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Minorities At Risk Project: Home    

Chronology for Arabs in Israel

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Date(s) Item
1800 - 1899 Zionists first begin to settle in Palestine.
1867 Laws are passed enabling foreigners to purchase land in Palestine. Zionists begin to purchase large tracts of land.
Jan 1917 In the Balfour Declaration the British assert that they "view with favor" the idea of establishing a Jewish national homeland in Palestine.
1920 During World War One Palestine was captured from the Ottoman Empire. In 1920, the British mandate over Palestine was approved by the League of Nations.
1936 In protest over British policies regarding Jewish immigration and land purchases, the Arabs of Palestine begin a violent revolt which takes the British authorities 18 months to quell.
1947 - 1948 The UN calls for a partition of Palestine in which 54% of the land would become a Palestinian state and 46% would become a Jewish state.The Israeli Defense Force launches "Plan D" in which various Palestinian populations who resided in areas of strategic value would be subject to small scale massacres in an effort to encourage them to leave their places of residence. Approximately 300,000 Palestinians became refugees as a result. Israel declared its independence and was attacked by its Arab neighbors. During the war of 1948, the new Israeli state acquired vast new territories designated to be Arab lands. In the process approximately 725,000 more Palestinians fled to Jordan and Lebanon where they constituted 50% and 10% of the population respectively.
1964 The Arab League forms the Palestinian Liberation Organization.
1967 In the War of 1967 Israel conquers the West Bank and Gaza Strip sending 355,000 refugees to Jordan
1967 - 1987 The Palestinians of Israel lived under Israeli occupation without providing any serious resistance.
1987 The Palestinian Intifada (uprising) against Israeli occupation erupts in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Jul 27, 1989 In an interview Yasser Arafat outlined a four point Palestinian Israeli peace plan. 1) Temporary Israeli withdrawal from the territories during the elections; 2) The elections themselves; 3) Palestinian repatriation; and 4) Palestinian independence.
Sep 2, 1989 Israeli Arabs called a nationwide school strike to protest against the lack of money the government has allocated to improving the conditions of the Arab schools.
Sep 27, 1989 The Supreme Court ruled that the Progressive List for Peace would be allowed to participate in Israeli elections.
Oct 16, 1989 Israeli police and Palestinians clashed in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount following the laying of a cornerstone by the Temple Mount Faithful who's aim is to rebuild the Jewish Temple where the Dome of the Rock Mosque now stands.
Feb 26, 1990 In Haifa, over 4,000 Israeli Arabs protested inadequate government aid for increasing municipal debt in Arab governed communities. There had been a general strike in effect in Haifa for 3 weeks.
Feb 27, 1990 The Government agreed to transfer loans to local Arab councils to cover their deficits.
Oct 7, 1990 In preparation for the Gulf-War, the IDF began distributing gas masks, but not to Arabs.
Nov 7, 1990 In Kabul, near Akko, the Islamic Movement won a local election making it the first Islamic group to control a council in Israel's northern region.
May 5, 1991 Hundreds of Israeli Arabs protested outside of Prime Minister Shamir's office to object to discrimination against them in budget allocations.
Aug 1, 1991 Prime Minister Shamir announced that Israel would participate in a Middle East peace conference if Palestinians associated with the PLO, and those from outside Israel and East Jerusalem were excluded.
Dec 31, 1991 The census bureau announced that Israel's new population stood at abut 5,050,000. Of these 4,150,000 were Jews.
Jun 23, 1992 Israel held elections for the 13th Kenneset. Twenty three parties ran including the Arab Democratic Party. They were to win 2 seats in the parliament.
Aug 2, 1992 Prime Minister elect Rabin appointed two Arab Israelis to government posts, Nawaf Masalha as deputy health minister and Walid Sadik as the deputy interior minister.
Nov 3, 1992 New government reports stated that the birthrate among the Israel's Jews had dropped to 2.6 per woman while the rate among Arab Israeli women had risen to 4.6.
Nov 4, 1992 Foreign Minister Shimon Peres announced that for the first time Israeli Arabs would be allowed to join Israel's diplomatic corps.
Jan 19, 1993 The Israeli Kenesset in a vote of 39 to 20 repealed a law barring contact between Israelis and representative of the PLO.
