Chairman of the Jewish Agency: Abraham Burg.
Head of Department of Development and Settlement and Chairman of Youth Aliya Institutions in Jewish Agency: Yehiel Leket.
January 17: Activists of Alexandr Barkashov's fascist paramilitary group Russian National Unity (RNE) disrupt a meeting between Israeli representatives of the Jewish Agency for Israel and local Jewish leaders in Orel. The Russian National Unity chant "Death to the Jews" and sell copies of the antisemitic newspaper Russian Order. However, local police authorities declare that the RNE's actions are not "a disruption of the public order" and refuse to intervene.
April: The Russian Justice Ministry refuses to renew the accreditation of the Jewish Agency. The Agency is treated as a foreign-based international organization founded by non-Russian citizens. The Justice Ministry explains the step by the fact that the Jewish Agency activities allegedly violate Russian laws. A Russian government official is quoted on the Interfax news service as accusing the Jewish Agency of being a front for the Mossad, Israel's intelligence service.
May: Offices of the Jewish Agency are closed down in Russia by the Russian authorities. The closures come in the wake of a promise by Justice Minister Valentin Kovalyov to settle the agency issue promptly. Newspaper articles claim that that Israeli emigration programs being carried out in Russia "verge on interference in [Russia's] internal affairs." The article also claims the Agency is "bringing the most gifted Jewish children to study in Israel," where they are "obliged to adopt Israeli citizenship." The Jewish Agency headquarters in Jerusalem issue a protest against the article, saying that it was biased and contained "inaccuracies and fallacious statements."
May 2: A Memorandum of Understanding is signed in New York between the Jewish Agency, the World Jewish Congress and the Swiss Bankers Association to create an Independent Commission of eminent persons, also known as the Volcker Commission. The commission is mandated to audit the search for assets of Nazi victims in Swiss banks.
May: Avraham Burg, Chairman of the Jewish Agency Executive, warns the Knesset that giving the Israeli Chief Rabbinate sole jurisdiction regarding conversions carried out in Israel could lead to a schism in Israel - Diaspora relations.
June: The Jewish Agency Assembly calls on the Israeli Government to maintain the Law of Return in its present form, to abstain from passing legislation which alters the religious status quo in Israel, and to consult with the Jewish Agency before making any changes which affect Israel-Diaspora relations. The resolution is forwarded to Prime Minister Netanyahu. The Assembly also calls for the establishment of a special Jewish Agency committee to deal with these issues.
June 23: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the Jewish Agency Assembly.
July: In the wake of the Russian Justice Ministry's refusal to renew the accreditation of the Jewish Agency in Russia, a new body is established: The Jewish Agency in the Russian Federation.
July: Jewish Agency chairman Avraham Burg is scheduled to visit Moscow. Burg's visit, which includea meetings with Russian officials and leaders of Russian Jewish organizations, may hasten registration of the new organization.
July: Russian resident Solomon Bromberg and his sister, Israeli resident Rivka Bromberg Feingold, are reunited after a separation of more than 60 years, both having believed that their entire family had been murdered during the Holocaust. The Jewish Agency takes part in the reunification effort.
July - August: Some 19,000 Jewish youths are attending 37 summer camps across the former Soviet Union.
September - December: The Assembly resolution is affirmed by Jewish Agency's constituent organizations: the United Jewish Communities (UJA), the CJF, the UIA and the WZO.
September - December: Senior Jewish Agency staff meets with government ministers and members of the Knesset to insist that the religious status quo in Israel be maintained.
October 17: Local offices of the Jewish Agency can operate legally in Russia once again.
New immigrants 1996: 70,919.
January 8: Palestinian terrorist Yihyeh Ayyash ("The Engineer"), responsible for the murder of 67 Israelis and the wounding of 390, is killed by an explosive connected to his celluar phone. The Palestinians accuse Israel of the act.
January 7: General Security Service (Shabak) head Carmi Gillon announces his resignation.
January 9: Some 800 Palestinian security prisoners, including 500 members of Hamas, are released from prisons in Israel as part of the Oslo II agreement.
January 10: King Hussein of Jordan visits Israel and tours Tel Aviv and the Lake Kinneret shore.
January 14 - 16: President Ezer Weizman visits Germany and delivers a historic speech in Hebrew at the German Bundestag, declaring, among other things: "I do not forgive and I do not forget."
January 16: A terrorist shooting on the Jerusalem-Hebron road kills an Israeli army doctor and a medic.
January 20: Palestinians vote for the first time to elect an 88-member legislative body. Yasser Arafat is overwhelmingly elected President.
January 22: Israel Eldad, Lehi leader, ideologist and translator, dies at age 85.
