Timeline: From independence to intifada

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14 May 1948

Jewish settlers found the state of Israel. After reading the country's declaration of independence, the nation's first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, says: "The state of Israel is established! The meeting is ended." But some 700,000 Palestinians flee or are driven from what had been British-mandate Palestine.


Suez War: Israel attacks Egypt with Britain and France, but later withdraws.


Arab heads of state establish the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO).


Israel launches a pre-emptive strike on Egypt, Syria and Jordan in what later becomes known as the Six Day War, extending its territory into East Jerusalem, Gaza, the Sinai Peninsula and Golan Heights. The UN Security Council passes Resolution 242, demanding Israel returns "occupied territories".

6 October 1973

Egypt and Syria attack Israeli forces in the Sinai peninsula and Golan Heights on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. They make initial gains, but soon pull back after Israeli counter-attacks.

17 September 1978

Egypt, Israel and the US sign Camp David peace accords, giving Palestinians self-governing authority in the West Bank and Gaza.

9 December 1987

The first Palestinian uprising (intifada) against Israeli rule starts in West Bank and Gaza.

13 September 1993

Oslo Accords signed by Israel and the PLO on the White House Lawn, based on "land for peace".

4 November 1995

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is assassinated.

23 October 1998

Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu signs Wye River Memorandum outlining further Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank.

25 May 2000

Israeli troops conclude three-day withdrawal from the occupied zone of southern Lebanon.

11 J uly 2000

President Bill Clinton hosts Camp David summit at which Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Yasser Arafat fail to agree on a "historic compromise".

September 2000

Second intifada begins, after Ariel Sharon visits the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The following year, Sharon is elected prime minister.

16-17 April 2001

After Palestinian mortar bombs hit the southern Israeli town of Sderot, Israel launches a fierce naval, air and land assault on Palestinian targets, regaining territory in Gaza that had been previously ceded to the Palestinians.

24 June 2002

President George W Bush announces his initiative on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, outlining a vision of a two-state solution. "For too long, the citizens of the Middle East have lived in the midst of death and fear," he says. He calls for the removal of PLO leader Yasser Arafat in elections to be held by the end of the year.

29 April 2003

Mahmoud Abbas is confirmed as the Palestinians' first prime minister, working in the PLO alongside Arafat.

4 June 2003

Israeli and Palestinian leaders promise to take real, if limited, steps toward ending their bloody conflict during a Middle East peace summit in Aqaba, Jordan, convened by President Bush. Ariel Sharon and Mahmoud Abbas commit to a "road map" peace plan.

18 December 2003

Ariel Sharon announces plan for Israel to withdraw unilaterally from the Gaza Strip and parts of West Bank.

11 November 2004

Arafat dies in Paris, aged 75.

8 February 2005

Ariel Sharon and Mahmoud Abbas announce a verbal ceasefire pledge during a summit in Egypt. "We have agreed on halting all violent actions against Palestinians and Israelis, wherever they are," Abbas said.

23 August 2005

Israel completes the evacuation or "disengagement" of 25 settlements in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. This is the first time that Israel has withdrawn Jewish communities from Arab land.

12 July 2006

Following abduction of an Israeli soldier, Hizbollah captures two Israeli soldiers. Israel hits back with air strikes starting a three-month war.

26-28 November 2007

The United States holds peace summit at Annapolis, Maryland, with participation of Arab nations, European Union members, and others. Israelis and Palestinians are forced to agree on a joint statement that vows to implement a new peace road map by the end of 2008, with the US monitoring their performance.

14 May 2008

Jews around the world celebrate the 60th anniversary of Israel's foundation.