January: The Intifada uprising continues. Israel deports 9 Palestinians, the first of 32 deported during the year. Many Palestinians are jailed. The Israel army begins a series of curfews. Rather than shooting stone throwers on sight, the army sets a policy of beating demonstrators to discourage further disorder.
January 2: Israeli planes bomb terrorist headquarters in Lebanon.
January 14: Hanna Siniora, editor of the East Jerusalem daily "al-Fajir", is arrested prior to a press conference at which he planned to announce the start of a civil resistance movement in the West Bank and Gaza.
January 16: Katyusha missiles are fired at the Galilee. Israel retaliates by bombing terrorist targets in Lebanon.
January 18: The US vetoes a UN Security Council decision to censure Israel for its activity in Lebanon.
February: Rioting in the West Bank and Gaza continues.
February 1: The Americans veto a UN Security Council resolution, calling for Israel to implement the Geneva Convention in the occupied territories.
February 5: US Assistant Under-Secretary of State Richard Murphy begins a six-day visit to the Middle East. He proposes that two delegations, one from Israel and a joint Palestinian-Jordanian one, would negotiate interim autonomy for the Palestinians. Although an international conference, it would have no power to enforce a solution. Palestinian autonomy would be in place within three years (1991).
February 11: The Movement for the Islamic Resistance (Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya) is established. It quickly becomes known as "Hamas". (Covenant 1988.)
February 25: US Secretary of State George Shultz arrives in Israel.
Katyusha missiles land in the Galilee again.
February 26 - 27: Intense rioting in the West Bank and Gaza Strip results in 7 Arab fatalities.
February 27: A picture taken by Israeli photographer Moshe Alpert shows an Israeli soldier beating up and maltreating an Arab. It evokes a national and international storm.
February: President Chaim Herzog is reelected by the Knesset to a second five-year term. He will be sworn in on 9 May.
March 3: A Katyusha missile wounds 5 residents of the Galilee.
March 4: The Shultz Initiative is presented to Prime Minister Shamir, Foreign Minister Peres, and King Hussein. It engenders a Likud-Labor tension in the government.
March 7: Terrorists infiltrate into Israel from Egypt and attack a bus in the Negev carrying workers to the nuclear reactor in Dimona, killing three. An israeli anti-terrorist unit kills three of the attackers. The bus is known as "bus of the mothers" because of the large number of women aboard.
March 9: Israeli forces in the West Bank use "gravel mortar" to disperse demonstrators. Three months since the outbreak of the Intifada are marked in the West Bank and Gaza Strip by a "Day of Rage".
March 12: A massive Peace Now demonstration in Tel Aviv calls in Prime Minister Shamir to "say yes to Schultz".
March 19: The Shabiba youth movement sponsored by Fatah is declared illegal by Israel.
The Soviet Union allows an El Al plane to fly over its territory for the first time.
March 24: Shimon Peres is elected chairman of the Labour Party.
March 27 : Mordechai Vanunu, a former employee at the Dimona Nuclear Research Center who was indicted for passing secret information about the center to the London Sunday Times, is convicted after a trial held in camera and sentenced to 18 years' imprisonment.
March 30: The Arabs of Israel mark their traditional Land Day by a demonstration of identification with the Arabs in the occupied territories.
March: Leaders of the Intifada call for a reprisal against Palestinian collaborators with Israel.
April 6: A group of Jewish pupils hiking from Elon Moreh in the West Bank are attacked at the Arab village of Beita. One girl is killed by the fire of the group's armed escort. Fifteen other pupils are wounded in the attack.
April 11: Eight Arab residents if the West Bank and Gaza Strip, including six who took part in the Beita incident, are deported to Lebanon.
April 16: Khalil al-Wazir (Abu Jihad) is assassinated in Tunis by an Israeli commando raid. He was Yasser Arafats' deputy in charge of the PLO's military arm and chairman of its Committee on the Occupied Territories. Abu Jihad was believed to be the mastermind behind the Intifada. Ehud Barak runs the operation from a command center on a navy missile boat. Thirteen Palestinians are killed in widespread rioting throughout the occupied territories following the news of his death.
