God makes an everlasting Covenant with Abraham, which continues through Isaac, Jacob and their descendants. “The Land of Canaan will be their everlasting inheritance.” (Genesis 12:3, 13:14-17, 15:18-21, 17:7-8, Psalm 105:8-11)
The Israelites enter the Promised Land after 40 years of wandering in the desert.
God covenants with David that his dynasty would be an everlasting one. (1 Chronicles 17:3-15) His son, Solomon, is commissioned by the Lord to build the House of the Lord. The Lord declares that His eyes and His heart would dwell there perpetually. (2 Chronicles 7:16)
The ﬁrst wave of Jewish exiles returns to Jerusalem, and with the permission of King Cyrus of Persia, begins torebuild the Temple.
Approximately one million Jews are killed and most of the survivors are sold into slavery or scattered into the nations. However, a small remnant of Jewish people remained in the Land throughout the dispersion.
From the period of 70AD till 1948 and the establishment of the State of Israel there have always been Jewish minorities in the land which was controlled by the Roman Empire, Ottoman Empire and British Mandate. It must also be noted that throughout these period Jews never game up the dream of returning to the Land of Israel.
The ﬁrst major wave of aliyah (Jewish Immigration) into Eretz Israel from Russia begins in the wake of ongoing pogroms against Jewish people.
The First Zionist Congress takes place in Basel, Switzerland. At the conclusion Theodore Herzl writes in his diary: “In Basel I founded the Jewish State… Maybe in ﬁve years, certainly in ﬁfty, everyone will see it.”
On the 31st of October, The British and ANZAC military forces capture Beersheba which paves the way for the British conquest of Palestine. On the same day the British Cabinet decides to pave the way for the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. The decision is published by Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour two days later in what became known as The Balfour Declaration.
On the 9th of December, the British and ANZAC forces conquer Jerusalem, bringing an end to 400 years of Ottoman Turkish rule. Two days later, British General Allenby ceremonially enters Jerusalem, declaring British rule over Palestine.
In April, Haj El-Amin, later to become the Mufti of Jerusalem, leads riots against the Jewish population of Jerusalem as Britain and France participate in a League of Nations conference in San Remo Italy to issue a mandate for British and French rule over the Middle East. Britain is given a Mandate to rule over Palestine, which includes all of modern-day Israel, Jordan and the ‘West Bank’. The Balfour Declaration is incorporated into the British Mandate, giving it international legal status.
Sir Herbert Samuel takes his position as the ﬁrst British High Commissioner of Palestine. The Churchill White Paper divides Palestine along the Jordan River, creating an Arab Homeland in Palestine known as Transjordan (later Jordan).
In August, Arab riots break out against the Jews across Palestine, including Gaza and Hebron, the oldest continuously inhabited Jewish city in the world. The British authorities respond by evacuating the Jews from both places and forbidding them to return. Serious unrest and riots continue through the 1930s as Arabs pressure Britain to halt Jewish immigration and abandon The Balfour Declaration.
September 1939 to May 1945 – Six million Jews are murdered by the Nazis under the leadership of Adolf Hitler during the Holocaust of World War II.
In May, a White Paper is published that severely restricts Jewish immigration into Palestine and outlaws land sales to Jewish people altogether. Only 75,000 Jewish immigrants would be allowed over the next 5 years. All further immigration beyond that would be subject to the agreement of the Arabs. The 1939 White Paper effectively annulled the Balfour Declaration.
On the 9th of November, the General Assembly of the United Nations votes in favour of partitioning Palestine into Jewish and Arab States (Resolution 181). The Jews accept the Partition Plan, the Arabs reject it. Jerusalem would become an international city. Violence escalates further across Palestine as the British prepare to withdraw.
On the 14th of May, British Mandate ends. At 4pm David Ben Gurion, the recognised leader of the Jewish people, declares the existence of the sovereign State of Israel, according to UN Resolution 181.
On the 15th of May, Five Arab armies attack the infant State of Israel. Jordan captures the eastern part of Jerusalem and Israel’s historical heartland, Judea and Samaria. The Jordanians expel or kill the Jews in the territory they conquer, and desecrate the Jewish holy sites. They annexe the territory and rename it ‘the West Bank of Jordan. Their sovereignty over the territory is not recognised by any nation other than Britain and Pakistan. Egypt claims sovereignty over the Gaza Strip.
In January, The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) is formed under the auspices of President Nasser of Egypt. The PLO draws up a Charter with the goal of liberating all of ‘Palestine’ (i.e. Israel) and liquidating the Jewish State. Yasser Arafat later becomes the PLO leader and embarks on a campaign of international terrorism against Jewish targets. The PLO Charter calling for the liquidation of Israel has never been rescinded.
On the 5th of June, Israel makes a pre-emptive strike against Egypt while President Nasser is preparing another war of annihilation against Israel in conjunction with Syria and Jordan. In defending herself against the invading armies Israel captures the Golan Heights, the Sinai Peninsula, the ‘West Bank’ and ‘East Jerusalem’, including the Temple Mount – the holiest site to the Jewish people.
