1575804835637

History of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

  • Period: to

    Zionism/Early Jewish Immigration

    In the early 1900s, this land was still part of the Ottoman Empire before becoming a "Mandate" run by the British Empire in 1917. Just before and during this transition, hundreds of thousands of Jews (mostly European) migrated away from persecution and toward their ancestral homeland. Almost immediately, communal violence between the parties intensified in every sense.
  • Glimpse of Jerusalem's Demographics

    Glimpse of Jerusalem's Demographics
    In 1910, the population of Jerusalem was about 69,900, with 45,000 or 64.4% being Jews and 12,000 Muslims (17%), as well as 12,900 Christians (18.4%).
  • British Encourage Arab Uprising against Ottoman Empire

    British Encourage Arab Uprising against Ottoman Empire
    One of the highly controversial parts of British involvement in this region comes from the correspondence between Sharif Hussein of Mecca (governor of a province), and Sir Henry McMahon (British high commissioner to Egypt). Through 8 letters, they agreed on terms to encourage Arabs to revolt against their overlords in the Ottoman Empire, subsequently entering WWI with the allies. In exchange, Hussein demanded recognition by the British of the independence of Arab regions.
  • Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire Commenses

    Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire Commenses
    In response to the Hussein-McMahon Letters and the opportunity for independence while the Ottomans were distracted in the midst of war, Sharif Hussein bin Ali (King of the Arabs), launched the Great Arab Revolt. With his sons leading the Arab forces, they began to rebel against Ottoman rule, eventually freeing Damascus and, by the end of the war, controlling modern Jordan, most of the Arabian peninsula, and southern Syria.
  • Sykes-Picot Agreement Divides the Middle East

    Sykes-Picot Agreement Divides the Middle East
    This Agreement, from French diplomat Francois Georges-Picot and British Sir Mark Sykes, laid down the borders of the Middle East as we now know them (for the most part). After 5 months of negotiations, these men marked straight lines with a grease pencil on a map, with the sole reasoning of these lines being most likely to create "uncomplicated borders". The agreement divided Ottoman land into Iraq, Transjordan, and Palestine for the British, and Syria and Lebanon for the French.
  • Balfour Declaration

    Balfour Declaration
    In this declaration, the British Government stated its support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine, despite supporting the Arabs in their independence, which complicated the situation intensely. In fact, they pledged "best endeavors" to facilitate the achievement of a national home for the Jewish people. However, the declaration ensured no prejudice against the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities.
  • Period: to

    League of Nations Divides Former Ottoman Territories into Mandates

    This new international group divided the territory into mandates, largely based on the previous Sykes-Picot Agreement. Syria and Lebanon were awarded to France, with Iraq and newly created Palestine to Britain. The mandates would be administered like trusts, under supervision of the League, as a temporary form of power until the inhabitants were supposedly "ready" for independence. In the western half of Palestine, Palestinian Arabs and Zionist Jews wrestled for control, causing violence.
  • Period: to

    Mass Jewish Immigration to Palestine

    As Nazis assumed power in early 1933, a massive migration of German and other Jews seeking to find a safe haven from persecution emigrated to Palestine. About 154,300 Jews (some 34,700 from Germany) entered Palestine legally, with thousands more illegally. This concentration of Jews in the region increased the demographic percentage from 17 percent in 1931 to 30 percent in 1935 and even higher.
  • Period: to

    WWII and the Holocaust

    During the beginning of Hitler's dictatorship, German Jews felt over 400 degrees and regulations restricting their private and public lives. As we all know, the situation worsened, and with Germany invading Poland in 1939 and eventually most of Europe. The Final Solution saw deportations of millions of Jews to efficient killing centers. This systematic genocide of over 6 million Jews in inhumane conditions is the foundations for the need of a refuge for the Jewish people.
  • Period: to

    Arab Revolt in Palestine against British Mandate

    In April 1936, resistance by Palestinians to foreign rule and clashes against Jews evolved into a major rebellion lasting until WWII. Further provocation came as the British government issued permits for thousands of new immigrants, despite Palestinian opposition. Violence increased into attacks on British troops, Jewish settlements, roads, railways, pipelines, and other infrastructure. Jewish reprisals also formed, and though a political committee was formed to investigate, thousands died.
  • Period: to

    Palestinian Collaboration with the Axis Powers

    Arab nationalist and Muslim religious leader, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husayni, sought public recognition from the Axis powers of his status as leader of a proposed Arab nation. He also sought approval from Axis powers to "eliminate" the proposed Jewish homeland in Palestine. Collaborating with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, he broadcast anti-Allied and anti-Jewish propaganda to the Arab world, pouring more hatred of Jews onto the world stage.
  • Jewish Resistance to British Mandate

    Jewish Resistance to British Mandate
    By 1944, Jewish attacks on British troops and police, as well as raids on British arms/supply depots, and even bombings of British installations were common. In addition, military training camps were set up in order to train an army to fight the British with the end goal of freedom from British imperialism.
  • Britain Refers Future of Palestine to the UN

    Britain Refers Future of Palestine to the UN
    Unable to reconcile conflicting obligations to Jews and Arabs (see past events), Britain decided to request the UN takes up the question of the Palestinian future. Subsequentially, the UN Special Committee on Palestine was created by a General Assembly resolution, and by investigating Palestine, they were instructed to submit proposals. Two proposals emerged - a federal State plan and a partition plan, with the latter being passed 7-3.
  • UN Partitions Palestine into Separate States

    UN Partitions Palestine into Separate States
    On this day, the UN votes 33-13 (10 abstentions) to partition western Palestine into two states. This original plan had the Jewish state consisting of the Negev desert, between Tel Aviv and Haifa, and parts of the northern Galilee. The Arab state would consist of the West Bank, Gaza, Jaffa, and Arab sectors of the Galilee. Zionists accepted this partition plan despite wanting to control the entire region, but Arabs rejected it, feeling Palestine was all theirs; that Jews were a foreign implant.
  • Jewish Forces Attack Palestinian Village

