1948: The State of Israel is proclaimed amid civil war in British-administered Palestine. The new state finds itself at war with five Arab countries: Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt.

1949: Israel is admitted into the United Nations and signs armistice agreements with Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. 

1967: Israel fights the Six-Day War with Syria, Egypt, and Jordan. 

1973: The Yom Kippur War against Egypt and Syria lasts 19 days, leaving thousands dead and tens of thousands wounded. 

1977: The right-wing Likud Party forms a government after elections, ending 30 years of Labour Party rule. 

1978: Israel-Egypt peace treaty signed. 

1987: Beginning of the first Palestinian intifada, or uprising.

1993: Oslo Accords signed between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation. 

1995: Former director general of the ministry of defence, Shimon Peres, becomes prime minister after Yitzhak Rabin is assassinated. 

1999: A centre-left coalition government is formed by Israel's most decorated soldier, Ehud Barak. 

September 2000: Second Palestinian intifada erupts following riots surrounding Ariel Sharon's visit to Jerusalem's Temple Mount, also known as al-Haram al-Sharif, site of the Al-Aqsa mosque - one of the three most sacred sites in Islam.

2001: Former major general Ariel Sharon is elected prime minister.

2005: Israel withdraws settlers and military forces from inside the Gaza Strip.

November 2005: Sharon resigns from the Likud Party and forms Kadima.

December 2005: Former Army captain and ambassador Binyamin Netanyahu is elected Likud leader.

January 2006: Sharon suffers a major stroke, and former journalist Ehud Olmert becomes caretaker prime minister.

Jananuary 2006: Hamas wins Palestinian parliamentary elections, angering Israel and the US.

March 28, 2006: Olmert's Kadima Party wins the most seats in elections.

March 29, 2006: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas swears in a Hamas-led government.

April 9, 2006: Israel formally severs all direct contact with the Hamas-led Palestinian government, leading international isolation of Hamas, particularly in the Gaza Strip.

July-August 2006: A war between Israel and Hezbollah causes huge damage and the deaths of at least 1,100 people in southern Lebanon and 165 Israelis.

July 2008: Facing a corruption probe and accusations that he mishandled the war, Olmert announces plans to step down.

September 2008: Tzipi Livni is elected to lead Kadima.

December 2008: Operation Cast Lead is launched in Gaza. As many as 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis are killed during 22 days of bombardment.

Feb 2009: Binyamin Netanyahu is elected prime minister.

March 2010: Israeli commandos kill nine Turkish activists aboard an aid flotilla bound for Gaza.

2011: Israeli analysts frequently express concern about the Arab Spring uprisings in the region.

November 2012: Israel attacks the Gaza Strip in Operation Pillar of Defence. Around 150 Palestinians and six Israelis are killed during a week of attacks and counter-attacks.

January 22, 2013: Elections for the 19th Knesset, or parliament, to be held.