Flower Garden, Russian Orthodox Monastery, Ein Kerem, State Of Israel.(PID:27836297629) Source
posted by DM PHOTOGRAPHY alias [email protected] on Wednesday 10th of January 2018 02:23:44 PM
Ein Karem (Hebrew: עֵין כֶּרֶם, lit. "Spring of the Vineyard", and Hebrew: עין כרם - ʿEin Kerem, or in Arabic ʿAyn Kārim; also Ain Karem, Ein Kerem) is an ancient village southwest of historical Jerusalem, and now a neighborhood of the modern city, within Jerusalem District, Israel. It is the site of the Hadassah Medical Center. It was a Palestinian village in Mandatory Palestine's Jerusalem Subdistrict, depopulated during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War on July 16, 1948. Christian tradition holds that Saint John the Baptist was born in Ein Karem, following the biblical verse in Luke saying John's family lived in a "town in the hill country of Judea". Probably, because of its location between Bethlehem and old Jerusalem, this location was a very comfortable one for a pilgrimage, and this led to the establishment of many churches and monasteries in the area. In 2010 the neighborhood had a population of 2,000. It attracts three million visitors a year, one-third of them pilgrims from around the world. The name can be translated from Hebrew as "Spring of Kerem", literally "Spring of the Vineyard", probably derived from an ancient Iron Age Israelite city called Kerem, mentioned as a city in the dominion of the tribe of Judah according to Joshua 15 (Septuagint version of Joshua). In Arabic, it could also be understood as "the Generous Spring". History A spring that provides water to the village of Ein Karem stimulated settlement there from an early time. Bronze Age Pottery has been found near the spring dating to the Middle Bronze Age. Iron Age/Israelite period During the Iron Age, or Israelite period, it could be identified as the location of Beth HaKerem (Jeremiah 6:1; Nehemiah 3:14), where the name comes from. Second Temple period A well-preserved mikveh (Jewish ritual bath) indicates there was a Jewish settlement in the Second Temple period along with some other discoveries such as handful of graves, bits of a wall, and an olive press. A reservoir here was mentioned in the Copper Scroll, one of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Roman and Byzantine periods During excavations in the Church of Saint John the Baptist, a marble statue of Aphrodite (or Venus) was found, broken in two. It is believed to date from the Roman era and was probably toppled in Byzantine times. Today, the statue is at the Rockefeller Museum. Excavations in front of the same church, which has at its core the cave which Christian tradition identifies as the birthplace of John the Baptist, have unearthed remains of two Byzantine chapels, one containing an inscription mentioning Christian "martyrs", but without any mention of John. Ceramics from the Byzantine period have also been found in Ein Karem. Sources from the Byzantine period are associating Ein Karem with the place where Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, had lived, which is not properly named by the New Testament. In around 530 CE, the Christian pilgrim Theodosius places Elizabeth's town at a distance of five miles from Jerusalem, which suits Ein Karem. Early Islamic period Ein Karem was recorded after the Islamic conquest. Al-Tamimi, the physician (d. 990), mentions a church in Ein Karem that was venerated by the Christians, also mentioning an old custom of the Jews of Ein Karem to make wreaths from the boughs (branches) of a wild plant belonging to the mint family (Lamiaceae) during the Jewish holiday of Shavu'ot. Crusader period It is mentioned under the name St. Jehan de Bois, "Saint John in the Mountains", during the Crusades. The Crusaders were the first to build here a church dedicated to St John, rebuilt in the 17th century by the Franciscans and still active today, and Moshe Sharon considers it as "almost sure" that the Crusaders are the ones who started the tradition of identifying that particular site as St John's birthplace. Mamluk period A coin from the reign of As-Salih Hajji (1389 CE.) was found here, together with pottery, glassware and other coins from the Mamluk era. Ottoman period Ain Karim in 1681 by Cornelis de Bruijn Ain Karim area in the 1870s Most of the village - some 15,000 dunams - was waqf land set aside charitably to benefit the Moroccan Muslim community in Jerusalem, belonging to the endowment established by Abu Madyan in the 14th century. In 1517, the village was included in the Ottoman empire with the rest of Palestine and in the 1596 tax-records it appeared as 'Ain Karim, located in the Nahiya of Jabal Quds of the Liwa of Al-Quds. The village had at this time 29 households, all Muslim. The villagers paid a fixed tax rate of 33.3% on agricultural products, which included wheat, barley, summer crops, vineyards, grape syrup/molasse, goats and beehives in addition to "occasional revenues"; a total of 5,300 akçe. All of the revenue went to a waqf. In the course 17th century, the Franciscans manage to recover the ruins of the church raised by the Crusaders over the traditional birth cave of St. John and, in spite of local Muslim opposition, to rebuild and fortify it as the Monastery of St. John in the Mountains. James Silk Buckingham visited in the early 1800s, and found he was "more pleased with this village [...] than with any other place I had yet visited in Palestine." In 1838, Ain Karim was noted as a Muslim and Latin Christian village in the Beni Hasan district. In 1863 Victor Guérin noted a thousand inhabitants "of whom there are barely two hundred and fifty who are Catholics; the others are Muslim." The ancestors of the latter were held to descend from Maghrabins, that is to say, originating from the Maghreb (North Africa). Guérin describes them as rowdy and fanatical, until a few years before his visit having very often attacked the Catholic monks at the Monastery of St John in order to extort from them food and money, a habit that had subsided only lately. An official Ottoman village list from about 1870 showed that Ain Karim had 178 houses and a population of 533, though the population count included only men. The population consisted of 412 Muslims in 138 houses, 66 Latin Christians in 18 houses, and 55 Greek Christians in 12 houses. In 1883, the PEF's Survey of Western Palestine (SWP) described Ain Karim as: "A flourishing village of about 600 inhabitants, 100 being Latin Christians. It stands on a sort of natural terrace projecting from the higher hills on the east of it, with a broad flat valley below on the west. On the south below the village is a fine spring ('Ain Sitti Miriam), with a vaulted place for prayer over it. The water issues from a spout into a trough." In 1896 the population of 'Ain karim was estimated to be about 1,290 persons. British Mandate period Ein Karim and the surrounding area in the 1944 Survey of Palestine In the 1922 census of Palestine, conducted by the British Mandate authorities, the population of 'Ain Karim was 1,735; consisting of 1,282 Muslims and 453 Christians, increasing in the 1931 census to 2,637, in 555 houses. In the 1945 statistics, Ein Karim had a population of 3,180; 2,510 Muslims and 670 Christians, The total land area was 15,029 dunams, of this, a total of 7,960 dunums of land were irrigated or used for plantations, 1,199 were used for cereals; while a total of 1,704 dunams were classified as built-up (urban) areas. The 1947 United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine placed 'Ayn Karim in the Jerusalem enclave intended for international control. In February 1948 the village's 300 guerilla fighters were reinforced by a well-armed Arab Liberation Army force of mainly Syrian fighters, and on March 10 a substantial Iraqi detachment arrived in the village, followed within days by some 160 Egyptian fighters. On March 19, the villagers joined their foreign guests in