    Jewish Forces Attack Palestinian Village
    Dayr Yasin, a village, was attacked by Jewish forces in an attempt to clear the besieged roads leading the Jerusalem - as part of the first time Jewish forces fought for the viability of their own settlements. This had intense ramifications, as it was used by the Arab media s the focus of the claim of innate wickedness of Zionism. Stories prompted mass demonstrations and attacks on Jewish communities in retaliation.
  • Israel Declares Independence

    Israel Declares Independence
    On this day, David Ben-Gurion read Israel's Declaration of Independence, proclaiming the establishment of the Jewish state in Palestine to be named Israel. It pledged that Israel would be based on the principles of liberty, justice, and peace and would uphold the social and political equality of all citizens, regardless of religion, race, or sex. Specifically, it promised equal rights to the Arab inhabitants of Israel and extended an olive branch to neighboring states.
  • First Arab-Israeli War Begins

    First Arab-Israeli War Begins
    Immediately following (the night of and day after) the pronunciation of independence of Israel, 5 Arab nations invaded the former mandate area. Arabs launched an air attack on Tel Aviv, followed by invasion from Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt simultaneously. After tense early fighting, Israeli forces gained the offensive, managing to hold all areas they were assigned AND seize part of the Palestinian land. Jordan annexed the WB and Egypt took the Gaza District during the free-for-all.
  • 700,000 Palestinians Become Refugees

    700,000 Palestinians Become Refugees
    As a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, as many as 700k Palestinians fled their homes - some voluntarily to avoid war or at urging of Arab leaders promising a quick Arab victory, and some forced by Israel's allies. Of those that left, 1/3 went to Jordanian West Bank, 1/3 went to the Gaza Strip (Egyptian controlled), and others to Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. The UNRWA was created to see the integration of these refugees into the Arab nations.
  • Israel Signs Armistice Agreements

    Israel Signs Armistice Agreements
    2/24 - Israel signs Armistice Agreement with Egypt, determining that borders were to coincide with the international boundary of the former mandatory territory.
    3/23 - Israel signs agreement with Lebanon, also supposed to coincide with previous boundaries.
    4/3 - Though more complicated, an agreement was signed with Transjordan as well.
    7/20 - Israel demanded that Syria evacuate areas occupied by them during the war, they concurred (provided demilitarization), and an agreement was signed.
  • Period: to

    Sustained Conflict Between Arabs and Israelis

    During this time, Leaders and news media voiced propaganda and threats from both sides. The Arab world closed ranks in waging massive political warfare on Israel, refused to recognize the state on maps, and attempted to persuade the rest of the world to follow suit. A comprehensive Arab economic boycott was imposed (inc. close of Suez Canal). Arab infiltration along borders, daily trespassings, and shootings, as well as the occasional murder of Israelis, generated extreme hostility.
  • Second Arab-Israeli War Erupts

    Second Arab-Israeli War Erupts
    After Egypt blocked Israeli ships from the Suez canal (violating their armistice agreement), and cutting off the port of Eilat from the Red Sea, Palestinians found it timely to launch cross-border attacks from Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. When Egypt nationalized the Suez, thereby threatening British and French interests, Israel, Britain, and France planned an attack. Israel begins an assault, capturing Gaza and the Sinai. UN forces were stationed to prevent a blockade and deter infiltrations.
  • UNEF Supervises Withdrawal of Britain, France, Israel

    UNEF Supervises Withdrawal of Britain, France, Israel
    UN Emergency Forces supervised a truce, with Britain and France withdrawing by 12/23 and Israel a few months later. UNEF troops were posted in Gaza to safeguard Israeli shipping, and Egypt could return to Gaza to administer it, but in May of 1967 when UNEF withdrew, Egypt immediately closed the Straits to Israeli shipping.
  • PLO Forms

    PLO Forms
    The Palestinian Liberation Organization is established in response to growing salience of the Palestine question, increasing friction with Israel over public works, and the growth of Palestinian nationalist activity. The PLO became the arena for this activity, directed at achieving independence and securing the return of the 700k refugees.
  • Six-Day War Begins

    Six-Day War Begins
    Israel launched a preemptive strike against Egypt, Syria, and Jordan (who made military agreements in the previous weeks and months). Nasser, the Egyptian president, had declared his intention to annihilate the Jewish state while building troop concentrations along their shared border. The war that followed, for only 6 days, ended with Israel once again occupying the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, all of Jordan's West Bank, and Syria's Golan Heights - causing 250k Palestinians to become displaced.
  • Arab Summit conference Declares Israel Will Not Be Recognized

    Arab Summit conference Declares Israel Will Not Be Recognized
    An Arab conference held in Khartoum, Sudan, was the first meeting of Arab leaders since the 6-day war. The conference ended with the infamous resolution of the "3 noes" - no recognition, no negotiation, and no peace with Israel. This is a key underlying factor in the stubbornness that is to come.
  • UN Security Council Passes Resolution 242

    UN Security Council Passes Resolution 242
    In response to the 6-day war, the UN Security Council passes Resolution 242, which focused on the inadmissibility of acquisition of territory via war and, instead, the need to work for peace in the area. It emphasized long-term security for each state, despite the hostile situation at the time.
  • Period: to

    War of Attrition with Egypt

    This continuous and often static war surrounded the ceasefire borders of the Six-Day War. The philosophy of President Nasser was not to take over the Sinai, as that was seen as an impossible feat, but rather to break the spirit of Israel via attrition. Despite Egypt's superiority in strength and with the Soviet Union as a weapons supplier, Israel's Air Force caused damage along the canal. This prompted the USSR to send rockets, radars, and 15,000 troops, but eventually, they urged a ceasefire.
  • Palestinian Guerillas Attempt to Overthrow Jordan, Expelled to Lebanon

