Palestine - Home of History
Brief history of Palestine


3'RD MILLENNIUM BC
2'ND MILLENNIUM BC
1'ST MILLENNIUM BC
0001-0999
1000-1899
1900-1946
1947-1966
1967-1989
1990-1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006



3'RD MILLENNIUM BC


3'rd millennium BC : The Canaanites were the earliest known inhabitants of Palestine. They became urbanized and lived in city-states, one of which was Jericho . They developed an alphabet. Palestine's location at the center of routes linking three continents made it the meeting place for religious and cultural influences from Egypt, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Asia Minor. It was also the natural battleground for the great powers of the region and subject to domination by adjacent empires, beginning with Egypt in the 3d millennium BC.



2'ND MILLENNIUM BC


2'rd millennium BC : Egyptian hegemony and Canaanite autonomy were constantly challenged by such ethnically diverse invaders as the Amorites, Hittites, and Hurrians. These invaders, however, were defeated by the Egyptians and absorbed by the Canaanites, who at that time may have numbered about 200000.

14th century BC : Egyptian power began to weaken, new invaders appeared: the Hebrews, a group of Semitic tribes from Mesopotamia, and the Philistines (after whom the country was later named), an Aegean people of Indo-European stock.

1230 BC : Joshua conquered parts of Palestine. The conquerors settled in the hill country, but they were unable to conquer all of Palestine.

1125 BC : The Israelites, a confederation of Hebrew tribes, finally defeated the Canaanites but found the struggle with the Philistines more difficult . Philistines had established an independent state on the southern coast of Palestine and controlled the Canaanite town of Jerusalem.

1050 BC : Philistines with there superior in military organization and using iron weapons, they severely defeated the Israelites about 1050 BC .



1'ST MILLENNIUM BC


1000 BC : David, Israel's great king, finally defeated the Philistines, and they eventually assimilated with the Canaanites . The unity of Israel and the feebleness of adjacent empires enabled David to establish a large independent state, with its capital at Jerusalem.

922 BC : Under David's son and successor, Solomon, Israel enjoyed peace and prosperity , but at his death in 922 BC the kingdom was divided into Israel in the north and Judah in the south .

722-721 BC : When nearby empires resumed their expansion, the divided Israelites could no longer maintain their independence . Israel fell to Assyria.

586 BC : Judah was conquered by Babylonia, which destroyed Jerusalem and exiled most of the Jews living there. Nebuchadnezzar entered Jerusalem. The Temple was sacked and set fire to, and razed to the ground. The Royal Palace and all the great houses were destroyed, the population carried off in chains to Babylon. And they lamented on their long march into exile.

539 BC : Cyrus the Great of Persia conquered Babylonia and he permitted the Jews to return to Judea, a district of Palestine. Under Persian rule the Jews were allowed considerable autonomy. They rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem and codified the Mosaic law, the Torah, which became the code of social life and religious observance. The Jews were bound to a universal God.

333 BC : Persian domination of Palestine was replaced by Greek rule when Alexander the Great of Macedonia took the region. Alexander's successors, the Ptolemies of Egypt and the Seleucids of Syria , continued to rule the country . The Seleucids tried to impose Hellenistic (Greek) culture and religion on the population.

141-63 BC : Jews revolted under the Maccabees and set up an independent state.

132-35 BC : Jews revolts erupted, numerous Jews were killed, many were sold into slavery, and the rest were not allowed to visit Jerusalem. Judea was renamed Syria Palaistina.

63 BC : Jerusalem was overrun by Rome. Herod was appointed King of Judea. He slaughtered the last of the Hasmoneans and ordered a lavish restoration and extension of the Second Temple. A period of great civil disorder followed with strife between pacifists and Zealots, and riots against the Roman authorities.

37-4 BC : During the rule of King Herod the Great Jesus of Nazareth, peace be upon him was born. And years after, he began his teaching mission. His attempts to call people back to the pure teachings of Abraham and Moses were judged subversive by the authorities. He was tried and sentenced to death; "yet they did not slay him but only a likeness that was shown to them."



1-999 AD


70 AD : Titus of Rome laid siege to Jerusalem. The fiercely defended Temple eventually fell, and with it the whole city. Seeking a complete and enduring victory, Titus ordered the total destruction of the Herodian Temple. A new city named Aelia was built by the Romans on the ruins of Jerusalem, and a temple dedicated to Jupitor raised up.

313 AD : Palestine received special attention when the Roman emperor Constantine I legalized Christianity. His mother, Helena, visited Jerusalem, and Palestine, as the Holy Land, became a focus of Christian pilgrimage. A golden age of prosperity, security, and culture followed. Most of the population became Hellenized and Christianized .

324 AD : Constantine of Byzantium marched on Aelia. He rebuilt the city walls and commissioned the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and opened the city for Christian pilgrimage.

29-614 AD : Byzantine (Roman) rule was interrupted , however , by a brief Persian occupation and ended altogether when Muslim Arab armies invaded Palestine and captured Jerusalem in AD 638 .