Aug 30, 1993 The Israeli cabinet approved a Palestinian self rule proposal formulated in secret with the PLO. Israeli forces would withdraw from Gaza and Jericho and turn over certain administrative responsibilities to Palestinians. The rest of the territories, east Jerusalem, and the status of Palestinian refugees were to be discussed in 2 or 3 years.
Sep 9, 1993 Yasser Arafat recognized Israel's right to exist and denounced terrorism.
Sep 10, 1993 Prime Minister Rabin recognized the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people.
Sep 11, 1993 In 4 separate rallies over 20,000 Arabs rallied in support of the Israel-PLO peace accord.
Sep 13, 1993 In Washington Mahmud Abbas of the PLO and Shimon Peres of Israel signed a "Deceleration of Principles" on Palestinian self rule in Gaza and Jericho. Following the signing Rabin and Arafat shook hands.
Sep 13, 1993 Throughout the period covered by this update, the PLO (and later the Palestinian Authority) and the Israeli government are continually engaging in negotiations over Palestinian autonomy. The U.S. and Egypt participate in many of these negotiations. These negotiations will only be noted here when a major agreement is reached. This update will not note Palestinian terrorist activity within Israel unless it is clear that the activity in question is perpetrated by Israeli Arabs. Otherwise it is assumed that residents of the West Bank and Gaza are responsible for this activity.
Feb 9, 1994 In Cairo, PLO chairman Arafat and Israeli foreign minister Peres initial a 3 page document on principles of self rule, to be called the Cairo agreement, and an 8 page document that includes the details and maps of security arrangements.
Feb 24, 1994 In Hebron, US born Israeli settler Baruch Goldstien, a member of Kach, opens fire on Muslim worshipers in the cave of the Patriarchs, killing 29 people and wounding over 100 more. Goldstien is then beaten to death by Palestinians in the Mosque.
Feb 25, 1994 In an unprecedented show of strength, Israeli Arabs take to the streets in fierce protests of the Hebron massacre in Nazareth and Jaffa. Protests also occur in the Bedouin community outside of Beersheba in the southern Negev desert.
Mar 7 - 10, 1994 A delegation of 57 prominent Israeli Arabs makes a semiofficial visit to Syria. This is the first visit to Syria ever made by a delegation officially and openly sanctioned by the Israeli government. The delegation is led by Abdul Wahhab Darwshe, a member of the Israeli parliament who heads the leftist Arab Democratic Party.
Apr 29, 1994 In Paris, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators sign an economic agreement that is to govern economic relations for 5 years. The agreement grants trade, tax and financial authority to Palestinians, but does not allow for a Palestinian currency.
May 4, 1994 In Cairo, Israeli Prime Minister Rabin and PLO Chairman Arafat sign the Agreement on the Gaza Strip and Jericho. The agreement marks the beginning of a 5-year interim period for negotiating permanent solutions. The agreement includes, plans for an Israeli withdrawal for Gaza, a prisoner release, temporary international observers, the establishment of a Palestinian authority with legislative and executive powers, Palestinian control of elections and tax collection and the establishment of Palestinian banks and courts. It provides for Israeli control of international borders and the right of Israeli troops to enter the self-rule area during periods of "general hostilities." Three issues remain unresolved: Jericho's boundaries, the stationing of Palestinian officials at the Alanbny Bridge into Jordan, and security arrangement s at the al-Rafah crossing into Egypt.
May 4, 1994 Demonstrations protesting the Agreement on the Gaza Strip and Jericho are held in Ashdod, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.
May 10, 1994 In a speech in Johannesburg, Arafat calls for a "jihad to liberate Jerusalem," prompting protests from Israeli officials.
Jul 5, 1994 In Jericho, Arafat is sworn in as head of the Palestinian authority and appoints 12 of the 24 Palestinians to govern until the proposed October elections.
Oct 14, 1994 The Nobel Committee announce that PLO Chairman Arafat, Israeli Prime Minister Rabin and Israeli Foreign Minister Peres will receive the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize. Nobel Committee member Kare Kristiansen resigns to protest Arafat's selection.
Oct 26, 1994 Israel and Jordan sign a peace treaty which gives Jordan's King Hussein a special role in administering Jerusalem's Islamic sites. This prompts a general strike in East Jerusalem sponsored by the DFLP, HAMAS, Fatah and the PFLP. 2,000 Palestinians in Nablus and Hebron demonstrate in support of the strike.
Dec 26, 1994 The Israeli Knesset passes a bill that bars the PNA from operating in Israel and authorizes the Israeli government to ban "political or governmental" activities in Israel.