    Palestinian Guerillas Attempt to Overthrow Jordan, Expelled to Lebanon
    Since Palestinian freedom groups had little success in Israel, these guerrilla organizations decided to try to pose a challenge to King Hussein of Jordan as an alternative. However, in the ensuing civil war, thousands of Palestinians were killed and Syrian forces, who tried to help Palestinian forces, were immediately expelled. As a result, the PLO (at 15,000 fighters), moved to Lebanon and established bases, organizing camps for the 200k Palestinian refugees and dividing local politics.
  • Palestinians Murder 11 Israeli Athletes at 1972 Olympics

    Palestinians Murder 11 Israeli Athletes at 1972 Olympics
    In Munich, Germany, Palestinian commandos armed with ARs broke into the Israeli team headquarters at Olympic village - killing 2 and taking 9 hostages (later, all killed). These commandos were part of the Black September movement, militants who broke away from the faction of the PLO. In the attack, they demanded the release of >200 Palestinian guerillas in Israel.
  • Yom Kippur War Begins

    Yom Kippur War Begins
    While Israelis are off guard observing Yom Kippur, Egypt launches a sudden attack on Israeli forces along the Suez Canal, with the Syrian army attacking at the same time along the Golan (this was planned timing). Egyptians were initially successful in crossing the canal, and Syrians in occupying some of the Golan. However, after several days, Israeli forces crossed the canal once again and drove Syrians back toward Damascus.
  • Cease Fire Agreement Marks First Superpower Involvement

    Cease Fire Agreement Marks First Superpower Involvement
    A US-Soviet proposal, along with peace talks, was adopted as Resolution 338 by the UN on 10/22. However, a US official told Tel Aviv that the US wouldn't object if the Israelis continued to advance. Yet, the same official agreed to a request to another ceasefire solution, with the USSR suggesting both parties send troops to implement the ceasefire. By the end of October 25, Israelis accepted Resolution 340, which called for a ceasefire AND withdrawal of forces to October 22 positions.
  • Arab League Recognized PLO as Legitimate Representative of Palestine

    Arab League Recognized PLO as Legitimate Representative of Palestine
    The Rabat Summit conference in 1974 was held between leaders of 20 Arab states and representatives of the PLO. The PLO demanded a walkout unless unconditional recognition was made by the other nations, even requiring a statement that any Palestinian territory liberated by any Arabs would be given to the Palestinian people. A compromise was created, which favored PLO interests by acknowledging the right of a Palestinian state, but without specification of being restricted to the WB.
  • UN Passes Resolution Calling Zionism a Form of Racism

    UN Passes Resolution Calling Zionism a Form of Racism
    Resolution 3379 proclaimed Zionism in conflict with resolution 1904 of 1963, which called for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The UN Assembly condemned Zionism as a threat to world peace and security, calling upon all countries to oppose the racist and imperialist ideology - as it was supposedly socially unjust to Palestinian inhabitants.
  • Israel Invades Southern Lebanon in Response to PLO Attack

    Israel Invades Southern Lebanon in Response to PLO Attack
    A commando attack in Israel on March 11 (with PLO claiming responsibility) resulted in many deaths and wounds. In response, Israel invaded Southern Lebanon, soon occupying almost the entire southern part of the country. The Lebanese Government submitted a protest to the UNSC, claiming it had no connection to the commando operation. On March 19, UNSC adopted resolutions 425 and 426, calling upon Israel to withdraw immediately and to establish UN troops in Lebanon.
  • Egypt and Israel Sign Peace Treaty

    Egypt and Israel Sign Peace Treaty
    In 1979, hosted by President Carter at the White House, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sada signed a peace treaty, the first such treaty between Israel and an Arab country. They agreed to establish diplomatic and economic relations and Egypt agreed to recognize Israel's legitimacy. Most importantly, Israel agreed to withdraw from the entire Sinai Peninsula; Egypt agreed to grand Israel access to the Suez Canal. The Arab league bans Egypt; Sadat assassinated.
  • Israel Invades Lebanon, Driving PLO out

    Israel Invades Lebanon, Driving PLO out
    Now with one less Arab enemy, Israel's invasion led to a long siege on the western part on Beirut itself, and ended with an agreement that the PLO would evacuate west Beirut. The PLO's military infrastructure was destroyed, and it was driven out of Beirut a couple of months later - reestablishing in Tunisia. Therefore, the organization no longer posed a threat near or along Israel's borders.
  • Reagan Plan Rejects Creation of Palestinian State

    Reagan Plan Rejects Creation of Palestinian State
    Reagan's plan, in response to earlier events of the year, upheld the autonomy for Palestinians of West Bank and the Gaza Strip and disapproved of Israeli settlements in these areas. It proposed that self-government for the West Bank and the Gaza strip would be self-government by Jordanian Palestinians. Israel would be obligated to withdraw in exchange for peace. Jerusalem was to be decided by negotiations. Both Israel and the PLO opposed the deal, and it was shelved.
  • Israel and Lebanon Sign Peace Agreement

    Israel and Lebanon Sign Peace Agreement
    Israel and Lebanon signed an agreement that recognized the international border between them as inviolable and ended the state of war between them. Israel was to withdraw its forces to 40-45 km from the border as a "security zone", and UNIFIL forces would control the area to the north. The actual withdrawal occurred about 2 years later.
  • Hamas is Founded

    Hamas is Founded
    Hamas was founded during the first intifada, later emerging at the forefront of armed resistance to Israel. It was originally described as a "nationalist-Islamic spinoff of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood". The name itself is an acronym for "Islamic Resistance Movement" in Arabic, and it was founded by a cleric who became an activist and preacher. The following year, Hamas published its charter, which called for the elimination of Israel and the establishment of an Islamic society at all costs.
  • First Palestinian Intifada Begins

    First Palestinian Intifada Begins
    Triggered by an incident in Gaza, this uprising came after Palestinian tensions and grievances broke into violence. The intifada broke out into Jerusalem itself, and Israel was forced to use tear gas to disperse demonstrators. The violence ended in a stalemate with Israel unable to eject the Israelis from any part of the region. Israel, within months, recognized the PLO and agreed to evacuate almost all of the WB and Gaza. The PLO agreed to recognized and make peace with Israel.
  • Jordan Renounces claim to West Bank, Severs Links