638 AD : The Arab conquest began 1300 years of Muslim presence in what then became known as Filastin. Eager to be rid of their Byzantine overlords and aware of their shared heritage with the Arabs, the descendants of Ishmael, as well as the Muslims reputation for mercy and compassion in victory, the people of Jerusalem handed over the city after a brief siege. They made only one condition, That the terms of their surrender be negotiated directly with the Khalif 'Umar in person. 'Umar entered Jerusalem on foot. There was no bloodshed. There were no massacres. Those who wanted to leave were allowed to, with all their goods. Those who wanted to stay were guarantee protection for their lives, their property and places of worship.

Palestine was holy to Muslims because the Prophet Muhammad had designated Jerusalem as the first qibla (the direction Muslims face when praying) and because he was believed to have ascended on a night journey to heaven from the the old city of Jerusalem (al-Aqsa Mosque today) , where the Dome of the Rock was later built. Jerusalem became the third holiest city of Islam. The Muslim rulers did not force their religion on the Palestinians, and more than a century passed before the majority converted to Islam. The remaining Christians and Jews were considered People of the Book. They were allowed autonomous control in their communities and guaranteed security and freedom of worship. Such tolerance was rare in the history of religion . Most Palestinians also adopted Arabic and Islamic culture. Palestine benefited from the empires trade and from its religious significance during the first Muslim dynasty, the Umayyads of Damascus.

750 AD : The power shifted to Baghdad with the Abbasids, Palestine became neglected. It suffered unrest and successive domination by Seljuks, Fatimids, and European Crusaders. It shared, however, in the glory of Muslim civilization, when the Muslim world enjoyed a golden age of science, art, philosophy, and literature. Muslims preserved Greek learning and broke new ground in several fields, all of which later contributed to the Renaissance in Europe. Like the rest of the empire, however, Palestine under the Mamelukes gradually stagnated and declined.



1000-1899 AD


1517 AD : The Ottoman Turks of Asia Minor defeated the Mamelukes, with few interruptions, ruled Palestine until the winter of 1917-18. The country was divided into several districts (sanjaks), such as that of Jerusalem. The administration of the districts was placed largely in the hands of Arab Palestinians, who were descendants of the Canaanites. The Christian and Jewish communities, however, were allowed a large measure of autonomy. Palestine shared in the glory of the Ottoman Empire during the 16th century, but declined again when the empire began to decline in the 17th century.

1831-1840 AD : Muhammad Ali, the modernizing viceroy of Egypt, expanded his rule to Palestine . His policies modified the feudal order, increased agriculture, and improved education.

1840 The Ottoman Empire reasserted its authority, instituting its own reforms .

1845 Jewish in Palestine were 12,000 increased to 85,000 by 1914. All people in Palestine were Arabic Muslims and Christians.

1897 the first Zionist Congress held Basle, Switzerland, issued the Basle programme on the colonization of Palestine.



1900-1946


1904 the Fourth Zionist Congress decided to establish a national home for Jews in Argentina.

1906 the Zionist congress decided the Jewish homeland should be Palestine.

1914 With the outbreak of World War I, Britain promised the independence of Arab lands under Ottoman rule, including Palestine, in return for Arab support against Turkey which had entered the war on the side of Germany.

1916 Britain and France signed the Sykes-Picot Agreement, which divided the Arab region into zones of influence. Lebanon and Syria were assigned to France, Jordan and Iraq to Britain and Palestine was to be internationalized.

1917 The British government issued the Balfour Declaration on November 2, in the form of a letter to a British Zionist leader from the foreign secretary Arthur J. Balfour prmissing him the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine.

1917-1918 Aided by the Arabs, the British captured Palestine from the Ottoman Turks. The Arabs revolted against the Turks because the British had promised them, in correspondence with Shareef Husein ibn Ali of Mecca, the independence of their countries after the war. Britain, however, also made other, conflicting commitments in the secret Sykes-Picot agreement with France and Russia (1916), it promised to divide and rule the region with its allies. In a third agreement, the Balfour Declaration of 1917, Britain promised the Jews a Jewish "national home" in Palestine .

1918 After WW I ended, Jews began to migrate to Palestine, which was set a side as a British mandate with the approval of the League of Nations in 1922. Large-scale Jewish settlement and extensive Zionist agricultural and industrial enterprises in Palestine began during the British mandatory period, which lasted until 1948.

1919 The Palestinians convened their first National Conference and expressed their opposition to the Balfour Declaration.

1920 The San Remo Conference granted Britain a mandate over Palestine. and two years later Palestine was effectively under British administration. Sir Herbert Samuel, a declared Zionist, was sent as Britain's first High Commissioner to Palestine.

1922 The Council of the League of Nations issued a Mandate for Palestine.

1929 Large-scale attacks on Jews by Arabs rocked Jerusalem. Palestinians killed 133 Jews and suffered 116 deaths. Sparked by a dispute over use of the Western Wall of Al-Aqsa Mosque ( this site is sacred to Muslims, but Jews claimed it is the remaining of jews temple all studies shows clearly that the wall is from the Islamic ages and it is part of al-Aqsa Mosque). But the roots of the conflict lay deeper in Arab fears of the Zionist movement which aimed to make at least part of British-administered Palestine a Jewish state.