January 28: Following a report that all blood donations from immigrants of Ethiopian origin are systematically discarded because of the danger of AIDS contamination, some 10,000 Ethiopian immigrants take part in a turbulent demonstration in Jerusalem that results in 61 persons injured, including 41 policemen.
January 30: An IDF soldier is stabbed to death by a Hamas activist who infiltrates into an army camp.
February 9: The family of a Palestinian who has been killed in an accident donates his organs for transplant in Israel.
February 11: Prime Minister Shimon Peres announces early elections.
February 16: Hezbollah shells 20 IDF and SLA positions simultanously.
February 18: An Israeli-Turkish agreement is signed in the area of defense cooperation. The agreement is announced only two months later. Turkey allows the Israeli Airforce to use its airspace and bases. Israel undertakes to supply military hardware and to upgrade the Turkish air force's Phantom fighter bombers. The Arab League describes the accord as a direct threat to its members. Egypt says that it will create new tensions in the Middle East. The Turkish-Israeli treaty causes undisguised alarm in Syria.
February 23: George Habash's Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine announces the halt of violence in the Palestinian Authority territory.
February 25: Two Hamas suicide bombers explode themselves on a No. 18 bus in Jerusalem and at the Ashkelon junction, respectively, causing a total of 27 fatalities and 80 wounded.
February 26: A car driven by a Palestinian with American citizenship rams and kills an Israeli woman and wounds 23 in Jerusalem. A total closure is imposed on the occupied territories in light of terrorist acts.
February 27: Yigal Amir is convicted by the Tel Aviv District Court for the murder of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
February 28: The Shamgar Commission examining the circumstances of the assassination publishes the finding that Rabin's murder was a security failure.
March 3: A Hamas suicide bomber explodes himself on yet another No. 18 bus in Jerusalem, killing 18 passengers and wounding 70. Many Purim festivities are cancelled throughout the country. Yasser Arafat announces that quasi-military Palestinian organizations will be declared illegal.
March 4: A suicide bomber explodes himself near Dizengoff Center in Tel Aviv, causing 13 fatalities and some 100 wounded. The perpetrator is a member of Hamas from Khan Yunis who was smuggled into Israel by an Israel Arab.
March 13: The Sharm el-Sheikh Summit opens with the participation of leaders from 22 countries who censure terror and call for the establishment of a framework for joint international cooperation to combat it. Participants include Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and US President Bill Clinton.
March 14: US President Clinton visits Israel following the summit, meeting with youth in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
March 31: An unexplained explosion of an IDF helicopter over the Judean Desert takes the lives of 7 members of the crew.
April 2: An Israeli-Qatari agreement is concluded for the establishment of commercial legations in both countries.
April 7: An Israeli-Jordanian airline is inaugurated.
April 8: A roadside bomb kills a 14-year old Lebanese boy and wounds three of his playmates in the village of Barashit north of the Israeli security zone. Although the IDF denies responsibility for the attack, Hezbollah blames Israel.
April 9: Hesbollah retaliates by launching Katyusha rockets on northern Israel which injures six Israeli civilians. That same day, Israel responds by an attack on the village of Khirbat Salim in which two civilians are wounded.
April 10: An IDF soldier is killed and three others are wounded in a Hezbollah attack on their outpost in the security zone.
April 11 - 27: Operation Grapes of Wrath is mounted by the IDF in Lebanon in retaliation for the shelling of Israel's northern settlements.
April 18: The state basketball cup is won by Hapoel Jerusalem which beats Maccabi Tel Aviv.
April 24: The Palestine National Council votes to amend those portions of its charter that call for the destruction of Israel, but does not replace it with new language.
April 28 - 30: Prime Minister Peres visits the United States. He Signs missile defense cooperation and anti- terrorism agreements and meets with PLO Chairman Arafat.
April 29: The first cemetery in the country under nonreligious auspices is established in Beersheva.
May: Hezbollah attacks against the IDF in southern Lebanon continue. The IDF responds with artillery and air attacks.
May 2: Emil Habibi, Arab author, Israel Prize recipient, former MK and noted leader of the Arab population, dies.
May 8: A violent confrontation takes place between Palestinian Authority police and IDF soldiers at the Netzarim junction in the Gaza Strip.
May 18: Israel launches its Amos communications satellite.
May 18: The elections campaign for the 14th Knesset heats up. A serious incident occurs when a Likud aktivist shoots a Labor Party worker who is pasting up campaign posters.
May 19: The financial daily "Telegraph" closes after three years of publication.
May 25: Fires rage out of control in the Galilee and Golan Heights. Heavy damage is caused to flora, natural forests and pasture. The Bnot Yaakov Bridge is closed for several hours because of dense smoke.