    Jordan Renounces claim to West Bank, Severs Links
    King Hussein of Jordan, as a culmination of past events, realized Palestinians would never accept them as their leader. He renounced his claim to the West Bank, mainly because he saw the intifada as a threat to his own kingdoms. Therefore, to distance Jordan, Hussein announced Jordan was severing all administrative and judicial links to the region, "in deference to the will of the PLO".
  • PNC Proclaims Establishment of a Palestinian State

    PNC Proclaims Establishment of a Palestinian State
    Yasir Arafat, the chairman of the PLO, declared the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, but one that recognized Israel (for the first time). Without indicating borders, he said that the 1947 UN plan would provide a basis for legitimacy (erasing all of Israel's gains over decades). The state was to include both the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and the Arab sector of Jerusalem, all of which were occupied by Israel.
  • Israel Enters Direct Negotiations with Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestinians

    Israel Enters Direct Negotiations with Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestinians
    At the Madrid Conference, Israel began face-to-face negotiations with Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestinians. Four sets of bilateral negotiations were established, first beginning right after this conference. Over a dozen rounds of bilateral talks were hosted by Washington at the State Department.
  • UN General Assembly Revokes Resolution 3379

    UN General Assembly Revokes Resolution 3379
    In Resolution 46/86, the General Assembly voted 111-25 to revoke the resolution of 1975 associating Zionism as a form of racism and racial discrimination. One of Israel's conditions for participating in the Madrid Peace Conference a month earlier was this revocation.
  • Oslo Peace Accord Signed by Israel and PLO

    Oslo Peace Accord Signed by Israel and PLO
    In this game-changing accord, Arafat of the PLO recognized Israel, renounced violence, and pledged support for repeal of clauses objectionable to Israel within the PLO charter. In exchange, PM Yitzhak Rubin of Israel recognized the PLO as the representative of Palestinians and accepted the PLO as a negotiating partner. President Clinton was present for the signing by Foreign officials from each side on the White House lawn.
  • Period: to

    37 Hamas Suicide Bombings

    This string of bombings heightened tensions, especially in such a short period of time. Most identified with Hamas, and Hamas took responsibility for most of the attacks. As a side note, this is the same organization that is now in governmental control of an entire entity - The Gaza Strip.
  • Hamas Carries out First Suicide Bombing

    Hamas Carries out First Suicide Bombing
    Despite the establishment of negotiations, the situation once again worsened when a member of Hamas blew his car up beside an Israeli bus. Between 1993 and the second intifada in 2000, 37 bombers exploded in Israel, with most identified as members of Hamas.
  • Massacre at the Tomb of the Patriarchs

    Massacre at the Tomb of the Patriarchs
    Baruch Goldstein, a member of the Jewish Defense League, opened fire at kneeling worshippers in the Ibrahim Mosque in Hebron, killing 29 and wounding 125 Palestinians. In retaliation, riots broke out across the West Bank after the massacre, continuing for over 2 days. In the months after, Hamas carried out 2 attacks supposedly in response to these events. The massacre slowed the intense peace talks and was the subject of international condemnation.
  • Cairo Agreement Signed by Israel and PLO

    Cairo Agreement Signed by Israel and PLO
    This agreement was monumental, transferring control of most of the Gaza Strip, as well as the area and city of Jericho to PA control. Israel remained in control of the borders between these autonomous areas and the outside world, as well as Jewish settlements that remained in the strip. The Agreement was signed by PLO leader Arafat and Israeli PM Rabin, who essentially came the closest of any combination of leaders to complete peace.
  • Israel and Jordan Sign Peace Treaty

    Israel and Jordan Sign Peace Treaty
    Jordan, the former home of most Palestinian organizations, agreed with Israel to "refrain from threats or force against the other". In addition, each pledged to refrain from joining alliances hostile to the other party, as well as to terminate all economic boycotts. Israel was also to provide Yarmuk River water and desalinized water to Jordan, and dams were to be built on the Yarmuk and Jordan Rivers to increase this yield.
  • Oslo II Accords Signed between Israel and PLO

    Oslo II Accords Signed between Israel and PLO
    Signed, once again, by Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat with Bill Clinton and others, Israel yielded to Palestinians over a third of the West Bank. Four percent, which included the key cities of Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron, and 4 other major cities, was exclusively made Palestinian control. In Gaza, Israel retained 35% control, containing all Jewish settlements, but turning the rest over to the PA.
  • PM Yitzhak Rabin Assassinated

    PM Yitzhak Rabin Assassinated
    PM Rabin was shot dead by a lone assassin as he was entering his car - not by Palestinians but a single Israeli law student. Unfortunately, seeing as Rabin was extremely successful in peace talks, and the peace process was to deteriorate after this event. If this did not occur, many are convinced that Israel and all surrounding nations would be at peace today.
  • Hebron Divided into Israeli and PA Control

    Hebron Divided into Israeli and PA Control
    This agreement over the controversial West Bank city, Hebron, divided the city into two parts, H1 and H2. Israel retained security control over Israeli settlements in downtown Hebron and over a nearby settlement, Kiryat Arba. Meanwhile, PA security was given the responsibility and right to the rest of Hebron, in H1, although they were closely monitored by Israeli authorities.
  • Wye Memorandum/Israeli Withdrawal from WB

    Wye Memorandum/Israeli Withdrawal from WB
    Promising to restore momentum to the stalled peace process at Oslo after 19 months, this memorandum aimed at a final peace settlement. In addition, Israel was to withdraw troops from another 13 percent of the West Bank, giving the PA full or partial control of 40% of the region. In exchange, the PA agreed to a plan in which they were to cooperate with the CIA to track extremists in Hamas, etc. Arafat undertook to revoke the clauses calling for the destruction of Israel in the 1968 charter.
  • Period: to