attacking a Jewish convoy on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem road. Immediately after the April 1948 massacre at the nearby village of Deir Yassin (2 km to the north), most of the women and children in the village were evacuated. State of Israel Ein Kerem 1948 Ein Kerem, 1954 The village was captured by Israeli forces during the ten-day campaign of July 1948. The remaining civilian inhabitants fled on July 10–11. The Arab Liberation Army forces which had camped in the village left on July 14–16 after Jewish forces captured two dominating hilltops, Khirbet Beit Mazmil and Khirbet al-Hamama, and shelled the village. During its last days, 'Ayn Karim suffered from severe food shortages. Israel later incorporated the village into the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem. Ein Kerem was one of the few depopulated Arab localities which survived the war with most of the buildings intact. The abandoned homes were resettled with new immigrants, many of whom Jews who fled from the Arab countries who fought the Arab-Israeli war during the war and after it, i.e. Jews from Iraq and Egypt but also from Yemen. Over the years, the bucolic atmosphere attracted a population of artisans and craftsmen. Today it is a vibrant bohemian neighborhood of Jerusalem, attracting many artist, young people and tourists. In 1961, Hadassah built its medical center on a nearby hilltop, including the Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem schools of medicine, dentistry, nursing, and pharmacology. Biblical connections Old Testament Main article: Carem Only the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Bible, the base for the Christian Old Testament, names a place in the hills of Judah as "Carem" (Joshua 15:30). New Testament According to the New Testament, Mary went "into the hill country, to a city of Judah" (Luke 1:39) when she visited her cousin Elizabeth, the wife of Zechariah. During the Byzantine period, Theodosius (530 CE) gives the distance between Jerusalem and the town of Elizabeth as five miles. The Jerusalem Calendar (Kalendarium Hyerosolimitanum) or the Georgian Festival Calendar, dated by some before 638, the year of the Muslim conquest, mentions the village by name, "Enqarim," as the place of a festival in memory of Elizabeth celebrated on the twenty-eighth of August. The English writer Saewulf, on pilgrimage to Palestine in 1102–1103, wrote of a monastery in the area of Ein Karim dedicated to St. Sabas, where 300 monks had been "slain by Saracens", but without mentioning any tradition connected to St. John. Landmarks Church of the Visitation Main article: Church of the Visitation Church of the Visitation The Church of the Visitation, or Abbey Church of St John in the Woods, is located across the village to the southwest from St. John's. The ancient sanctuary there was built against a rock declivity. It is venerated as the pietra del nascondimento, the "stone in which John was concealed," in reference to the Protevangelium of James. The site is also attributed to John the Baptist's parental summer house, where Mary visited them. The modern church was built in 1955, also on top of ancient church remnants. It was designed by Antonio Barluzzi, an Italian architect, who designed many other churches in the Holy Land during the 20th century. Monastery of St. John in the Mountains Main article: Church of Saint John the Baptist, Ein Karem, Jerusalem Monastery of St. John in the Mountains The Catholic Monastery of St. John ba-Harim (St. John "in the Mountains" in Hebrew) is centered on a church containing the cave identified by tradition as the birthplace of Saint John the Baptist. The church is built over the remnants of a Crusader church and its porch stands over the remains of two Byzantine chapels, both containing mosaic floors. The current structure received its outlook as the result of the latest large architectural intervention, finished in 1939 under the guidance of the Italian architect, Antonio Barluzzi. In 1941–1942 the Franciscans excavated the area west of the church and monastery. The southernmost of the rock-cut chambers they found can probably be dated to the first century CE. Some remnants below the southern part of the porch suggests the presence of a mikve (Jewish ritual bath) that is dated to the Second Temple Period. The church is mentioned in the Book of the Demonstration, attributed to Eutychius of Alexandria (940): "The church of Bayt Zakariya in the district of Aelia bears witness to the visit of Mary to her kinswoman Elizabeth." The site of the Crusader church built above the traditional birth cave of St John, destroyed after the departure of the Crusaders, was purchased by Franciscan custos, Father Thomas of Novara in 1621. After a decades-long struggle with the Muslim inhabitants, the Franciscans finally managed to rebuild and fortify their church and monastery by the 1690s. Convent of the Sisters of Zion Marie-Alphonse Ratisbonne's tomb, Ein Karem The monastery of Les Sœurs de Notre-Dame de Sion (Sisters of Our Lady of Zion), built in 1860, was founded by two brothers from France, Theodore and Marie-Alphonse Ratisbonne, who were born Jewish and converted to Christianity. They established an orphanage here. Alphonse himself lived in the monastery and is buried in its garden. Gorny or "Moscobia" Convent The convent was established by the Jerusalem mission of the Russian Orthodox Church in 1871 (see also Russian Wikipedia page here). The name "Gorny Convent" refers to the visit of the Virgin Mary to her cousin St. Elizabeth "into the hill country, to a town in Judah," gorny meaning mountainous in Russian. It was nicknamed "Muskobiya" (Arabic for Muscovite) by the local Arab villagers, which mutated in Hebrew to "Moskovia." Apart from the structures serving the nunnery and a pilgrims hostel, it now contains three churches, enclosed within a compound wall. The Church of Our Lady of Kazan (Kazanskaya) is dedicated to the holy icon of Our Lady of Kazan and is the oldest among the three churches, being consecrated in 1873. The Cathedral of All Russian Saints, with its gilded domes, was started before the Russian Revolution and could only be completed in 2007. The cave church of St. John the Baptist was consecrated in 1987. Mary's Spring Traditional site of Mary's Spring, with the mosque from 1828 to 1829 CE According to a Christian tradition which started in the 14th century, the Virgin Mary drank water from this village spring, and here is also the place where Mary and Elizabeth met. Therefore, since the 14th century the spring is known as the Fountain of the Virgin. The spring waters are considered holy by some Catholic and Orthodox Christian pilgrims who visit the site and fill their bottles. What looks like a spring is actually the end of an ancient aqueduct. The former Arab inhabitants built a mosque and school on the site, of which a Maqam (shrine) and minaret still remain. An inscribed panel to the courtyard of the mosque dates it to 1828-1829 CE (1244 H.) The spring was repaired and renovated by Baron Edmond de Rothschild. St. Vincent St. Vincent-Ein Kerem is a home for physically or mentally handicapped children. Founded in 1954, St. Vincent-Ein Kerem is a non-profit enterprise under leadership of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. Other churches and religious institutions Catholic The Convent of the Franciscan Sisters The Convent of the Rosary Sisters, built in 1910 Casa Nova, a guesthouse for pilgrims reopened in 2014 Greek Orthodox The Greek Orthodox Church of St John, built in 1894 on the remnants of an ancient church Related sites in the area Monastery of St. John in the Wilderness The Monastery of St. John in the Wilderness, containing a cave associated with the saint, is located in the nearby moshav Even Sapir. Cave of St John the Baptist A cave believed by some to have been used for the worship of St John the Baptist, if not by the saint himself, is located close to kibbutz Tsuba, not far from Ein Karem. Notable residents Shlomo Aronson Israel (/ˈɪzriəl, ˈɪzreɪəl/; Hebrew: יִשְׂרָאֵל, romanized: Yīsrāʾēl; Arabic: إِسْرَائِيل, romanized: ʾIsrāʾīl), officially known as the State of Israel (Hebrew: מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, Medinat Yisra'el), is a country in Western Asia. It is situated on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea, and shares borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan on the east, the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to the east and west, respectively, and Egypt to the southwest. Tel Aviv is the economic and technological center of the country, while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is Jerusalem, although international recognition of the state's sovereignty over the city is limited.