Timeline of Events- Half a Century of Independence 1948-1998
 Timeline of Events- Half a Century of Independence 1948-1998
  Timeline of Events
Half a Century of Independence

 Timeline of Events- Half a Century of Independence 1948-1998
1948 | 1949 | 1950 | 1951 | 1952 | 1953 | 1954 | 1955 | 1956 | 1957
1958 | 1959 | 1960 | 1961 | 1962 | 1963 | 1964 | 1965 | 1966 | 1967
1968 | 1969 | 1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1974 | 1975 | 1976 | 1977
1978 | 1979 | 1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987
1988 | 1989 | 1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997


 Timeline of Events- Half a Century of Independence 1948-1998


 Timeline of Events- Half a Century of Independence 1948-1998

David Ben-Gurion reads Israel’s Proclamation of Independence
(Israel Government Press Office)

David Ben-Gurion declares the establishment of the State of Israel (May 14)
Israel is immediately recognized by the US and the USSR, followed by other countries
War of Independence begins (15 May) as the armies of Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon and a contingent from Iraq invade the new state; Jerusalem is besieged and a new road – nicknamed the Burma Road – is constructed to circumvent the original road; Jordan captures Jewish settlements in Gush Etzion, the northern Dead Sea area, and north of Jerusalem, as well as the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City; in 15 months of intermittent fighting, all invaders are repulsed
Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is founded, incorporating all the pre-state defense organizations
First census finds a population of 872,700 – 716,700 Jews and 156,000 non-Jews
Israeli lira replaces British pound as official currency, with identical value
Mass immigration from post-war Europe and Arab countries begins; in the years 1948-52, immigration was to bring 687,000 persons to Israel’s shores, doubling its Jewish population
Count Bernadotte, UN-appointed mediator, is assassinated in Jerusalem
The Altalena, a ship of the underground defense organization Etzel, is sunk off the shore of Tel Aviv by IDF guns


First Knesset (parliament) elections (25 January); David Ben-Gurion heads a Labor-led coalition government; until 1977 all governments will be headed by the Labor Party
First Knesset meets in Jerusalem

 Timeline of Events- Half a Century of Independence 1948-1998

Israel’s flag is raised at the United Nations
(Israel Government Press Office)

Chaim Weizmann is elected Israel’s first president by the Knesset
Umm Rashrash, today Eilat, is captured by the IDF; a makeshift flag, drawn with ink, is raised
Jerusalem is declared capital of Israel
Israel admitted to the United Nations as its 59th member
The Weizmann Institute of Science is inaugurated in Rehovot
Armistice agreements are signed with Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon
Jerusalem is divided between Israel and Jordan, with Jordan controlling the Old City and east Jerusalem, and Israel controlling the western and southern parts of the city
The government institutes tzena, rationing of food and other necessities
First ulpan – special classes for intensive teaching of Hebrew – is opened
Operation Magic Carpet – aliya of Jews from Yemen – begins
Theodor Herzl, the father of Zionism, who died in 1904 and was buried in Vienna, is reinterred in Jerusalem
Israel’s population exceeds one million


 Timeline of Events- Half a Century of Independence 1948-1998

New immigrants
(Israel Government Press Office)

The Knesset and most government ministries move to Jerusalem; the Knesset convenes in temporary quarters until the completion of its permanent home in 1966
Operation Ezra and Nehemiah, bringing Jews to Israel from Iraq, begins
First ma’abara, temporary camp for new immigrants, is established
The Law of Return, granting Jews the right to come to Israel as olim (immigrants) and become citizens, is passed by the Knesset
Great Britain recognizes the State of Israel
The Eilat port is opened
The Nazis and Nazi Collaborators (Punishment) Law is passed by the Knesset


A seamans’ strike paralyzes Israel’s ports for many months
The Hula valley reclamation project, turning swampland into arable land, begins
An incident in El-Hama starts a series of clashes with Syria
Elections to the Second Knesset
The Zionist Congress convenes in Jerusalem for the first time
Egged bus transport cooperative is formed
Split in the kibbutz movement


