PREHISTORY 50,000-3500



Tools found in the Jerusalem area from that period constitute early traces of human habitation.
CANAANITE PERIOD 3500-1200 BCE (Bronze Age)
ca. 3500First settlement on Jerusalem hills. 
1900-1400Jerusalem is mentioned as a city-state in Egyptian texts.

Melchizedek is mentioned in the Bible as the king of Salem (Genesis 19:19). The Israelites infiltrate Canaan and begin settling the land (Moses and Joshua).

1000onstruction of the First Temple and royal palace by King Solomon, son of David. A period of development and prosperity ensued, with massive building activity and commercial ties far beyond Israel’s boundaries.
925The kingdom breaks in two after Solomon’s death, Israel in the north with  its capital Samaria, Judah in the south, whose capital remains Jerusalem.
722Israel is conquered by the Assyrians. Jerusalem is swamped with refugees from Samaria.
597Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, conquers Judah, exiling King Yoyachin and 10,000 nobles.
586Nebuchadnezzar seizes Jerusalem after two years of siege, kills King Zedekiah, destroys the Temple and exiles large part of the population.
538The Israelites return to Jerusalem, following a decree by Persian King Cyrus allowing them to rebuild the Temple. Ezra and Nehemiah reorganize  Jewish life.
332Conquest by Alexander the Great. After his death, two Hellenistic  dynasties emerge: the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt, the Seleucid dynasty in Syria. Jerusalem falls under Ptolemaic rule, subsequently enjoying a period of prosperity.
188The Seleucids ascend to power. Intensive Hellenization leads to internal strife in Jerusalem. Antiochus Epiphanes IV seizes the city and forbids the observance of Jewish religious law, which leads to a Jewish rebellion led  by Judah Maccabee.
167Jerusalem is recaptured by the Maccabees and an autonomous Jewish kingdom is reestablished. Jerusalem becomes the capital of the Hasmonean kings.
63Following a dispute concerning succession to the Hasmonean throne, Roman interference leads to Roman rule.
37Herod becomes king as a Roman vassal and subsequently carries out huge building projects in Jerusalem.
29 n. Chr.The crucifixion of Jesus. A few centuries later, Jerusalem becomes the focus of Christianity.
66-70The Jewish revolt against the Romans results in the conquest of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple, as well as large parts of the city, by  Roman emperor Titus.
132A Roman colony named Aelia Capitolina is established on the site of Jerusalem, from which Emperor Hadrian bars Jews.
132-135Jewish revolt led by Bar Kochba.
313Emperor Constantine legalizes Christianity; the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is built, and pilgrims start coming to the Holy Land. Jews still forbidden to enter Jerusalem.
361Emperor Julian lifts the ban.
614-628Persian invasion, in the course of which most churches in the Holy Land  are destroyed.
628Byzantine reconquest; Jews are barred again.
640The Byzantine Empire is weakened by internal strife and overrun by Arabs spreading the new faith preached by Mohammed.
638Jerusalem is conquered by Caliph Omar. The city becomes a center of pilgrimage to all three faiths and is further developed by the succeeding Arab dynasties, the Omayyads, Abbasids and Fatimids.
691Construction of the Dome of the Rock by Omayyad Caliph Abd-el-Malik.
1009Christianity is persecuted by Caliph Hakim.
1071Selchuks from Turkey conquer Jerusalem, causing calls for a crusade in Europe, to save the Christian holy places.
1099Crusaders occupy Jerusalem, turning it into the capital of their Latin Kingdom. Jews and Muslims are massacred.
1187After being recaptured by Sultan Salah-ed-Din, Jerusalem remains in Muslim hands for 15 years. 
1229-1244Crusaders try to settle again in Jerusalem during the second Crusader period, but with short-lived success.
1250The Mameluke caste comes to power in Egypt and subsequently conquers Jerusalem.
1260Mamelukes defend Jerusalem against Mongol hordes. 
1261Remaining Crusaders are driven out of the Holy Land by the Mamelukes. Jerusalem remains under Mameluke rule for 260 years.
1517The Ottoman Turks replace the Mamelukes.
1520Jerusalem’s city walls built by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. Jews resettle in the city: a period of prosperity starts.
1850-1890The Turkish Empire has been declining for the last two centuries. Jews are becoming the majority in Jerusalem and the first neighborhoods  develop outside the city walls. First Zionist groups immigrate to Palestine.

