Aug. 5, 1953 — Special Forces Unit 101 Is Formed

Unit 101, an independent special forces section of the Israel Defense Forces, is formed with about twenty soldiers under the command of Ariel Sharon to provide a rapid, nimble response to terrorist attacks and border infiltrations. Unit 101’s independence ends after an October 1953 raid on the West Bank village of Qibya destroys forty two buildings, kills nearly seventy civilians and draws U.N. Security Council condemnation.

אריאל שרון

**CORRECTS DATE IN CAPTION TO 2006 ** FILE ** In this picture provided by the Israeli Defense Ministry, current Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, standing second left, poses with military commanders including Moshe Dayan, center, in this Oct. 28, 1955, file photo. Sharon was rushed to the operating room, Friday, Jan. 6, 2006, after a brain scan detected further bleeding and increasing pressure. Sharon suffered a massive stroke with widespread bleeding in his brain Wednesday, and Friday's surgery was his second in two days. (AP Photo/Defense Ministry, file) אריאל שרון בשנת 1955 ב מדים עם קציני צבא לידו משה דיין משמאל מאיר הר ציון אריאל שרון ב צבא אריאל שרון צעיר


Aug. 6, 1923 — 13th Zionist Congress Convenes

Meeting in Carlsbad, Czechoslovakia, the Thirteenth Zionist Congress opens to discuss details about the British mandate for Palestine and the prerogatives of the Palestine Zionist Executive, which guides Jewish immigration and settlement. A successor to the Zionist Commission, the PZE changes its name to the Jewish Agency in 1929. The Congress decides that the agency will not allow non-Zionists to join, although that decision is reversed in 1929.

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Aug. 7, 1970 — War of Attrition Ends

A ceasefire ends the War of Attrition, in which Egypt shelled Israel’s positions along the Suez Canal and the countries engaged in aerial battles and commando raids. Skirmishes and mortar attacks continued after the June 1967 war, then ramped up when Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser called for war March 8, 1969. The Soviet Union backed off its support for Nasser after Israel shot down five MiG-21s on July 30, 1970.


WAR OF ATTRITION. AN ISRAELI SOLDIER OVERLOOKING THE SUEZ CANAL. מלחמת ההתשה. בצילום, חייל צה"ל באחד הביצורים על גדות תעלת סואץ משקיף על התעלה.


Aug. 8, 1984 — Linguist Avraham Even-Shoshan Dies

Hebrew linguist and lexicographer Avraham Even-Shoshan dies at 77 in Tel Aviv. A native of Minsk, he settled in Palestine in 1925 and worked as a laborer. Between 1946 and 1958, he worked on the New Dictionary of the Hebrew Language, known since 2003 as the Even-Shoshan Dictionary. The dictionary contains almost twenty five thousand main entries and more than seventy thousand words. He was awarded the Israel Prize in 1978.


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Aug. 9, 1982 — Terrorists Attack Jewish Deli in Paris

Two Palestinian terrorists, believed to be part of the Abu Nidal Organization, attack a Jewish deli in Paris, Chez Jo Goldenberg, with grenades and machine guns. Six people are killed, and twenty two others are wounded. The attack is one of dozens carried out by the group in the 1980s and 1990s. An Abu Nidal attempt to assassinate Israel’s ambassador to London is one of the causes of the First Lebanon War, which is ongoing during the Paris attack.

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Aug. 10, 1920 — Treaty Is Signed to Dissolve Ottoman Empire

World War I’s victorious nations and the Ottoman Empire sign the Treaty of Sevres to enact a plan for the breakup of the empire. The treaty incorporates the Balfour Declaration’s call for “a national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine. The Ottoman sultan, Mehmed VI, endorses the treaty, but the Turkish National Assembly, set up by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, rejects the pact. It is replaced by the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923.

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Aug. 11, 2017 — Holocaust Survivor Dies as World’s Oldest Man

Holocaust survivor Yisrael Kristal, recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s oldest living man and one of the ten longest-lived men ever, dies in Haifa one month before his 114th birthday. A candy maker, he was born in Maleniec, Poland, in 1903. He survived the Lodz ghetto, where his daughters died, and Auschwitz, where his wife died. He moved to Israel with his new family in 1950.

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Items are provided by the Center for Israel Education (, where you can find more details. 

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