Reparations agreement with Germany is signed, despite protest demonstrations
Yitzhak Ben-Zvi is elected Israel’s second president, after the death in office of President Chaim Weizmann
Israel participates in the Olympic Games (in Helsinki) for the first time
Operation Coresh – immigration of Iranian Jewry
The First Zimriya, a triennial choral festival bringing choirs from all around the world, opens


 Timeline of Events- Half a Century of Independence 1948-1998

Yad Vashem, Holocaust memorial
(Israel Government Press Office)

Yad Vashem (Israel’s Holocaust memorial) is established in Jerusalem
Ministry of Foreign Affairs is moved to Jerusalem
Security situation on border with Jordan worsens; many infiltration incidents
Diplomatic relations between Israel and the USSR are broken off
Moshe Dayan is appointed Chief of General Staff of the IDF
The Academy of the Hebrew Language, which guides the formal linguistic development of Hebrew, is founded
The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, dedicated to the protection and conservation of nature and the environment in Israel, is established
Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion retires to Kibbutz Sde Boker


Moshe Sharett becomes prime minister
Egypt stops Israeli freighter, Bat Galim, from passing through the Suez Canal, in contravention of the armistice agreement
Israeli intelligence fiasco in Egypt causes a scandal (Esek Bish) which continues for nearly a decade and forces Israel’s Minister of Defense, Pinchas Lavon, to resign
Immigration from North Africa accelerates amid growing anti-Semitism in these countries
Infiltrators from across the Jordanian border attack a bus at Ma’ale Akrabim in the northern Negev and murder 11 passengers
A light plane crashes at a memorial ceremony for Jewish paratroopers in Europe during World War II, at Kibbutz Ma’agan Michael, killing 17


 Timeline of Events- Half a Century of Independence 1948-1998

The Dead Sea Scrolls
( Baruch Gian)

The four remaining Dead Sea Scrolls, acquired for the State of Israel by Prof. Yigael Yadin, arrive in Israel
Oil is found in the Heletz oilfield in the Negev, but the quantity is small
Elections for Third Knesset; David Ben-Gurion again becomes prime minister
Bar Ilan University, with its emphasis on Jewish heritage studies, is opened in Ramat Gan
Two Egyptian Jews are hanged after being convicted of spying for Israel
Prime Minister of Burma U Nu pays an official visit to Israel – the first by any state leader
Dr. Israel Kastner, a leader of Hungarian Jewry who later immigrated to Israel, is found guilty in a district court of collaboration with the Nazis during WWII
Kiryat Gat is established in the Lachish area
Bulgarian fighter planes down an El Al civilian airliner over Bulgaria; 58 killed


Incursions of armed infiltrators across the border with Egypt increase, resulting in many casualties
The Mafdal – National Religious Party – is established
Golda Meir becomes minister of foreign affairs, replacing Moshe Sharett
Nasser nationalizes the Suez Canal
France gives Israel military aid
Sinai Campaign is launched by Israel, parallel to a British and French operation, following an Egyptian blockade of the Straits of Tiran; in the course of the fighting, Israel captures the Gaza Strip and the entire Sinai peninsula
Tel Aviv University is opened
IDF soldiers, contravening orders, open fire on Arab villagers in Kafr Kassem violating the curfew, killing 49; those responsible are given extended prison sentences


Israel withdraws from the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula, with assurances of free passage for its shipping through the Suez Canal
The draining of the Hula swamp is completed, providing arable land and preventing malaria
The Mann Auditorium is inaugurated in Tel Aviv
Immigration from Eastern European countries – especially Poland and Hungary – as well as from Egypt, increases


MASHAV Center for International Cooperation is established by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to share development know-how
The first International Bible Contest is held in Jerusalem
The cornerstone for the Knesset building is laid in Jerusalem
Egypt and Syria unite to form the United Arab Republic
The Supreme Court finds Israel Kastner innocent of collaboration with the Nazis
The Hebrew University campus at Givat Ram is inaugurated
Israel’s population exceeds two million


