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Timeline of Jewish History: Modern Israel & the Diaspora

(1960 - 1969)

Click on a Year: 1960 | 1961 | 1962 | 1963 | 1964 | 1965 | 1966 | 1967 | 1968 | 1969
Other Periods: 1940's | 1950's | 1970's | 1980's | 1990's | 2000's | 2010's


  Theodore Heuss is the first German president to visit Israel.
  Founding of the Jewish Reconstructionist movement (as a distinct denomination; Mordecai Kaplan): 1960s.
  Hadassah Hospital and Hebrew University Medical School inaugurated at Ein Kerem, Jerusalem.
  Letters from the Bar Kochba archive are discovered in a dig in the Judean desert.
  OPEC founded in Baghdad.

January 18

Egypt announces USSR will finance second stage of Aswan High Dam.

February 20

Jordan opposes in Arab League creation of a Palestinian entity.

March 10

Ben-Gurion meets with President Eisenhower at White House.

April 26

Terrorists killed a resident of Ashkelon.

May 23

Adolf Eichmann is captured in Argentina by Israeli agents of the Mossad, who bring him to Israel for trial for his involvement in Hitler's extermination of the Jews.
  Ben-Gurion announces in Knesset capture of Eichmann.

July 23

Shah declares that Iran recognizes Israel de facto.

July 25

Egypt breaks its ties with Iran.


  Operation Yachin bring Moroccan Jews to Israel as Morocco leaglizes immigration to Israel.
  Israel's first nuclear reactor becomes operational at Nahal Sorek.

January 11

The Egoz, a ship bringing Morccan Jews to Israel - sinks.

March 16

IDF raids Syrian positions east of Sea of Galilee, following Syrian shelling.

April 9

Security Council condemns Israel for Galilee raid.

April 11

Eichmann trial begins at Beit Ha'am in Jerusalem.
  Israel Beer, military historian and advisor to the Minister of Defense, is arrested for spying for the USSR and is sentenced to 15 years in jail.

August 15

Elections for the Fifth Knesset.


Civil war in Yemen - Egypt and Saudi Arabia intervene.

September 28

Syrian military coup d'etat breaks up the UAR.

December 11

Eichmann found guilty.

December 15

Eichmann sentenced to death by hanging, the first and only person in Israel to receive the death sentence.


  Haifa University is opened.
  Archeological excavations commence at Masada, under the direction of Professor Yigal Yadin.
  United States' sale of Hawk missiles to Israel is concluded.

April 12

Terrorists fired on an Egged bus on the way to Eilat; one passenger was wounded.

May 31

Adolf Eichmann is executed in Israel for his part in the Holocaust.


  In a landmark Supreme Court decision, the Ministry of Interior is ordered to recognize the marriage of a Jew and a Christian performed in Cyprus.

February 8

Pro-Egyptian Colonel Arif overthrows Qassim regime in Iraq

March 8

Officers group connected with Ba'ath party takes over power in Syria.

March 20

Knesset calls on West Germany to forbid its scientists to aid Egyptian missiles and arms development.

April 17

Egypt, Syria and Iraq agree on new federation; also call for liberation of Palestine.

April 23

President Yitzchak Ben-Tzvi dies.

May 21

Zalman Shazar becomes Israel's third President.

June 16

David Ben-Gurion resigns as Prime Minister and Minister of Defense and retires. He is replaced by Levi Eshkol.

June 24

Prime Minister Levi Eshkol presents his government to the Knesset.

July 22

Nasser renounces Egypt's federation agreement with Syria and Iraq, and denounces Syria's Ba'ath party.

November 18

Military coup in Iraq; Arif becomes President.


  Student Struggle for Soviet Union founded following U.S. march to protest Soviet anti-Jewish policies.

January 5

Pope Paul VI visits Israel as part of a Middle East Tour.

January 14

United Arab Summit in Cairo establish Unified Military Commando to prepare for war against Israel.

May 28

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) is founded in Jordanian-controlled East Jerusalem.


The National Water Carrier begins operations, bringing water from Lake Kinneret in the north to the semi-arid south.

June 2

Eshkol ends two days of talks with President Johnson in White House.

June 3

Israel wins the Asia Soccer Cup, beating South Korea 2-1 in the final.

July 9

Ze'ev Jabotinsky's remains are interred on Mt. Herzl.

September 5-11

Arab Summit conference in Alexandria agrees on measures to divert Jordan River headwaters.



President Lyndon B. Johnson signs into law the Immigration Act of 1965, abolishing the national origins quota system.

  Arafat's Fatah begins the “armed struggle” against Israel, undertaking its first cross-border attack on January 1.
  Tunisian President Habib Bourguiba proposes recognition of Israel.

January 1

Palestinian terrorists attempt to bomb the National Water Carrier - the first attack carried out by the PLO's Fatah faction.

February 12

West Germany announces suspension of arms sales to Israel.

May 11

The Israel Museum in Jerusalem is founded as the country's national museum.

May 12

Israel and West Germany establish diplomatic relations.

May 18

Eli Cohen is hanged in Damascus after being found guilty of spying for Israel.