In September, the Arab nations met in Khartoum, Sudan, for a conference. In a united front they declared that there would be “no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with Israel and no peace with Israel.” Since then only Egypt and Jordan have made peace treaties with Israel.
In October, Egypt and Syria attack Israel once again. The surprise attack on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, takes Israel completely by surprise and almost results in her defeat.
Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin win the Nobel Peace Prize for agreeing towards a peace treaty
Historic Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty signed in Washington by Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. Egypt is suspended from the Arab League due to peace treaty
On the 30th of July, The Knesset, Israel’s Parliament, passes a law that Jerusalem will be ‘the eternal and indivisible capital of Israel.’ The PLO and Arab nations react with a threat to nations that had their embassies in Jerusalem: “leave or your oil supplies will be cut off.” 13 countries move their embassies to Tel Aviv.
Egyptian President El Sadat is assassinated by Egyptian Islamic Jihad. But peace treaty between the nations remains intact
In December, the ﬁrst Palestinian intifada (uprising) begins.
13 September: Israel recognises the terrorist Palestine Liberation Organisation as the ofﬁcial representative of the Palestinian Arabs, ending the intifada. Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres sign a Declaration of Principles for a Peace Treaty on the White House lawn in the presence of President Bill Clinton. Arafat announces that he has renounced terrorism and pledges to rescind the PLO Charter. Over the next 7 years under what became known as the ‘Oslo Accords’ the PLO is given autonomy over 98% of the Palestinian population and 40% of territory in Judea and Samaria and 80% of the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile Palestinian incitement to hatred and terrorism against Israel escalates.
Peace Treaty signed between Israel and Jordan
July: President Bill Clinton invites the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to a summit at Camp David in the USA for ‘Final Status’ talks under the troubled ‘Oslo Accords’. Israeli PM Ehud Barak offers to recognise a Palestinian State in 97% of the territory Arafat is demanding, which embraces most of the Old City of Jerusalem including control over the Temple Mount – all in exchange for an ‘end to hostilities’. Arafat rejects the offer and two months later launches the second intifada against Israel.
March: In a month that proved to be the bloodiest of the intifada in which more than 100 Israelis are murdered, the Israel Defence Forces launch Operation Defensive Shield in which they re-occupy most of the territory and cities ceded to the Palestinians. Yasser Arafat is held under virtual house arrest in his Muqata compound in Ramallah where the IDF subsequently discover concrete proof that he has been directly ﬁnancing and coordinating terrorist attacks against Israel. US President Bush declares that Arafat is the main obstacle to achieving peace in the Middle East.
A new peace initiative is launched by the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations (collectively called ‘The Quartet’) to replace the failed ‘Oslo Accords’. The new initiative – known as ‘The Roadmap’ to Peace – called for a ‘performance based’ path to peace in stages. The ﬁrst stage requires the Palestinian leadership to disarm and disband the terrorist organisations. Arafat agrees to ‘the Roadmap’ and pledges to take the necessary action, but fails to do so. The Roadmap falters.
November: Yasser Arafat dies. In an election held in January 2005 Mahmoud Abbas, Arafat’s long-time right-hand man, is elected as the Palestinian President.
Israel unilaterally disengaged from the Gaza strip – removes more than 9000 settlers and all of its troops from the Gaza strip, giving Palestinians complete control of the area in a move towards creating peace and stability in the area
Terrorist organisation Hamas win over power and control of the Gaza strip. Gaza becomes a hotbed of terrorist activity with thousands of rockets being fired into Israel at Israeli citizens from the Gaza strip.
Operation Cast Lead in which IDF forces conducted a large-scale military operation in Gaza in response to Gaza terrorists ongoing rocket fire at Israeli citizens
Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu delivers speech at the United Nations saying he seeks to make “a just and lasting peace” with the Palestinians.
Operation Pillar of Defence in which IDF forces conducted an 8 day military operation in Gaza in which dozens of targets were attacked in response to a resurgence in rockets fired at Israeli citizens by Gaza terrorists
The USA under the leadership of Barak Obama again pushed for both the Israeli and the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table. Conditions from the Palestinians included the release of hundreds of Palestinian terrorists who committed crimes prior to the signing of the Oslo accords. Israel agreed, released terrorists as an act of good faith and pushed hard to resume talks. To date no peace settlement has been achieved despite Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu trying to keep the talks alive. Palestinian President Abbas is quoted “no recognition of Israel as the Jewish State” and “no extension to talks by deadline”
Hamas terrorists kill 3 school boys on their way home from school, Hamas once again fire thousands of rockets at Israeli civilians, Hamas refuse Egyptian brokered cease fire that was accepted by Israel, Israel launches ground invasion to protect Israeli citizens from Hamas attacks.
Fighting intensified between Israel and Hamas. The IDF launched Operation Protective Edge on the 8th July 2014 in response to Hamas rocket attacks. On the 17th July 2014 Israel troops entered a ground invasion on the Gaza Strip. Amongst various other things, the IDF found “terror tunnels” built from the Gaza Strip running several kilometers into Israel.