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Until Return - Issue 3

Important Dates in Palestinian Arab History
Compiled by: Zahi Damuni and Nader Abuljebain
Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition

The following is a compilation of important dates and events in Palestinian Arab History for the month of January. For entire year, please see this page.


    January 1: Modern Palestinian Revolution

  • 1917 British troops enter Palestine through Rafah. Reach Jerusalem December.
  • 1919 January 3 betrayal by Emir Feisal Ibn al-Hussein al-Hashemi with the President of the World Zionist Organization, Dr. Chaim Weizmann - acceptance of border separation between Arab state and Palestine, Balfour Declaration, and Zionist immigration to Palestine. Rejected by Palestinians.
  • 1919 January 27 First Palestinian National Congress. Conference produces first National Charter. Sends two memoranda to Peace Conference, Versailles France, rejecting British mandate, Balfour Declaration, and Zionist immigration to Palestine. Demands full Palestinian independence. Calls for unity of Palestine and Syria and refers to Palestine as Southern Syria. Sends delegation to Damascus in support of Arab Government.
  • 1932 January 1-4 First Arab Youth Conference in Jaffa. Chaired by Issa Al Bandak.
  • 1935  January 25 Jerusalem First Conference for Muslim Clergy.
  • 1949 January 7 Internationally imposed ceasefire.
  • 1950 January 23 Israel declares Jerusalem capital in defiance of U.N.
  • 1956 Many Israeli attacks and raids on Syria.
  • 1956 January 19 UNSC #111 condemns Israel for raid on Syria killing 56 civilians.
  • 1958 January 22 UNSC #127 recommends Israel suspend no-man’s zone in Jerusalem.
  • 1978 President Jimmy Carter recognizes Palestinians’ right to "a" homeland (instead of "their" homeland).
  • 1979 January 19 UNSC # 444 deplores Israel’s lack of cooperation with U.N. peace force.
  • 1982 US vetoes UNSC resolution demanding Israel’s withdrawal from Golan Heights (Vote: 10 to 1 with 4 abstentions).
  • 1985 January 3 Start of Flasha immigration campaign from Ethiopia to Tel Aviv via Sudan.
  • 1986 January 17 US vetoes UNSC resolution deploring Israel’s violence in southern Lebanon (Vote: 11 to 1 - 3 abstentions).
  • 1986 January 30 US vetoes UNSC resolution deploring Israel’s activities that threaten sanctity of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem. (Vote: 13 to 1 with 1 abstention).
  • 1989 January 12 UNSC grants PLO right to speak directly to the council as "Palestine" on same level as UN member nation.
  • 1992 January 6 UNSC #726 condemns Israel’s decision "to resume deportation of Palestinians from the Palestinian territories, including Jerusalem.”
  • 1992 January 13-16: 3rd round of talks in Washington between Israel and separate Jordanian & Palestinian delegations. Palestinians propose autonomous Palestinian Interim Self-Government Authority in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with 180 elected officials managing 5-year transition to full independence. Syria asks for evacuation of Golan. Israel asks for explicit Syrian recognition.
  • 1993 January 19 Kenesset revokes 1986 law prohibiting contact with PLO. Secret negotiations between PLO and Israel begin in Sarpsborg, Norway.
  • 1996 January 20 first Palestinian elections in West Bank and Gaza Strip for 88 members of Palestinian Legislative Council and Palestinian National Authority president. Intimidation by Israel in Jerusalem. Elsewhere turnout high. Central Election Committee: 73% in West Bank, 88% in Gaza Strip. Many strong independent candidates elected to Council including Dr. Haidar ‘Abd al-Shafi who received highest number of votes of any candidate. Ran on anti-Oslo platform in PNA’s ‘capital’ and Gaza City. Fatah wins 68 seats total (47 official, 21 unofficial). Others: 12 secular-nonaffiliated, 7 Islamist & 1 secular party.
  • 1996 January 15 Netanyahu promises to implement promised partial pullout from Hebron, West Bank.
  • 1997 January 1 off-duty Israeli soldier fires on Hebron central market, injuring 8 Palestinians.
  • 2001 January 21 Talks begin at Taba, Egypt; Israel claims increases in territorial "offer" while Palestinians submit draft article on refugees. Israel provides “private response”.
  • 2002 January 14 Israel prohibits PA ministers from attending London conference on Palestinian reform.
  • 2003 January 25, 26 Israel launches series of attacks on Gaza City's Zaytun district kills 14. Massacres committed by Israeli troops in Gaza Strip (January-June, October and December), and Rafah (December).
  • 2006 January 25, Second Palestinian Legislative Council election. Hamas wins majority of seats. Forms PA cabinet as requested.

Sources of information included: Dr. Salman Abu Sitta, Nizar Sakhnini, http://,,,, and


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