1936 The Palestinians held a six-month General Strike to protest against the confiscation of land and Jewish immigration.

1937 Peel Commission, headed by Lord Robert Peel, issued a report. Basically, the commission concluded, the mandate in Palestine was unworkable There was no hope of any cooperative national entity there that included both Arabs and Jews. The commission went on to recommend the partition of Palestine into a Jewish state, an Arab state, and a neutral sacred-site state to be administered by Britain.

1939 The British government published a White Paper restricting Jewish immigration and offering independence for Palestine within ten years. This was rejected by the Zionists, who then organized terrorist groups and launched a bloody campaign against the British and the Palestinians.



1947-1966


1947 Great Britain decided to leave Palestine and called on the United Nations (UN) to make recommendations. In response, the UN convened its first special session and on November 29, 1947, it adopted a plan calling for partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem as an international zone under UN jurisdiction.

1947 Arab protests against partition erupted in violence, with attacks on Jewish settlements in retalation to the attacks of Jews terrorist groups to Arab Towns and villages and massacres in hundred against unarmed Palestinian in there homes.

15 May 1948 British decided to leave on this day, leaders of the Yishuv decided (as they claim) to implement that part of the partition plan calling for establishment of a Jewish state. The same day, the armies of Egypt, Transjordan (now Jordan), Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq joined Palestinian and other Arab guerrillas in a full-scale war (first Arab-Israeli War). The Arabs failed to prevent establishment of a Jewish state, and the war ended with four UN-arranged armistice agreements between Israel and Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria.

The small Gaza Strip was left under Egyptian control, and the West Bank was controled by Jordan.

Of the more than 800,000 Arabs who lived in Israeli-held territory before 1948, only about 170,000 remained. The rest became refugees in the surrounding Arab countries, ending the Arab majority in the Jewish state.

1956 Attckes incursions by refugee guerrilla bands and attacks by Arab military units were made, Egypt refused to permit Israeli ships to use the Suez Canal and blockaded the Straits of Tiran erupted in the second Arab-Israeli War.

Great Britain and France joined the attack because of their dispute with Egypt's president Gamal Abdel Nasser, who had nationalized the Suez Canal. Seizing the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula within few days. The fighting was halted by the UN after a few days, and a UN Emergency Force (UNEF) was sent to supervise the cease-fire in the Canal zone. By the end of the year their forces withdrew from Egypt, but Israel refused to leave Gaza until early 1957.

1965 The Palestine Liberation Organization was established.



1967-1989


1967 Nasser's insistence in 1967 that the UNEF leave Egypt, led Israel to attack Egypt, Jordan, and Syria simultaneously on 5th of June.

The war ended six days later with an Israeli victory. Israel occuiped Gaza Strip, Sinai Peninsula, Arab East Jerusalem, West Bank, Golan Heights.

After 1967 war, several guerrilla organizations within the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) carried out guerrillas attacks on Israeli miletary targets, with the stated objective of "redeeming Palestine."

1973 Egypt joined Syria in a war on Israel to regain the territories lost in 1967. The two Arab states struck unexpectedly on October 6. After crossing the suez channel the Arab forces gain a lot of advanced positions in Sinai Peninsula and Golan Heights and manage to defeat the Israeli forces for more then three weeks. Israeli forces with a massive U.S. economic and military assistance managed to stop the arab forces after a three-week struggle. The Arab oil-producing states cut off petroleum exports to the United States and other Western nations in retaliation for their aid to Israel.

In an effort to encourage a peace settlement, U.S. secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, managed to work out military disengagements between Israel and Egypt in the Sinai and between Israel and Syria in the Golan Heights during 1974.

1974 The Arab Summit in Rabat recognized the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

1982 Israel launched an invasion of Lebanon aimed at wiping out the PLO presence there. By mid-August, after intensive fighting in and around Bayrut, the PLO agreed to withdraw its guerrillas from the city. Israeli troops remained in southern Lebanon.

1987 Relations between Israel and the Palestinians entered a new phase with the intifada, a series of uprisings in the occupied territories that included demonstrations, strikes, and rock-throwing attacks on Israeli soldiers.

1988 The PNC meeting in Algiers declared the State of Palestine as outlined in the UN Partition Plan 181.



1990-2000


1990 Yasser Arafat addressed the UN Security Council In Geneva demanding UN emergency force to provide international protection for the Palestinian people to safeguard their lives, properties and holy places.

1991 The first comprehensive peace talks between Israel and delegations representing the Palestinians and neighboring Arab states

1993 Israel deported 415 Palestinian men to a buffer zone in southern Lebanon. The deported Palestinians were said by Israeli authorities to be active members of the militant Islamic resistance movement Hamas.

1993 Aftersecret negotiations, PM Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat signed an historic peace agreement. Israel agreed to allow for Palestinian self-rule, first in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank town of Jericho, and later in other areas of the West Bank.

Feb 1994 An American-born Jewish settler in Hebron, Baruch Goldstein, opened fire in al-Haran al-ebrahime crowded mosque, killing 29 Muslims and wounding 150 more.

May 1994 In Cairo - Egypt, Yasser Arafat, and Yitzhak Rabin, signed the final version of the Declaration of Principles. Within 24 hours of the signing, Israeli military forces were scheduled to leave the Gaza Strip and Jericho.

July 1994 Yasser Arafat returned to Palestine.

Oct 1994 The Nobel Committee in Oslo, Norway, announced that the peace prize was being awarded to Israel's Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, and to Yasser Arafat.

Jan. 1995 Martyr bombs kills 19 in Israel.

April 1995 Six killed in Gaza Martyr bombing.

July 1995 Martyr bomb in Tel Avivi.

Aug. 1995 Martyr bomber kills five in Jerusalem.

Sept. 1995 Israeli and PLO officials meeting in Taba, Egypt, finalized agreement on the second stage of eventual Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian lands. Special arrangements were agreed upon for Hebron, where Israeli soldiers will remain to protect the 450 Jewish settlers living there.

Nov. 1995 Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, was assassinated in Tel Aviv by a right-wing extremist.

Jan. 1996 PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat elected Presendant of the Palestinian National Authority.

June 1996 Right-wing Likud Party leader, Benjamin Netanyahu become the new Prime Minister of Israel.

June 1996 Arab summit discuss the new Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's peace plans.

Dec. 1996 Israeli authorities release plans to expand the Jewish settlements in Arab east Jerusalem, which causes outrage among Palestinians.

Jan. 1997 Israel and the Palestinian Authority reached an agreement for an Israeli redeployment from the West Bank city of Hebron.

Oct. 1997 Sheik Ahmed Yassin (61-year-old) founder of the militant Islamic group Hamas was released from Israeli prison, as part of a prisoner swap touched off by a failed Israeli assassination attempt in Amman, the capital of Jordan.

Oct. 1998 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat signed at peace-for-land agreement at the conclusion of negotiations in the U.S. the agreement calls for Israel to relinquish control of portions of the West Bank in return for active measures to be taken by Palestinians against terrorism.

Nov.1998 Palestinian President Yasser Arafat inaugurated Gaza International Airport.

Dec. 1998 President Clinton stood witness as hundreds of Palestinian leaders renounced a call for the destruction of Israel. Clinton urged "legitimate rights for Palestinians, real security for Israel."

May 1999 Winning a crushing victory over hard-line Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak promised to forge a secure peace with the Palestinians, pull troops out of Lebanon in a year and heal the deep divisions among Israelis.

Sep. 1999 An agreement has been reached with Israel concerning the release of Palestinian prisoners. Such release was a major point of contention in negotiations concerning the implementation of the Wye River peace accord.

Oct.1999 Israel and the Palestinians agreed to establish the first open land link between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip so-called "safe passage".

Mar.2000 Kissing Palestinian earth and warmly welcomed byYasser Arafat, Pope John Paul II made a prayerful pilgrimage to the town of Jesus' birth.



2000 - Al-Aqsa Intifada fire

Summary of the most importent events of the year

11.07.2000 - Camp David 2000 Summit

The Middle East Peace Summit at Camp David of July 2000 took place between United States President Bill Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat. It was an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to negotiate a "final status settlement" to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

President Clinton announced his invitation to Barak and Arafat on July 5, 2000, to come to Camp David to continue their negotiations on the Middle East peace process. Building on the positive steps towards peace of the earlier 1978 Camp David Accords where President Jimmy Carter was able to broker a peace agreement between Egypt, represented by President Anwar Sadat, and Israel represented by Prime Minister Menachem Begin. The Oslo Accords of 1993 between the later assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian Liberation Organisation Chairman Yasser Arafat had provided that agreement should be reached on all outstanding issues between the Palestinians and Israeli sides - the so-called final status settlement - within five years of the implementation of Palestinian autonomy. However, the interim process put in place under Oslo had not fulfilled Palestinian expectations.

On July 11, the Camp David 2000 Summit convened. The summit ended on July 25, without an agreement being reached.




28.09.2000 - Al-Aqsa Intifada

On September 28, 2000 the Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon, with a Likud party delegation, and surrounded by hundreds of Israeli riot police, visited the mosque compound of the Al-Haram Al-Sharif (Temple Mount) in the Old City of Jerusalem. The mosque compound is the first Qibla of Muslims and the third holiest site in Islam. It also contains the area for the most holy site in Judaism. The pretext for Sharon's visit of the mosque compound was to check complaints by Israeli archeologists that Muslim religious authorities had vandalized archeological remains beneath the surface of the mount during the conversion of the presumed Solomon's Stables area into a mosque.

A group of Palestinian dignitaries came to protest the visit, as did three Arab Knesset Members. With the dignitaries watching from a safe distance.Palestinians saw Sharon's visit as an assault on the Al-Aqsa Mosque. For this reason, the whole conflict is known as the Al-Aqsa Intifada. On September 29, 2000, the day after Sharon's visit, following Friday prayers, large uprising broke out around Old Jerusalem during which several Palestinian demonstrators were shot dead. Already in the same day, the September 29, 2000, demonstrations broke out in the West Bank. In the days that followed, demonstrations erupted all over the West Bank and Gaza.