The Employment Service is established
Heichal Shlomo – seat of the Chief Rabbinate – is inaugurated
Tzena (rationing) ends
Elections for the Fourth Knesset
A series of riots with an ethnic-socio-economic basis take place in the Haifa suburb of Wadi Salib
The Navy’s first submarine, the Tanin (crocodile), arrives in Haifa
Habima is declared the national theater of Israel


Hadassah Hospital and Hebrew University Medical School is inaugurated at Ein Karem in Jerusalem
Israel Lands Authority is established to manage state and JNF lands
Letters from the Bar Kochba archive (second century CE) are discovered in a dig in the Judean desert
The National Commission for Space Research is founded


Operation Yachin, bringing immigrants from Morocco to Israel, commences
The Egoz, carrying immigrants from Morocco, sinks; 43 passengers drown
The Shavit II, an experimental meteorological satellite, is launched
Adolf Eichmann, organizer of the Nazi extermination program during World War II, stands trial in Jerusalem; he is found guilty and sentenced to death for crimes against humanity and the Jewish people, and is hanged in 1962
Israel Ber, military historian and advisor to the Minister of Defense, is arrested for spying for the USSR and sentenced to 15 years in prison
Elections for the Fifth Knesset
Hai Bar – an project to reintroduce animals which once roamed the land of Israel to their former natural habitats – is begun; stations will be set up in the Arava and the Carmel forest


Yerid Hamizrach, an international commercial fair opens in Tel Aviv; 33 countries participate
An economic program which includes a large devaluation of the lira (Israel’s currency) and the cancellation of subsidies on basic commodities lead to inflation and a rise of the deficit in the balance of trade


 Timeline of Events- Half a Century of Independence 1948-1998

(Richard Nowitz)

President Ben-Zvi dies in office; Zalman Shazar elected Israel’s third president
Levi Eshkol becomes prime minister after the resignation of David Ben-Gurion
Haifa University is opened
Archeological excavations begin at Masada, under the direction of Prof. Yigael Yadin


Pope Paul VI visits Israel; President Shazar receives him in Megiddo
The Palestine Liberation Organization is founded
The National Water Carrier, bringing water from the north and center of the country to the semi-arid south, is completed
Ze’ev Jabotinsky, father of Revisionist Zionism, who died in 1940, is reinterred in Jerusalem
Karmiel is established in the lower Galilee
Yitzhak Rabin is chosen as Chief of General Staff
The Nature Reserves Authority is founded


 Timeline of Events- Half a Century of Independence 1948-1998

The Israel Museum
(Baruch Gian)

The PLO’s first terror attack – an attack on the National Water Carrier – takes place
Eli Cohen, an Israeli agent, is hanged in Damascus
The Israel Museum in Jerusalem is founded as the country’s national museum
Teddy Kollek becomes mayor of Jerusalem; his term of office, after being re-elected six times, lasts 28 years
Elections for the Sixth Knesset
Israel and Germany establish diplomatic relations
Neot Kedumim, a biblical landscape reserve, is founded


The permanent Knesset building is inaugurated in Jerusalem
Hebrew writer S.Y. Agnon is co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for literature
Abie Natan, Israeli peace activist, flies to Egypt
Coca Cola announces its plans to open a plant to produce Coca Cola in Israel, despite the Arab boycott
An economic plan calling for less government spending and less private consumption leads to an excessive slowdown of the economy and mass unemployment
Educational television broadcasts begin


National unity government is formed to face massive military build-ups by the neighboring Arab states and an Egyptian blockade of the Straits of Tiran
Six-Day War – Israel invokes its inherent right of self-defense by launching a preemptive strike; Judea, Samaria, Gaza, and Sinai peninsula come under Israeli control; Jerusalem officially reunited under Israeli control; The Golan Heights are taken by Israel after fierce fighting against attacking Syrian forces
Open Bridges policy across the Jordan River bridges, for goods and people, is instituted
Sea-to-sea missiles fired from Egyptian missile boats near Port Said sink the Israeli destroyer Eilat; 47 are killed or missing and presumed dead
UN General Assembly Resolution 242 adopted, providing an agreed framework for settling the Arab-Israel dispute
Military government is established in administered areas
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev is opened