Jan 26, 1995 Jordan and the PLO sign a cooperation accord.
May 22, 1995 In an unusual move, Israeli Arab parties including the Arab Democratic Party and the Communist Party team up with the right-wing Israeli Likud party to threaten a no-confidence motion in the Knesset (Israeli parliament) protesting a proposed Israeli land-seizure in East Jerusalem. The land seizure proposal is dropped by the Israeli government.
Aug 27, 1995 An Israeli government announcement that it plans to confiscate 135 acres of mainly Arab -owned land in East Jerusalem as a site for Jewish housing units and an Israeli police station draws criticism. Israel eventually suspends plans for the land seizure.
Sep 1, 1995 Libyan leader Qaddafi announces his intention to expel all 30,000 Palestinians living in Libya in protest against the PLO's efforts to achieve peace with Israel.
Sep 28, 1995 Israel and the PLO reach an accord, which becomes known as Oslo II, on a West Bank military pullout and expanded Palestinian self rule.
Oct 18, 1995 Israeli Defense Forces intelligence reports that the PNA and HAMAS have reached an agreement under which HAMAS will halt terrorist activity against Israel from inside areas of self-rule and from inside Israeli territory. Negotiations are currently under way on converting HAMAS terrorist activity to political activity.
Oct 25, 1995 Palestinian opposition groups and the PLO condemn the US Congress' decision to move the American embassy to Jerusalem. Libyan Leader Qaddifi suspends further expulsions of Palestinians for 3 to 6 months but demands the right of return for all refugees of the Palestinian diaspora.
Oct 26, 1995 Islamic Jihad leader Fathi Shaqaq is assassinated in Malta. Palestinians blame Israeli Mossad (foreign intelligence) agents. The Islamic Jihad threatens revenge.
Nov 4, 1995 Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is assassinated at the conclusion of a rally in Tel Aviv supporting the peace process. The assassin is a right-wing Orthodox Jewish settler from the West Bank named Yigal Amir. Whether Amir acted alone or was part of a larger conspiracy remains in dispute at the time of the writing of this update.
Nov 6, 1995 Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is laid to rest in Jerusalem. Many world leaders and diplomats, including some from the Arab world, attend the funeral. Palestinian leader Arafat does not attend due to fears of a violent reaction by Israeli right-wingers, however a delegation of Palestinian officials does attend.
Nov 10, 1995 Arafat enters Israel for the first time ever in order to pay a condolence call to Rabin's widow.
Nov 22, 1995 The Israeli Knesset approves a new government headed by new Prime Minister Shimon Peres.
May 31, 1996 By a fraction of a percentage point, Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of the right wing Likud party won the election to the Prime Ministers office. The new Prime Minster pledged to continue the peace process but has promised to bring a much harder line to the negotiating table. (ABC CLIO)
Aug 13, 1996 Israeli Arab leaders protested the failure of the government to lift the closure on Gaza. (Jerusalem Post)
Jul 2, 1997 The Association of Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) condemned the treatment of Israeli Arabs and protested against the halt of the trend towards closing the gaps in budget inequalities that began under the Rabin government. (Jerusalem Post)
Feb 13, 1998 The Monitoring Committee of Israeli Arab Leaders (MCIAL) pressed for gas mask distribution centers in Arab sectors which currently have none. (Jerusalem Post)
Apr 7, 1998 Three houses were demolished in a Bedouin settlement. An unequal budget distribution for Arabs was protested against. (Jerusalem Post.)
Jun 24, 1998 The Monitoring Committee of Israeli Arab Leaders (MCIAL) called for a boycott of products made by Israeli settlers in the West Bank and Gaza. (Jerusalem Post.)
Sep 9, 1998 Israeli Arab leaders met with the Education Minister to ask for more funds for schools. The Monitoring Committee of Israeli Arab Leaders (MCIAL) threatened to disrupt the school system if their goal of more classes, equipment, and teachers was not met. (Jerusalem Post)
Dec 29, 1998 The Knesset changed the elections from 2000 to May 17 1999. (ABC CLIO)
Jan 8, 1999 The Legal center for the Rights of the Arab Minority in Israel asked the State Comptroller last year to investigate the Israel Electric Corporation's hiring practices with respect to Arabs. The action was prompted by the fact that the company employed no Arab in violation of laws governing the freedom of vocational choice. (Jerusalem Post)
Mar 13, 1999 Israeli Arabs commemorated Land Day marking past confiscation of their lands by the government. (Boston Globe)
Mar 26, 1999 For the first time an Israeli Arab , Azmi Bishara, announced his candidacy for the Prime Minister post in the next elections.
