Chronology of the Jewish people and Israel…


c. 2000 BC Abraham, father of the Jewish people, is believed to have come to Palestine from Mesopotamia. c. 1225 BC Moses led the Jews out of slavery in Egypt towards the promised land of Palestine. 11th century BC Saul established a Jewish kingdom in Palestine; developed by kings David and Solomon. 586 BC Jews defeated by Babylon and deported; many returned to Palestine in 539 BC. 333 BC Alexander the Great of Macedonia conquered the entire region. 3rd century BC Control of Palestine contested by Ptolemies of Egypt and Seleucids of Syria. 142 BC Jewish independence restored after Maccabean revolt. 63 BC Palestine fell to Roman Empire. 70 AD Romans crushed Zealot rebellion and destroyed Jerusalem; start of dispersion of Jews (diaspora). 614 Persians took Jerusalem from Byzantine Empire. 637 Muslim Arabs conquered Palestine. 1099 First Crusade captured Jerusalem; Christian kingdom lasted a century before falling to sultans of Egypt. 1517 Palestine conquered by the Ottoman Turks. 1897 Theodor Herzl organized the First Zionist Congress at Basel to publicize Jewish claims to Palestine. 1917 The Balfour Declaration Britain expressed support for the creation of a Jewish National Home in Palestine. 1918 British forces expelled the Turks from Palestine, which became a British League of Nations mandate in 1920. 1929 Severe violence around Jerusalem caused by Arab alarm at doubling of Jewish population in ten years. 1933 Jewish riots in protest at British attempts to restrict Jewish immigration. 1937 The Peel Report, recommending partition, accepted by most Jews but rejected by Arabs; open warfare ensued between 1937 and 1938. 1939 Britain postponed independence plans on account of World War II, and increased military presence. 1946 Resumption of terrorist violence; Jewish extremists blew up British headquarters in Jerusalem. 1947 United Nations (UN) voted for partition of Palestine. 1948 Britain withdrew; Independent State of Israel proclaimed with David Ben-Gurion as prime minister; Israel repulsed invasion by Arab nations; many Palestinian Arabs settled in refugee camps in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. 1952 Col Gamal Nasser of Egypt stepped up blockade of Israeli ports and support of Arab guerrillas in Gaza. 1956 War between Israel and Egypt; Israeli invasion of Gaza and Sinai followed by withdrawal in 1957. 1964 Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) founded to unite Palestinian Arabs with the aim of overthrowing the state of Israel. 1967 Israel defeated Egypt, Syria, and Jordan in the Six-Day War; Gaza, West Bank, east Jerusalem, Sinai, and Golan Heights captured. 1969 Yassir Arafat became chair of the PLO; escalation of terrorism and border raids. 1973 Yom Kippur War Israel repulsed surprise attack by Egypt and Syria. 1977 President Anwar Sadat of Egypt began peace initiative. 1979 Camp David talks ended with signing of peace treaty between Israel and Egypt; Israel withdrew from Sinai. 1980 United Jerusalem was declared the capital of Israel. 1982 Israeli forces invaded southern Lebanon to drive out PLO guerrillas; occupation continued until 1985. 1988 The Israeli handling of Palestinian uprising (Intifada) in the occupied territories provoked international criticism. 1990 The PLO formally recognized the state of Israel. 1991 Iraq launched missile attacks on Israel during the Gulf War; Middle East peace talks began in Madrid. 1992 A Labour government was elected under Yitzhak Rabin. 1993 Rabin and Arafat signed a peace accord; Israel granted limited autonomy to Gaza Strip and Jericho. Ezer Weizman was elected president. 1994 Arafat became the head of an autonomous Palestinian authority in Gaza and Jericho; a peace agreement was reached between Israel and Jordan. 1995 Rabin was assassinated by a Jewish opponent of the peace accord. 1996 A Likud government was elected under Binyamin Netanyahu, a critic of the peace accord. A revival of communal violence was seen and the peace process was threatened. The opening of a 2,000-year-old tunnel near the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem provoked renewed PalestinianIsraeli conflict. 1997 A Jewish settlement in east Jerusalem was widely condemned. There were suicide bombs by Hamas in Jerusalem. There was partial and limited withdrawal from the West Bank. 1998 Violence flared on the West Bank between Palestinians and Israeli troops, again stalling the peace process. The Wye Peace Agreement was signed with the PLO. A land-for-security deal was approved by the Knesset, and the promised Israeli withdrawal from the Lebanon was subsequently placed in doubt. US president Clinton attempted to restart the peace process. 1999 The South Lebanon security zone was expanded. Yasser Arafat delayed the declaration of an independent state until after the Israeli elections. Ehud Barak (Labour) was elected prime minister and restarted peace negotiations. 2000 Israel withdrew from the Golan Heights. Moshe Katsav, who opposed Barak’s peace initiative, became president. In September, renewed violence between Palestinians and Israeli security forces broke out and quickly escalated, following a visit by right-wing Israeli politican Ariel Sharon to Haram al-Sharif (Temple Mount) in Jerusalem. Repeated efforts to end the violence failed, and Barak announced his resignation in December. 2001 Ariel Sharon was elected prime minister. 2002 After months of violence and military reprisals against the Palestinians, the army besieged Yassir Arafat’s Ramallah headquarters for 11 days before withdrawing under US pressure and United Nations (UN) Security Council demands. Prime Minister Sharon’s national unity government collapsed when the Labour Party left the 20-month-old administration. 2003 An international blueprint (the so-called road map, designed by the USA, European Union, UN, and Russia) for a phased settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict by 200506 was released and endorsed by the government under US diplomatic pressure. However, the government authorized the building of a controversial security wall. The Palestine National Authority’s new government under Mahmoud Abbas was sworn in, but Abbas was later forced to resign and was replaced by Ahmed Qureia. A peace initiative drafted by unofficial Israeli and Palestinian negotiators and known as the Geneva Accord gained significant international support, but was rejected by the government. Palestinian suicide bombings and Israeli retaliation, including the first direct air attack on Syrian territory since 1973, continued throughout the year.

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