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History[edit | edit source]
In its Basic Laws, Israel defines itself as a Jewish and democratic state. The country has a liberal democracy, with a parliamentary system, proportional representation, and universal suffrage. The prime minister is head of government and the Knesset is the legislature. Israel is a developed country and an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development member, with the 32nd-largest economy in the world by nominal gross domestic product as of 2017.
The country benefits from a highly skilled workforce and is among the most educated countries in the world with one of the highest percentages of its citizens holding a tertiary education degree. Israel has the highest standard of living in the Middle East, and has one of the highest life expectancies in the world.
In 1947, the United Nations adopted a Partition Plan for Palestine recommending the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states and an internationalized Jerusalem.The plan was accepted by the Jewish Agency, and rejected by Arab leaders. The following year, the Jewish Agency declared the independence of the State of Israel, and the subsequent 1948 Arab–Israeli War saw Israel's establishment over most of the former Mandate territory, while the West Bank and Gaza were held by neighboring Arab states.
Israel has since fought several wars with Arab countries, and since the Six-Day War in 1967 held occupied territories including the West Bank, Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip although still considered occupied after the 2005 disengagement, some legal experts dispute this claim. It extended its laws to the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem, but not the West Bank.
Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories is the world's longest military occupation in modern times. Efforts to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict have not resulted in a final peace agreement. However, peace treaties between Israel and both Egypt and Jordan have been signed.
Timeline[edit | edit source]
1516 - Palestine was conquered by the Ottoman Empire and it remained under Turkish rule until the end of the First World War
1882 - 1903 The First Aliyah is a term used to describe a major wave of Zionist immigration to Palestine. Jews who migrated to Ottoman Palestine in this wave came mostly from Eastern Europe and from Yemen
1904 - 1914 The Second Aliyah some 40,000 Jews settled in Palestine
1919 - 1929 The third and Fourth Aliyahs brought an additional 100,000 Jews to Palestine
1947 - By the end of World War II, the Jewish population of Palestine had increased to 33% of the total population
1948 - 1970 Approximately 1,150,000 Jewish refugees relocated to Israel
1973 - The Egyptian and Syrian armies launched a surprise attack against Israeli forces in the Sinai Peninsula and Golan Heights, that opened the Yom Kippur War. That took 10–35,000 lives in about 20 days
1990 and 1994 Immigration from the post-Soviet states increased Israel's population by twelve percent
1985–2000 The South Lebanon conflict or the Security Zone conflict in Lebanon refers to 15 years of warfare between the Lebanese Christian proxy militias with military and logistic support of Israel Defense Forces against Lebanese Muslim guerrillas led by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah, within what was defined as the Security Zone in South Lebanon