April 18: Two new ministers without portfolio join the government: Moshe Arens (Likud) and Mordechai Gur (Labor).
April 25 : A court finds John Demjanjuk guilty of killing thousands of Jews during World War II at the Treblinka death camp and sentenced to death by hanging. The 68-year-old retired autoworker from Cleveland, Ohio, denied he was Ukrainian-born "Ivan the Terrible." In June, he will appeal the verdict at the Supreme Court.
April: At a meeting in Moscow with PLO leader Yasser Arafat, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev supports the Palestinians' right to self-determination, but urges Arafat to recognize the State of Israel and consider its security interests as a necessary element for the establishment of peace.
April: The US and Israel sign a five-year memorandum of understanding formalizing cooperation in military, economic, political, and intelligence matters.
April: Violence continues and infiltration attempts by terrorists from Lebanon increase.
May 3: A terrorist attack on an Israeli force in the village of Maidoun in Lebanon results in 3 soldiers killed and 17 wounded.
May 3: Staff members of the pro-PLO Hebrew periodical "Derekh Hanitzotz" are arrested for links with Na'if Hawatma's terrorist organization. Four of them are charged at the end of the month with "cooperating with the enemy."
May 9: For the first time since January 1987 prices for commodities are raised.
May 20: President Chaim Herzog reduces the sentences of three imprisoned members of the Jewish underground, bringing to 13 the number of sentences of members of this group that he has lightened, out of a total of 27 members convicted.
May 23: The Soviet Union permits the establishment of an Israeli consular mission in Moscow.
May 25: The IDF attacks the Hizbollah in Lebanon, causing several dozen fatalities.
May: A large number of forest fires break out during the month, some of them acts of Palestinian national terrorism.
May: The Supreme Court rules that Leah Shakdiel, an Orthodox woman who was elected to the Religious Council to the Negev town of Yeruham, could not be denied services solely because of her sex. Orthodox circles had objected to her service. She becomes the first woman to participate in a Religious Council as a full member.
June 7: An attempt is made on the life of the mayor of al-Bira. The Israeli Civil Administration attempts to convince Palestinian public figures not to resign from their posts.
June 9: A general strike is called in the West Bank and in Gaza Strip to mark six months since the start of the Intifada.
June 9: Shimon Peres announces in the Labor Party central committee that Yitzhak Rabin is second on the party list and Yitzhak Navon third.
June 11: Large fires break out in the Judean Hills and on the Carmel range, apparently set deliberately as part of the Intifada.
June 14: The new state comptroller is retired Supreme Court Justice Miriam Ben-Porat.
June 30: A magistrates court in Ramleh sentences four leftist activists who met with PLO representatives in Romania to 1/2-year prison terms for violating the prohibition against meetings with the PLO.
June: Stabbings of Israelis by Palestinians increase, as do stone-throwing and drive-by shooting at Israeli cars in the West Bank and in Gaza Strip.
June: The US and Israel sign an agreement for the joint development of the Arrow antiballistic missile. The US will contribute 80% toward the 130 million Dollar cost.
June: The Knesset defeats an amendment to the Law of Return proposed by Orthodox factions that would consider as Jews only those converts who entered into Judaism according to Orthodox practice. American Jewish communal leaders strongly urged the amendment's defeat.
July 6: The internal Likud elections for the septuple groupings are heated. David Levy emerges in first place, Ariel Sharon in second, and Moshe Arens - who is allied with Shamir - only in third place.
July 26: The Knesset decides to separate the Knesset elections from the local elections.
July 26: British Jewish press magnate Robert Maxwell acquires ownership of one of Israel's three leading dailies, Ma'ariv.
July 31 : King Hussein renounces Jordan's legal and administrative ties to the West Bank, thereby surrendering his claims to the Israeli-occupied territory to the PLO.
