Key dates in Israel since its creation in 1948

01 July 2020 - 11:10 By afp, reuters and Dan Williams
Israel immediately comes under attack by its Arab neighbours but repulses them. More than 760,000 Palestinians are driven out or flee, becoming refugees.
Israel immediately comes under attack by its Arab neighbours but repulses them. More than 760,000 Palestinians are driven out or flee, becoming refugees.

Israel's foreign minister said an announcement on the proposed annexation of occupied West Bank land was unlikely on Wednesday, the start-date set by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition government for discussing such a move.

"It seems unlikely to me that this will happen today," Gabi Ashkenazi, a member of the centrist Blue and White party partnered up with Netanyahu's conservative Likud, told Israel's Army Radio.

"I reckon there will be nothing today, regarding (the extention of Israeli) sovereignty."

In a sign of rifts within the coalition over the timing of any unilateral annexation move, which has been fiercely opposed by the Palestinians and some world powers, Ashkenazi referred further questions on the matter by the interviewer to Netanyahu.

The premier, after meeting US envoys on Tuesday to discuss annexation within the framework of President Donald Trump's Middle East peace plan, said such talks would continue for several days - another playing-down of the July 1 start-date.

Here are some milestones in the history of Israel, founded more than seven decades ago.

Born through war 

Israel is created in May 1948, formed out of British-ruled Palestine three years after the end of World War II when the Nazis killed more than six million Jews.

Israel immediately comes under attack by its Arab neighbours but repulses them. More than 760,000 Palestinians are driven out or flee, becoming refugees.

In 1956, Israel attacks Egypt alongside Britain and France, which are seeking to overturn the nationalisation of the strategic Suez Canal.

They eventually withdraw under pressure from both the United States and the then Soviet Union.

In June 1967, Israel wins a crushing victory over its Arab neighbours in the Six-Day War, seizing the West Bank, including east Jerusalem, from Jordan, the Golan Heights from Syria, and the Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula from Egypt.

In 1973, Egypt and Syria launch a surprise attack on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur to try to win back their lost territories, but are repulsed.

Peace treaties

In 1978, Israel and Egypt agree on peace terms after talks brokered by the United States. The Camp David accords are the first peace agreement between Israel and an Arab state.

The peace treaty is signed in 1979 by Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian president Anwar Sadat, who is assassinated two years later by Islamists opposed to the deal.

A second peace accord, with Jordan, will follow in 1994.

Invasion of Lebanon 

In 1978 and again in 1982, Israel invades civil war-wracked Lebanon in a bid to halt cross-border attacks by Palestinian militants.

Israeli-backed Lebanese militiamen kill hundreds of civilians in the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps on the outskirts of Beirut.

Israeli troops remain in southern Lebanon until 2000.

In 2006, after the abduction of Israeli soldiers by Shiite militant group Hezbollah, Israel launches a devastating month-long offensive in Lebanon.


The first Palestinian intifada, or uprising, erupts in 1987.

It ends in 1993 when Israel agrees to limited Palestinian autonomy in the West Bank and Gaza as an interim step towards a comprehensive peace agreement.

The deal is sealed with an historic handshake between Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, who is assassinated two years later by a Jewish extremist.

The second intifada breaks out in 2000 when right-wing Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon pays a provocative visit to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in annexed east Jerusalem.

The Israeli army reoccupies much of the West Bank in a series of large-scale military operations and begins building a separation barrier between the two communities that in places cuts deep into occupied territory. The intifada ends in 2005.

War in Gaza

In 2005, Israel withdraws all troops and settlers from Gaza after 38 years of occupation. It imposes a crippling blockade after Islamist group Hamas seizes control in 2007.

In 2014, Israel launches a new operation against Gaza, in which 2,251 Palestinians and 74 Israelis are killed.

Trump's support 

In December 2017, US President Donald Trump recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital, a declaration condemned by the Palestinians who regard east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

In May 2018, Washington transfers its embassy to Jerusalem.

In March 2019, Trump formally recognises Israel's 1981 annexation of the Golan Heights.

On January 28, 2020, Trump unveils a controversial Middle East peace plan which provides for the annexation of swathes of the West Bank by Israel.

Unity government

On May 17, 2020, after a political crisis lasting more than 500 days, and three general elections in less than a year, Benjamin Netanyahu returns to power under a deal to form an emergency unity government with his election rival Benny Gantz.