) along the Egypt-Israel border and Egyptian assurances of free navigation in the Gulf of Eilat led Israel to agree to withdraw in stages (November 1956 - March 1957) from the areas taken a few weeks earlier. Consequently, the Straits of Tiran were opened, enabling the development of trade with Asian and East African countries as well as oil imports from the Persian Gulf.

1962     Adolf Eichmann tried and executed in Israel for his part in the Holocaust.

1964    National Water Carrier completed, bringing water from Lake Kinneret in the north to the semi-arid south.

1967    Six-Day War, Jerusalem reunited.
At the end of six days of fighting, previous cease-fire lines were replaced by new ones, with Judea, Samaria, Gaza, the Sinai peninsula and the Golan Heights under Israel's control. As a result, the northern villages were freed from 19 years of recurrent Syrian shelling; the passage of Israeli and Israel-bound shipping through the Straits of Tiran was ensured; and Jerusalem, which had been divided under Israeli and Jordanian rule since 1949, was reunified under Israel's authority.

1968-1970   Egypt's War of Attrition against Israel.

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1973     Yom Kippur War  
Three years of relative calm along the borders were shattered on Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), the holiest day of the Jewish year, when Egypt and Syria launched a coordinated surprise assault against Israel (6 October 1973), with the Egyptian army crossing the Suez Canal and Syrian troops penetrating the Golan Heights.  Two years of difficult negotiations between Israel and Egypt and between Israel and Syria resulted in disengagement agreements, according to which Israel withdrew from parts of the territories captured during the war

1975    Israel becomes an associate member of the European Common Market.

1977    Likud forms government after Knesset elections, end of 30 years of Labor rule.
Visit of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to Jerusalem.

1978    Camp David Accords include framework for comprehensive peace in the Middle East and proposal for Palestinian self-government.

1979   Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty signed - copy and paste the following link: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egypt%E2%80%93Israel_Peace_Treaty) 
Prime Minister Menachem Begin and President Anwar Sadat awarded Nobel Peace Prize.

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PEACE PLANS
Israel-Peace-Camp-David-Carter-Begin-Sadat.jpg (59254 bytes)

Camp David, Maryland 
1979
 

 

Israel-Peace-Oslo-Clinton-Rabin-Arafat.jpg (26618 bytes)

Oslo, Norway 
 1993

 

Israel-Peace-Wye- River-Albright-Netayahu-Arafat.jpg (46787 bytes)

Wye River, Maryland  
1998

 

Israel-Peace-Road-Map-Bush-Sharon-Abbas.jpg (45205 bytes)

Road Map
Aqaba, Jordan
2003


Israel-Peace-Annapolis-Bush-Ohlmert-Abbas.jpg (3056351 bytes)

Annapolis, Maryland
 2007

 


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1980    The Shekel replaced the Israeli lira.  
Israel's
Knesset passed the Jerusalem Law.

1981    Israel Air Force destroys Iraqi nuclear reactor just before it is to become operative.
Operation Opera: Eight Israeli F-16s, escorted by F-15s, severely damaged Osirak, an Iraqi nuclear reactor under construction near Baghdad, which Israeli military intelligence maintained was built by the regime of Saddam Hussein for the purpose of plutonium production to further an Iraqi nuclear weapons program. Israeli intelligence also believed that the summer of 1981 would be the last chance to destroy the reactor before it would be loaded with nuclear fuel.

1982    Israel's three-stage withdrawal from Sinai completed.
Operation Peace for Galilee - Lebanon War of 1982
removes PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) terrorists from Lebanon.
The evacuation of the Israeli settlement Yamit in the Sinai Peninsula began in accordance with the Egyptian–Israeli Peace Treaty.
Israel completes its withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula in accordance with the Egyptian–Israeli Peace Treaty.
Shlomo Argov, Israel's ambassador in London, was severely injured when shot at by Palestinian Arab militant belonging to the Abu Nidal Organization organization. Argov's assassination attempt led to the Operation Peace for Galilee. Argov eventually died of his injuries in 2003.
The First Lebanon War took place during which Israel invaded southern Lebanon due to the constant terror attacks on northern Israel by the Palestinian guerrilla organizations resident there. The war resulted in the expulsion of the PLO from Lebanon, and created an Israeli Security Zone in southern Lebanon.

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1984    National unity government (Llikud and Labor) formed after elections.
Operation Moses, immigration of Jews from Ethiopia.
The Kav 300 affair.
Operation Moses: IDF forces conducted a secret operation in which approximately 8,000 Ethiopian Jews were brought to Israel from Sudan. (to 1985)

1985    Free Trade Agreement signed with United States.

1987    Widespread violence (intifada) starts in Israeli-administered areas.
 
The First Intifada: The first Palestinian uprising took place in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank against the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories. (to 1991).
Israel's government canceled the IAI Lavi programme.

1989    Four-point peace initiative proposed by Israel.
Start of mass immigration of Jews from former Soviet Union.
Mount Carmel forest fire: One of the largest forest fire in Israel's history. The fire extended over 6,000 dunam (1,500 acres), devastated 3,200 dunam (790 acres) of natural forest areas of Aleppo pine on Mount Carmel in northern Israel, close to the city of Haifa. Mount Carmel forest fire: One of the largest forest fire in Israel's history. The fire extended over 6,000 dunam (1,500 acres), devastated 3,200 dunam (790 acres) of natural forest areas of Aleppo pine on Mount Carmel in northern Israel, close to the city of Haifa.

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1991   TOP  Gulf War: Three Scuds and one Patriot missile hit Ramat Gan in Israel, wounding 96 people; three elderly people die of heart attacks.
Operation Solomon: IDF forces conduct a secret operation in which approximately 14,400 Ethiopian Jews were brought to Israel within 34 hours in 30 IAF and El Al aircrafts.
Israel attacked by Iraqi Scud missiles during Gulf war.
Middle East peace conference convened in Madrid.
Operation Solomon, airlift of Jews from Ethiopia.

1992    Diplomatic relations established with China and India.
New government headed by Yitzhak Rabin of Labor party.
The Bijlmerramp disaster: El Al Flight 1862, a Boeing 747 freighter, crashed into high-rise apartment buildings in Amsterdam after two of its engines detach from the wing. A total of 43 people were killed, consisting of the plane's crew of three and a non-revenue passenger in a jump seat, plus 39 persons on the ground. Many more were injured.
Israel deported 415 Hamas activists to Lebanon.

1993    20 August 1993 Oslo Accords
Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements for the Palestinians signed by Israel and PLO, as representative of the Palestinian people.
The first Oslo Accords were signed at an official ceremony in Washington in the presence of Yitzhak Rabin for Israel, Yasser Arafat for PLO and Bill Clinton for the United States.

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1994    Implementation of Palestinian self-government in Gaza Strip and Jericho area.
Full diplomatic relations with the Holy See.
Morocco and Tunisia interest offices set up.
Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty signed.
Rabin, Peres, Arafat awarded Nobel Peace Prize.
The Peace agreement between Israel and Jordan was signed.
Baruch Goldstein Hebron Massacre - Baruch_Goldstein.jpg (35571 bytes) Baruch Kopel Goldstein an American-born Jewish Israeli physician, terrorist and mass murderer who perpetrated the 1994 Cave of the Patriarchs massacre in the city of Hebron, killing 29 Palestinian Muslim worshipers and wounding another 125.

1995    Broadened Palestinian self-government implemented in West Bank and Gaza Strip
Palestinian Council elected.
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated at peace rally by right-wing Israeli radical Yigal Amir. Shimon Peres becomes prime minister.

1996    Fundamentalist Arab terrorism against Israel escalates.
Operation Grapes of Wrath, retaliation for Hizbullah terrorists' attacks on northern Israel.
Trade representation offices set up in Oman and Qatar.
Likud forms government after Knesset elections.
Benjamin Netanyahu becomes prime minister.
Omani trade representation office opened in Tel Aviv.

1997   Hebron Protocol signed by Israel and the PA.
1997 Israeli helicopter disaster: Two IAF troop-transport CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopters collided in darkness near the remote She'ar Yashuv kibbutz, in northern Israel, killing 77 IDF soldiers.
Maccabiah bridge collapse - A pedestrian bridge collapsed over the Yarkon River killing four and injuring 60 Australian athletes who are visiting Israel to participate in the Maccabiah Games.

1998    Israel celebrates its 50th anniversary.
Israel and the PLO sign the Wye River Memorandum to facilitate implementation of the Interim Agreement.

1999    A joint U.S.–Israeli search team found the wreck of the long-lost Israeli submarine INS Dakar in the Mediterranean sea.