August 9: Israeli planes attack and silence a PLO broadcasting station in Lebanon.
August 15: Two Israeli Air Force F-15s collide in midair. Both pilots are killed.
August 20: A terrorist explosion in the Nordau pedestrian mall in Haifa wounds 25 people, two of them seriously.
September: A Polio epidemic spreads in Hadera, Ramleh, and Lod. The IDF inoculates all the soldiers. In October, all citizens up to the age of 40 are inoculated against Polio.
September 11: The population of Israel reaches 4,455,000, of whom 3,650,000 (82%) are Jews.
September 14: Prime Minister Shamir leaves for an official visit to Hungary, the first visit of a Communist Bloc country since relations were cut off with them in 1967.
September 19 : Israel announces it launched an experimental satellite, Ofek-1, which orbits the earth once every 90 minutes.
September 29 : An international arbitration panel awards the disputed Sinai territory of Taba to Egypt. This is the last item to be resolved in the implementation of the 1979 peace treaty with Egypt.
September: Cases of murder of Arabs by Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza Strip increase. The victims were accused of collaboration with Israel.
October 5: The Central Elections Commission disqualifies the ultra-right Kach party from participation in the Knesset elections.
October 19: Terrorists explode a booby-trapped car near the Lebanese-Israeli "Good Fence", killing 8 Israeli soldiers and wounding 7.
October 30: Terrorists fire-bomb an Israeli bus in Jericho. A mother and her three children are killed in the attack.
November 1 : Israel holds national elections for the 12th Knesset. Likud wins 40 seats; the Alignment 39 seats; Shas 6 seats; and Agudat Israel 5 seats. Altogether, religious lists win 18 seats. Former Labor Party Knesset member Abdel Wahab Daroushe's Arab Democratic Party wins one seat. (It is the first purely Arab Party to enter the Knesset. It recognizes the PLO as "sole representative of the Palestinian people" and supports the establishment of a Palestinian State in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. The party also demands "complete equality" for the Arabs in Israel, and the return of the land confiscated from its Arab owners.) The president assigns Yitzhak Shamir the task of forming a new government.
November 12: The 12th Knesset convenes. The Likud's Dov Shilansky is elected speaker.
November 23: The first representative of China's Tourism Office arrives in Israel.
November: At a meeting in Algiers, the Palestinian National Council proclaims the independent "State of Palestine". It does not define its boundaries.
November: Terrorist incidents continue in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and in southern Lebanon.
December 7: PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat meets with five US Jews from the International Center for Peace in the Middle East. After the meeting, Swedish Foreign Minister Sten Andersson reads a document, ratified by Arafat, declaring that the PLO has accepted Israel's right to exist, will participate in an international peace conference on the basis of UN Resolutions 242 and 338, and rejects terrorism "in all its forms."
December 8 - 9: Israeli forces move deep into Lebanese territory, attack Hizbollah bases, and withdraw. A Golani battalion commander is killed in the operation.
December 14: At a press conference, PLO chairman Yasser Arafat recognizes Israel's right to exist and states that "we totally and absolutely renounce all forms of terrorism, individual, group and state terrorism." US President Ronald Reagan authorizes the State Department to enter into a substantive dialogue with the PLO.
He sends a message to Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir explaining the US decision to open a dialogue with the PLO: "Nothing in this decision should be construed as weakening the United States' commitment to Israel's security."
December 15: Two Shi'ite leaders are kidnapped by the IDF to provide negotiating leverage for the retrieval of captured and missing Israeli soldiers.
December 22: The national unity government is installed with Yitzhak Shamir as prime minister, Shimon Peres as vice premier and finance minister, Moshe Arens as minister of foreign affairs, and Yitzhak Rabin as defense minister.
December 27: The shekel is devalued by 5% following the acquisition by the public of large quantities of foreign currency which threatened to deplete state reserves.
In order to promote a dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians, the Israel Palestine Center for Research and Information (IPCRI) is founded in 1988.