Towards the end of World War I, Jerusalem is conquered by the British under General Allenby. The city becomes the seat of the Mandatory government.

The Jewish community develops and consolidates, but is met by Arab hostilities repeatedly culminating in violent riots in 1922, 1929, 1936-39.


The United Nations resolves to divide the country between Arabs and Jews, a resolution accepted by the Jews and rejected by the Arabs.

1948The State of Israel is proclaimed. Following invasion of the surrounding Arab nations, the young state fights its war of independence.
1949Jerusalem’s western part becomes the capital of Israel; the city remains divided between Israel and Jordan until 1967.
1967Jerusalem is reunited after Israel’s victory in the Six-Day War. Reconstruction of the Old City’s Jewish Quarter begins. The West Bank, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights are occupied by Israel.
1973A surprise attack by Arab states leads to the Yom Kippur War.
1979A peace treaty is signed between Israel and Egypt.
1982A war is launched in southern Lebanon to counter terrorist attacks on Israel’s northern settlements. 
1991Following Iraqi aggression against Kuwait, the Gulf War breaks out, bringing Israel under attack by missiles from Iraq. Towards the end of the same year, Middle East peace talks start in Madrid.
1993Israel enters an agreement with the PLO, granting the Palestinian people autonomy in Jericho and the Gaza Strip.
1994A peace treaty is signed between Israel and Jordan.
1995Prime Minister Rabin – who, with Foreign Minister Peres, engineered the peace process from the Israeli side – is assassinated by an Israeli extremist.
1996Benyamin Netanyahu wins the elections following Rabin’s assassination. The peace process slows down.
19991999 Ehud Barak is elected Prime Minister and puts the peace process back on top of the political agenda.
20002000 Ariel Sharon becomes Prime Minister, continuing talks with Yasser Arafat.
2003Israel starts withdrawing from certain areas in the West Bank.
2004Yasser Arafat dies in Paris; he is succeeded by Abu Maazen as president of the Palestinian Authority 
20052005 Israel withdraws from the Gaza Strip and is building a security wall to protect Israel from Palestinian suicide bombers.
2006Palestinian elections result in a large majority for the Hamas party in the Gaza Strip. The movement has a record as an extremist organization, classified as such in numerous countries, among them the U.S.A. Six years have passed since Israel withdrew from Southern Lebanon, a time during which numerous rockets keep falling on the country’s northern towns. One year has passed since Israel’s retreat from the Gaza Strip. On top of continuing terrorist attacks and suicide bombings within the country, Israel is surprised by two cross-border raids: In June, one soldier is killed and another abducted near the border to the Gaza Strip by terrorists affiliated with the Hamas movement, and a few weeks later, Hezbollah gunmen kill two soldiers and abduct another two, close to the Lebanese border. The incidents trigger intense military action until, known as the Second Lebanon War. By mid-August, a cease fire is reached. Despite the UN’s resolution, the Lebanese army is unable to stop Hezbollah from rearming.
2008Thousands of rockets have been fired from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip in the last two years, targeting Israel’s southern population. An Egyptian-brokered ceasefire breaks down in December, leading to Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s military intervention to disable rockets launching pads in Gaza.
2010U.S. President Barack Obama pushes for a renewal of direct peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. Continued Palestinian refusal to accept Israel’s right to exist leads to a stalemate. Direct negotiations come to a halt.
2011Starting with Tunisia, Arab nations in North Africa and the Middle East turn against their regimes. Mass demonstrations and violent attacks on protesters are followed by governments being thrown over or forced to change. The European Union and the United States keep working towards renewed negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Israel agrees to a Two-State-Solution, provided its right to exist is recognized. Jews and Arabs continue to live side by side in Jerusalem, working together and trading with each other. For the last two years, terrorist attacks on Israel’s Jewish population have significantly decreased. In spite of the political stalemate, the West Bank is experiencing significant economic growth. Cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority on a practical level continues, and people are hopeful for a peaceful future.