Full coverage of Al-Aqsa Intifada




2001 - First year of Intifada

Summary of the most importent events of the year

21.01.2001 - Taba Summit

The Taba summit also known as the permanent status talks at Taba between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, held from January 21 to January 27, 2001 at Taba in the Sinai peninsula, were peace talks aimed at reaching the "final status" negotiations to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The summit came closer to reaching a final settlement than any previous or subsequent peace talks yet ultimately failed to achieve its goals

The summit took place against the backdrop of the failed Camp David 2000 Summit between Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Barak and the Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, and a Palestinian Intifada that commenced against Israel. The Palestinians asserted that the visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque by the Likud leader Ariel Sharon sparked the Al-Aqsa Intifada in September of 2000. For US President Bill Clinton, the peace diplomacy culminating at the Taba Summit was a final attempt to win an important political victory before he was to leave office and with expected changes of policy expected with the inauguration of President George W. Bush on January 20, 2001.




06.02.2001 - Ariel Sharoh PM

On February 6, 2001, Ariel Sharon was elected as the new prime minister of Israel, and he refused to meet in person with the Palestinian President Yasser Arafat.




27.08.2001 - The assassination of Abu Ali Mustafa

Abu Ali Mustafa, the General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, is assassinated by an Israeli missile shot by an Apache helicopter through his office window in Ramallah. Abu Ali Mustafa was born in 1938, in the northern West Bank town of Arraba, the son of a farmer. In September 1999 he returned to the West Bank under a deal struck between Yasser Arafat and Israel's Prime Minister, Ehud Barak. In July 2000 he was elected as the new general secretary of the PFLP after Habash retired.

He was killed in a targeted assassination by two rockets fired from an Israeli helicopter as he sat at his desk in Ramallah on August 27, 2001. Over 50,000 mourners attended his funeral. At the time, he was the most senior Palestinian political leader to have been killed by Israel. The PFLP subsequently renamed their armed wing in the Occupied Palestinian Territories the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades. He was succeeded as Secretary General by Ahmad Saadat.





2002 - The daily Intifada

Summary of the most importent events of the year

March 2002 - Saudi Peace Initiative

Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia proposed a Saudi peace initiative in March 2002 that formally changed the Arab world’s position on Israel. The proposal, endorsed by the Arab League, asked Israel to withdraw to the 1949 borders and establish an independent and sovereign state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital. It stipulated that displaced refugees should either be allowed to return to their homes or be compensated for their loss of property. In return, the Arab states would consider the Arab-Israeli conflict over, sign comprehensive peace treaties with Israel, and normalize relations. The proposal was received with skepticism by Israel and had little practical effect.



Full text of the Arab peace initiative


13.03.2002 - U.N. Resolution 1397

The U.S. pushes through the passage of U.N. Resolution 1397 by the Security Council, demanding an "immediate cessation of all acts of violence" and "affirming a vision of a region where two states, Israel and Palestine, live side by side within secure and recognized borders".




14.03.2002 - Ramallah under attack

Israeli forces continue the raid on Ramallah and other West Bank towns. A helicopter attack near Tulkarm kills Mutasen Hammad and two bystanders. A bomb in Gaza City destroys an Israeli tank which was escorting settlers, killing 3 soldiers and wounding 2. A taxi in Tulkarm explodes, killing 4 Palestinians. Palestinians execute two accused collaborators in Bethlehem, planning to hang one of the corpses near the Church of the Nativity until Palestinian police stop them.




29.03.2002 - Palestinian cities under attack

Israeli forces begin Operation Defensive Shield, Israel's largest military operation in the West Bank since the 1967 Six-Day War. Within twenty-four hours, the Israel Defense Forces had issued emergency call-up notices for 30,000 reserve soldiers, the largest such call-up since the 1982 Lebanon War. The stated goals of the operation as claimed by Israelgovernment (as conveyed to the Israeli Knesset by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on April 8, 2002) were to "enter cities and villages which have become havens for terrorists; to catch and arrest terrorists and, primarily, their dispatchers and those who finance and support them; to confiscate weapons intended to be used against Israeli citizens; to expose and destroy terrorist facilities and explosives, laboratories, weapons production factories and secret installations. The orders are clear: target and paralyze anyone who takes up weapons and tries to oppose our troops, resists them or endanger them - and to avoid harming the civilian population."

By April 3, the IDF was conducting major military operations in all Palestinian cities with the exception of Hebron and Jericho. The major points of conflict were, Bethlehem, Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah. During the operation, strict curfews were placed on at least six major Palestinian cities, resulting in complaints by human rights groups that essential medical attention was being denied to sick and elderly Palestinians, as well as complaints that Israel was practicing collective punishment, which is prohibited under the Fourth Geneva Convention. In some cities, there were scheduled breaks in the curfews. In others, curfews continued uninterrupted for a week or more.

Throughout the two weeks of fighting in Jenin and for a few days afterward, the city and its refugee camp were under curfew.

The city of Bethlehem and its environs remained under curfew for five weeks, though there were periodic breaks, until an impasse involving Palestinian gunmen who had held hostage the clergy in the Church of the Nativity was resolved. Most of the armed Palestinians in the Church of the Nativity agreed to go to the Gaza Strip. The rest were exiled to Cyprus.

Notable events were the battle of Jenin and the siege of Yasser Arafat's compound.




02.04.2002 - Church of the Nativity siege

Israeli troops occupy Bethlehem. Dozens of armed Palestinian gunmen, occupy the Church of the Nativity and hold the church and its clergy. 200 Palestinians, including 50 armed militants, broke into it for 39 days. They were seeking refuge from an Israeli Defense Force incursion into Bethlehem. Israeli army snipers killed seven armed militants and wounded more than 40 people during the siege. A fire was started inside the church. Following extensive negotiations, the Israeli army lifted the siege on condition that 13 of the Palestinian militants be deported to Cyprus and another 26 transferred to the Gaza Strip.




12.04.2002 - Jenine refugee camp massacre

The Battle of Jenin took place in April 2002 in Jenin's Palestinian refugee camp as part of Operation Defensive Shield, a large-scale military operation conducted by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF), the largest conducted in the West Bank since the 1967 Six-Day War. The battle attracted widespread international attention because journalists, particularly in the UK, reported that a massacre of Palestinians had taken place during the fighting, and that hundreds, or even thousands, of bodies had been secretly buried in mass graves by the IDF.

The United Nations (UN) report said that the number of Palestinians killed was at least 52, 22 of whom were civilians, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW). 23 Israeli soldiers were killed. A section of the camp was destroyed during the fighting.



Full detailes of 2002 Jenine camp massacre


June 2002 - Israeli apartheid separation wall

Israel begins construction of the West Bank Wall. The Israeli West Bank barrier is a physical barrier being constructed by Israel consisting of a network of fences with vehicle-barrier trenches surrounded by an on average 60 meters wide exclusion area (90%) and up to 8 meters high concrete walls (10%). It is located within the West Bank.

The barrier is a very controversial project. Opponents claim the barrier (i) is an illegal attempt to annex Palestinian land under the guise of security (ii) violates international law (iii) has the intent or effect to pre-empt final status negotiations and (iv) severely restricts Palestinians who live nearby, particularly their ability to travel freely within the West Bank and to access work in Israel, thereby undermining their economy.



Full details about the Israeli apartheid separation wall


22.07.2002 - The assassination of Salah Shahade

IDF assissinated a top Hamas leader Salah Shahade, 14 others were also killed in the missile strike on the appartment building, including 9 children.





2003 - One more Intifada year

Summary of the most importent events of the year

19.03.2003 - Abbas PM

Mahmoud Abbas appointed Prime Minister.




30.04.2003 - Road Map for peace

The details of the Road map for peace are released. The "road map" for peace is a plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict proposed by a "quartet" of international entities: the United States, the European Union, Russia, and the United Nations. The principles of the plan were first outlined by U.S. President George W. Bush in a speech on June 24, 2002, in which he called for an independent Palestinian state living side by side with Israel in peace.

In exchange for statehood, the road map requires the Palestinian Authority to make democratic reforms and abandon the use of terrorism. Israel, for its part, must support and accept the emergence of a reformed Palestinian government and end settlement activity of the Gaza Strip and West Bank as the Palestinian threat is removed.

The road map comprises three goal-driven phases with the ultimate goal of ending the conflict as early as 2005. However, as a performance-based plan, progress will require and depend upon the good faith efforts of the parties, and their compliance with each of the obligations quartet put the plan together, with amendments following consultations with Israelis and Palestinians:

Phase I (as early as May 2003): End to Palestinian violence; Palestinian political reform; Israeli withdrawal and freeze on settlement expansion; Palestinian elections.

Phase II (as early as June-Dec 2003): International Conference to support Palestinian economic recovery and launch a process, leading to establishment of an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders; revival of multilateral engagement on issues including regional water resources, environment, economic development, refugees, and arms control issues; Arab states restore pre-intifada links to Israel (trade offices, etc.).




02.06.2003 - Eqypt summit

A two-day summit is held in Egypt. Arab leaders announce their support for the road map and promised to work on cutting off funding to terrorist groups.





21 August 2003 - The assassination of Ismail Abu Shanab

Five Israeli missiles incinerated Ismail Abu Shanab in Gaza City on 21 August 2003, killing one of the most powerful voices for peace in Hamas and destroying the ceasefire. Israeli helicopters struck the car carrying the third most senior Hamas leader. The missiles also buried a seven-week ceasefire already strained by Israeli killings of Islamic militants and retaliatory bombings, and threw the US-led road map to peace deeper into crisis. Hamas declared an immediate end to the truce and vowed a bloody revenge for the death of Abu Shanab, who was married with 11 children.



Full coverage of the assassination of Ismail Abu Shanab


06.09.2003 - Abbas resigns as PM


Mahmoud Abbas resigns from the post of Prime Minister.





2004 - Lossing leaders

Summary of the most importent events of the year


21.03.2004 - The assassination of Shaik Ahmed Yassin

Ahmad Yassin was assassinated in an Israeli helicopter missile strike on 21 March 2004. Israeli helicopter gunships fired missiles at Hamas' spiritual leader, Shaikh Ahmed Yassin, as he left a mosque after performing the Monday dawn prayers, killing the Hamas leader and six other worshippers. A reporter who rushed to the scene after hearing three loud explosions found the blown-up remains of Yassin's blood-soaked wheel-chair. Witnesses at the mosque said Yassin's body had been evacuated to Al-Shifa Hospital.



Full coverage of the assassination of Shaik Ahmed Yassin



17.04.2004 - The assassination of Abdul Azziz al-Rantisi

Rantisi was assassinated in an Israeli helicopter missile strike, as he returned from a visit to his family on 17 April 2004.

Hundreds of thousands of citizens, including prominent political figures, participated in the funeral procession of Hamas leader, Dr. Abdel Aziz Al Rantisi, and two of his bodyguards. The body of the Hamas leader, who was extra-judicially executed yesterday night, was taken to the Al Omari Grand Mosque in the heart of Gaza City, where his body would be prayed on and sent to his final resting place. During the procession, which started from the leader's home at the Al Sheikh Redwan suburb, citizens chanted slogans demanding revenge to Al Rantisi's killing and condemning the continuous Israeli military aggressions against the Palestinian people, as billowing banners of the different factions appeared throughout the procession. The funeral procession witnessed also a massive attendance of representatives of national and Islamic factions, who expressed the unity of the Palestinian stance in the face of the Israeli conspiracies, asserting that the resistance would continue despite the Israeli strikes.



Full coverage of the assassination of Rantisi


06.06.2004 - Marwan Al-Barghouthi jailed for life

On 06 Jun 2004, An Israeli court Sunday jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Al-Barghouthi for life for resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestine but he said his people's statehood quest would not be broken. Al-Barghouthi, who denied involvement in actual resistance to the Israeli occupation of his country, received another 20 years for attempted murder and a further 20 for activity in a resistance group that Israelis and their supporters call "terrorist" group - 165 years in total - in a high-profile case that Palestinians denounced as a show trial. The articulate Palestinian lawmaker, Marwan Al-Barghouthi, did not recognize the jurisdiction of the Israeli occupation court.




15.08.2004 - Palestinian prisoners hunger strike

Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails of Sabe', Nafha, Hadarim and Shatta started an open-ended hunger strike on Sunday 15 August 2004.

They are to be joined by prisoners of the rest of Israeli jails on Wednesday 18 August 2004. On 22 August 2004 Among the unwavering attempts by the Israeli prisoners’ service to break the open hunger strike the Palestinian prisoners are embarking on for the eight day in row, the Al Ramlah and Hasharoon female prisons were brutally attacked by the Israeli jailers and as the personal belongings of the detainees were seized in the notorious Israeli desert jail of Nafha. The prisoners further threatened that they would even refrain from taking medicines in the case the Israeli prisons authority went ahead with the atrocious and racist measures against the striking prisoners. On 26 August 2004 As the Palestinian political prisoners' open-ended hunger strike entered the 12th day, the Israeli occupation Prison Service used coercive measures by against the hunger-strikers, including threats, psychological and physical pressures. On 29 August 2004 Aisha Al-Zaban, 55, died after suffering a severe heart attack a two days ago in Nablus City. Family members said that Aisha was participating in sit-ins organized by families of prisoners at the tent pitched for that purpose in downtown Nablus. Aisha is a mother of two; Ammar, who is serving 26 life sentences in Israeli jails, and Bashar, who was killed in 1994. On 02 September 2004 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli occupation jails have effectively ended an 18-day-old hunger strike after most of their demands for better conditions were met.



Full coverage of Palestinian prisoners hunger strike


16.10.2004 - North Gaza Strip under attack

Israel officially ended a 17-day military operation, named Operation Days of Penitence, in the northern Gaza Strip. Operation Days of Penitence conducted between September 30, 2004 and October 15, 2004. The operation, focused on the town of Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahia and Jabalia refugee camp, which were used as launching sites of Qassam rockets on the Israeli town of Sderot and Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip. The operation resulted in the deaths of between 104 and 133 Palestinians (42 civilians), and 5 people on the Israeli side (2 soldiers and 3 civillians).

During this attack the Israeli military killed between 104 and 133 Palestinians, including 62-87 militants and 18-31 civilians; demolished 77 houses and damaged hundreds more; damaged public facilities, including schools, kindergartens and mosques, and destroyed farmland.

The attack resulted in a proposed resolution of the U.N. Security Council condemning the Israeli action, calling for Israeli withdrawal and respect for human rights of Palestinians. The resolution was vetoed by the United States on October 5 who criticized it from ignoring terrorism against Israelis.

Over the weekend of October 17, the Israeli military announced that its troops withdrew from the Jabalia refugee camp and other populated areas and redeployed to positions nearby and proclaimed the attack a success, with a warning that the troops would return if the rocket attacks resume.





11.11.2004 - Yasser Arafat Died

Yasser Arafat dies at the age of 75 in a hospital near Paris, after undergoing urgent medical treatment since October 29, 2004.



Full coverage of Araft Funeral



2005 - New leadership

Summary of the most importent events of the year

08.02.2005 - Sharm el-Shaik summit

On February 02, 2005, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has accepted an invitation to a summit with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in Egypt next week. At the summit on February 08, 2005, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Tuesday proclaimed a formal end to fighting with Israel after more than four years of bloodshed.




12.09.2005 - Gaza disengagement plan completed

Completion of Israel's unilateral disengagement plan. Israel removes all Jewish settlements, many Bedouin communities, and military equipment from the Gaza Strip. Although there is no permanent Israeli presence or jurisdiction in Gaza anymore, Israel retains control of certain elements (such as airspace, borders and ports), leading to a ongoing dispute as to whether or not Gaza is "occupied" or not.



Full coverage of Gaza disengagement plan



2006 - Hamas in the government

Summary of the most importent events of the year

25.01.2006 - Hamas won the Legislative election

Hamas wins by landslide the majority of seats after the Palestinian legislative election, 2006. Israel, the United States, European Union, and several European and Western countries cut off their aid to the Palestinians; as they view the Islamist political party who rejects Israel's right to exist as a terrorist organization.



Ismail Haniya Biography


09.06.2006 - The killing of 7 family members on Gaza beach

Following the Gaza beach blast, in which seven members of one family and one other Palestinian were killed on a Gaza beach, the armed wing of Hamas calls off its 16-month-old truce. Israel claims it was shelling 250m away from the family's location; Palestinians claimed that the explosion was Israeli responsibility.



Full coverge of Israel-Gaza confilcat 2006


25.06.2006 - 2006 Israel-Gaza confilicat

After crossing the border from the Gaza Strip into Israel, Palestinian militants attack an Israeli army post. The militants kidnapped Gilad Shalit, killed two IDF soldiers and wounded four others. Israel launches Operation Summer Rains.

Israel mobilized thousands of troops in order to suppress Qassam rocket fire against its civilian population and to secure the release of Corporal Gilad Shalit. It is estimated that between 7,000 and 9,000 heavy Israeli artillery shells have been fired into Gaza since September 2005, killing 80 Palestinians in 6 months. The Palestinians say the assault is aimed at toppling the democratically elected Hamas-led government and at destabilizing the Palestinian National Authority, citing the targeting of civilian infrastructure such as a power station and the captures of government and parliament members.



Full coverge of Israel-Gaza confilcat 2006


12.07.2006 - Lebanon war 2006

Hezbollah infiltrates Israel in a cross-border raid, kidnaps two soldiers and kills three others. Israel attempts to rescue the kidnapped, and five more soldiers are killed. Israel's military responds, and the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict begins.



Full coverge of Qana 2 Massacre


01.11.2006 - 09.11.2006 Beit Hanoun Massacre

01.11.2006 The town of Beit Hanoun has been under the very tight control of a large force of tanks and troops who have ordered the tens of thousands of local people to stay off the streets for all but very brief periods. The Israelis destroyed Beit Hanoun, they destroyed the infrastructure, cut the water pipes and the telephone lines. Hundreds of men have been rounded up and questioned, and some have been taken away to Israel. The entire town of Beit Hanoun remains under Israeli control and troops have ordered residents to stay indoors.

03.11.2006 Two women have been killed as Israeli troops opened fire on a crowd of women gathered to help besieged gunmen flee a mosque in Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza. In the dramatic mosque rescue, Hamas radio issued an appeal to local women when a tense stand-off developed between Israeli forces surrounding the Mosque and up to 15 militants who had taken refuge inside. The Israeli occupation forces were firing heavily at women with their machine guns. The women entered the mosque and indeed we got all the resistance men out.

07.11.2006 Israel's army says it has pulled out of the town of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip, after a six-day operation targeting rocket-firing militants. Witnesses confirmed Israeli troops had left. The army says it has taken up positions in surrounding areas. Some 60 Palestinians, majority of civilians, were killed.

08.11.2006 At least 18 Palestinians have been killed and 40 wounded by Israeli tank fire in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun. Palestinian officials said a barrage of tank shells hit civilian homes, and women and children were among the dead. Palestinian hospital officials said 13 of the dead belonged to the same family, and two of them were women and six were children. TV footage from Beit Hanoun showed the victims being taken to hospital in their sleeping clothes, some with terrible injuries. Sources counted about eight impacts. They confirmed that the shells appear to have landed roughly in a straight line, starting in the fields at the end of the street and hitting houses on either side of it.

09.11.2006 Tens of thousands of Gazans were set to march at mass funerals for 18 people killed by Israeli shelling, an event Palestinians said would be marked in history as a "Black Day" of massacre. The bodies of the dead were expected to be picked up from hospital morgues at mid-morning for a traditional march through the streets and then to mosques. Militants frequently accompany corteges, firing weapons into the air.

11.11.2006 The United States vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning an Israeli attack in Gaza that killed 18 Palestinian civilians and urging a quick withdrawal of Israeli forces from the area. Nine of the council's 15 members voted for the measure, while four abstained: Britain, Denmark, Japan and Slovakia.



Full coverge of beit Hanoun Massacre



Palestine - Home of history index