Israel Swaps 430+ Prisoners for Man, 3 Bodies

January 29

January 29, 2004 Israel releases more than 430 Arab prisoners — more than 400 to the Palestinian Authority, 29 to surrounding Arab nations, and one German citizen who worked with Hezbollah to Germany, from where he travels to Lebanon — in exchange for businessman Elhanan Tannenbaum and the bodies of three Israeli soldiers, all four […]

Ethiopians Protest Dumping of Donated Blood

January 28

January 28, 1996 About 10,000 Ethiopian Jews from across Israel demonstrate in Jerusalem against the government’s decision to dispose of blood donated by Ethiopian Israelis. The demonstration outside the office of Prime Minister Shimon Peres draws a heavy police response, including water cannons and tear gas, and turns into a riot, injuring several police officers […]

First International Holocaust Remembrance Day

January 27

January 27, 2006 The first U.N.-recognized International Holocaust Remembrance Day is held on the 61st anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. The goal of the commemoration is to educate the nations of the world and thus prevent genocides. The U.N. General Assembly unanimously passed a resolution Nov. 1, 2005, to establish a day to commemorate […]

Hamas Wins Parliamentary Elections

January 26

January 26, 2006 Hamas, the militant Palestinian opposition group, wins 76 of the 132 seats in the Palestinian Authority’s legislature, a groundbreaking power shift. Because Hamas rejects Israel’s existence, the election results present a new obstacle in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Hamas’ network of social services and charitable organizations and Fatah’s corruption, rather than policies […]

Eban, Dulles Discuss Arms Deal

January 25

January 25, 1956 Abba Eban, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, and John Foster Dulles, the U.S. secretary of state, discuss a proposal for the United States to sell Israel $50 million worth of weapons and munitions in response to an $80 million arms agreement between the Soviet Union and Egypt. The meeting lasts less […]

Nobel Laureate Dan Shechtman Born

January 24

January 24, 1941 Dan Shechtman, a Nobel Prize-winning chemist, is born in Tel Aviv. He earns his bachelor’s in mechanical engineering in 1966, master’s in materials engineering in 1958 and doctorate in materials science in 1972, all from the Technion, where he begins teaching in 1975. He adds an appointment in 2004 to the faculty […]

Nazi-Hunter Tuviah Friedman Born

January 23

January 23, 1922 Tuviah Samuel Friedman, a Nazi-hunter known as “the Merciless One,” is born in Radom, Poland. Friedman survives several concentration camps during the Holocaust, which kills his parents and two siblings. As a a survivor, Friedman is passionate about bringing Nazis to justice. In the months after World War II, he and other […]

Munich Mastermind Assassinated

January 22

January 22, 1979 Ali Hassan Salameh, the mastermind behind the Palestinian terrorist attack on the Israeli team at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, dies at a hospital about 30 minutes after a Mossad car bomb is detonated as he drives by on his way to a birthday party at his mother’s apartment in Beirut. […]

Merger Forms Labor Party

January 21

January 21, 1968 Three parties in the Knesset — Mapai, Ahdut Ha’avoda and Rafi — join with the Histadrut to form the Labor Party. The secretary general of Mapai, Golda Meir, agrees to chair the foundation conference. The largest of the three parties is Mapai, which has led every Israeli government coalition and provided every […]

Israel, Kazakhstan Sign Defense Pact

January 20

January 20, 2014 Defense Ministers Moshe Ya’alon of Israel and Adilbek Dzhaksbekov of Kazakhstan, a former Soviet republic that has a Sunni Muslim majority, sign a security cooperation accord in Tel Aviv that formalizes the military and defense ties between their nations, which have had diplomatic relations since 1992. Despite a rough patch in 2004, […]

Hamas Leader Al-Mabhouh Assassinated

January 19

January 19, 2010 Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a senior Hamas military commander and founder of its Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, is drugged and suffocated in his hotel room hours after his arrival Dubai. A Dubai police report attributes his death to a “professional criminal gang” that flees before the body is discovered the next day. Dubai investigators […]

Iraqi Scuds Strike Israel

January 18

January 18, 1991 Iraq fires eight Scud missiles at Israel in the predawn hours of the morning after U.S.-led allied forces launch airstrikes on Iraq at the outset of the Persian Gulf War. Missiles hit Haifa and Tel Aviv, wounding seven people and damaging several residential buildings. It is the first time Tel Aviv has […]