May 29: Elections for the 14th Knesset and the premiership are held, the first time the two elements are split. Likud candidate Benjamin Netanyahu tops Labor candidate Shimon Peres by a narrow margin of 30,000 votes. He gets 50.4 percent of the votes, while Peres gets 49.6 percent. Labor wins 34 seats in the Knesset, Likud only 32. But under the new electoral law, the task of forming the next government has to be assigned to Netanyahu. Forty new MKs enter the Knesset.
May: Members of the government coalition introduce legislation which will alter the status quo regarding conversions to Judaism, by giving the Israeli Chief Rabbinate sole jurisdiction regarding conversions carried out in Israel.
June 2: The new head of the Mossad is former General Danny Yotam, who replaces Shabtai Shavit.
June 6: The Hezbollah violates the understanding drawn up with Israel and fires on northern Israel in several separate incidents.
June 9: A young husband and wife are killed in a terrorist drive-by shooting in the Bet Shemesh area.
June 10: Terrorist firing in the security zone in southern Lebanon kills 5 IDF soldiers.
June 17: The 14th Knesset convenes under the temporary chairmanship of the eldest member, Shimon Peres.
June 18: Benyanim Netanyahu's government is sworn in by the Knesset. The coalition consists of a merger of the Likud, Tzomet and Gesher (David Levy's list); Shas; the National Religious Party; Torah Judaism; Israel Be'Aliyah (Russian immigrant party); and The Third Way (a Greater Israel party). Several portfolios are not yet assigned.
June 22 - 23: Egypt hosts the first Arab League summit in six years to unite against Netanyahu's approach to the peace process.
June 26: A terrorist ambush in the Jordan Valley claims the lives of 3 IDF soldiers.
July 1: The Histadrut declares an hour-long strike by some 400,000 public service workers in protest against economic privatization measures that fail to protect workers' rights.
July 6: Thousands of ultra-Orthodox demonstrate on the Shabbat at Bar Ilan Street in Jerusalem, demanding to close the street, which passes through an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood, to traffic in the Shabbat. many more such demonstrations, some of them violent, are to follow in the coming months.
July 8: Prime Minister Netanyahu appoints Ariel Sharon Minister of Infrastructure.
July 9: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits the US. Differences in opinion regarding the peace process emerge in his meeting with President Clinton.
July 17: Most of the public sector strikes in protest against the government's economic plan, which features privatization and budget-cutting.
July 18: Prime Minister Netanyahu visits Egypt. President Mubarak expresses optimism regarding the chances for peace.
July 21: The remains of IDF soldiers Rahamim Alsheikh and Yosef Fink, who were captured in Lebanon in 1986 by terrorists, are returned to Israel in exchange for the release of Lebanese prisoners and the transfer of the remains of terrorists to the Hezbollah. The deal between Israel and the Hezbollah is brokered by Germany.
July 23: Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy meets with Arafat in the Palestinian leader's first meeting with a top Netanyahu government official.
July 26: Another drive-by shooting by terrorists in the Bet Shemesh area results in the death of three members of a single family.
July 29: Windsurfer Gal Fridman wins a bronze medal in the Olympic Games in Atlanta.
July 30: The remains are found of a missing soldier, Ilan Sa'adon, who was kidnapped and murdered by Hamas in May 1989.
August 6: A terrorist attack on the IDF in southern Lebanon results in the death of a soldier. IDF planes attack Hezbollah bases in response.
August 8: Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman resigns after he is charged with disruption of due process in the trial of Aryeh Deri.
August 14: Sessions of the Israeli-Palestinian Joint Supreme Civil Council resume after a prolonged break in the wake of the terrorist acts earlier in the year.
August 15: The Supreme Court ruling on the Bar Ilan Street issue, orders that the street remain open in Shabbat but recommends that a public council be formed to consider the issue, including the question of closing streets on the Shabbat.
August 18: Three forest fires in the Jerusalem hills result in the destruction of some 300 dunams of forested area.
August 20: Friendly fire in Lebanon causes the death of a soldier in the Givati Brigade and the serious wounding of another.
August 21: A criminal investigation is initiated against MK David Zucker (Meretz) in connection with his involvement in the nonprofit body sponsoring the Camera Obscura school of photography.
August 25: A campaign is mounted in the ultra-Orthodox press against Supreme Court Chief Justice Aharon Barak in the wake of the court's decision on the Bar Ilan Street issue. Threats are made on the judge's life, prompting the stationing of guards to protect him.
August 25: President Ezer Weizman, responding to an urgent request from Yasser Arafat, announces he will meet with the Palestinian leader to discuss stalled peace talks.
