Cremisan Road, Beit Jala (photo by GZ) Drone flying over KhanYounis, Gaza. (Photo by CdV) Anti-wall demonstration in Bi'lin. (Photo by LS) Wall grafitti made by Berlin residents. (Photo by CdV) Old city of Hebron (photo by GZ) Mahmoud Darwish on Yasser Arafat- Ramallah (photo by GZ) Corridor from Erez crossing into Gaza (Photo by CdV) Bypass road north-south - Jerusalem (photo by GZ) Mahmoud Darwish in the presence of absence (photo by GZ) Hisham's Palace, Jericho (photo by GZ) Gilo settlement - Beit Jala (photo by GZ)

1950-1967 Occupation and annexation

The larger part of this time line is an adaptation of the historic overview in ‘Before their Diaspora, a photographic history of the Palestinians 1876-1948’ by Walid Khalidi.



The Knesset, the Israeli Parliament passes the Absentee Property Law. Any person who on 29 November 1947 was a citizen or resident of the Arab States or who was a Palestinian citizen who had left their place of residence even if to take refuge within Palestine, is classified as an ‘absentee’. Absentee property is vested in the custodian of absentee property who then ‘sells’ it to the Development Authority authorized by the Knesset. The theft of the property of a million Arabs seized by Israel in 1948 is thus authorized.  The Knesset passes theLaw of Return’ whereby any Jew, from anywhere in the world, is entitled to full Israeli citizenship.

The UN General Assembly establishes UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency).To this day, UNRWA provides assistance, protection and advocacy for some 5 million registered Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the occupied Palestinian territory, pending a solution to their plight.



The Law of Nationality affirms the Law of Return and legislates that resident non-Jews can acquire citizenship only on the basis of residence if they can prove they are Palestinian or by naturalization. Palestinian Arabs remaining under Israeli occupation literally became foreigners in their own country as in the conditions of proving residence was in practice often impossible to fulfill.


President Nasser of Egypt nationalizes the Suez Canal.  Israel, in collusion with Britain and France, invades Sinai Peninsula. Israel occupies Gaza and most of Sinai, attack Qalqilya in the West Bank and massacre villagers of Kafr Qasem in occupied Palestine. Prime Minister Moshe Sharett agrees on negotiation and ratification of Israeli borders with Arab states in his talks with John Foster Dulles.  Israel withdraws from Sinai and Gaza: UN Emergency Force moves in.

UN Secretary General Hammarskjold proposes the absorption of Palestinian refugees by the Middle East states. Fatah is established by Yasser Arafat and associates.


The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) founded. The Arab Summit meets in Cairo and "Welcomed the establishment of the PLO as the basis of the Palestinian entity and as a pioneer in the collective Arab struggle for the Liberation of Filastin."


In his speech during a visit to a Palestinian refugee camp in Jericho, President Habib Bourguiba of Tunisia proposes that Arabs recognize Israel within the boundaries of the UN's partition plan of 29 Nov. 1947, in exchange of the repatriation of refugees.


The June War breaks out. Israel begins military occupation of West Bank and Gaza Strip, Sinai of Egypt and Golan Heights of Syria. Some 280.000 to 325.000 Palestinians fled the territories.  Israel annexes old Jerusalem and begins Jewish settlement in the occupied Palestinian territories. The UN General Assembly Resolution 2253 calls upon Israel to "rescind all measures taken (and) to desist forthwith, from taking any action which would alter the status of Jerusalem." In addition, the UN Security Council passes resolution 242, urging Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories.