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Israel
INTRODUCTION
1. Geography
2. Political situation
3 Economy
a. Figures
4. Health
5. Education
a. Universities
6. Demographics
7. Religions
a. Freedom
8. Peoples
9. Languages
10. History
11. Cities and Towns



























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History


1845: The number of Jews in Palestine is about 12,000.
1897: The Zionist movement is started in Basel, Switzerland. Zionism's goal was to establish "for the Jewish people a home in Palestine secured by public law".
1917 November 2: The Balfour declaration, a letter by the foreign secretary Arthur James Balfour to the English Zionist leader lord Rothschild, gives support to the Zionist case.
1918-39: The Jews organize their own social and political institutions, which exercise much control over their own population. Hebrew language is fostered, and the Hebrew University is founded in Jerusalem.
1922: The League of Nations adopt the Balfour declaration, and leaves Britain in charge of Palestine, and in assisting the Jews in "reconstituting their national home in that country". Jews represent 11% of the population in Palestine with their 85,000, compared to the 670,000 Palestinians.
1930s: Large influx of Jews, frightened by persecution in Germany. New towns and villages were created, hundreds of kibbutzes founded.
1931: 175,000 Jews and 860,000 Arabs live in Palestine (17%).
1936: Arab revolts against the constant Jewish immigration, but there was no suppression by the British forces until 1939. 385,000 Jews and 980,000 Arabs live in Palestine (28%) by now.
1937: Great Britain suggests that Palestine should be divided into a Jewish and an Arab state.
1939: The British impose a stop on the Jewish immigration. At this time 450,000 Jews and 1,060,000 Arabs live in Palestine (30%)
1945: With the ending of World War II, and the horrors of holocaust were laid open, Zionist demands on self-government increased. From now on, illegal immigration to Palestine was organized.
1947: UN takes control over Palestine.
November 29: A UN plan for dividing Palestine into two countries, one Jewish and one Arab, with Jerusalem as international zone, is presented. This plan was immediately met by violent protest from the Arabs. 590,000 Jews and 1,320,000 Arabs live in Palestine (31%).
1948 May 14: The new Jewish state, State of Israel, is proclaimed by the Jewish Provisional State Council. Chaim Weizmann becomes president, and the Zionist leader David Ben-Gurion the new prime minister. The secret Jewish army, Haganah, is declared as the new army of Israel.
May 15: Egypt, Transjordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq join the Arab guerillas in fight against the Jews.
1948-51: Around 700,000 Jews immigrate to Israel.
1949 February 24: Peace in the Middle East. Egypt declares that the agreement on cease fire, is not an acceptance of the state of Israel. The Israeli territory has increased from the 15,500 km² that the UN-resolution of 1947 gave them, to 20,700 km². Gaza Strip becomes Egyptian, and the West Bank Jordanian. There had been 800,000 Arabs living in the area that now became Israel, and only 170,000 had been able to stay. The remaining hundreds of thousands, moved into refugee camps in neighboring countries.
1950: Due to the heavy immigration, the Israeli economy faces serious difficulties. Aid is provided by Jewish organizations around the world, and the US government.
1956: Israel attacks Egypt, and is joined by British and French troops. Israel is much motivated by the Egyptian blockade of ships calling at the Israeli port of Eilat. The British and the French are taking revenge after the Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal. The three countries had swift victories, but the UN, supported by both USA and the Soviet Union, intervened after few days. Towards the end of the year the three countries had left Sinai, but Israel still held forces in Gaza.
1957: Israel leaves Gaza, after USA had promised help to keep the Gulf of Aqaba open for ships calling at Israel.
1963: Ben Gurion resigns as prime minister and is succeeded by Levi Eshkol.
1967 June 5: Political and security tensions, with increase of Arab troops stationed along the Israeli borders, provokes Israel to a surprise attack on Syria, Jordan, and Egypt.
June 10: Seizure of battles on the Syrian front, the last battleground of the war that came to be called the Six-Day War. Israel has occupied a large strip of the Syrian Golan Heights, along all of the former border line, East Jerusalem and the West Bank which had been annexed by Jordan almost 20 years earlier, the Egyptian-occupied Gaza Strip, and the Egyptian territory of Sinai. About 1,5 million Arabs are now under Israeli administration.
1969: Golda Meir becomes new prime minister of Israel.
1972: 11 Israeli athletes are killed by Palestinian guerrilla in the Summer Olympics of Munich, Germany.
1973 October 6: Yom Kippur War, where Egypt and Syria attacks Israel in order to recapture territory occupied in 1967. Arab power had clearly increased since the last war, but after 3 weeks of fighting Israeli restores control.
— Demands from the Israeli military costs so much that the budgets are exceeded to an extent that national economy suffers for years to come.
1974: With the ghost of the Yom Kippur War, and facing the defeat in the parliamentary elections, Golda Meir is not capable of establishing a new government, and resigns.
Yitzhak Rabin becomes new prime minister.
1977: When not being able to refute accusations on financial irregularities in the private economy, Rabin experiences a defeat in the parliamentary elections.
Menachim Begin becomes new prime minister. A period of even more deterioration of the economy starts, despite new politics from Begin's conservative government.
November 19: Visit to Jerusalem by the president of Egypt, Anwar as-Sadat, and the start of the peace process between Israel and Egypt.
1979 March 26: Camp David Agreement signed between Egypt and Israel. Israeli withdrawal from Sinai starts, and goes on for the next 3 years. The second part of the agreement, which dealt with autonomy for the Palestinians on Gaza Strip and the West Bank, is never observed from Israeli side.
1980: Knesset declares the united and complete Jerusalem as capital of Israel.
1981 June 7: Israel fighters bomb a nuclear reactor in Baghdad, Iraq, claiming that this was being used to produce nuclear weapons to be used against Israel.
December 14: Golan Heights are annexed by Israel.
1982 April 25: Israel hands Sinai back to Egypt. The process of withdrawal has been done in three stages, and have met only sporadic protests from Israeli settlers.
June 6: Israeli invasion of Lebanon, in an attempt to root out PLO presence in and around Beirut. Even if this campaign turns out to be a military success, it is a hard post to the strained Israeli budget.
1984 July 23: Inconclusive results in parliamentary elections, Labour wins 44 seats, Likud 41 (of 120).
September 13: Large coalition between the Likud bloc and the Labour party, the first of its kind in Israeli history. Shimon Peres of the Labour party, becomes prime minister.
1986 October 13: Yitzhak Shamir takes over the position as prime minister, in accordance with the agreement between the Labour party and the Likud bloc of 1984.
1987 December 10: The Palestinian Intifada starts, where Israel first starts with brutal suppression, only to realize that this adds momentum to the Palestinian struggle. The Intifada would come to awaken liberal groups in Israel, and would be a prelude to the rudimentary peace initiatives that came in the 1990s.
1989 March: Collapse of the coalition government between Likud and the Labour party. Shamir acts as leader of a temporary government for the following 15 months.
— Heavy immigration of Soviet Jews starts.
1991: Peace talks between Israel, the Arab countries, and the Palestinians start. These were necessitated by the latent anger demonstrated in Iraq's invasion of Kuwait the preceding year. Nothing materializes directly from these talks.
1993 August: After secret negotiations outside Oslo in Norway, a peace treaty is outlined, involving the principle of "peace for land", the establishment of a Palestinian state in 1999 after 5 years of gradually increasing autonomy for the Palestinians on most of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
— The peace treaty is signed in Washington, USA, after that the American president, Bill Clinton, has almost succeeded to make the American public believe that he has had anything to do with it.
1994 July: Peace treaty between Israel and Jordan.
— This year saw some of the most dramatic actions against civilians on both side. An Israeli settler killed 29 Palestinians performing prayers in a mosque in Hebron. A suicide bomber from Hamas blew up a bus in Tel Aviv, leaving 22 dead and 47 injured.
1995 April 27: Palestinian land is annexed to build houses which Palestinians had no right to own or lease.
September 24: Oslo 2 Agreement is signed in Washington, USA
November 4: Prime minister Yitzhak Rabin is assassinated by the Jewish right-wing extremist Yigal Amir.
November 22: Shimon Peres is sworn in as new prime minister.
1996 February 25: Palestinian guerrilla attacks inside Israel, one suicide bomber in Ashqelon, killing 2, another in Jerusalem, killing 24. Borders between Israel and Palestine are closed in an Israeli retaliation.
April 11: Israel launches an attack against a refugee camp in Qana, Lebanon, leaving about 100 dead, of these many children. The attack was a clear military failure, as there was no military action in the area. Daring speculations connected the bombing to the ongoing electorate in Israel, and for a short period the killings increased the popularity of Shimon Peres.
May 29: Benjamin Netanyahu wins the first direct prime minister elections of Israel, with a margin of 29,457 votes over his only contender, the ruling prime minister Shimon Peres.
May 29: In the elections for Knesset the Labour party gets 34 (-10) seats, Likud bloc 32 (-8), Shas 10 (+4), Meretz 9 (-3), Yisrael Ba'aliya 7 (+7), United Arab List 4 (+2), United Torah Judaism party 4 (0). There are 120 seats in the Knesset.
August 2: Netanyahu lifts a ban imposed in 1992 on new Jewish settlements in occupied Palestine. The new politics intended to increase the Jewish presence with 50,000, a relative increase of 35%.
1997 March: Netanyahu's government initiates building of new apartments that are reserved for Jews alone, in the Palestinian owned territory called Har Homa in Hebrew, and Jabal Abu Gnayn in Arabic. With this settlement East Jerusalem will be surrounded by all-Jewish housing estates.
March 31: Arab countries reimposes boycott of Israel, as a retaliation of what they consider Israeli violations of the Oslo 2 Agreement.
1998 November 11: Israeli cabinet adopted the Wye River Agreement, involving gradual Israeli withdrawal from occupied lands, resulting in 40% of the West Bank under Palestinian control.
December 21: Prime minister Netanyahu suspends the Wye River Agreement, due to internal conflicts in his cabinet. He called for new elections to be held.
1999 May 17: General elections are held, resulting a fractured parliament and Ehud Barak as new prime minister.
December 15: Syrian foreign minister Faruq ash-Shara meets Barak in Washington D.C., USA for peace negotations.
2000 January 18: Syrian president Hafez al-Assad suspends the Syrian-Israeli talks, calling for Israeli willingness to withdraw to the 1967 borders between the two countries.
July 11-24: Negotiations between Barak and the Palestinian president Yassir Arafat in USA (Camp David) believed to have been concluded by a Israeli/US suggestion to give the Palestinians control over most of the occupied territory and shared control over Muslim parts of Jerusalem. According to some reports Arafat refused this, calling for full control over East Jerusalem, according to other reports he was positive to the suggestion but demanded clear guarantees for its implementation.
September 28: Ariel Sharon visits the Temple Mount, demonstrating Jewish sovereignty here. His visit causes strong reactions in the Muslim world, and would soon ignite what is called the Second Intifada.
2001 February 6: Barak loses to Ariel Sharon in the election.
2004 January 12: Israel starts building a wall between Jerusalem and the Palestinian dominated areas of West Bank, all on Palestinian territory.
October 26: Sharon's plan for complete withdrawal from the Gaza Strip is ratified by Knesset.
2006 June 25: An Israeli soldier is kidnapped by militant Palestinians. Israel starts a campaign against Gaza Strip, lasting 2 weeks, in which many central infrastructure is destroyed.




By Tore Kjeilen