: , Medīnat Yisrā'el, me̞diˈnät jisʁäˈʔe̞l; , dawlat ʔisraːˈʔiːl) is a parliamentary republic
located in the Middle East
, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea
. It borders Lebanon
in the north, Syria
in the northeast, Jordan
and the West Bank
in the east, Egypt
and the Gaza Strip
on the southwest, and contains geographically diverse features within its relatively small area. Israel is defined as a Jewish and democratic state
in its Basic Laws
and is the world's only Jewish-majority state.
Following the 1947 United Nations decision to partition Palestine, on 14 May 1948 David Ben-Gurion
, the Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization
and president of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, declared Israel a state independent from the British Mandate for Palestine.
1903 The Kishinev pogrom in Kishinev (Bessarabia) begins, forcing tens of thousands of Jews to later seek refuge in Israel and the Western world.
1921 Nahalal, the first moshav in Palestine, is settled as part of a Zionist plan to colonize Palestine and creating a Jewish state, later to be Israel.
1948 1948 Arab-Israeli War: the Kfar Etzion massacre is committed by Arab irregulars, the day before the declaration of independence of the state of Israel on May 14.
1948 Israel is declared to be an independent state and a provisional government is established. Immediately after the declaration, Israel is attacked by the neighboring Arab states, triggering the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
1948 Following token resistance, the city of Nazareth, revered by Christians as the hometown of Jesus, capitulates to Israeli troops during Operation Dekel in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
1948 The Lehi (also known as the Stern gang) assassinates Count Folke Bernadotte, who was appointed by the UN to mediate between the Arab nations and Israel.
1949 Cuba recognizes Israel.
1949 The Knesset (Israeli parliament) convenes for the first time.
1949 Israel joins the United Nations.
1949 Israel and Syria sign a truce to end their nineteen-month war.