Sept. 13, 1984 — Peres Becomes Premier
Shimon Peres becomes Israel’s eighth prime minister, leading a national unity government combining his Alignment (predecessor of the Labor Party) with Likud and six other parties. The coalition comes together two months after elections in which 44 Knesset seats go to Alignment and 41 to Likud. Under the coalition agreement, Peres serves as prime minister for two years, then yields the position to Likud leader Yitzhak Shamir.
Sept. 14, 1948 — Palmach Integrated Into IDF
Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion announces after a meeting with dozens of Palmach leaders that the Haganah strike force, formed in 1941, is being dismantled as an independent unit and integrated into the Israel Defense Forces. The move is part of a policy of depoliticizing the military that also applies to the Irgun and the Stern Gang. Yitzhak Rabin, a Palmach commander, writes in his memoirs about his ambivalence over the move.
Sept. 15, 2009 — Goldstone Presents U.N. Report
Judge Richard Goldstone, a South African Jew who prosecuted 1990s war crimes in Yugoslavia and Rwanda, presents his U.N.-sponsored “Report on the Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict.” The report criticizes Israel and Hamas for their actions in the fighting during the previous December and January. In April 2011 he recants parts of the report that suggest Israel intentionally killed civilians and acknowledges flawed investigative methods.
Sept. 16, 1977 — Dayan Meets With Egyptian
Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan holds secret talks in Morocco with Egyptian Deputy Prime Minister Hassan Tuhami to assess each side’s willingness to negotiate seriously toward a peace agreement. Morocco’s King Hassan brokers the talks at Dayan’s request. Dayan meets with U.S. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance soon after but does not mention the talks, which help set the stage for Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s visit to Israel in November 1977.
Sept. 17, 1978 — Camp David Accords Signed
Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin sign the Camp David Accords, brokered by President Jimmy Carter. The accords have two parts: an agreement about the future of relations between the two nations and a framework for implementing Palestinian self-rule. The former leads to the peace treaty signed by the two nations in March 1979, but Palestinian autonomy awaits the 1993 Oslo Accords.
Sept. 18, 1949 — Compulsory Education Law Implemented
The Compulsory Education Law, passed Sept. 12, goes into effect. It requires all children ages 5 to 15 to attend recognized educational institutions and provides for free elementary education; a 2009 law extends compulsory education through 12th grade. A provision allowing parents to send children to schools that are part of a recognized trend leads to separate public school systems for Arabs, religious Zionists and Haredi Jews, in addition to the secular system serving most Jews.
Sept. 19, 1988 — Ofek 1 Launched
Israel launches its first space satellite, the 340-pound Ofek 1, from an undisclosed location near the Mediterranean Sea. Named for the Hebrew word for horizon, Ofek 1 completes an Earth orbit every 90 minutes at heights of 400 to 1,600 miles. The mission marks Israel as the ninth country able to launch a satellite and reveals its ballistic missile capability. Foreign Minister Shimon Peres declares the civilian project to be about technology, not an arms race.
Items are provided by the Center for Israel Education.