Apr 21, 1999 Tension continued in the town of Nazareth between Christian and Muslim Arabs over the Muslim demand to build a mosque on land claimed by a church. (Houston Chronicle)
May 16, 1999 Israel's first Arab candidate for Prime Minister withdrew his candidacy and hinted that his supporters should vote for Ehud Barak. (Washington Post.)
May 17, 1999 Israel elected Ehud Barak, from the left wing Labor Party as the new Prime Minister. He promised to move ahead quickly on peace talks to break the deadlock of the last several years. (The Economist)
May 1, 2003 - Jan 12, 2005 Salah is a member of the Israeli Arab Islamic Movement organization and was arrested in 2003 on charges of helping Hamas terrorists. Egypt intervened and mediated on his behalf to have him released. (Al-Bawaba, 1/12/2005, “Leaders of Israel's Islamic Movement cleared from 'terror charges'”; BBC Worldwide Monitoring, 1/1/2005, “Egypt said mediating to have Islamic Movement leaders released by Israel”)
Jan 2, 2004 Hundreds in Baka al-Garbiyeh, an Israeli Arab town, protested the construction of the security fence. They complained that it divides them from the Palestinian portion of the town. Palestinians also protested on the other side of the fence. (United Press International, 1/2/2004, “Israelis march to protest security fence”)
Jan 8, 2004 Israeli police raided the office of NDA/Balad, an Israeli Arab political party. (Agence France Presse, 1/8/2004, “Israeli police raids offices of Arab party”)
Mar 4, 2004 Shin Bet arrested two Israeli Arabs from the Sons of the Country Movement on charges that they were relaying instructions from Hezbollah to Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. (BBC Worldwide Monitoring, 3/4/2004, “Two Israeli Arabs arrested on suspicion of aiding Hezbollah; other incidents”)
Mar 23 - 30, 2004 A demonstration of 2,500 gathered in the Israeli Arab city of Nazareth to protest the assassination of Hamas’ founder Yassin. They waved black flags and shouted anti-Sharon slogans. Protests continued a week after the assassination with numbers of participants increasing to 5,000. (Xinhua General News Service, 3/23/2004, “Demonstrators protest against assassination of Yassin in Israel”)
Apr 17, 2004 Israeli Arab MK, Tibi, claims that Israeli Defense Forces fired at a car belonging to his relatives. Inside the car, a five year old Palestinian girl was shot and wounded in the chest. IDF admits that they did fire rubber bullets at the car after it failed to stop at a checkpoint. (BBC Monitoring International Reports, 4/17/2004, “Israeli Arab MK Says Army Shot Girl from his Family”)
Apr 18, 2004 Two Israeli Arabs shot at a border police jeep in Galilee. Policeman returned fire killing one and injuring another. (United Press International, 4/18/2004, “Palestinian dead in clash with soldiers”)
May 6, 2004 Israel named first Israeli Arab judge, Salim Jubran, to the Supreme Court. (Associated Press Worldstream, 5/6/2004, “First Israeli Arab Supreme Court judge appointed”)
Jul 21, 2004 Israeli Arab stabbed a soldier to avenge his brother's death. (BBC Monitoring International Reports, 7/21/2004, “Israeli Arab Said to Stab Soldier in Revenge for Brother's Death”)
Aug 4, 2004 Israeli Arab student was arrested on suspicions of spying for Hamas. He is also suspected of an attempted suicide bombing. (United Press International, 8/4/2004, “Israeli Arab student arrested for spying”)
Sep 10, 2004 About 50,000 Israeli Arabs demonstrated against Jewish extremist threats against the Al Aqsa Mosque. (Agence France Presse, 9/11/2004, “Israel ends deadly incursion but keeps seal on occupied territories”)
Sep 28 - 29, 2004 Palestinian gunmen, claiming to have been from Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade kidnapped an Israeli Arab producer who worked as a CNN journalist in Gaza. He was released unharmed the very next day. (The Independent, 9/29/2004, “Kidnapped CNN Pproducer is Released”)
Oct 2004 Alexander Rabinovitch attempted to assassinate an Israeli Arab member of the Knesset, Issam Makhoul. (US Department of state. 03/08/2006. "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices-2005: Israeli and the Occupied Territories." Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.)
