Timeline: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Since 2000

Updated July 22, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

Key dates in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

by Jennie Wood
2000 2003 2005 2007 2009 2011 Present
July 11-24
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian National Authority (PNA) Chairman Yasser Arafat meet with U.S. President Bill Clinton at Camp David to negotiate a final settlement based on the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords. Despite progress on other issues, the two sides fail to reach an agreement on Jerusalem.

September 28
Ariel Sharon, Israel's minister of foreign affairs, visits the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, a holy site to both Jews and Muslims. Sharon's visit ignites a violent revolt from the Palestinians, which begins the second intifada, or Al-Aksa intifada.

October 17
At a summit in Sharm El Sheikh, hosted by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, both sides agree to a truce. At the urging of the Palestinians, a U.S.-led committee is formed to investigate the violence related to the Al-Aksa intifada and make recommendations to the United Nations. The committee's findings lead to the Mitchell Report.

October 21
At the Extraordinary Arab League Summit, also hosted by Mubarak, Arafat meets with other Arab leaders. Arafat praises the second intifada and calls for an international commission to investigate the violence, rather than accept the findings and recommendations outlined in the Mitchell Report.

December 23
President Clinton presents a two-state solution, urging both sides to endorse it. In Clinton's proposal, the Palestinians get roughly 97% of the West Bank, sovereignty over their airspace, and control over Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem including Haram esh-Sharif. However, his proposal stipulates that refugees can return to Israel only with Israeli consent.

December 27
The Israeli government accepts Clinton's proposal; however, the deadline passes without a commitment from the Palestinians.

January 21
Clinton's term ends. George W. Bush becomes President of the United States.

February 6
Ariel Sharon replaces Barak as Prime Minister of Israel.

May 6
The Mitchell Report is published with recommendations for negotiations and peace.

September 11
September 11. Terrorist attacks against the U.S. on the World Trade Center and Pentagon complicates the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The U.S. begins its war on terror. Hamas and Hezbollah are linked with Osama Bin Laden's Al-Qaeda.
March 27
During Passover, a Hamas suicide bomber kills 30 Israelis and wounds about 100 others at a Nethanya restaurant.

March 29
In retaliation of the Passover suicide bombing, Israel launches Operation Defensive Shield in effort to stamp out terrorist and suicide attacks. The operation includes reoccupying such towns as Ramallah, Nablus, and Jenin.

June 24
In a controversial speech President Bush outlines the roadmap for peace, a plan that calls for the end of the violence and a peace agreement. The roadmap for peace was proposed by the Quartet, a group which includes the U.S., the European Union, the United Nations, and Russia.

September 17
The Quartet issues a statement regarding the Bush Administration's roadmap. Using the roadmap, the Quartet will try to shape international policy toward an Israeli-Palestinian conflict resolution.

March 20
U.S., British, and Australian armed forces invaded Iraq.

April 29
Mahmud Abbas is appointed prime minister of the Palestinian Authority.

September 6
Mahmud Abbas resigns as the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority.

September 8
Ahmed Qurei is appointed prime minister of the Palestinian Authority by Arafat and Fatah / PLO.

November 24
Israeli prime minister Sharon calls for the unilateral withdrawal of Israeli forces if the roadmap fails.

December 1
Although leaked in November, the Geneva Accord peace plan is officially released.

December 8
In an emergency session, the United Nations General Assembly asks the International Court of Justice to rule on the legality of Israel's security barrier.

May 2
Israeli prime minister Sharon's disengagement plan is not approved. Later, he introduces another plan.

May 11
Israel begins Operation Rainbow to stop arms from passing through the Egypt-Gaza border in Rafah.

July 9
The International Court of Justice rules that Israel's security barrier is in violation of international law. Israel is ordered to dismantle the barrier. The UN General Assembly votes and orders Israel to take it down. Israel officially announces that it will ignore the ruling, but does change the route of the barrier.

October 25
Sharon's revised disengagement plan is approved by Israel's Knesset, calling for a complete withdrawal from Gaza

November 11
Yasser Arafat dies. Abbas and Qurei are to share his powers.
January 9
Abbas is elected president of the Palestinian National Authority.

February 8
At a summit hosted by Egypt in Sharm El Sheikh, the intifada is officially over as both sides announce an end to the violence. Israel agrees to release 900 Palestinian prisoners and to gradually withdraw from Palestinian cities. Jordan's King Abdullah II and Egyptian President Mubarak, both in attendance, pledge to return ambassadors to Israel.

August 15
Israeli begins disengagement and evacuates Gaza settlements and four West Bank settlements.

September 1
All Israeli settlers and soldiers are now out of Gaza.

November 21
Israel Prime Minister Sharon quits the Likud party and forms Kadima, a new centrist party.