The submarine Dakar disappears on its maiden voyage in the Mediterranean
Mapai, Ahdut Ha’avoda and Rafi join together to form the Israel Labour Party
First television broadcasts
Jews return to Gush Etzion, abandoned after its capture by the Jordanians in 1948
Jews return to Hebron, abandoned in 1929 when over 60 Jews there were massacred and the rest of the Jewish community evacuated to Jerusalem
Israel television broadcasts begin
The PLO formulates its covenant, which negates the existence of Israel
Palestinian terror attacks intensify, including the hijacking of an El Al plane from Rome to Algeria
War of Attrition is initiated by Egypt and Jordan, causing heavy casualties on both sides
A car bomb in the Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem kills 12, injures 70
National Insurance Law is passed


Prime Minister Levi Eshkol dies in office; Golda Meir becomes prime minister
Five French-built torpedo boats, purchased and paid for by Israel, are successfully brought from Cherbourg port to Haifa, despite French arms embargo
Elections for Seventh Knesset; Golda Meir remains prime minister
War of Attrition, sporadic military actions by Egypt along the Suez Canal, escalates until a renewed cease-fire is achieved
Phantom planes acquired from the US arrive in Israel


Twelve children from moshav Avivim are killed in a terrorist attack
Refuseniks in the USSR are sentenced to death for hijacking an airplane
Black September: clashes between Jordanian forces and the PLO, in an attempt by the PLO to take control of the country, end in Jordanian victory; the PLO regroups in Lebanon
A series of hijackings of international airliners is perpetrated by Palestinian terrorists
Israel’s population exceeds three million


Black Panthers, a radical protest movement of Israelis of mid-eastern and north African background, is active for some time; some of its members later enter politics
Intensive American efforts to reach a settlement between Israel and Egypt bear no fruit
Israel’s consul-general in Istanbul killed by terrorists


 Timeline of Events- Half a Century of Independence 1948-1998

Satellite station in the Valley of Elah
(Baruch Gian)

The IDF frees the hostages on a hijacked Sabena plane at Lod airport
Three Japanese terrorists open fire at Lod airport, killing 25 and injuring 72
Eleven Israeli athletes are murdered by PLO terrorists at the Munich Olympic Games
Immigration from the USSR increases, totaling some 100,000 Jews in the 1970s
The satellite communication station in Emek Ha’ela is opened
A number of letter bombs are sent to Israeli embassies abroad; Israel’s agricultural attache in London is killed


A Libyan civilian plane is erroneously downed by the IDF in Sinai
Ephraim Katzir becomes Israel’s fourth president
The Herut Movement and the Liberal Party join to form the Likud
Israel’s military attache in Washington killed by terrorists
Yom Kippur War – on the Day of Atonement, the holiest day of the Jewish year, Egypt and Syria launch a coordinated surprise attack, repulsed by Israel after fierce fighting and heavy losses
UN General Assembly passes Resolution 338, calling for a settlement of the Arab-Israel conflict on the basis of Resolution 242 of 1967
David Ben-Gurion, first prime minister, regarded as the father of the State of Israel, dies
Elections for the Eighth Knesset


Golda Meir forms new government
Agranat Commission, appointed to investigate the causes of the unreadiness and thus the initial losses of the IDF during the Yom Kippur War; the commission concluded that the senior military officers, not the political leadership, was responsible
Anti-government protest demonstrations take place
Prime Minister Golda Meir resigns

 Timeline of Events- Half a Century of Independence 1948-1998

Kdumim – settlement in Samaria
(Baruch Gian)

Yitzhak Rabin becomes prime minister
Twenty-one youths are killed in terrorist attack in Ma’alot
Separation-of-forces agreement signed with Egypt
Disengagement agreement is signed with Syria
Gush Emunim, a movement claiming Jewish rights over historical Israel (advocating settling Judea and Samaria) becomes active
The Open University, offering higher education opportunities with flexible methods, is opened
First Arthur Rubinstein Piano Competition takes place
The US-Israel Binational Science Foundation, to foster civilian research, is founded