May 31

Jordanian Legionnaires fired on the neighborhood of Musara in Jerusalem, killing two civilians and wounding four.

June 1

Syria declares: Only solution for Palestine - elimination of Israel.

July 5

A Fatah cell planted explosives near Beit Guvrin, and on the railroad tracks to Jerusalem near Kfar Battir.

July 15

Chief of Staff Rabin says Israel has effectively deterred Arab States from diverting Jordan River headwaters.
  Teddy Kollek becomes Mayor of Jerusalem; he is re-elected six times and serves 28 years.

November 2

Elections for the Sixth Knesset.

December 29

U.S. confirms sale of tanks to Jordan.


  The new Knesset building in Jerusalem is inaugurated.
  The Coca-Cola Company announces it will open a plant in Israel in defiance of the the Arab Boycott.

May 2

Konrad Adenauer visits Israel.

May 16

Two Israelis killed when their jeep hit a terrorist landmine in Northern Galilee. Tracks led into Syria.

May 18

Eshkol declares in Knesset that Israel will not be first to introduce nuclear weapons to Middle East; calls for limitations on regional arms build-up.

May 19

U.S. confirms sale of jet fighters to Israel.

July 13

Two soldiers and 1 civilian killed when their truck struck a terrorist landmine near Almagor.

July 25

Serious clashes between Israel and Syria, followed by inconclusive Security Council debate.

November 4

Syria and Egypt sign mutual defence treaty providing for joint command.

November 13

Israel raids Samu village following incursions from Jordan.

December 10

Israeli writer Shmuel Yosef Agnon receives the Nobel Prize in Literature with a German-Jewish author, Nelly Sachs.


  Ben Gurion University of the Negev is opened.


Heavy fighting along Israel-Syria borders.

February 28

David Ben-Gurion arrives in U.S., is received by 400 U.S. Jewish leaders.

March 5

Over $30,000,000 in Israel Bonds sold at a dinner honoring David Ben-Gurion.

April 7

Israeli aircraft shoot down 7 Syrian Migs.

April 11

Security Council deplores Arab attacks on Israel.

May 7-14

Reports circulating in Tel Aviv of pending Israeli attack against Syria

May 13

UAR recieves intelligence reports, apprarantly from Soviets, warning of Israeli attack on Syria.

May 14

Nasser declares alert in Egypt and bolsters his forces in Sinai. UAR chief-of-staff flies to Damascus.

May 15

Egyptian forces continue pouring into Sinai, UAR forces stand on alert, deployment begins.

May 16

Israeli's begin to show concern over UAR deployments towards Sinai . Propoganda campaign begins in UAR and spreads across the Arab world.

May 17

Egyptian President Nasser orders UN forces to evacuate the Gaza Strip and Sinai. Reports of UAR troops being withdrawn from Yemen to Sinai. Israel begins mobilization.

May 18

UAR calls for the United Nations Emergency Force to withdraw from Egyptian territory.

May 19

UN Emergency Force withdrawn at Egypt's request. Israel declares partial mobilization.

May 20

Nasser declares alert in Egypt and state of emergency in Gaza. Unites with 111 other Arab nations two of which (Syria and Iraq) openly called for the destruction of Israel. Sixth fleet carrier task groups directed to move eastward towards Crete.

May 21

UAR mobilizes reserves.

May 22

Egypt declares the Straits of Tiran closed to Israeli shipping.

May 23

Eshkol warns Egypt of gravity of blockade.

May 23

Security Council adjourns, having failed to take any action on Middle East crisis.

May 30

Egypt and Jordan sign mutual defence pact in Cairo.

June 1

National Unity Government formed; Moshe Dayan appointed Defense Minister.

June 2

Joint-Chiefs-of-Staff permits Sixth Fleet to commence in-port upkeep periods, reflecting relaxation of tensions.

June 3

Iraq joins UAR-Jordan defense pact.

June 4

UAR and Iraq forces enter Jordan

June 5

Israeli air force pre-emptively attacks Egyptian, Jordanian, Syrian and Iraqi air force bases; efectively neutralizing them. IDF ground forces attack Egyptian forces in Sinai and the Gaza Strip. Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol conveys message to King Hussein of Jordan through UN Chief of Staff in Jerusalem that Israel has no intentions of attacking Jordan.

At 10:20 Jordan launches attack on Israel.Following Jordanian artillery and small arms attacks and a Jordanian incursion into the DMZ in Jerusalem, IDF forces commence operations against Jordanian military positions in Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem.

MOLINK exchanges with Soviet leaders begins. UAR and Jordan begin concocting and disseminating false intervention charge. Crisis in Benghazi where British troops rescue trapped Americans. Crisis at Wheelus AB.

June 6

Egyptian forces continue pouring into Sinai. Initial U.S. military moves negative, to avoid giving impression of U.S. intervantion. JCS disapproves movement of Amphibious Force from Malta,. Algeria, UAR, Syria, Sudan, and Yemen break relations with the U.S. Algeria and Kuwait ban all shipments to the U.S. and the U.K.

June 7

Jerusalem reunited.