Jan 2 - 8, 2005 Two Israeli Arabs and a Danish man are held on charges related to Israeli security and for links to Hezbollah of Lebanon. (Al-Bawaba, 1/20/2005, “Dane arrested in Israel for links with Hizbullah”)
Jan 13, 2005 Hamas, Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade and the Palestinian Resistance Committees are thought to be responsible for an attack in Karni that left two Israeli Arabs dead. (The Boston Globe, 1/15/2005, “An Attack on Peace”)
Feb 11 - 12, 2005 Christians and Druze clashed in an Israeli Arab village for two days. Ten were wounded including three policemen. The clash started after rumors circulated that a naked Druze woman’s photos were posted on the Internet. (Agence France Presse, 2/12/2005, "Clashes erupt in Israeli Arab village over 'naked women photo' rumours”)
Feb 26, 2005 Ashraf Nazmi Muhammad Kaisi, an Israeli Arab was arrested on charges of transporting a suicide bomber. (Federal News Service, 3/24/2005, “Remarks by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Media Adviser, Discussing the Arrest of the Israeli Arab Who Drove Tel Aviv Suicide Bomber”)
Apr 7 - 11, 2005 Lebanese Hezbollah kidnaps, beats and interrogates two Israeli Arabs to obtain information about Israel from them. (Al-Bawaba, 4/28/2005, “Report: Hizbullah holds for four days two Israeli-Arab citizens”)
Aug 4 - 5, 2005 A member of the Kach movement boards a bus in Galilee and opens fire, killing four Israeli Arabs. A funeral procession for the Israeli Arabs turned into a demonstration of 20,000 participants demanding that racism be punished and calling for national unity. (Agence France Presse, 8/5/2005, “20,000 Israeli Arabs rally for shooting rampage victims”)
Aug 5, 2005 A Presbyterian church threatens to divest its financial stake in five different companies that have been caught in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict unless they begin to employ Israeli Arabs or Palestinians, protest the occupation, help victims, etc. (Brachear, Manya A., 8/6/2005, “Presbyterians pressure 2 state firms on Mideast,” Chicago Tribune)
Nov 5, 2005 An Israeli Arab working for Al-Jazeera was detained by soldiers as the soldiers attempted to stop a demonstration. (The New York Times, 11/5/2005, “World Briefing Middle East: West Bank: Al Jazeera Cameraman Held”)
Dec 27, 2005 An Israeli Arab, former mayor of Fassuta, Jaris Jaris, was arrested under suspicion of having spied for Iranian intelligence. (BBC Worldwide Monitoring, 1/6/2006, "Israeli former mayor reported arrested on suspicion of spying for Iran”)
Jan 19, 2006 Nidam Milham, an Israeli Arab, was killed after being shot by police who came to hi home looking for weapons. Family members say that he was beaten and shot when he tried to escape. (BBC Worldwide Monitoring, 1/20/2006, “Israeli police on high alert after Tel Aviv blast, shooting of Israeli-Arab”)
Feb 25, 2006 Claiming him to be a collaborator, Fatah assassinated an Israeli Arab. (The Jerusalem Post, 2/27/2006, “Fatah kills Israeli Arab for 'collaborating'”)
Mar 4, 2006 Thousands of Israeli Arabs take to the streets to demand better protection of holy sites following an attack on a site in Nazareth. (The Times Union (Albany, New York), 3/5/2006, “Israeli Arabs protest after church disturbance”)
Mar 10, 2006 While Al Jezeera TV was covering events in northern Israeli regarding the Israeli Arabs, locals slashed the TV crew's car’s wheels and cut a number of the cables. As a result of the damage, they discussed pulling their coverage of the area. (BBC Monitoring International Reports, 3/14/2006, “Israel Al-Jazeerah TV May Stop Israeli Arab Coverage after Nazareth Attack”)
Mar 12, 2006 A Bedouin was badly beaten by Jewish youth because he was with a Jewish woman. (Associated Press Worldstream, 3/12/2006, “Israeli Arab soldier in critical condition after attack by Jews”)
Oct 29, 2006 An Israeli Arab woman was arrested on charges of aiding the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade by transporting a bomb for them. (Associated Press Worldstream, 10/29/2006, “Israeli Arab woman charged in bomb plot”)


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Information current as of July 16, 2010