January 4
Israel Prime Minister Sharon suffers a stroke, leaving Israel leadership in the hands of Ehud Olmert and the new Kadima party.

January 26
Palestine holds parliamentary elections. In a surprise victory, Hamas ousts the Fatah government, but Abbas remains PNA president.

March 28
Olmert elected prime minister of Israel.

June 25
Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups took Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier, from Israeli territory and dragged him into Gaza. Despite prisoner exchange attempts, Shalit has been held hostage ever since.

July 12
Hezbollah militants cross the Lebanon-Israel border and attack an Israeli army patrol, killing three soldiers and kidnapping two others. The incident coincides with a series of mortar and rocket attacks on northern Israel by Hezbollah. Both incidents provoke a month-long war known as the 2006 Lebanon War.

August 14
The 2006 Lebanon War ends. The war causes criticism within Israel and more resentment from the Arab world.

November 26
Israel and Palestinians announce the Gaza strip truce, but rocket fire from Gaza continues.
February 8
Hamas and Fatah agree to share power.

June 9
Hamas seizes control of Gaza, routing Fatah forces and killing more than 100 people.

June 19
Hamas and Israel declare a six-month truce. The truce is violated by sporadic rocket fire.

September 21
Israeli prime minister Olmert, facing corruption charges and a criminal investigation, announces his plans to resign.

October 26
Kadima primary winner and Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni announces that she cannot form a coalition and calls for elections.

February 10
Benjamin Netanyahu is elected prime minister of Israel; he takes office in April.

June 4
President Obama gives historic speech in Cairo. Addressing the Muslim and Arab world, he calls on Palestinians to renounce violence, on Arabs to recognize Israel's right to exist, and for an end to settlement construction.
May 4
Fatah and Hamas sign a reconciliation accord, citing the common cause of opposition to the Israeli occupation and shared disillusionment with American peace efforts as reasons for the détente.

May 19
President Obama declares that the borders demarcated before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war should be the basis of a Mideast peace deal between Israel and Palestine with adjustments made to account for Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

September 23
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas officially requests a bid for statehood at the UN Security Council.

October 18
Gilad Shalit, a twenty-five year old Israeli soldier, is released after being held for more than five years by Hamas, a militant Palestinian group. Shalit is exchanged for hundreds of Palestinians who have spent years in Israeli jails.
November 14
Throughout the fall of 2012, militant groups in Gaza fire rockets into Israel with increasing frequency. Israel responds on November 14 with one of its biggest attacks on Gaza since the 2008 invasion. The attack kills Hamas military commander, Ahmed al-Jabari. In the following days, Israel continues to target members of Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza, and Hamas launches several hundred rockets, with some hitting Tel Aviv.

November 18
Egypt, while a staunch supporter of Hamas, begins talks in Cairo to broker a peace agreement between Hamas and Israel to prevent the conflict from further destabilizing the region.

November 21
Egypt's Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr, and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announce a cease-fire has been signed. Both sides agree to end hostilities toward each other and Israel says it will open Gaza border crossings, allowing the flow of products and people into Gaza, potentially lifting the 5-year blockade that has caused much hardship to those living in the region.

November 29
The United Nations General Assembly approves an upgrade from the Palestinian Authority's current observer status to that of a non-member state. The vote comes after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks to the General Assembly and asks for a "birth certificate" for his country. Of the 193 nations in the General Assembly, 138 vote in favor of the upgrade in status. While the vote is a victory for Palestine, it is a diplomatic setback for the U.S. and Israel. Having the title of "non-member observer state" will allow Palestine access to international organizations such as the International Criminal Court (ICC). If they join the ICC, Palestine can file complaints of war crimes against Israel. In response to the UN vote, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announces that Israel will not transfer about $100 million in much-needed tax revenue owed to the struggling Palestinian Authority and will resume plans to build 3,000-unit settlement in an area that divides the north and the south parts of the West Bank, thereby denying the Palestinians any chance for having a contiguous state.
January 22
As polls close in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claims victory for what will be his third term, but the election is not the expected landslide. The overwhelming favorite, Netanyahu is followed closely by Yair Lapid, who founded Yesh Atid, a new centrist party. With 99 percent of the vote in, Likud-Beiteinu, Netanyahu's party has 31 seats, followed by 19 seats for Lapid's party.
February 19
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu invites former foreign minister Tzipi Livni to join his coalition and head Israel's peace talks with Palestine. Livni, who formed the Hatenuah party to run against Netanyahu in last month's election, will also serve as Justice Minister. Netanyahu and Livni make the announcement at a press conference, both saying they have set aside past disagreements and rivalries to work together.
July 30
Israeli and Palestinian negotiators agree to new peace talks with the goal of reaching an agreement within nine months, according to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. The initial meeting takes place at the State Department in Washington D.C. and is attended by Israel's Justice Minister, chief negotiator Tzipi Livni and senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat. During their meeting with Secretary of State Kerry, both sides vow to meet again within two weeks to begin negotiations. Erekat says, "It's time for the Palestinians to live in peace, freedom and dignity within their own independent, sovereign state." Livni adds, "I believe that history is not made by cynics; it is made by realists who are not afraid to dream. Let us be these people."
August 14
Israelis and Palestinians officially begin peace talks in Jerusalem. Expectations are low going into the talks, the third attempt to negotiate since 2000, and nearly five years since the last attempt. The talks begin just hours after Israel releases 26 Palestinian prisoners. The prisoner release is a step on Israel's part to bring Palestine back to the negotiating table. Israel says the prisoner release will be the first of four. However, Palestinian officials are concerned over Israel's ongoing settlement building in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, land that will be part of an official Palestinian state.

January 11
Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon dies. The official cause of death is heart failure, although Sharon had been in a coma since suffering a stroke on January 4, 2006.
April 1
When Israel fails to release the promised last batch of prisoners in late March 2014, U.S. Secretary John Kerry heads there in an attempt to rescue the latest round of peace talks. Israel had promised to release Palestinian prisoners in four groups and released the first three groups as promised. But Israel's failure to release the last group of 26 prisoners as well as their continued settlement expansion in the West Bank threatens to derail a peace agreement. Palestine says the peace talks will end on April 29 if Israel does not release the 26 prisoners.
April 23
The troubled peace talks hit another snag when Palestinian leadership and Hamas forge a new reconciliation agreement. The new unity deal angers the Israeli government. Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted by saying that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was choosing "Hamas, not peace."
April 24
The day after the Palestinian leadership announces its new unity deal with Hamas, Israel responds by halting the peace talks.
April 30
The deadline for the latest round of peace talks passes without an agreement.
July 2
The body of a missing Palestinian teenager is found the day after the burial of the three Israeli teenagers who were kidnapped and killed while hiking in the West Back in June. Both incidents increase tension between Israelis and Palestinians, including riots in East Jerusalem and an exchange of rocket fire in Southern Israel and Gaza. Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asks the police to investigate what he calls "the abominable murder" of the Palestinian teenager in what may have been a revenge killing in reaction to the death of the three Israeli teenagers. Netanyahu also promises to punish those responsible for the killing of the three teenagers. Hamas leaders praise the kidnapping and killing of the three teenagers, but do not take credit for the incident.
July 7
Several Israeli Jewish suspects are arrested in connection with the killing of the Palestinian teen.
July 9
Hundreds of rockets are launched into Israel by militant groups in Gaza. The rockets reach areas in Israel that previous rocket attacks did not. Israel's Iron Dome intercepts at least one rocket over Tel Aviv, while another reaches the outskirts of Jerusalem. In response, Israel launches an aerial offensive in Gaza, killing dozens of Palestinians, and calls up 20,000 reservists for a potential ground operation.
July 17
Israel launches a ground offensive into Gaza. Israeli officials say that the mission's main focus is on tunnels near Gaza's borders that are used to enter Israel. Within hours of the invasion's start, one Israeli soldier is killed. At least 20 Palestinians are killed, bringing their death toll to more than 260 by the end of the first day of the offensive.
July 24
16 Palestinians are killed and more than 100 wounded in an attack on a UN elementary school in Gaza. Israel denies launching the attack, saying Hamas militants are responsible, missing their target. The Palestinian death toll is now more than 575, mostly civilians, while at least 27 Israeli soldiers and two Israeli civilians have been killed. Palestinians in the West Bank protest to show unity with Gazans.
Aug 5
A 72-hour cease-fire mediated by Egypt begins. Israel withdraws its forces from the Gaza strip. Both Hamas and Israel agree to talks, mediated by Egypt, in an effort toward lasting peace.
Aug 26
Israel and Hamas agree to an open-ended cease-fire, mediated by Egypt. The interim agreement still has Hamas in control of Gaza while Israel and Egypt still control access to Gaza, leaving no clear winner in this latest conflict. Since the conflict began in early July, 2,143 Palestinians have been killed, mostly civilians, with more than 11,000 wounded and 100,000 left homeless. On Israel's side, 64 soldiers and six civilians have been killed.
During the first two weeks of Oct. 2015, 32 Palestinians and seven Israelis are killed in what was the biggest spike in violence the area has seen in recent years. The violence breaks out in part over what the Palestinians see as increased encroachment by Israelis on the al-Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, a site important to both Muslims and Jews. However, the violence quickly spreads beyond Jerusalem.

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