June 8

IDF completes deployment in Sinai (including the Gaza Strip). Cease-fire declared with Egypt and Jordan as fighting continues with Syria. USS Liberty mistakenly attacked by Israeli Air Force.

June 9

IDF forces move against Syrian forces on the Golan Heights.
  President Nasser resigns, withdraws resignation some hours later.

June 10

IDF completes deployment in the Golan Heights; cease-fire declared with Syria. USSR and other East European nations, except Rumania, sever diplomatic ties with Israel.

June 12

Israel announces it will not withdraw to 1949 armistice lines before peace is achieved by direct negotiations.

June 19

President Johnson Outlines 5 point U.S. peace plan.

June 27

Knesset passes the Protection of Holy Places Law.

June 28

Israel proclaims unification of Jerusalem.


Draft resolutions denouncing Israel as aggressor, calling for evacuation of liberated territory are rejected by the General Assembly.


Arab summit in Khartoum state: No negotiations with Israel, no peace with Israel and no recognition of Israel.
  Open Bridges policy across the Jordan River bridges, for goods and people, is instituted.

September 1

Arab summit conference in Khartum proclaims policy of no peace, no recognition and no negotiations with Israel.

October 21

Sea-to-sea missiles fired from Egyptian missile boats sink Israeli destroyer "Eilat," killing 47 Israelis.

October 25

Israeli artillery destroys Egyptian oil refineries in Suez.

November 22

UN General Assembly Resolution 242 is adopted.


  Egypt's War of Attrition against Israel: 1968-70.
  Israel TV transmits its first broadcast, the 20th Independence Day military parade.
  Jews return to Gush Etzion, abandoned after its capture by the Jordanians in 1948.
  Jews return to Hebron, abandoned after the Jewish massacres in 1929.
  Polish government outlaws Jewish language and institutions.

January 27

The Israeli Navy submarine Dakar and crew disappear at sea en route from England.

February 7

Eshkol ends two days of talks with President Johnson in Texas.

March 12

Nasser proclaims three stage doctrine of struggle against Israel.

Israeli army attack on PLO base at Karameh, Jordan.

May 26

First Jerusalem Day celebrated.

June 22

Prime Minister Levi Eshkol declares that the Jordan River is Israel's security border.
  Labor party is formed from the union of Mapai, Ahdut Ha'avodah and Rafi.

July 17

PLO's Palestinian National Council adopt covenant calling for Israel's destruction.

July 22

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) carries out the first hijacking, diverting an El Al flight to Algiers. 32 Jewish passengers were held hostage for 5 weeks.


Ba'thists seize power in Iraq.

September 4

One killed and seventy-one wounded by three bombs that exploded in Tel Aviv.


Hijacking for El Al aircraft en route to Algeria.

October 8

Foreign Minister Eban offers nine point peace plan at UN General Assembly. Egypt rejects plan and demands that Ambassador Jarring work out a timetable for Israeli withdrawl from disputed areas.

October 27

Fighting breaks out again along Suez Canal, Suez oil refineries again hit.

November 19

Israel allows return to disputed areas thousands of refugees who fled to Jordan in the Six Day War.

November 22

Twelve killed and fifty-two injured by a car bomb in the Mahaneh Yehuda market, Jerusalem.

December 2

Heavy fighting erupts on Israel-Jordan borders.

December 4

Israel aircraft attack Iraqi artillery units in Jordan.

December 26

Arab terrorists attack Israeli airliner in Athens.

December 27

U.S. announces sale of Phanton jets to Israel.

December 28

IDF raids Beirut airport, destroying 13 airliners without loss of life.


February 18

Israeli airliner attacked in Zurich.

February 21

Two killed and twenty injured by a bomb detonated in a crowded market in Jerusalem.

February 26

Levi Eshkol dies suddenly.

February 4

Yasser Arafat elected chairman of the PLO.

March 7

Golda Meir becomes Prime Minister after Eshkol's death.

April 19

Soviet missiles installed in Egypt, following announcement by Nasser that Egypt has completed rehabilitation of its army and is moving to stage of active defense.

April 23

Egypt repudiates cease-fire along Suez Canal.

May 11

Jordan forbids terrorist raids against Israel from its territory, following Israel warning and raids.

July 7

UN Secretary General U Thant proclaims that war of attrition is taking place along Suez Canal.

July 20

Israel airforce begins bombing targets inside Egypt.

July 31

Israel repels Syrian attack in Golan Heights.

August 21

Al-Aqsa Mosque damaged by arson.

August 23

Nasser calls for all out war against Israel.

August 29

American airliner hijacked to Damascus; two Israeli passengers detained .

September 1

Coup d'etat in Libya overthrows monarchy. Moammer Qaddafi heads Revolutionary Command Council.


Secret U.S.-USSR talks on Middle East peace. Talks fail when Nasser rejects plan.

October 13

Israel proposes home rule for West Bank, retaining responsibility for security.

October 22

Four killed and twenty wounded by terrorist bombs in five apartments.

October 28

Elections to the Seventh Knesset.

December 9

U.S. Secretary of State Rogers announces American Plan for peace in the Middle East.

December 12

Israel rejects Rogers plan.