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2000
  
 
Israel withdrew IDF forces from the "security zone" in southern Lebanon, in compliance with U.N. Resolution 425, to the international border after 22 years in which the area was occupied by Israeli forces. Several thousand members of the South Lebanon Army (and their families) withdrew to Israel as well with the Israeli forces. Syria and Lebanon insisted that the withdrawal is incomplete, claiming the Shebaa Farms as Lebanese and still under occupation. Nevertheless, the UN certified full Israeli withdrawal.
October 2000 events: Solidarity demonstrations are held by Arab citizens of Israel escalated into clashes with Israeli police and Israeli Jewish citizens. Twelve Israeli Arabs and one Palestinian Arab from the Gaza Strip were shot and killed by the Israeli police. One Israeli Jewish civilian was killed by a rock thought to have been thrown by an Arab citizen.
2000 Hezbollah cross-border raid: Three Israeli soldiers are abducted by Hezbollah while patrolling the Israeli administered side of the Israeli-Lebanese border and Northern Israel is shelled in an attempt to ignite the Israeli-Lebanese border too, but Israelis decide on limited response.
The Second Intifada: The second Palestinian uprising took place in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank against the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories. The uprising which began as massive protests carried out by Palestinians in the Palestinian Territories, soon turned into a violent Palestinian guerrilla campaign which included numerous suicide attacks carried out against Israeli civilians within the state of Israel. (to 2005)

2001    Assassination of Rehavam Ze'evi: Israeli tourism minister Rehavam Zeevi was assassinated in Jerusalem Hyatt hotel by four Palestinian Arab gunmen, members of the PFLP terrorist organization.

2002     As a result of the significant increase of suicide bombing attacks within Israeli population centers during the first years of the Second Intifada, Israel began the construction of the West Bank Fence along the Green Line border arguing that the barrier is necessary to protect Israeli civilians from Palestinian terrorism. The significantly reduced number of incidents of suicide bombings from 2002 to 2005 has been partly attributed to the barrier. The barrier's construction, which has been highly controversial, became a major issue of contention between the two sides.

2003    At the conclusion of the STS-107 mission, the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated during reentry over Texas, killing all seven astronauts on board, including the first Israeli astronaut, Ilan Ramon.

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2004    400 Palestinian Arab prisoners, 30 Lebanese and other Arab prisoners, and the remains of 59 Lebanese militants and civilians were transferred to Hezbollah, together with maps showing Israeli mines in South Lebanon, in exchange for the bodies of the three dead IDF soldiers, Benny Avraham, Adi Avitan and Omar Suaad, as well as the abducted Israeli citizen Elchanan Tenenbaum, who had been captured by Hezbollah after being lured to Dubai for a drug deal.

2005    Israel's unilateral disengagement plan: The evacuation of 25 Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip and West Bank was completed. On August 22, 2005 Gush Katif was evacuated. See connection to Katrina in the USA.


2006    Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a severe hemorrhagic stroke and fell into a coma. As a result, Sharon's deputy Ehud Olmert began exercising the powers of the office of Prime Minister.
The Second Lebanon War took place, which began as a military operation in response to the abduction of two Israeli reserve soldiers by the Hezbollah, and gradually grew to a wider conflict.

2007    Operation Orchard: Israeli Air Force destroyed a suspected nuclear reactor in the Deir ez-Zor region of Syria which was built with the assistance of North Korea.


2008    Operation Cast Lead: IDF forces conducted a large-scale military operation in the Gaza Strip during which dozens of targets there were attacked in response to ongoing rocket fire on the western Negev. (to 2009)

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2010    Israeli naval forces raided and captured a flotilla of ships, organized by the Free Gaza Movement and the Turkish Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (IHH), which were attempting to break the Israeli and Egyptian blockade of Gaza. During the takeover, a violent confrontation erupted on board the largest ship of the flotilla. As a result, nine activists are killed and several dozen passengers and seven IDF soldiers are wounded.
2010 Israeli helicopter disaster in Romania: Six Israeli Air Force (IAF) officers (four pilots and two mechanics) and one Romanian Air Force officer died when an IAF Sikorsky CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopter (known in Israel as a "Yasur") crashed, during a joint Israeli-Romanian aviation exercise in the Carpathian Mountains in northern Romania.
The largest forest fire in Israel's history engulfed a bus carrying cadets from the Israel Prison Service's officer course on route to evacuate prisoners from the Damun Prison in the area of the fire, taking 44 lives, including 37 cadets and their officers. The fire devastated hundreds of acres of pine forest on Mount Carmel in northern Israel, close to the city of Haifa, and was eventually brought under control late on December 5, 2010.
Israel's former President Moshe Katsav was convicted of two counts of rape, obstruction of justice and other sexual offences by a court in Tel Aviv.

2011    The former President of Israel Moshe Katsav was sentenced to seven years in prison, two years probation and payment of compensation to his victims on charges of rape, indecent assault, sexual harassment and obstruction of justice.
The 2011 Israeli housing protests erupted.
2011 Israeli embassy attack: About 3,000 Egyptian protesters stormed the Israeli embassy in Cairo.
Israel and Hamas begin a major prisoner swap in which the Israeli Army soldier Gilad Shalit, who had been held in captivity for five years, is released in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian and Israeli-Arab prisoners held in Israel, including 280 prisoners serving life sentences for planning and perpetrating terror attacks.

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