[fn 5] Israel has evidence of the earliest migration of hominids out of Africa. Canaanite tribes are archaeologically attested since the Middle Bronze Age, while the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah emerged during the Iron Age. The Neo-Assyrian Empire destroyed Israel around 720 BCE. Judah was later conquered by the Babylonian, Persian and Hellenistic empires and had existed as Jewish autonomous provinces. The successful Maccabean Revolt led to an independent Hasmonean kingdom by 110 BCE, which in 63 BCE however became a client state of the Roman Republic that subsequently installed the Herodian dynasty in 37 BCE, and in 6 CE created the Roman province of Judea. Judea lasted as a Roman province until the failed Jewish revolts resulted in widespread destruction, the expulsion of the Jewish population and the renaming of the region from Iudaea to Syria Palaestina. Jewish presence in the region has persisted to a certain extent over the centuries. In the 7th century CE, the Levant was taken from the Byzantine Empire by the Arabs and remained in Muslim control until the First Crusade of 1099, followed by the Ayyubid conquest of 1187. The Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt extended its control over the Levant in the 13th century until its defeat by the Ottoman Empire in 1517. During the 19th century, national awakening among Jews led to the establishment of the Zionist movement followed by immigration to Palestine. Following World War I, Britain controlled the entirety of the territory of what makes up Israel, the Palestinian territories, and Jordan as a League of Nations mandate. After World War II, the newly formed United Nations adopted the Partition Plan for Palestine in 1947, recommending the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states, and an internationalized Jerusalem. The plan was accepted by the Jewish Agency but rejected by Arab leaders. Following a civil war within Mandatory Palestine between Yishuv forces and Palestinian Arab forces, Israel declared independence at the termination of the British Mandate. The war internationalized into the 1948 Arab–Israeli War between Israel and several surrounding Arab states and concluded with the 1949 Armistice Agreements that saw Israel in control of most of the former mandate territory, while the West Bank and Gaza were held by Jordan and Egypt respectively. Israel has since fought several wars with Arab countries, and since the Six-Day War in June 1967 has occupied several territories, and continues to occupy the Golan Heights and the Palestinian territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, though whether Gaza remains occupied following the Israeli disengagement is disputed. Israel has extended its civil law to East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, though these actions have been rejected as illegal by the international community, and established settlements within the occupied territories, which the international community considers illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this. Efforts to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict have not resulted in a final peace agreement, while Israel has signed peace treaties with both Egypt and Jordan and more recently has normalized relations with a number of other Arab countries. In its Basic Laws, Israel defines itself as a Jewish and democratic state, and the nation state of the Jewish people. The country is 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. With a population of over 9 million as of 2021, Israel is a developed country and an OECD member. It has the world's 31st-largest economy by nominal GDP, and is the most developed country currently in conflict. It has the highest standard of living in the Middle East, and ranks among the world's top countries by percentage of citizens with military training, percentage of citizens holding a tertiary education degree, research and development spending by GDP percentage, women's safety, life expectancy, innovativeness, and happiness. The Merneptah Stele (13th century BCE). The majority of biblical archeologists translate a set of hieroglyphs as "Israel," the first instance of the name in the record. Under the British Mandate (1920–1948), the whole region was known as 'Palestine' (Hebrew: פלשתינה [א״י], lit. 'Palestine [Eretz Israel]'). Upon independence in 1948, the country formally adopted the name 'State of Israel' (Hebrew: מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, About this soundMedīnat Yisrā'el [mediˈnat jisʁaˈʔel]; Arabic: دَوْلَة إِسْرَائِيل, Dawlat Isrāʼīl, [dawlat ʔisraːˈʔiːl]) after other proposed historical and religious names including 'Land of Israel' (Eretz Israel), Ever (from ancestor Eber), Zion, and Judea, were considered but rejected, while the name 'Israel' was suggested by Ben-Gurion and passed by a vote of 6–3. In the early weeks of independence, the government chose the term "Israeli" to denote a citizen of Israel, with the formal announcement made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Moshe Sharett. The names Land of Israel and Children of Israel have historically been used to refer to the biblical Kingdom of Israel and the entire Jewish people respectively. The name 'Israel' (Hebrew: Yisraʾel, Isrāʾīl; Septuagint Greek: Ἰσραήλ, Israēl, 'El (God) persists/rules', though after Hosea 12:4 often interpreted as 'struggle with God') in these phrases refers to the patriarch Jacob who, according to the Hebrew Bible, was given the name after he successfully wrestled with the angel of the Lord. Jacob's twelve sons became the ancestors of the Israelites, also known as the Twelve Tribes of Israel or Children of Israel. Jacob and his sons had lived in Canaan but were forced by famine to go into Egypt for four generations, lasting 430 years, until Moses, a great-great grandson of Jacob, led the Israelites back into Canaan during the "Exodus". The earliest known archaeological artifact to mention the word "Israel" as a collective is the Merneptah Stele of ancient Egypt (dated to the late 13th century BCE). The area is also known as the Holy Land, being holy for all Abrahamic religions including Judaism, Christianity, Islam and the Baháʼí Faith. Through the centuries, the territory was known by a variety of other names, including Canaan, Djahy, Samaria, Judea, Yehud, Iudaea, Syria Palaestina and Southern Syria. History Main article: History of Israel Prehistory Further information: Prehistory of the Levant The oldest evidence of early humans in the territory of modern Israel, dating to 1.5 million years ago, was found in Ubeidiya near the Sea of Galilee. Other notable Paleolithic sites include the caves Tabun, Qesem and Manot. The oldest fossils of anatomically modern humans found outside Africa are the Skhul and Qafzeh hominins, who lived in the area that is now northern Israel 120,000 years ago. Around 10th millennium BCE, the Natufian culture existed in the area. Antiquity Main article: History of ancient Israel and Judah Further information: Israelites, Kingdom of Israel (Samaria), and Kingdom of Judah The Large Stone Structure, an archaeological site in Jerusalem The early history of the territory is unclear.: 104 Modern archaeology has largely discarded the historicity of the narrative in the Torah concerning the patriarchs, The Exodus, and the conquest of Canaan described in the Book of Joshua, and instead views the narrative as constituting the Israelites' national myth. During the Late Bronze Age (1550–1200 BCE), large parts of Canaan formed vassal states paying tribute to the New Kingdom of Egypt, whose administrative headquarters lay in Gaza. Ancestors of the Israelites are thought to have included ancient Semitic-speaking peoples native to this area.: 78–79 The Israelites and their culture, according to the modern archaeological account, did not overtake the region by force, but instead branched out of these Canaanite peoples and their cultures through the development of a distinct monolatristic—and later monotheistic—religion centered on Yahweh.