    Suicide Bombing Attacks Increase in Frequency

    Hamas carried out, in this 6 year period, 51 major suicide attacks, killing 272 Israelis total. In addition, the Islamic Jihad group and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade carried out 34 each, with 98 and 80 respective Israeli deaths. Most terrorists were men, although some were women, and an additional 450 were arrested on their way to committing a bombing. In addition, starting in 2004, Hamas's use of rockets led to Israeli deaths - initially provoking an IDF operation in which 130 Palestinians died.
  • Israel Pulls Remaining Troops from Lebanon

    Israel Pulls Remaining Troops from Lebanon
    Complying with UNSC Resolution 425 and as part of a campaign promise from new PM Barak, Israel withdrew all forces from Southern Lebanon. The UN was to take action to fill the vacuum, deploying armed forces to restore authority. Ultimately, the SLA and their families fled their homes in fear of other forces that might fill the void.
  • Camp David II Summit Fails

    Camp David II Summit Fails
    In what President Clinton described as "make or break" summit, Israeli PM Barak and Arafat tacked all of the major issues dividing Israel and the Palestinians - refugees, Jerusalem, borders, settlements, and water supplies. After 14 straight days of negotiations, both parties returned to their respective countries, unable to reach any deal. Later that same year, Clinton offered his last proposal, to which Barak accepted and Arafat, without counteroffer, walked away from.
  • Beginning of the Second Intifada

    Beginning of the Second Intifada
    Likud (right-wing political party in Israel) leader Ariel Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount was seen as a provocative act, and it touched off fresh riots on the following day. Palestinian demonstrators were fired on by Israeli soldiers, and as violence increased, it resembled more of all-out warfare than the original intifada. Rock-throwing Palestinian youth, plus their own army, were pitted against Israelis with tear gas and rubber bullets. Israeli deaths were avenged via rockets and bombs.
  • Ariel Sharon Elected PM

    Ariel Sharon Elected PM
    By way of a special election, Ariel Sharon defeated Ehud Barak to become the new PM. Sharon pursued a course of action directly aimed against Palestinians terror groups, as well as Yasser Arafat himself, seeing Arafat as a monumental factor in the violence of the intifada as well as "an obstacle to peace". Unfortunately, this mindset, many believe, helped the two parties steer away from the peace process.
  • Israel Assassinates Leader of Popular Front of Liberation of Palestine

    Israel Assassinates Leader of Popular Front of Liberation of Palestine
    Israel's military forces confirmed they were behind the death of the leader of the radical Popular Front group, Abu Ali Mustafa. Two missiles struck his office in Ramallah, fired from a helicopter gunship. Mustafa was the highest-ranking Palestinian to be assassinated by Israelis during the time of the uprising.
  • Israel Seizes Ship of Military Equipment

    Israel Seizes Ship of Military Equipment
    On this day, the Israeli Army seized a ship carrying 50 tons of rockets, mines, and antitank missiles headed toward Arafat's Palestinian authority. The PA, in response, dismissed the announcement of the occurrence as propaganda to undermine Arafat, which further heightened tensions. Most of the military equipment abord was from Iran, which continues military ties with Palestinian groups today (main supporter of Hamas).
  • Hamas Suicide Attack Kills 30 Israeli Civilians

    Hamas Suicide Attack Kills 30 Israeli Civilians
    Following a string of 300 Israeli deaths in just over a year, March 27 saw a Hamas Palestinian terrorist detonate himself in the Israeli city of Netanya at a 250-person Seder. 30 were killed and a further 150 severely injured. In retaliation, PM Ariel Sharon approved "Operation Shield", because the Palestinians needed to be "hit, and it must be very painful...We must cause them losses, victims, so that they feel a heavy price." This meant a call-up for 20,000 reserve soldiers.
  • Israel Launches Operation Defensive Shield, Invading the WB

    Israel Launches Operation Defensive Shield, Invading the WB
    On this day, the IDF seized most of the buildings in Arafat's headquarters, with incursions into Ramallah, Tulkarem, Qalqiya, Bethlehem, Jenin, and Nablus in the following 4 days. The actual operation involved Israeli troops entering a city and imposing curfew, etc. Over 8,500 Palestinians were arrested in and around the operation's timeframe. 497 Palestinians were killed in the reoccupation of this area, with 1,447 wounded.
  • Israel Assassinates Hamas Military Leader

    Israel Assassinates Hamas Military Leader
    Bombing the house of the military commander of Hamas, Sheikh Salah Shehadeh, in Gaza, this attack killed him and at least 11 other Palestinians - as well as wounding 120 others. This attack was the most serious blow to Hamas's military wing, especially since it was toward someone still in power after a decade in Israeli jails. Peace talks, needless to say, have stagnated.
  • Mideast Peace Summit In Jordan

    Mideast Peace Summit In Jordan
    At a peace summit in Aqaba, Jordan convened by President Bush, the Israeli and Palestinian Prime Ministers (for Palestine, a new position now held by Mahmoud Abbas) promised to take tangible steps toward peace. PM Sharon promised to begin dismantling unauthorized Jewish outposts in the West Bank, effective immediately. In return, Abbas asserted that the 32-month uprising from Palestinians must end.
  • Israel Begins West Bank Wall Construction

    Israel Begins West Bank Wall Construction
    Just days after the peace summit in Jordan, Israel began creating a $220M wall/fence for over 200 miles that roughly coincides with the established 1967 border. However, Ariel, Immanuel, and other major Jewish settlements caused detours so that they would be on the Israeli side of the barrier. The primary justification was the need to prevent Palestinian suicide bombers and other terrorists from crossing into population centers in Israel.
  • Israeli PM Sharon Announces Gaza Withdrawal

    Israeli PM Sharon Announces Gaza Withdrawal
    As a direct commitment, Sharon promised to his fellow Likud Party members to dismantle Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip. He had officially given an order to 17 settlements, with a combined population of 7,500 Israelis, to plan for evacuation. He described these settlements as a "security burden and a source of continuous friction". This was a key step if previous agreements that Palestine would maintain total control over Gaza were to be followed.
  • Hamas and Fatah Suicide Bombing Halts Talks

    Hamas and Fatah Suicide Bombing Halts Talks
    Two suicide bombers in the Israeli city of Ashdod killed 10 Israelis and wounding over 20 others. Both Hamas and the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (an offshoot of Arafat's Fatah movement) claimed joint responsibility. These bombings led to PM Sharon's cancellation of peace talks with Palestinian leader Ahmed Qorei scheduled for the next week, talks that were supposed to revive the "road-map" to Middle Eastern peace.
  • Israel Votes to Dismantle all Jewish Settlements in Gaza

    Israel Votes to Dismantle all Jewish Settlements in Gaza
    In a 67-45 Vote, Israel's Parliament decided to close all 21 Jewish settlements in Gaza, as well as to evacuate all 8,100 residents and withdraw thousands of Israel's troops. This was a key victory for PM Sharon, as it was one of his key campaign promises. Surprisingly, half of the members in his own party abandoned him, while yes votes came more from rival parties.
  • Ceasefire Reached by Sharon and Abbas

    Ceasefire Reached by Sharon and Abbas
    At the highest-level conference between the 2 parties in several years, the two parties agreed to end all acts of violence against one another, including Israeli military activity. In addition, Israeli officials promised to back out of 5 West Bank cities - Jericho, Bethlehem, Ramallah, Tulkarm, and Qalqilya in the following weeks.
  • Report Reveals Illegal Israeli Outposts

    Report Reveals Illegal Israeli Outposts
    Despite agreeing at the conclusion of the Oslo Accords not to create new settlements in either Palestinian territory, the beginning of the Netanyahu administration oversaw the allowance of creation of "outposts". Israel was supposed to evacuate outposts created after March of 2001, but in the 2005 report, 24 outposts were found established after the date, as well as 71 before and 10 an uncertain date.
  • Israel Removes the Last Jewish Settlements in Gaza

    Israel Removes the Last Jewish Settlements in Gaza
    Israeli soldiers removed the final settlers from the Gaza strip and moved onto clearing out settlements in the West Bank, despite emotional protests and confrontations between settlers and soldiers. Israel has controlled Gaza and the West Bank since the 1967 War (6-Day War), and while some parts of Gaza and the West Bank were under Palestinian control since, this was to be the first time that both territories were completely Palestinian.
  • Hamas WINS Palestine Parliament

    Hamas WINS Palestine Parliament
    In a monumental change in Palestinian politics, radical group Hamas won a large majority in the new Palestinian Parliament, trouncing the then governing Fatah group. Hamas claimed 76 of 132 parliamentary seats, giving the right to party to form the next cabinet under Mahmoud Abbas (leader of the Fatah party).
  • Changes in Israeli Politics

    Changes in Israeli Politics
    At the end of 2005, PM Sharon left his post as leader of the Likud party, and announced the launch of a new party, Kadima. This new party subsequentially won the Parliamentary Election in March, but not before PM Sharon was replaced by Ehud Olmert (who also followed Sharon to the Kadima party) following a stroke. As a centrist party, Kadima was committed to a further pullout from the West Bank.
  • Israel-Lebanon War

    Israel-Lebanon War
    Hezbollah, a Shia militant group in southern Lebanon, fired rockets into northern Israel - in addition to capturing Israeli soldiers along the border. In response to this and new rocket attacks in Haifa, Safed, Nahariya, and other Israeli cities, Israeli forces attack 8 Hezbollah bases, and later that month, enter southern Lebanon itself. More than 908 Lebanese and 159 Israelis are killed in the days, with 4,000 rockets fired into northern Israel overall, before a ceasefire on August 14.
  • Hamas Takes Over Gaza; New West Bank Government

    Hamas Takes Over Gaza; New West Bank Government
    Following attacks on Fatah, Hamas gained full control over the Gaza Strip, seizing the presidential compound in Gaza City as the final straw in a week of factional fighting leaving 100 dead. In the following days, Abbas (Fatah leader) swore in an emergency government in the West Bank; which Hamas dismissed as illegitimate. Israel ordered a blockade of cargo shipments to the Hamas Gaza Strip; Israel controls Gaza's airspace, waters, and borders in addition to being the supplier of electricity.
  • Hamas Fires Barrage of Rockets into israel

    Hamas Fires Barrage of Rockets into israel
    Hamas fired a barrage of rockets into southern Israel, sending 18 Israelis to the hospital; the attack was supposedly in retaliation for 11 militant deaths over the past 11 days. It was also partially fueled by the increased Israeli closing of Gaza crossing, and an incident in which the IDF destroyed a tunnel being dug toward Israel from Gaza.
  • Operation Cast Lead: Israeli Occupation of Gaza

    Operation Cast Lead: Israeli Occupation of Gaza
    Following 7 days of aerial bombardment aimed at detonating buried explosives and mines, Israeli forces began moving into Gaza to try to take control of the areas used to fire rockets. The campaign ultimately claimed about 450 Palestinian lives and damage to Hamas in numbers. PM Olmert stressed that the objective was not to destroy Hamas but to force acceptance of a cease-fire on Israeli terms.
  • Period: to

    Hamas Rocket Barrages Continue

    In this short period, thousands of rockets and mortars were smuggled into Gaza, which helped revive the terror infrastructure of Hamas. In 2011, 627 rockets and mortars were fired into Israel, with March 19 seeing over 50 rockets in the heaviest barrage in two years. As with past events, this occurred during a Jewish holiday - this time, Shabbat.
  • Israel Leaves Gaza Following Assault

    Israel Leaves Gaza Following Assault
    After a 3-week assault against Hamas militants, the IDF completed a total withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. the UN urged Israel to open all of Gaza's borders and allow reconstruction work, but this was not part of the unilateral ceasefire agreement. 1,300 Palestinians were killed in the 3-week conflict, as well as 13 Israelis. The most affected was the devastated infrastructure of the territory, with thousands of homes also left destroyed.
  • Netanyahu Becomes Israeli PM in Close Results

