Once Upon a Time in Israel- May
Updated: May 31
May is a month filled with important events that took place in Israel's history. We decided to recap some of the greatest events which have happened in Israel during the month of May over the years.
Yosef Haim Brenner's assassination (May 2, 1921)
Brenner, one of the most important Israeli writers and a pioneer of Hebrew literature at the time, was killed during the 1921 Jaffa Riots. During these riots, 47 Israelis were killed, and 140 injured.
The Acre Prison Break (May 4, 1947)
On this day, Etzel forces broke into the Acre Prison, which at the time was a British-controlled prison in Israel, and 27 Etzel and Lehi soldiers broke free, alongside 180 Arab prisoners.
The Sabena Flight 571 Kidnapping (May 8, 1972)
On this day, a Sabena flight from Belgium to Israel was hijacked by Black September terrorists. The passengers were released following a heroic operation by Sayeret Matkal (amongst the soldiers were several future Israeli leaders: Ehud Barak, Bibi Netanyahu, Dani Yatom, Uzi Dayan, and more...).
Israel is accepted as a Member State of the United Nations (May 11, 1949) Just a few months after the UN General Assembly adopted the Partition Plan for Palestine and the state of Israel was established, Israel was accepted as a member of the UN.
Israel's Declaration of Independence (May 14, 1948)
Probably the most important event in Israeli history, on Friday, May 14th, 1949, at 16:00 at the Dizengoff House in Tel Aviv, David Ben Gurion announced the Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel. YAY!
The Formation of the Palmah (May 15, 1941)
The Haganah organization formed the elite Palmah unit under Yitzhak Sadeh's command, in order to assist in the protection of the Israeli state during World War II.
The War of Independence (May 15, 1948)
The day after the Israeli Declaration of Independence, the Arab forces (Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq) invaded Israel and the War of Independence broke out.
The Mahapah (May 17, 1977)
After 29 years in the opposition, the Likud party under Menahem Begin won the national elections in Israel, in what is considered one of the most important and influential elections in Israeli history.
Eli Cohen's Hanging (May 18, 1965)
Israeli spy Eli Cohen was hung on this day in Syria after his cover was blown. The information he secretly passed on to the Israeli forces was crucial for Israel's defense and its preparation for the Six-Day War, and most likely saved the lives of thousands of Israeli soldiers.
2013 Be'er Sheva Shooting (May 20, 2013)
On this day, Itamar Alon, a Be'er Sheva native entered a Bank Poalim branch in the city and began firing his personal weapon at the people in the bank. Four people were killed, and this incident is considered the worst shooting at a bank in Israeli history.
Jibril Agreement (May 21, 1985)
In this deal, Israel released 1150 security prisoners in exchange for the release of three IDF soldiers that were held hostage by Ahmad Jibril's terrorist organization. Amongst the terrorists that were freed were many of Israel's worst enemies of the time, including Ahmad Jibril, Ahmad Yassin, and Kozo Okamoto.
Operation Solomon (May 24, 1991)
On this day the operation to bring 14,400 Jews from Ethiopia to Israel began. Amongst the groups that participated in the operation were the Jewish Agency, the JDC, the Mossad, Shabak, and even 70 soldiers from the Shaldag unit.
The withdrawal from the Security Belt in Southern Lebanon (May 24, 2000)
On this day, Israel completed the withdrawal of its forces from the south of Lebanon. The whole withdrawal's cost was estimated at 1,880,000,000 shekels.
The formation of the Israel Defense Forces (May 26, 1948)
The IDF was established during the Independence War, around two weeks after the declaration of the state of Israel. The temporary Israeli government at the time decided on its formation and Prime Minister David Ben Gurion signed the order.
The Discovery of the Dakar Submarine remains (May 28, 1999)
The INS Dakar was an Israeli submarine that drowned with 69 crew members on board in 1968. On this day in 1999, joint US - Israeli search teams discovered the Dakar remains on a seabed between Crete and Cyprus, at a depth of around 3,000 meters.