August: Fighting by Hezbollah against the IDF and the SLA is continuous.
August: Problems related to foreign workers in Israel, estimated 250,000 persons, worsen.
August: Traffic accidents in the month of August cause the death of 61 people.
September 3: A tunnel road shortening the travel distance between Jerusalem and the Gush Etzion and Hebron areas is inaugurated.
September 5: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat hold their first meeting. Both sides agree to discussions on redeployment from most of Hebron, the last West Bank town to be turned over to the Palestinians.
September 6: A fire in the Jerusalem Corridor injures 13 persons and damages 40 homes.
September 9: MK Ehud Barak announces his intention to contend for the chairmanship of the Labor Party.
September 9: An IDF soldier, Sharon Edri, is missing. Kidnapping is suspected. Extensive searches in the central part of the country, where he was last seen, reveal nothing.
September 18: A midair helicopter crash off the Nahariya coast results in the death of two pilots and an officer.
September 19: MK Shimon Peres announces that he will not contend for the chairmanship of the Labor Party.
September 20: An intense skirmish between IDF and Hezbollah forces results in two Israeli fatalities and 8 wounded.
September 24 - 30: The Tunnel Affair in Jerusalem begins. The Ministry of Religious Affairs, with the approval of the prime minister, opens a connecting tunnel from the ancient Hasmonean passage-way under the Western wall to the Muslim Quarter of the Old City. Arabs in Jerusalem and the occupied territories riot. Confrontations between Palestinians and the IDF result in 69 Palestinian fatalities and the death of 11 Israeli soldiers. Protests are held in the Arab world. The head of the General Security Service (Shabak), Ami Ayalon, admits: "The Shabak erred in its assessments of the results of the opening of the tunnel." Relations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are at a low ebb. (More.)
September 28: The UN Security Council expresses concern about the opening of the tunnel.
October 1: President Clinton convenes an emergency Middle East summit meeting in Washington to salvage the peace process.
October 8: President Ezser Weizman and Chairman Yasser Arafat meet in Caesarea in an effort to calm ther atmosphere in the wake of the tunnel affair.
October 10: An earthquake measuring 6 on the Richter scale occurs in Israel and the region.
October 13: Joint patrols in Hebron by Israeli and Palestinian security forces are resumed.
October 16: Members of the Palestinian Council visit the Knesset for ther first time. Three MKs protest and are expelled from the house.
October 21: The opposition outnumbers the coalition in a vote of no-confidence, but the government does not fall because of the Direct Elections Law which requires a majority of over 60 MKs in such a vote.
October 22: A right-wing extremist flings boiling tea at MK Yael Dayan (Labor) during a parliamentary tour in Hebron. The man had previously been convicted of murdering an Arab.
October 22: French President Jacques Chirac, on a visit to Israel, is outspokenly critical of Israeli policy and procedure. (More.)
October 23: An attack on the IDF in southern Lebanon results in the death of two soldiers and the wounding of five.
November: A report at the beginning of the month indicates that the number of ultra-Orthodox not recruited into the IDF is rising.
November: A Coastal Aeras Management Program is signed between Israel and the Mediterranean Action Plan.
November: To promote trade, the United States is willing to provide privileged trade status in exports from joint Arab-Israeli projects. The U.S. Congress establishes the Qualifying Industrial Zone (QIZ) project in 1996.
November 2: A mass memorial rally marking a year since the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is held in Rabin Square, Tel Aviv. The crowd stands for a moment of silence at 9:45 p.m., the time of the murder.
November 4: The first meeting of a commission consisting of "doves" of the Likud and Labor parties takes place. The meetings will eventually lead to the Beilin-Eitan Document. (More.)
November 9: A missile fired at an IDF tank in southern Lebanon results in the death of one soldier and the wounding of three.
November 11: A Druze citizen of Israel from the Galilee, Azam Azam, is arrested in Egypt on suspicion of spying for Israel.
November 18: Video footage showing two Israeli Border Guard police beating apparently helpless Palestinian workers arouses indignation in Israel and abroad.
December 3: Attorney General Michael Ben-Yair announces his resignation.
December 7: A roadmine in Lebanon kills an IDF soldier in the Golani Brigade.
December 11: A band of three terrorists shoots and kills an Israeli mother and her son near Bet El in the West Bank. The Palestinian Authority arrests three suspects.
December 14: Katyusha missiles land in the western Galilee.
December 14: An IDF convoy is attacked in southern Lebanon.
December 30: A Palestinian who attempts to attack two settlers in Kfar Darom in the Gaza Strip is shot and killed.
Inflation in 1996 is 10.6%.