[excessive citations] The archaeological evidence indicates a society of village-like centres, but with more limited resources and a small population. Villages had populations of up to 300 or 400, which lived by farming and herding, and were largely self-sufficient; economic interchange was prevalent. Writing was known and available for recording, even in small sites. Map of Israel and Judah in the 9th century BCE While it is unclear if there was ever a United Monarchy, there is well-accepted archeological evidence referring to "Israel" in the Merneptah Stele which dates to about 1200 BCE; and the Canaanites are archaeologically attested in the Middle Bronze Age (2100–1550 BCE). There is debate about the earliest existence of the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah and their extent and power, but historians and archaeologists agree that a Kingdom of Israel existed by ca. 900 BCE: 169–195  and that a Kingdom of Judah existed by ca. 700 BCE. The Kingdom of Israel was destroyed around 720 BCE, when it was conquered by the Neo-Assyrian Empire. In 586 BCE, King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon conquered Judah. According to the Hebrew Bible, he destroyed Solomon's Temple and exiled the Jews to Babylon. The defeat was also recorded in the Babylonian Chronicles. The Babylonian exile ended around 538 BCE under the rule of the Medo-Persian Cyrus the Great after he captured Babylon. The Second Temple was constructed around 520 BCE. As part of the Persian Empire, the former Kingdom of Judah became the province of Judah (Yehud Medinata) with different borders, covering a smaller territory. The population of the province was greatly reduced from that of the kingdom, archaeological surveys showing a population of around 30,000 people in the 5th to 4th centuries BCE.: 308 Classical period Main article: Second Temple period Further information: Hasmonean dynasty, Herodian dynasty, and Jewish–Roman wars Portion of the Temple Scroll, one of the Dead Sea Scrolls, written during the Second Temple period With successive Persian rule, the autonomous province Yehud Medinata was gradually developing back into urban society, largely dominated by Judeans. The Greek conquests largely skipped the region without any resistance or interest. Incorporated into the Ptolemaic and finally the Seleucid empires, the southern Levant was heavily hellenized, building the tensions between Judeans and Greeks. The conflict erupted in 167 BCE with the Maccabean Revolt, which succeeded in establishing an independent Hasmonean Kingdom in Judah, which later expanded over much of modern Israel, as the Seleucids gradually lost control in the region. The Roman Republic invaded the region in 63 BCE, first taking control of Syria, and then intervening in the Hasmonean Civil War. The struggle between pro-Roman and pro-Parthian factions in Judea eventually led to the installation of Herod the Great and consolidation of the Herodian kingdom as a vassal Judean state of Rome. With the decline of the Herodian dynasty, Judea, transformed into a Roman province, became the site of a violent struggle of Jews against Romans, culminating in the Jewish–Roman wars, ending in wide-scale destruction, expulsions, genocide, and enslavement of masses of Jewish captives. An estimated 1,356,460 Jews were killed as a result of the First Jewish Revolt (66–73 CE); the Second Jewish Revolt (115–117) led to the death of more than 200,000 Jews; and the Third Jewish Revolt (132–136) resulted in the death of 580,000 Jewish soldiers. Jewish presence in the region significantly dwindled after the failure of the Bar Kokhba revolt against the Roman Empire in 132 CE. Nevertheless, there was a continuous small Jewish presence and Galilee became its religious center. The Mishnah and part of the Talmud, central Jewish texts, were composed during the 2nd to 4th centuries CE in Tiberias and Jerusalem. The region came to be populated predominantly by Greco-Romans on the coast and Samaritans in the hill-country. Christianity was gradually evolving over Roman Paganism, when the area stood under Byzantine rule. Through the 5th and 6th centuries, the dramatic events of the repeated Samaritan revolts reshaped the land, with massive destruction to Byzantine Christian and Samaritan societies and a resulting decrease of the population. After the Persian conquest and the installation of a short-lived Jewish Commonwealth in 614 CE, the Byzantine Empire reconquered the country in 628. Middle Ages and modern history Further information: History of Jerusalem during the Middle Ages, Muslim conquest of the Levant, Crusades, and Old Yishuv Kfar Bar'am, an ancient Jewish village, abandoned some time between the 7th–13th centuries CE. In 634–641 CE, the region, including Jerusalem, was conquered by the Arabs who had recently adopted Islam. Control of the region transferred between the Rashidun Caliphs, Umayyads, Abbasids, Fatimids, Seljuks, Crusaders, and Ayyubids throughout the next three centuries. During the siege of Jerusalem by the First Crusade in 1099, the Jewish inhabitants of the city fought side by side with the Fatimid garrison and the Muslim population who tried in vain to defend the city against the Crusaders. When the city fell, around 60,000 people were massacred, including 6,000 Jews seeking refuge in a synagogue. At this time, a full thousand years after the fall of the Jewish state, there were Jewish communities all over the country. Fifty of them are known and include Jerusalem, Tiberias, Ramleh, Ashkelon, Caesarea, and Gaza. According to Albert of Aachen, the Jewish residents of Haifa were the main fighting force of the city, and "mixed with Saracen [Fatimid] troops", they fought bravely for close to a month until forced into retreat by the Crusader fleet and land army. In 1165, Maimonides visited Jerusalem and prayed on the Temple Mount, in the "great, holy house." In 1141, the Spanish-Jewish poet Yehuda Halevi issued a call for Jews to migrate to the Land of Israel, a journey he undertook himself. In 1187, Sultan Saladin, founder of the Ayyubid dynasty, defeated the Crusaders in the Battle of Hattin and subsequently captured Jerusalem and almost all of Palestine. In time, Saladin issued a proclamation inviting Jews to return and settle in Jerusalem, and according to Judah al-Harizi, they did: "From the day the Arabs took Jerusalem, the Israelites inhabited it." Al-Harizi compared Saladin's decree allowing Jews to re-establish themselves in Jerusalem to the one issued by the Persian king Cyrus the Great over 1,600 years earlier. The 13th-century Ramban Synagogue in Jerusalem In 1211, the Jewish community in the country was strengthened by the arrival of a group headed by over 300 rabbis from France and England, among them Rabbi Samson ben Abraham of Sens. Nachmanides (Ramban), the 13th-century Spanish rabbi and recognised leader of Jewry, greatly praised the Land of Israel and viewed its settlement as a positive commandment incumbent on all Jews. He wrote "If the gentiles wish to make peace, we shall make peace and leave them on clear terms; but as for the land, we shall not leave it in their hands, nor in the hands of any nation, not in any generation." In 1260, control passed to the Mamluk sultans of Egypt. The country was located between the two centres of Mamluk power, Cairo and Damascus, and only saw some development along the postal road connecting the two cities. Jerusalem, although left without the protection of any city walls since 1219, also saw a flurry of new construction projects centred around the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on the Temple Mount. In 1266, the Mamluk Sultan Baybars converted the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron into an exclusive Islamic sanctuary and banned Christians and Jews from entering, who previously had been able to enter it for a fee. The ban remained in place until Israel took control of the building in 1967. Jews at the Western Wall in the 1870s In 1470, Isaac b. Meir Latif arrived from Italy and counted 150 Jewish families in Jerusalem. Thanks to Joseph Saragossi who had arrived in the closing years of the 15th century, Safed and its environs had developed into the largest concentration of Jews in Palestine. With the help of the Sephardic immigration from Spain, the Jewish population had increased to 10,000 by the early 16th century. In 1516, the region was conquered by the Ottoman Empire; it remained under Turkish rule until the end of the First World War, when Britain defeated the Ottoman forces and set up a military administration across the former Ottoman Syria. In 1660, a Druze revolt led to the destruction of Safed and Tiberias. In the late 18th century, local Arab Sheikh Zahir al-Umar created a de facto independent Emirate in the Galilee. Ottoman attempts to subdue the Sheikh failed, but after Zahir's death the Ottomans regained control of the area. In 1799 governor Jazzar Pasha successfully repelled an assault on Acre by troops of Napoleon, prompting the French to abandon the Syrian campaign. In 1834 a revolt by Palestinian Arab peasants broke out against Egyptian conscription and taxation policies under Muhammad Ali. Although the revolt was suppressed, Muhammad Ali's army retreated and Ottoman rule was restored with British support in 1840. Shortly after, the Tanzimat reforms were implemented across the Ottoman Empire. In 1920, after the Allies conquered the Levant during World War I, the territory was divided between Britain and France under the mandate system, and the British-administered area which included modern day Israel was named Mandatory Palestine. Zionism and British Mandate Main articles: Zionism, Yishuv, Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem, Mandatory Palestine, and Mandate for Palestine Further information: Balfour Declaration and Intercommunal conflict in Mandatory Palestine The First Zionist Congress (1897) in Basel, Switzerland Since the existence of the earliest Jewish diaspora, many Jews have aspired to return to "Zion" and the "Land of Israel", though the amount of effort that should be spent towards such an aim was a matter of dispute. The hopes and yearnings of Jews living in exile are an important theme of the Jewish belief system. After the Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492, some communities settled in Palestine. During the 16th century, Jewish communities struck roots in the Four Holy Cities—Jerusalem, Tiberias, Hebron, and Safed—and in 1697, Rabbi Yehuda Hachasid led a group of 1,500 Jews to Jerusalem. In the second half of the 18th century, Eastern European opponents of Hasidism, known as the Perushim, settled in Palestine. "Therefore I believe that a wonderous generation of Jews will spring into existence. The Maccabaeans will rise again. Let me repeat once more my opening words: The Jews wish to have a State, and they shall have one. We shall live at last as free men on our own soil, and die peacefully in our own home. The world will be freed by our liberty, enriched by our wealth, magnified by our greatness. And whatever we attempt there to accomplish for our own welfare will react with beneficent force for the good of humanity." Theodor Herzl (1896). A Jewish State – via Wikisource. [scan Wikisource link] The first wave of modern Jewish migration to Ottoman-ruled Palestine, known as the First Aliyah, began in 1881, as Jews fled pogroms in Eastern Europe. The First Aliyah laid the cornerstone for widespread Jewish settlement in Palestine. From 1881 to 1903, the Jews had established dozens of settlements and purchased about 350,000 dunams of land. At the same time, the revival of the Hebrew language began among Jews in Palestine, spurred on largely by Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, a Russian-born Jew who had settled in Jerusalem in 1881. Jews were encouraged to speak Hebrew in the place of other languages, a Hebrew school system began to emerge, and new words were coined or borrowed from other languages for modern inventions and concepts. As a result, Hebrew gradually became the predominant language of the Jewish community of Palestine, which until then had been divided into different linguistic communities that primarily used Hebrew for religious purposes and as a means of communication between Jews with different native languages. Although the Zionist movement already existed in practice, Austro-Hungarian journalist Theodor Herzl is credited with founding political Zionism, a movement that sought to establish a Jewish state in the Land of Israel, thus offering a solution to the so-called Jewish question of the European states, in conformity with the goals and achievements of other national projects of the time. In 1896, Herzl published Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State), offering his vision of a future Jewish state; the following year he presided over the First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland. The Second Aliyah (1904–14) began after the Kishinev pogrom; some 40,000 Jews settled in Palestine, although nearly half of them left eventually. Both the first and second waves of migrants were mainly Orthodox Jews, although the Second Aliyah included socialist groups who established the kibbutz movement. Though the immigrants of the Second Aliyah largely sought to create communal agricultural settlements, the period also saw the establishment of Tel Aviv in 1909 as the "first Hebrew city." This period also saw the appearance of Jewish armed self-defense organizations as a means of defense for Jewish settlements. The first such organization was Bar-Giora, a small secret guard founded in 1907. Two years later, larger Hashomer organization was founded as its replacement. During World War I, British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour sent the Balfour Declaration to Baron Rothschild (Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild), a leader of the British Jewish community, that stated that Britain intended for the creation of a Jewish "national home" in Palestine. In 1918, the Jewish Legion, a group primarily of Zionist volunteers, assisted in the British conquest of Palestine. Arab opposition to British rule and Jewish immigration led to the 1920 Palestine riots and the formation of a Jewish militia known as the Haganah (meaning "The Defense" in Hebrew) in 1920 as an outgrowth of Hashomer, from which the Irgun and Lehi, or the Stern Gang, paramilitary groups later split off. In 1922, the League of Nations granted Britain the Mandate for Palestine under terms which included the Balfour Declaration with its promise to the Jews, and with similar provisions regarding the Arab Palestinians. The population of the area at this time was predominantly Arab and Muslim, with Jews accounting for about 11%, and Arab Christians about 9.5% of the population. The Third (1919–23) and Fourth Aliyahs (1924–29) brought an additional 100,000 Jews to Palestine. The rise of Nazism and the increasing persecution of Jews in 1930s Europe led to the Fifth Aliyah, with an influx of a quarter of a million Jews. This was a major cause of the Arab revolt of 1936–39, which was launched as a reaction to continued Jewish immigration and land purchases. Several hundred Jews and British security personnel were killed, while the British Mandate authorities alongside the Zionist militias of the Haganah and Irgun killed 5,032 Arabs and wounded 14,760, resulting in over ten percent of the adult male Palestinian Arab population killed, wounded, imprisoned or exiled. The British introduced restrictions on Jewish immigration to Palestine with the White Paper of 1939. With countries around the world turning away Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust, a clandestine movement known as Aliyah Bet was organized to bring Jews to Palestine. By the end of World War II, the Jewish population of Palestine had increased to 31% of the total population. After World War II Further information: United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine, 1947–1949 Palestine war, and Israeli Declaration of Independence UN Map, "Palestine plan of partition with economic union" After World War II, the UK found itself facing a Jewish guerrilla campaign over Jewish immigration limits, as well as continued conflict with the Arab community over limit levels. The Haganah joined Irgun and Lehi in an armed struggle against British rule. At the same time, hundreds of thousands of Jewish Holocaust survivors and refugees sought a new life far from their destroyed communities in Europe. The Haganah attempted to bring these refugees to Palestine in a program called Aliyah Bet in which tens of thousands of Jewish refugees attempted to enter Palestine by ship. Most of the ships were intercepted by the Royal Navy and the refugees rounded up and placed in detention camps in Atlit and Cyprus by the British. On 22 July 1946, Irgun bombed the British administrative headquarters for Palestine, which was housed in the southern wing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. A total of 91 people of various nationalities were killed and 46 were injured. The hotel was the site of the Secretariat of the Government of Palestine and the Headquarters of the British Armed Forces in Mandatory Palestine and Transjordan. The attack initially had the approval of the Haganah. It was conceived as a response to Operation Agatha (a series of widespread raids, including one on the Jewish Agency, conducted by the British authorities) and was the deadliest directed at the British during the Mandate era. The Jewish insurgency continued throughout the rest of 1946 and 1947 despite concerted efforts by the British military and Palestine Police Force to suppress it. British efforts to mediate a negotiated solution with Jewish and Arab representatives also failed as the Jews were unwilling to accept any solution that did not involve a Jewish state and suggested a partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, while the Arabs were adamant that a Jewish state in any part of Palestine was unacceptable and that the only solution was a unified Palestine under Arab rule. In February 1947, the British referred the Palestine issue to the newly formed United Nations. On 15 May 1947, the General Assembly of the United Nations resolved that the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine be created "to prepare for consideration at the next regular session of the Assembly a report on the question of Palestine." In the Report of the Committee dated 3 September 1947 to the General Assembly, the majority of the Committee in Chapter VI proposed a plan to replace the British Mandate with "an independent Arab State, an independent Jewish State, and the City of Jerusalem [...] the last to be under an International Trusteeship System." Meanwhile, the Jewish insurgency continued and peaked in July 1947, with a series of widespread guerrilla raids culminating in the sergeants affair. After three Irgun fighters had been sentenced to death for their role in the Acre Prison break, a May 1947 Irgun raid on Acre Prison in which 27 Irgun and Lehi militants were freed, the Irgun captured two British sergeants and held them hostage, threatening to kill them if the three men were executed. When the British carried out the executions, the Irgun responded by killing the two hostages and hanged their bodies from eucalyptus trees, booby-trapping one of them with a mine which injured a British officer as he cut the body down. The hangings caused widespread outrage in Britain and were a major factor in the consensus forming in Britain that it was time to evacuate Palestine. In September 1947, the British cabinet decided that the Mandate was no longer tenable, and to evacuate Palestine. According to Colonial Secretary Arthur Creech Jones, four major factors led to the decision to evacuate Palestine: the inflexibility of Jewish and Arab negotiators who were unwilling to compromise on their core positions over the question of a Jewish state in Palestine, the economic pressure that stationing a large garrison in Palestine to deal with the Jewish insurgency and the possibility of a wider Jewish rebellion and the possibility of an Arab rebellion put on a British economy already strained by World War II, the "deadly blow to British patience and pride" caused by the hangings of the sergeants, and the mounting criticism the government faced in failing to find a new policy for Palestine in place of the White Paper of 1939. On 29 November 1947, the General Assembly adopted Resolution 181 (II) recommending the adoption and implementation of the Plan of Partition with Economic Union. The plan attached to the resolution was essentially that proposed by the majority of the Committee in the report of 3 September. The Jewish Agency, which was the recognized representative of the Jewish community, accepted the plan. The Arab League and Arab Higher Committee of Palestine rejected it, and indicated that they would reject any other plan of partition. On the following day, 1 December 1947, the Arab Higher Committee proclaimed a three-day strike, and riots broke out in Jerusalem. The situation spiralled into a civil war; just two weeks after the UN vote, Colonial Secretary Arthur Creech Jones announced that the British Mandate would end on 15 May 1948, at which point the British would evacuate. As Arab militias and gangs attacked Jewish areas, they were faced mainly by the Haganah, as well as the smaller Irgun and Lehi. In April 1948, the Haganah moved onto the offensive. During this period 250,000 Palestinian Arabs fled or were expelled, due to a number of factors. David Ben-Gurion proclaiming the Israeli Declaration of Independence on 14 May 1948 Raising of the Ink Flag on 10 March 1949, marking the end of the 1948 war On 14 May 1948, the day before the expiration of the British Mandate, David Ben-Gurion, the head of the Jewish Agency, declared "the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz-Israel, to be known as the State of Israel." The only reference in the text of the Declaration to the borders of the new state is the use of the term Eretz-Israel ("Land of Israel"). The following day, the armies of four Arab countries—Egypt, Syria, Transjordan and Iraq—entered what had been British Mandatory Palestine, launching the 1948 Arab–Israeli War; contingents from Yemen, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Sudan joined the war. The apparent purpose of the invasion was to prevent the establishment of the Jewish state at inception, and some Arab leaders talked about driving the Jews into the sea. According to Benny Morris, Jews felt that the invading Arab armies aimed to slaughter the Jews. The Arab league stated that the invasion was to restore law and order and to prevent further bloodshed. After a year of fighting, a ceasefire was declared and temporary borders, known as the Green Line, were established. Jordan annexed what became known as the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Egypt occupied the Gaza Strip. The UN estimated that more than 700,000 Palestinians were expelled by or fled from advancing Israeli forces during the conflict—what would become known in Arabic as the Nakba ("catastrophe"). Some 156,000 remained and became Arab citizens of Israel. Early years of the State of Israel Further information: Arab–Israeli conflict Israel was admitted as a member of the UN by majority vote on 11 May 1949. An Israeli-Jordanian attempt at negotiating a peace agreement broke down after the British government, fearful of the Egyptian reaction to such a treaty, expressed their opposition to the Jordanian government. In the early years of the state, the Labor Zionist movement led by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion dominated Israeli politics. The kibbutzim, or collective farming communities, played a pivotal role in establishing the new state. Immigration to Israel during the late 1940s and early 1950s was aided by the Israeli Immigration Department and the non-government sponsored Mossad LeAliyah Bet (lit. "Institute for Immigration B") which organized illegal and clandestine immigration. Both groups facilitated regular immigration logistics like arranging transportation, but the latter also engaged in clandestine operations in countries, particularly in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, where the lives of Jews were believed to be in danger and exit from those places was difficult. Mossad LeAliyah Bet was disbanded in 1953. The immigration was in accordance with the One Million Plan. The immigrants came for differing reasons: some held Zionist beliefs or came for the promise of a better life in Israel, while others moved to escape persecution or were expelled. An influx of Holocaust survivors and Jews from Arab and Muslim countries to Israel during the first three years increased the number of Jews from 700,000 to 1,400,000. By 1958, the population of Israel rose to two million. Between 1948 and 1970, approximately 1,150,000 Jewish refugees relocated to Israel. Some new immigrants arrived as refugees with no possessions and were housed in temporary camps known as ma'abarot; by 1952, over 200,000 people were living in these tent cities. Jews of European background were often treated more favorably than Jews from Middle Eastern and North African countries—housing units reserved for the latter were often re-designated for the former, with the result that Jews newly arrived from Arab lands generally ended up staying in transit camps for longer. During this period, food, clothes and furniture had to be rationed in what became known as the austerity period. The need to solve the crisis led Ben-Gurion to sign a reparations agreement with West Germany that triggered mass protests by Jews angered at the idea that Israel could accept monetary compensation for the Holocaust. File:1961-04-13 Tale Of Century - Eichmann Tried For War Crimes.ogv U.S. newsreel on the trial of Adolf Eichmann During the 1950s, Israel was frequently attacked by Palestinian fedayeen, nearly always against civilians, mainly from the Egyptian-occupied Gaza Strip, leading to several Israeli reprisal operations. In 1956, the United Kingdom and France aimed at regaining control of the Suez Canal, which the Egyptians had nationalized. The continued blockade of the Suez Canal and Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping, together with the growing amount of Fedayeen attacks against Israel's southern population, and recent Arab grave and threatening statements, prompted Israel to attack Egypt. Israel joined a secret alliance with the United Kingdom and France and overran the Sinai Peninsula but was pressured to withdraw by the UN in return for guarantees of Israeli shipping rights in the Red Sea via the Straits of Tiran and the Canal. The war, known as the Suez Crisis, resulted in significant reduction of Israeli border infiltration. In the early 1960s, Israel captured Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in Argentina and brought him to Israel for trial. The trial had a major impact on public awareness of the Holocaust. Eichmann remains the only person executed in Israel by conviction in an Israeli civilian court. During the spring and summer of 1963 Israel was engaged in a, now declassified diplomatic standoff with the United States due to the Israeli nuclear program. Territory held by Israel: before the Six-Day War after the war The Sinai Peninsula was returned to Egypt in 1982. Since 1964, Arab countries, concerned over Israeli plans to divert waters of the Jordan River into the coastal plain, had been trying to divert the headwaters to deprive Israel of water resources, provoking tensions between Israel on the one hand, and Syria and Lebanon on the other. Arab nationalists led by Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser refused to recognize Israel and called for its destruction. By 1966, Israeli-Arab relations had deteriorated to the point of actual battles taking place between Israeli and Arab forces. In May 1967, Egypt massed its army near the border with Israel, expelled UN peacekeepers, stationed in the Sinai Peninsula since 1957, and blocked Israel's access to the Red Sea. Other Arab states mobilized their forces. Israel reiterated that these actions were a casus belli and, on 5 June, launched a pre-emptive strike against Egypt. Jordan, Syria and Iraq responded and attacked Israel. In a Six-Day War, Israel captured and occupied the West Bank from Jordan, the Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, and the Golan Heights from Syria. Jerusalem's boundaries were enlarged, incorporating East Jerusalem, and the 1949 Green Line became the administrative boundary between Israel and the occupied territories. Following the 1967 war and the "Three Nos" resolution of the Arab League and during the 1967–1970 War of Attrition, Israel faced attacks from the Egyptians in the Sinai Peninsula, and from Palestinian groups targeting Israelis in the occupied territories, in Israel proper, and around the world. Most important among the various Palestinian and Arab groups was the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), established in 1964, which initially committed itself to "armed struggle as the only way to liberate the homeland". In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Palestinian groups launched a wave of attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets around the world, including a massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. The Israeli government responded with an assassination campaign against the organizers of the massacre, a bombing and a raid on the PLO headquarters in Lebanon. On 6 October 1973, as Jews were observing Yom Kippur, 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. The war ended on 25 October with Israel successfully repelling Egyptian and Syrian forces but having suffered over 2,500 soldiers killed in a war which collectively took 10–35,000 lives in about 20 days. An internal inquiry exonerated the government of responsibility for failures before and during the war, but public anger forced Prime Minister Golda Meir to resign. In July 1976, an airliner was hijacked during its flight from Israel to France by Palestinian guerrillas and landed at Entebbe, Uganda. Israeli commandos carried out an operation in which 102 out of 106 Israeli hostages were successfully rescued. Further conflict and peace process Further information: Israeli–Palestinian peace process and Iran–Israel proxy conflict See also: One-state solution, Two-state solution, Three-state solution, and Lieberman Plan The 1977 Knesset elections marked a major turning point in Israeli political history as Menachem Begin's Likud party