Israel’s history has been marked by tumultuous relations and eight official wars with its Arab neighbors. The historic agreement announced Thursday with the United Arab Emirates is only the third of its kind, after the peace concluded with Egypt and then with Jordan.
Creation of Israel and wars
On May 14, 1948, three years after the end of World War II and the extermination of over six million Jews by the Nazis, David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the State of Israel over part of Palestine.
The next day, the Arab armies (Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq) went to war against the new state which won an overwhelming victory in 1949. More than 760,000 Palestinians were forced into exodus or driven from their homes.
On October 29, 1956, three months after the nationalization of the Suez Canal by Egypt, Israel launched its armored vehicles and its air force to attack the Sinai and reached the Suez Canal. Under pressure from the UN, the United States and then the USSR, Israel withdrew.
On June 5, 1967, Israel launched the so-called “Six-Day” war against Egypt, Syria and Jordan, seizing East Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Syrian Golan Heights. and Egyptian Sinai.
On October 6, 1973, Egypt and Syria attacked Israel in Sinai and the Golan Heights. After serious setbacks, the Israeli army regains the upper hand at the cost of severe losses.
1979, peace with Egypt
In November 1977, Egyptian President Anwar Anwar al-Sadat was the first Arab head of state to visit Israel since its founding.
This historic trip paved the way for the Camp David accords in September 1978, which culminated on March 26, 1979 in the signing, under the aegis of the United States, of the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty, the first ever concluded between Israel and the United States. one of his neighbors.
Invasion of Lebanon
On June 6, 1982, Israeli troops invaded Lebanon and besieged Beirut. Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) must leave the country. Israeli troops occupied the south until 2000.
After the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers by the Hezbollah movement in 2006, Israel launched a devastating offensive in Lebanon.
Peace with Jordan
On October 26, 1994, Israeli Prime Ministers Yitzhak Rabin and Jordanian Prime Ministers Abdel Salam Majali signed a peace treaty, turning the page of 46 years of state of war.
The treaty, signed in the presence of US President Bill Clinton, guarantees Israel security on its longest border and lays the foundation for economic cooperation. It also recognizes Jordan’s “historic role” in the management of the Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem.
Oslo Intifadas and Agreements
In December 1987, the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza unleash the “war of stones”, the first Intifada against the Israeli occupation.
On September 13, 1993, after six months of secret negotiations in Oslo, Israel and the PLO signed agreements on Palestinian autonomy in Washington, sealed by a historic handshake between Yasser Arafat and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
Yasser Arafat returns to the occupied territories and establishes the Palestinian Authority there.
In November 1995, Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by a Jewish extremist opposed to the peace process.
After the failure of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations at Camp David and the controversial visit in September 2000 of Ariel Sharon, then leader of the right-wing opposition, to the Mosque esplanade in Jerusalem, the second Intifada broke out.
The Israeli army reoccupied the main cities of the West Bank, then launched in March 2002 the largest offensive on this territory since 1967.
In September 2005, Israel withdrew unilaterally from the Gaza Strip, on which it imposed a blockade after the takeover of the enclave by the Islamist movement Hamas in 2007. In July 2014, Israel launched Operation Protective Edge. against the Gaza Strip.
On December 6, 2017, US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, sparking the anger of the Palestinians and the disapproval of the international community. On May 14, 2018, the United States moved its embassy to Jerusalem.
In March 2019, the US president signed the decree recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
On January 28, 2020, he unveiled a controversial plan including the annexation by Israel of parts of the occupied West Bank. Arab countries warn that annexation would cause “major conflict”.
On August 13, Donald Trump announced the signing of a “historic peace agreement” between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, under which the Jewish state agreed to end the continued annexation of Palestinian territory.