    Netanyahu Becomes Israeli PM in Close Results
    Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of the right-leaning Likud party, became Israel's new Prime Minister after the moderate Kadima party won more seats, yet not enough to form a coalition government. Instead, Netanyahu formed a coalition of 70/120 Knesset seats. Netanyahu has been the PM ever since (pending results) and has set the tone for the current relations between the two parties for over a decade.
  • Obama and Netanyahu Voice Support for Two-State Solution

    Obama and Netanyahu Voice Support for Two-State Solution
    Obama reaffirmed Washington's support for a Palestine state; He recalled "unbreakable" relations with Israel, but said that there can be no denying of the right of Palestine to exist. He also mentioned a strong rejection of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The following week, Netanyahu reversed himself under US pressure, endorsing a Palestinian state, but only under demilitarized conditions Palestinians quickly rejected.
  • Israeli Commandos Board Ships Carrying Aid for Gaza

    Israeli Commandos Board Ships Carrying Aid for Gaza
    Israeli troops boarded ships carrying aid to Gaza in the 9th attempt to break an Israeli and Egyptian sea blockade of Gaza. This event left 9 dead and 30 wounded and occurred about 80 miles from the coast. Israeli officials say the commandos fired in self-defense, but there was soon international condemnation of the raid that occurred.
  • Documents Show Palestinian Willingness For Peace

    Documents Show Palestinian Willingness For Peace
    On this date, Al Jazeera leaked hundred of pages from Palestinian negotiators, which showed, surprisingly, that leaders were extremely willing to cut a peace deal - more than thought by either side. Trade-offs that went beyond what even the Palestinian people would most likely accept were leaked. Palestinians publicly insisted on a full right for all refugees to return, but Abbas is quoted to say it was illogical to ask for 5 or even 1 million to do so.
  • Palestinian Rivals Fatah and Hamas Reconcile

    Palestinian Rivals Fatah and Hamas Reconcile
    The two rival Palestinian factions signed a reconciliation pact ending the 4-year rift in their relationship that caused the transfer of the government of Gaza and numerous deaths on both sides. The pact sets the stage for the creation of a join government before elections in 2012. Palestinians saw the reconciliation as a key step toward establishing an independent state in the two territories.
  • Hamas Releases Israeli Prisoner for over 1,000 Palestinians

    Hamas Releases Israeli Prisoner for over 1,000 Palestinians
    Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier, was held for more than 5 years by Hamas and was swapped for over a thousand Palestinians in Israeli jails. The soldier, Shalit, was taken from Gaza, where he had been held since 2006. Of the thousands of Palestinians freed, some went on to kill Israelis - 6 Israelis were killed by these prisoners in less than a year (2014-2015).
  • Palestine Joins UNESCO, US Pulls Contribution

    Palestine Joins UNESCO, US Pulls Contribution
    Palestine became the 195th full member of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) after a vote of 107 to 14. US's contribution per year, $70 Million or 22 percent, as well as Israel's 3 percent, were both pulled immediately after the move. The Palestinian foreign minister insisted it was not linked to the request to join the UN and was the best step toward peace and stability.
  • Peace Talks in Jordan End Without Progress

    Peace Talks in Jordan End Without Progress
    Palestinian and Israeli authorities met 5 times in the capital of Jordan, Amman, for "exploratory talks" but made no meaningful steps. Middle East mediators, the most significant being the US, UN, EU, and Russia, said they expected detailed proposals to be brought to the table. Palestinians insisted Israelis building settlements on occupied land must stop before talks even begin, and Israel insisted there could be no preconditions whatsoever.
  • Palestinians Fire 60 Rockets into Israel

    Palestinians Fire 60 Rockets into Israel
    Just 5 months after a new Israel coalition government promised to renew the peace process, Palestinian militants fired over 60 rockets from Gaza into southern Israel. The rockets hit several houses and workers in a border community. In retaliation, Israel carried out airstrikes, killing 4 Palestinian militants, 3 being part of Hamas. By this point, rockets are not an uncommon sight in areas of Israel surrounding Gaza, especially in certain towns and cities.
  • PA Seeks Non-Member State Status at UN

    PA Seeks Non-Member State Status at UN
    Mahmoud Abbas's PA distributed a draft resolution to all 193 UN members, the first step for international recognition of a future state in all 3 target regions - the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem. In addition, Abbas's government made clear the intent to upgrade to a non-member observer state in the UN. Israel warned governments that a Palestinian bid's success could mean cancellation of Oslo peace accords and to oust Abbas and his Palestinian Authority from power.
  • Israel Launches Operation Pillar of Defense vs Hamas

    Israel Launches Operation Pillar of Defense vs Hamas
    Israel launched a military offensive toward Gaza, beginning with an airstrike to kill the commander of Hamas's military wing. Israel accuses him of being responsible for terrorist incidents from Gaza toward Israel in the past decade. The operation was targeted at protecting Israelis from rockets and crippling Hamas's ability to launch such attacks - although Netanyahu insisted he did not want to topple Hamas. In 4 days, 1,350 "terrorist targets" were attacked, and 31k IDF reserves were summoned.
  • UN Votes to Accept Palestine as Observer State

    UN Votes to Accept Palestine as Observer State
    In an overwhelming vote, 138-9, the General Assembly accorded Palestine as a non-member Observer State. The only members voting against the decision were the US, Israel, Canada, Czech Republic, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Panama, and Palau. The decision upgraded Palestine's status and recognized the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people. The PLO was previously an "observer entity" since 1974.
  • Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks Resume in Washington

    Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks Resume in Washington
    For the first time since 2010, the two parties had direct talks in Washington DC, after Israel voted to approve the release of 104 Palestinian prisoners. The negotiations focused on establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel but became stale extremely fast. After 3 months, the teams of negotiators grew nothing but tensions. There were high hopes for these new peace talks, but little came from them, as while each told the other group they were willing to compromise, this seldom occurred.
  • Hamas and Fatah Agree to Form a Unity Government

    Hamas and Fatah Agree to Form a Unity Government
    Rival factions Hamas and Fatah agreed to form a unity government and hold new elections, as opposed to the two separate governments that had ruled the territories for 7 years. PM Netanyahu accused President Abbas of sabotaging the peace process with Israel as a result of approaching Hamas for such a deal, as Hamas is considered a terrorist organization by Israel (and the US, etc).
  • Israel Launches Operation Protective Edge vs Hamas