UN General Assembly Resolution 3375 equates Zionism with racism
Israel signs treaty with EC, instituting a free trade area for industrial products and leading to a significant increase in trade
Terrorists landing by sea attack Savoy Hotel in Tel Aviv; 3 IDF soldiers are killed in clash
Suez Canal is reopened by Egypt after eight years
Israel exhibits the Kfir, an aircraft designed and produced in Israel
The Knesset passes law mandating direct elections of mayors and heads of local councils
HIPPY – a home-based program for the educational enrichment of disadvantaged preschool children, starts operation


The IDF frees hostages held captive in Entebbe, Uganda, who had been captured by terrorists during the hijacking of an airliner en route to Paris; the action is named Operation Jonathan , after Jonathan Netanyahu, an officer killed during the action
Prime Minister Rabin resigns over domestic scandal
Good Fence policy instituted between Israel and Lebanon
Land Day is marked by Israeli Arabs for the first time; demonstrations and clashes with police, in protest over confiscation of Arab land, leave 6 dead
Yigael Yadin establishes the Democratic Movement for Change
Yad Sarah, an institution which loans medical equipment for free, is established


 Timeline of Events- Half a Century of Independence 1948-1998

President Sadat of Egypt speaks at the Knesset
(Israel Government Press Office)

Elections for the Ninth Knesset – Likud party wins elections, ending 29 years of Labor party rule; Menachem Begin becomes prime minister
Egyptian President Sadat visits Jerusalem, breaking the cycle of Arab rejection of Israel
Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team wins European Championship
Prime Minister Begin permits a group of Vietnamese boat refugees to enter Israel
The US-Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund and the US-Israel Binational Industrial R&D Foundation, supporting R&D in their respective fields, are founded
Project Renewal, to improve the quality of life for inhabitants of distressed urban neighborhoods and towns, commences


A bus is hijacked by terrorists on the coastal road; 35 passengers are killed
Operation Litani – action against terrorist strongholds in southern Lebanon in response to attacks on civilians in northern Israel
Peace Now movement is founded
Diaspora Museum is opened in Tel Aviv
Yitzhak Navon becomes Israel’s fifth president
Camp David Accords, constituting a basis for peace between Israel and Egypt, as well as a basis for comprehensive peace in the Middle East, are signed by Israel and Egypt
Prime Minister Begin and Egyptian President Sadat awarded Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to bring peace to the Middle East


Peace Treaty is signed with Egypt, ending a 30-year cycle of war
El-Arish is returned to Egypt, in accordance with the peace treaty
The United Kibbutz Movement is founded


Embassy of Israel is opened in Cairo
Basic Law: "Jerusalem, Capital of Israel" is passed by Knesset
Inflation continues to soar; lira is replaced by shekel (1 shekel = 10 liras)
Israel continues its withdrawal from Sinai – including the Refidim air base
The number of tourists arriving annually exceeds one million for the first time
Israel’s exports surpass $10 billion


 Timeline of Events- Half a Century of Independence 1948-1998

Office building in Tel Aviv
(Baruch Gian)

Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team wins the European Championship for the second time
Iraqi nuclear reactor is destroyed by the Israel Air Force, weeks before it is due to become operative
Elections for the Tenth Knesset; Menachem Begin remains prime minister
Memorandum of Understanding is signed with USA, forming the basis for civilian and military cooperation
The Golan Heights Law is passed by the Knesset


Attache at Israel’s embassy in Paris killed by terrorists
Israel completes withdrawal from Sinai in accordance with the Israel-Egypt peace treaty, despite widespread protest
Israel’s ambassador in London severely wounded by terrorists
Operation Peace for Galilee is launched against PLO terrorist strongholds in Lebanon used for attacks against northern Israel; the IDF withdraws from Lebanon in 1985, retaining a presence in a security zone in southern Lebanon
Hundreds of thousands of Israelis demonstrate against the war in Lebanon
Christian Phalangist forces massacre Muslim refugees in Sabra and Shatilla in southern Lebanon; Five months later, in February 1983, the Kahan Commission concludes that while direct responsibility for the massacre lay with the Lebanese Phalangist forces, Israel – especially naming Minister of Defense Ariel Sharon – could have done more to prevent or limit the danger of revenge attacks
The IDF headquarters building in Tyre is destroyed by a massive bomb; 75 killed
Sha’are Tzedek Hospital, founded in 1902, inaugurates its modern new building in Jerusalem
Israel’s population exceeds four million