Holocaust survivor Dr. Lotte Salzberger founds HaMoked - Center for the Defense of the Individual, a human rights organization established against the backdrop of the first Intifada in order to help Palestinians injured as a result of the “broken bones” policy.
Education Minister Amnon Rubinstein launches the Poland tours for Israeli students.
According to Israeli resources, 293 Palestinians are killed by Israeli forces in the first year of the Intifada. About 20 Palestinians are killed by Palestinians for "collaborating" with Israel.
The Jewish population in the West Bank and in Gaza is estimated at 71,000. The Arab population is about 1,500,000.
The cost of living rise for 1988 is 16.3%, the lowest in years.
The remains of a 5,000 year-old temple near the town of Bet Shemesh are discovered.
A small ivory pomegranate, believed to be the first relic attributed to the First Temple era nearly 3,000 years ago, is anonymously donated to the Israel Museum. It bears an inscription in ancient Hebrew: "Belonging to the Temple of the Lord, holy to the priests."
The Museum of the Diaspora in Tel Aviv exhibits "Remnants: The Last Jews of Poland, 1980 - 1985."
Rabbi Yehuda Amital founds the Meimad movement. The aim is to transform the face of religious Zionism and to serve as an alternative to the approach that has made the Torah of Israel synonymous with political and religious extremism.
February: Jacob Tannenbaum, a concentration camp survivor, loses his US citizenship after confessing that he was a kapo who brutalized Jewish prisoners at the Goerlitz concentration camp. Tannenbaum, 76 years old, whose family was killed during the Holocaust, is not deported.
February: The Soviet newspapers "Pravda" and "Izvestia" condemn Pamyat, a Russian nationalist organization, for its antisemitism.
February: An international panel of historians assembled by the Austrian government to investigate the World War II activities of Austrian President Kurt Waldheim reports that no proof was found that he committed war crimes. The criticize him, however, for failing to protest or intervene in atrocities he knew were happening.
April: Several months after the death of Werner Nachmann, chairman of the Council of Jews in Germany (Zentralrat) since 1969, it is revealed that he had embezzled a 15 million Dollar from accounts intended for victims of the Holocaust.
April: Three thousand Jews, including government representatives from Israel, commemorate the 45th anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto revolt at ceremonies in Warsaw. Marek Edelman, the only survivor of the ghetto revolt still living in Poland, organizes an alternative ceremony, to protest the current repressive government.
May: During his first trip to the Soviet Union, US President Ronald Reagan meets with dissidents and refusniks.
June: Pope John Paul II meets Austrian president Kurt Waldheim in Vienna. Jewish leaders protest.
December: As a result of the liberalization of the Soviet policy toward the emigration of Jews, US immigration officials announce that they will no longer automatically grant Soviet Jews refugee status. The requirement of "well founded fear of persecution" to be considered a refugee would have to be proven. Israel welcomes the move as it assures more immigration to Israel and lessens the "dropout" problem when Soviet Jews reach Austria.
The New York Public Library exhibits "A Sign and a Witness: 2000 Years of Hebrew Books and Illuminated Manuscripts". The three-month exhibition is attended by 150,000, the largest attendance for any exhibition ever held at the library.
Rabbi Irving Greenberg, US scholar and leader of the Center for Jewish Learning and Leadership, writes "The Jewish Way". His description of the cycle of Jewish holidays includes an analysis of the effect of the Holocaust on the Jewish religious experience.
The Jewish Museum in New York exhibits "Golem: Danger, Deliverance and Art", a comprehensive gathering of visual material relating to the golem tale.
Franz Kafka's (1883-1924) handwritten manuscript of his novel "Der Prozess" (The Trial) is sold at auction for 1,98 million Dollar to a West German book dealer, the highest price ever paid for a modern manuscript.
The East German government and the Jewish Community of East Berlin mount a comprehensive exhibit on Jews in Berlin: "And Teach Them Not to Forget."
Gertrude B. Elion is awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
Jack Steinberger, Melvin Schwartz and Leon M. Lederman are awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics.