Conflict begins immediately after the UN Partition Resolution of 29 November 1947 and develops into full-scale war by January 1948 when the Arab Liberation Army enters British Palestine from Lebanon.
The Partition Resolution is rejected by the Arab states, and the proposed Palestinian state and the international regime in Jerusalem are not established.
Britain relinquishes its Mandate in Palestine on 14 May 1948, and Israel declares its independence.
Israel is invaded by the armies of Egypt, Trans-Jordan, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia and irregular forces from Lebanon and Sudan.
UN arranges ceasefire. Rhodes Armistice agreements set ceasefire lines.
Many Arabs leave Israel between 1947 and 1949 and become refugees. Jewish survivors arrive from Europe, and Jewish refugees come from Arab countries.
Suez Canal, owned by France and UK, is nationalised by Egypt.
Egyptian-sponsored “commando” attacks on Israel from Gaza are intensified and the Canal and the Gulf of Aqaba are blocked to Israel-bound shipping.
Israel joins France and UK in a military campaign against Egypt and Israeli forces take the Sinai desert.
Israel withdraws from Sinai on basis of international guarantees of freedom of navigation and presence of a UN peacekeeping force in Sinai.
Palestine Liberation Organisation is formed by the Arab League “to attain the objective of liquidating Israel.”
Egypt orders UN force out of Sinai and closes Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping, in breach of the 1957 guarantees.
Egypt, Jordan and Syria threaten invasion and mass armies on Israel’s borders.
Egyptian President Nasser announces to the Egyptian Parliament:
“The problem before the Arab countries is not whether the port of Eilat should be blockaded or how to blockade it, but how totally to exterminate the State of Israel for all time”.
The Six-day war ends with Sinai, Gaza, West Bank and Golan in Israel’s possession. Israel annexes East Jerusalem, including the Old City.
Khartoum Conference of the Arab League rejects negotiation with or recognition of Israel.
UN resolution 242 proposes framework for peace negotiation.
Fatah joins PLO and Arafat becomes PLO Chairman. International terrorism campaign begins.
PLO expelled from Jordan by the Jordanian army. (“Black September”.) The PLO moves to Southern Lebanon.
Yom Kippur War ends in stalemate after surprise invasion by Egypt and Syria.
Egypt’s President Sadat addresses Israeli Parliament in Jerusalem and proposes peace.
Camp David peace Accords with Egypt are negotiated, with mediation by US President Jimmy Carter.
Sadat assassinated by the Muslim Brotherhood.
Peace Treaty with Egypt implemented and Israel withdraws from Sinai.
Israel attacks PLO in Lebanon. PLO withdraws from Beirut and establishes headquarters in Tunisia.
Israel withdraws from Lebanon but maintains forces in 15 kilometre security zone.
“Intifada” begins with stone-throwing by children in Gaza and West Bank.
Sheikh Yassin founds Hamas, as the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Arafat “recognises” Israel at a press conference in Algiers.
Jews allowed to leave Soviet Union. One million arrive in Israel in next six years.
Jews of Ethiopia airlifted to Israel.
Iraq invades Kuwait. Defeated in First Gulf War of 1991.
Madrid Peace Conference. First direct negotiation between Israel and the Palestinians, and with Arab states other than Egypt.
Oslo Accords, negotiated secretly in Norway, and signed in Washington, establish the Palestinian Interim Self-Governing Authority and set framework for peace.
Rabin assassinated. Shimon Peres caretaker PM.
Invasion of South Lebanon following Hezbollah bombardments.
Suicide bombing attacks escalate.
Netanyahu elected. Introduces policy of “reciprocity”, ie. territorial withdrawals in return for security co-operation.