Jan. 17, 1986 — Israel, Spain Establish Diplomatic Ties

Spain becomes the last Western European nation to open formal diplomatic relations with Israel, which previously Spain has not officially recognized. Establishing ties with Israel is a condition for Spain to gain admission to the European Community, the precursor to the European Union. 

Jan. 18, 1991 — Iraqi Scuds Strike Israel

The morning after U.S.-led allied forces launch airstrikes on Iraq at the start of the Persian Gulf War, eight Iraqi Scud missiles hit Israel in the predawn hours. Seven people are wounded and several residential buildings are damaged in Haifa and Tel Aviv. The Scuds are the first of nearly 40 missiles Iraq fires at Israel in an effort to spur retaliation and thus fracture the coalition against Saddam Hussein, but Israel holds its fire.

Jan. 19, 2010 — Hamas Military Leader Assassinated

Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a senior Hamas military commander is suffocated in his hotel room shortly after his arrival in Dubai. A police report blames a “professional criminal gang” that flees before the body is discovered. The killing is widely attributed to the Mossad, and investigators identify more than two dozen people who are involved after traveling to and from Dubai on forged passports.

Jan. 20, 2014 — Israel, Kazakhstan Sign Defense Pact

Israel signs a security cooperation accord with Kazakhstan, a former Soviet republic with a Sunni Muslim majority, during a meeting between Defense Ministers Moshe Ya’alon and Adilbek Dzhaksbekov in Tel Aviv. Aiming to boost Kazakh security while increasing Israeli defense sales, the agreement builds on pacts covering telecommunications, technology and science signed over two decades of strengthening ties.

Jan. 21, 1968 — Merger Forms Labor Party

Mapai, the dominant political party during Israel’s first two decades, joins with two smaller left-leaning parties, Ahdut Ha’avoda and Rafi, to form the Labor Party at a conference chaired by Mapai’s secretary-general, Golda Meir. David Ben-Gurion, who helped found Ahdut Ha’avoda in 1919, served as the first prime minister .

Jan. 22, 1979 — Munich Mastermind Killed

Ali Hassan Salameh, the flamboyant chief of operations for the Palestinian terrorist group Black September, is killed by a Mossad car bomb in Beirut in revenge for the killing of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches at the Munich Olympics in 1972. 

Jan. 23, 1922 — Nazi-Hunter Tuviah Friedman Born

Tuviah Samuel Friedman, a Holocaust survivor and Nazi-hunter involved in the search for Adolf Eichmann, is born in Radom, Poland. In the months after World War II, he and other survivors roam the Polish countryside, capturing and torturing Nazis, and he gathers evidence of atrocities for Soviet and Polish authorities. He works with the Haganah in hunting Nazis across Europe, then carries on the work alone after moving to Israel in 1952.

Items are provided by the Center for Israel Education.


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