took control from the Labor Party. Later that year, Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat made a trip to Israel and spoke before the Knesset in what was the first recognition of Israel by an Arab head of state. In the two years that followed, Sadat and Begin signed the Camp David Accords (1978) and the Egypt–Israel peace treaty (1979). In return, Israel withdrew from the Sinai Peninsula and agreed to enter negotiations over an autonomy for Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. On 11 March 1978, a PLO guerilla raid from Lebanon led to the Coastal Road massacre. Israel responded by launching an invasion of southern Lebanon to destroy the PLO bases south of the Litani River. Most PLO fighters withdrew, but Israel was able to secure southern Lebanon until a UN force and the Lebanese army could take over. The PLO soon resumed its policy of attacks against Israel. In the next few years, the PLO infiltrated the south and kept up a sporadic shelling across the border. Israel carried out numerous retaliatory attacks by air and on the ground. Israel's 1980 law declared that "Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel." Meanwhile, Begin's government provided incentives for Israelis to settle in the occupied West Bank, increasing friction with the Palestinians in that area. The Basic Law: Jerusalem, Capital of Israel, passed in 1980, was believed by some to reaffirm Israel's 1967 annexation of Jerusalem by government decree, and reignited international controversy over the status of the city. No Israeli legislation has defined the territory of Israel and no act specifically included East Jerusalem therein. In 1981 Israel effectively annexed the Golan Heights, although annexation was not recognized internationally. The international community largely rejected these moves, with the UN Security Council declaring both the Jerusalem Law and the Golan Heights Law null and void. Israel's population diversity expanded in the 1980s and 1990s. Several waves of Ethiopian Jews immigrated to Israel since the 1980s, while between 1990 and 1994, immigration from the post-Soviet states increased Israel's population by twelve percent. On 7 June 1981, the Israeli air force destroyed Iraq's sole nuclear reactor under construction just outside Baghdad, in order to impede Iraq's nuclear weapons program. Following a series of PLO attacks in 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon that year to destroy the bases from which the PLO launched attacks and missiles into northern Israel. In the first six days of fighting, the Israelis destroyed the military forces of the PLO in Lebanon and decisively defeated the Syrians. An Israeli government inquiry—the Kahan Commission—would later hold Begin and several Israeli generals as indirectly responsible for the Sabra and Shatila massacre and hold Defense minister Ariel Sharon as bearing "personal responsibility" for the massacre. Sharon was forced to resign as Defense Minister. In 1985, Israel responded to a Palestinian terrorist attack in Cyprus by bombing the PLO headquarters in Tunisia. Israel withdrew from most of Lebanon in 1986, but maintained a borderland buffer zone in southern Lebanon until 2000, from where Israeli forces engaged in conflict with Hezbollah. The First Intifada, a Palestinian uprising against Israeli rule, broke out in 1987, with waves of uncoordinated demonstrations and violence occurring in the occupied West Bank and Gaza. Over the following six years, the Intifada became more organised and included economic and cultural measures aimed at disrupting the Israeli occupation. More than a thousand people were killed in the violence. During the 1991 Gulf War, the PLO supported Saddam Hussein and Iraqi Scud missile attacks against Israel. Despite public outrage, Israel heeded American calls to refrain from hitting back and did not participate in that war. Shimon Peres (left) with Yitzhak Rabin (center) and King Hussein of Jordan (right), prior to signing the Israel–Jordan peace treaty in 1994. In 1992, Yitzhak Rabin became Prime Minister following an election in which his party called for compromise with Israel's neighbors. The following year, Shimon Peres on behalf of Israel, and Mahmoud Abbas for the PLO, signed the Oslo Accords, which gave the Palestinian National Authority the right to govern parts of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The PLO also recognized Israel's right to exist and pledged an end to terrorism. In 1994, the Israel–Jordan peace treaty was signed, making Jordan the second Arab country to normalize relations with Israel. Arab public support for the Accords was damaged by the continuation of Israeli settlements and checkpoints, and the deterioration of economic conditions. Israeli public support for the Accords waned as Israel was struck by Palestinian suicide attacks. In November 1995, while leaving a peace rally, Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by Yigal Amir, a far-right-wing Jew who opposed the Accords. The site of the 2001 Tel Aviv Dolphinarium discotheque massacre, in which 21 Israelis were killed. Under the leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu at the end of the 1990s, Israel withdrew from Hebron, and signed the Wye River Memorandum, giving greater control to the Palestinian National Authority. Ehud Barak, elected Prime Minister in 1999, began the new millennium by withdrawing forces from Southern Lebanon and conducting negotiations with Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat and U.S. President Bill Clinton at the 2000 Camp David Summit. During the summit, Barak offered a plan for the establishment of a Palestinian state. The proposed state included the entirety of the Gaza Strip and over 90% of the West Bank with Jerusalem as a shared capital. Each side blamed the other for the failure of the talks. After a controversial visit by Likud leader Ariel Sharon to the Temple Mount, the Second Intifada began. Some commentators contend that the uprising was pre-planned by Arafat due to the collapse of peace talks. Sharon became prime minister in a 2001 special election. During his tenure, Sharon carried out his plan to unilaterally withdraw from the Gaza Strip and also spearheaded the construction of the Israeli West Bank barrier, ending the Intifada. By this time 1,100 Israelis had been killed, mostly in suicide bombings. The Palestinian fatalities, from 2000 to 2008, reached 4,791 killed by Israeli security forces, 44 killed by Israeli civilians, and 609 killed by Palestinians. In July 2006, a Hezbollah artillery assault on Israel's northern border communities and a cross-border abduction of two Israeli soldiers precipitated the month-long Second Lebanon War. On 6 September 2007, the Israeli Air Force destroyed a nuclear reactor in Syria. At the end of 2008, Israel entered another conflict as a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel collapsed. The 2008–09 Gaza War lasted three weeks and ended after Israel announced a unilateral ceasefire. Hamas announced its own ceasefire, with its own conditions of complete withdrawal and opening of border crossings. Despite neither the rocket launchings nor Israeli retaliatory strikes having completely stopped, the fragile ceasefire remained in order. In what Israel described as a response to more than a hundred Palestinian rocket attacks on southern Israeli cities, Israel began an operation in Gaza on 14 November 2012, lasting eight days. Israel started another operation in Gaza following an escalation of rocket attacks by Hamas in July 2014. In May 2021, another round of fighting took place in Gaza, lasting eleven days. In September 2010, Israel was invited to join the OECD. Israel has also signed free trade agreements with the European Union, the United States, the European Free Trade Association, Turkey, Mexico, Canada, Jordan, and Egypt, and in 200
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