History of Israel: Key events

Israel has experienced a tumultuous and often violent existence over its 60 years as a nation. Click on the links below to watch and read key events in its history since its creation in 1948.


The State of Israel is founded

Israel declares independence as British leave Palestine

Palestinians march with raised hands during the surrender of the town of Ramle, in May 1948


The Sinai campaign

Secret ploy to thwart Egyptian blockade backfires

British boats landing during the Suez Crisis


The Six-Day War

Israel extends its territory dramatically after strike

Israeli soldiers guard a prisoner



October War

Egypt in surprise attack over Suez on Yom Kippur

Maj Gen Ariel Sharon, right, views a map with Maj Gen Haim Bar-Lev in the Sinai desert, in October 1973


1977 - 1979

Egyptian-Israeli peace

Agreement over Sinai signals end to 30 years of war

Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, US President Jimmy Carter and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin on the lawn of the White House after signing the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel on March 26, 1979



Lebanon invasion

Israel turns attention to Palestinian targets

Bodies of Palestinians killed in September 1982 in the Sabra refugee camp


First Intifada

Palestinians revolt against Israeli rule

Thousands of Arabs emerge from the Nusseirat refugee camp during the Palestinian uprising in 1987


Oslo agreement

PLO eyes political benefits of two-state solution

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO chairman Yasser Arafat with US President Bill Clinton at the signing of the 1993 peace agreement



Second Intifada

Peace talks fail and trigger fresh bloodshed

A Palestinian policeman outside the government building after it was set on fire in 2006 during Palestinian factional rivalry


Gaza withdrawal

Wall goes up as Israel pulls out of Gaza

Israeli security forces head for Kfar Darom during the forced evacuation of settlements in the Gaza Strip in 2005



Lebanon war

Ambush sparks new conflict with Hezbollah

Katyusha rockets are fired from southern Lebanon into Israel in August 2006



Israel now

Democratic, prosperous, but still on a knife-edge

Palestinian boys play under Israel's separation barrier in May 2008

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