    Israel Launches Operation Protective Edge vs Hamas
    In the 3 weeks leading up to this date, armed groups in Gaza launched 47 rockets landing in Israel or intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome system, before intensifying to 160 rockets on July 7 and 8. Israel launched a major air assault on over 150 sites to halt escalating attacks. In the following month, 2,189 Palestinians (1,486 civilians) and 67 Israelis died with >4.8K rockets launched; 224 striking Israeli residential areas.
  • PM Netanyahu Says No to Two-State Solution

    PM Netanyahu Says No to Two-State Solution
    Despite earlier accepting the possibility of a two-state solution in 2009, Netanyahu increased his appeal to right-wing voters by declaring he would never establish a Palestinian state on the eve of his election. This change of position was justified in that Netanyahu said he did not change his mind, but that the situation had changed to a point in which it was not possible in the near future.
  • Escalating Violence in Jerusalem, etc.

    Escalating Violence in Jerusalem, etc.
    Sep 15 - Violence engulfs Jerusalem's old quarter, partially in retaliation for a decree banning Islamist activist groups from gathering on the Temple Mount to intimidate and shout at Jewish visitors.
    Sep 16 - Abbas appears on Palestinian TV, stating "We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem. This is pure blood, clean blood, blood on its way to Allah. They (the Jews) have no right to desecrate them with their filthy feet and we won't allow them to."
  • Daily Clashes in Occupied Palestinian Territories

    Daily Clashes in Occupied Palestinian Territories
    Throughout October, an amplification of violence saw burning tires and rocks being thrown, with the response of Israel being tear gas, rubber bullets, and live ammo. Nearly 2,000 Palestinians were injured in 2 weeks, with 9 Israelis and 41 Palestinians dying in the same period (20 of whom were identified as attackers). Palestinian teenagers stabbing Israelis in "lone wolf" attacks were the foundation of the violence, especially with less political support than during the intifadas.
  • United Nations Resolution Condemning Israeli Settlements Passes

    United Nations Resolution Condemning Israeli Settlements Passes
    Despite passing more funding than ever for Israel ($3.8B per year), the US abstained in a resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlements, allowing the measure to pass. The measure demanded the end of all settlement activity in Palestinian territory, including in East Jerusalem, and asserted that the settlements had no legal validity. The US reaffirmed commitment to the security of Israel but said that the settlements must stop, as it harms the viability for two-state peace.
  • Controversial Israel Law Legalizes 4,000 Settler Homes in Palestine

    Controversial Israel Law Legalizes 4,000 Settler Homes in Palestine
    The Knesset passed a law that retroactively legalizes homes built on private Palestinian land in the West Bank, following the UN resolution condemning these settlements. Most of the international community saw the law as a massive blow to future peace negotiations; yet, Israel ramped up plans for further settlement expansion. Right-wing Israeli politicians saw it as a huge step toward the only right solution to the problem - expansion of Israel.
  • Hamas Declares Willingness to Accept Interim State Alongside Israel

    Hamas Declares Willingness to Accept Interim State Alongside Israel
    Hamas, in its first published document since its founding charter in 1988, declared a willingness to accept a Palestinian state within pre-1967 boundaries. While the document was seen as an effort to soften the group's image, Hamas stressed that they still do not recognize Israel's right to exist in any way, shape, or form, nor that they no longer advocate violence against Israel. This acceptance would be a step towards the establishment of a total Palestinian state in all of historic Palestine.
  • President Trump Recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's Capital

    President Trump Recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's Capital
    Trump, in a controversial address, directed the State Department to prepare to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Throughout the 20th and 21st century negotiations, both entities have recognized Jerusalem as their capital, with ultimately neither capital being fully accepted by the international community. Netanyahu thanked Trump, but Palestinian politicians saw he move as a "historic mistake".
  • US Embassy Opens in Jerusalem, Sparking Violence

    US Embassy Opens in Jerusalem, Sparking Violence
    The US officially relocated its embassy on this day, changing decades of foreign policy and sparking clashes and protests, mostly along the Israeli-Gaza border. At least 58 Palestinians were killed and over 2,700 injured during deadly protests before, during, and after the ceremony. Many US allies denounced the decision to break with the international norm by moving the embassy; Russia was the first major peace broker to even mention such an idea and only a year or so earlier.
  • Israeli Knesset Passes Extremely Controversial Law

    Israeli Knesset Passes Extremely Controversial Law
    The nation's parliament passed a law characterizing the country as a Jewish state, leading to deep frustration from the Arab minority, instating Hebrew as the only official language. Arab Parliament members reacted furiously, and critics called it the "nail in the coffin" of Israeli democracy, but Netanyahu praised the bill as a defining moment. Most importantly, it reiterates Jerusalem as the complete capital of Israel, making no distinction between the west and east parts of the city.
  • Trump Admin No Longer Considers Israeli Settlements Unlawful

    Trump Admin No Longer Considers Israeli Settlements Unlawful
    Secretary of State Pompeo announced a reversal of American policy that the settlements were "inconsistent with international law", a policy concluded from a 1978 legal report. Pompeo said that the settlements in the West Bank were not inconsistent with international law, nor were they "inherently illegal". This new position was rejected by the EU, and diplomats from the world saw the move as a reflection of Trump's ignorance of international law itself.
  • Israel and Palestine Cooperate to Combat COVID-19

    Israel and Palestine Cooperate to Combat COVID-19
    Israel and the PA set up a joint operations room to combat the worldwide pandemic, emphasizing the valuation of all human life over the feud. Both sides have dozens of cases by this date, and at this writing, hundreds of cases. Israel has sent over 200 coronavirus test kits to the PA Ministry of Health, delivered 400 medical kits and 500 protection equipment kits, and joint tutorials and workshops were set up for both sides. It remains to be seen if cooperation will continue past COVID-19.