Nazi Holocaust of the Jews in Europe prompts efforts at mass migration to Palestine. Jewish armed groups in pursuit of independent Jewish state fight British authorities.
Israel Declares Independence
Israel declares independence as British mandate ends. Admitted to United Nations.
Settlement on Israel
1949 - 1960
Up to a million Jewish refugees and immigrants from Muslim-majority countries, plus 250,000 Holocaust survivors, settle in Israel.
Mass protests by Israeli Arabs at government attempts to expropriate land in the Galilee area of northern Israel. Six Arab citizens were killed in clashes with security forces. The events are commemorated annually as Land Day.
Destruction of the Nuclear Reactor
Israeli Air Force raid destroys nuclear reactor at Osirak in Iraq.
Israel Invades Lebanon
Israel invades Lebanon in order to expel Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) leadership after assassination attempt by small Palestinian militant group on Israeli ambassador to London.
Massacre of Palestinians
Massacre of Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila camps in Beirut by Israel's Christian Phalangist allies. Government commission finds Defence Minister Ariel Sharon indirectly responsible and recommends his removal from office. Mass protests against massacre in Israel galvanise anti-war movement.
Nuclear Weapon Revealed
Former nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu reveals detail of Israel's nuclear weapons programme to British press.
Capability of Independence
Israel becomes one of only eight countries at the time to have capability independently to launch satellites with Ofek reconnaissance probe.
Soviet Union Allows
Soviet Union allows Jews to emigrate, leading to about a million ex-Soviet citizens moving to Israel.