June 1982 -Operation Peace For Galilee - The Lebanon War
Operation Peace for Galilee was another landmark in the history of the State of Israel. For a long time Lebanon harbored members of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). A decision was made to invade Lebanon and immobilize the PLO, in the wake of continuous terrorist activity originating from Lebanese territory and the shelling of settlements in the north. On June 6, 1982 the IDF entered Lebanon, penetrating as far north as Beirut. The PLO’s leadership was forced to move to Tunis. This military operation, although planned for limited duration, became bogged down and continued far longer than expected. The necessity for this entire operation was disputed, as was the way it was conducted. The army paid a very steep price: 650 soldiers lost their lives. For three years the IDF remained deep in Lebanon, until the decision was made to withdraw to the international border in 1985, but some territory in southern Lebanon was retained as a security zone. This area is monitored jointly by the South Lebanese Army and the IDF.
Israel invades Lebanon in Operation Peace for Galilee after PLO attacks on northern Israel. PLO HQ forced to relocate from Beirut to Tunis. Sabra & Shatilla massacres lead to Kahana report.
Begin retires. Yitzhak Shamir becomes leader of Likud and Prime Minister.
National Unity Government formed.
First mass air rescue of Jews from Ethiopia - Operation Moses.
Immigration of Jews From Ethiopia - 1984-1991
According to tradition, the Jewish community in Ethiopia is descended from King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. It has maintained its identity and observes the commandments of Judaism (mitzvot) up to the present day. This community has suffered many hardships and persecution, but in the 1980’s a change of government policy resulted in the Jews being permitted to leave for Israel. The Ethiopian community was brought to Israel in two large and complex operations: Operation Moses (1984) and Operation Solomon (1991). Their immigration and absorption were funded and managed by the Jewish Agency and the Government of Israel. A total of 52,000 people arrived in Israel, thus fulfilling an age-old dream.
The community is experiencing great difficulties in their absorption. Halachic (Jewish oral law) questions arose regarding their Jewishness. Their different culture and habits have added to the problems of settling into Israeli society. Sufficient housing is not available. Since it was necessary to find quick solutions, caravan camps were the immediate, temporary solution. In time, many of them moved to permanent apartments. In the 1996 elections the Ethiopian community won representation in the Knesset.
Israel completes withdrawal from Lebanon except for continuing support for the South Lebanon Army on Israel's border in the "security zone" to protect N. Israel.
"First" Intifada begins with rioting in Gaza (December 9).
Twenty years after the Six Day War the Arab population of the territories began a popular uprising, known in Arabic as the “intifada” or “shaking off”. Difficult living conditions combined with a sense of frustration contributed in no small measure to this uprising. Travelers in Judea and Samaria were frequently stoned, and terror attacks increased against residents of Israel. The IDF was required to fight a type of war to which it was not accustomed - a war against stone-throwing children. The Israeli public began to question the necessity of holding on to these territories, and many felt that there was no alternative to peace negotiations. The intifada constituted another stage in the Israeli-Arab conflict and was undoubtedly a major factor in the beginnings of a dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians.
Space Satellite Ofek 1 launched.
General Election results in a National Unity Government.
Mass Aliya from the former Soviet Union begins.
In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s a wave of immigration from the Soviet Union arrived in Israel, with the help of the Jewish Agency.
Emigration laws were relaxed as a result of perestroika and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. For generations Jews had been forbidden to observe their religion, but many of them nevertheless maintained some attachment to Judaism. Even before perestroika there had been a Zionist awakening, and many Jews secretly studied Hebrew and Judaism. Now that the Soviet Union was in the throes of massive change, diplomatic relations were restored between Israel and Russia, and long lines of people assembled outside the doors of the Israeli embassy, requesting permission to emigrate to Israel.
During this period 700,000 Jews came to Israel. Many of them were engineers, doctors, scientists and artists. Despite initial absorption difficulties, these immigrants integrated well as a whole, although a small minority returned to Russia and some emigrated to western countries.
Collapse of National Unity Government - Shamir becomes Prime Minister.
Secret airlift rescues majority of Ethiopian Jewry in one night - Operation Solomon.
August 2 Iraq invades, occupies, and annexes Kuwait.
Iraq defeated in Persian Gulf War (January 16-February 17) by international coalition led by the United States. During the war, Iraq launches 39 SCUD missiles at civilian targets throughout Israel, generating fears of chemical warfare and incarcerating Israelis and Palestinians in "security rooms" with gas-masks -- even though Israel was not a formal belligerent in the conflict.
Beginning of Madrid Peace Conference.