A Peace Now activist is killed when a Jewish extremist throws a grenade at a Peace Now demonstration
Chaim Herzog is elected sixth president
Prime Minister Begin resigns; a new government headed by Yitzhak Shamir is formed
A major stock exchange crisis threatens the economy as a whole
A truck loaded with explosives in Tyre kills 60, Israelis and Arabs, and wounds dozens


Terrorists take over a bus on its way from Tel Aviv to Ashkelon, killing one passenger
Jewish underground operating in Judea and Samaria is uncovered and its members given prison sentences ranging from 8 years to life; most are pardoned by the President after several years in prison
A concert of the music group Kaveret in Park Hayarkon draws a record crowd of 500,000
Elections for the Eleventh Knesset; a national unity government is formed, with the rotation of prime ministers; Shimon Peres becomes prime minister
Operation Moses brings some 7,000 Jews from the ancient Jewish community of Ethiopia to Israel


Israel Aircraft Industries unveils the first prototype of the Lavi fighter plane; the program is discontinued in 1987 for budgetary reasons
Free trade agreement is signed with the United States
Over a thousand terrorists imprisoned in Israel are exchanged for three Israeli POWs from the war in Lebanon
Israel withdraws from Lebanon, retaining a narrow security zone to protect northern Israel
An emergency stabilization program put into effect by the government, succeeds in lowering annual inflation from 445% to 20%
Administrative attache at Israel embassy in Cairo killed by terrorists
The New Israeli Shekel replaces the shekel: NIS 1 = IS 1,000
An Egyptian soldier opens fire on a group of Israeli tourists and kills 7
Eilat becomes a free trade zone
Jonathan Pollard is tried for spying for Israel in the US and sentenced to life imprisonment
Tefen industrial park, a launching pad for start-up export industries with surroundings planned with environmental awareness, opens its gates


Diplomatic relations established with Spain
Anatoly (Natan) Sharansky, well-known refusenik in the USSR, arrives in Israel as a new immigrant
Israel embassy employee in Cairo killed by terrorists
Prime Minister Peres meets with King Hassan II in Morocco
Ron Arad, Israeli Air Force navigator, is captured in Lebanon; his fate is still unknown
Yitzhak Shamir becomes prime minister, as part of the rotation agreement signed in 1984
An Israel interest office is opened in Warsaw, reestablishing limited diplomatic ties between Israel and Eastern Europe
The first liver transplant in Israel takes place


The trial of John Demjanjuk, accused of murdering Jews during World War II, opens in Jerusalem; he is found guilty but later acquitted on appeal for lack of evidence
Widespread violence (intifada) starts in the Israel-administered areas
The Germany-Israel Foundation for Scientific Research and Development, supporting basic and applied research in areas of mutual interest, is founded
Popular University, a project supplying higher education under municipal and regional auspices, begins
The first heart transplant in Israel takes place


Memorandum of Understanding is signed with the US, expanding cooperation between them
Israel and the US begin cooperation on the production of the Arrow missile
Elections for Twelfth Knesset; Yitzhak Shamir remains prime minister of national unity government
Hundreds of dunams of forest are destroyed by fires set by intifada activists
An Israeli Consulate is opened in Moscow


Taba is returned to Egypt after international arbitration
The New Israeli Opera opens its doors
Sixteen bus passengers are killed on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway as a terrorist gains control of a bus and drives it over a cliff
A Syrian pilot defects to Israel, landing a MIG-23 at Megiddo


 Timeline of Events- Half a Century of Independence 1948-1998

Immigrants from the former Soviet Union
(Israel Government Press Office)

Mass immigration of Jews from the Soviet Union begins; within several years, more than 700,000 immigrants arrive
The national unity government falls after a no-confidence vote; immediately thereafter, Labor party ministers resign; a new government of right-wing and religious elements is formed
The Israeli satellite Ofek 2 is launched into space
First successful test of the Arrow missile
Diplomatic relations with the USSR and other Eastern European countries are reestablished
A terror attack on Israeli tourists in Egypt kills 10
Israel’s GDP growth rises to some 6%; this will continue throughout the early 1990s


 Timeline of Events- Half a Century of Independence 1948-1998

Immigrants from Ethiopia
(Israel Government Press Office)

Israel is attacked by Iraqi Scud missiles during Gulf War
Operation Solomon – most of the Jews remaining in Ethiopia, some 15,000, are brought to Israel in a massive airlift
Middle East Peace Conference convenes in Madrid, bringing together representatives of Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinians
UN General Assembly rescinds the resolution equating Zionism with racism
Israel’s population exceeds five million


Israel and China establish diplomatic relations
Knesset passes law providing for direct election of the prime minister, to go into effect from the elections for the Fourteenth Knesset (1996)
An attack on Israel’s embassy in Buenos Aires leaves 29 dead and dozens wounded
Elections for Thirteenth Knesset; Yitzhak Rabin of the Labor party becomes prime minister
Benjamin Netanyahu is elected chairman of the Likud party
Israel wins its first Olympic medals, silver and bronze in judo
The new Supreme Court building is opened


Ezer Weizman is elected Israel’s seventh president
Operation Din Veheshbon – after continued Katyusha attacks on northern Israel, IDF attacks Hizbullah bases in southern Lebanon
Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements is signed by Israel and the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people
Diplomatic relations are established between Israel and the Holy See


 Timeline of Events- Half a Century of Independence 1948-1998

Nobel Peace Prize recipients
(Israel Government Press Office)

A Jewish extremist kills 29 Muslim worshippers in Hebron
A suicide bomber blows up a bus in Tel Aviv, killing 24 and wounding dozens
Gaza-Jericho Agreement between Israel and the PLO is signed in Cairo
Israel-Jordan peace treaty is signed, establishing full diplomatic relations between the two states
Morocco and Tunisia interest offices are opened
Rabin, Peres and Arafat are awarded Nobel Peace Prize


National Health Insurance Law goes into effect
Ofek 3 satellite is launched
Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip is signed by Israel and the PLO, providing for broadened self-government by the Palestinians
Treaty of Association is signed with EU, broadening trade relations
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is assassinated by a Jewish extremist at a peace rally; Shimon Peres becomes prime minister
The number of tourists arriving annually exceeds two million for the first time


A series of suicide attacks in Jerusalem, Ashkelon and Tel Aviv kills over 60 Israelis
Operation Grapes of Wrath against terrorist bases in Lebanon is launched
IDF redeploys in Judea and Samaria, including redeployment from six cities
Trade representation offices are established in Oman and Qatar
Elections for Fourteenth Knesset and first direct elections for prime minister; Benjamin Netanyahu of the Likud party is elected prime minister
Omani trade representation office opened in Tel Aviv
The Western Wall Tunnel is opened to the public; violent Palestinian riots follow
Israeli wins bronze medal in windsurfing competition at the Atlanta Olympics
Israel’s per-capita GDP – over $16,000 – places it 21st among 200 nations in he world; exports of goods and services top $31 billion; gross investment – from Israel and abroad – totals $23.8 billion


 Timeline of Events- Half a Century of Independence 1948-1998

Hebrew Book Week
(Israel Government Press Office)

Protocol Concerning the Redeployment in Hebron signed between Israel and the PA
The crash of two helicopters in northern Israel kills 73 soldiers
Seven schoolgirls are murdered by a Jordanian soldier at Naharayim, on the border between Israel and Jordan
Suicide bombers in Jerusalem kill 21 in two separate attacks
Israeli wins silver medal at European Swimming Championship
Industry continues to make international-level strides in medical electronics, agrotechnology, telecommunications, fine chemicals, computer hardware and software and diamond cutting and polishing, making Israel a leader in industry towards the 21st century


Israel celebrates its 50th anniversary