This week in Israeli History: July 8-14

JULY 11: The 1927 earthquake caused extensive damage in cities such as Jericho, Jerusalem and Nablus.


July 8, 1989 — Judo Champ Yarden Gerbi Is Born

Judo champion Yarden Gerbi is born in Kfar Saba. Gerbi wins eight national championships in her career and rises to the top of the world rankings in May 2013. She defeats European champion Clarisse Agbegnenou of France on the way to gold at the World Judo Championships in August 2013, making her the first Israeli to win a world judo title. She wins a bronze medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, then retires.

July 9, 1959 — Wadi Salib Riots Begin

Riots break out in the Haifa neighborhood of Wadi Salib after police officers shoot Yaakov Elkarif while trying to arrest him for being drunk and disorderly. The rioting is the first mass civil disturbance in the State of Israel. An Arab area before 1948, the neighborhood is home to new immigrants, mostly from North Africa, who experience discrimination and high rates of unemployment, poverty and crime. The rioting spreads to other cities July 11.

July 10, 1957 — Yiddish Writer Sholem Asch Dies

Yiddish novelist and playwright Sholem Asch dies at age 76 in London. Born in Russian-controlled Poland in 1880, Asch wrote in Hebrew until I.L. Peretz persuaded him to write in Yiddish. He first visited Palestine in 1908 and wrote about the Jewish connection to the land. He moved between the United States and Europe for most of his life. He lived in Bat Yam near Tel Aviv for his last two years. His Bat Yam house is a museum in his memory.

July 11, 1927 — Jericho Earthquake Kills 300-Plus

A major earthquake kills 300 to 500 people and injures at least 700 others. The epicenter is believed to be near Jericho, and it is known as the Jericho earthquake of 1927. Later research locates the epicenter about 30 miles to the south near the Dead Sea. The quake damages Nablus and Jerusalem, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and al-Aqsa Mosque, and Salt in Transjordan and is felt in Ramle, Lod and Tiberias.

July 12, 2006 — Second Lebanon War Starts

The Second Lebanon War begins when Hezbollah launches Katyusha rockets and mortars as a diversion for a cross-border raid to ambush an Israeli military patrol. Hezbollah kills three Israeli soldiers and abducts two others, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser. Five Israelis are killed in a failed rescue. The fighting continues until a cease-fire goes into effect Aug. 14. The war kills 19 Israeli civilians and 121 soldiers.

July 13, 1941 — Songwriter Ehud Manor Is Born

Israel Prize-winning singer-songwriter Ehud Manor is born in Binyamina. A Cambridge graduate, Manor composes about 1,200 songs and translates 600 others into Hebrew. He also translates Broadway musicals and Shakespearean plays. He hosts TV and radio programs and writes children’s books. He writes 1978 Eurovision winner “A-Ba-Ni-Bi.” His best-known song is “Bashana Haba’ah” (“In the Coming Year”).

July 14, 1958 — Coup Ousts Iraqi King

Iraqi army officers overthrow and kill King Faisal. King Hussein of Jordan, Faisal’s cousin, condemns the coup leaders. The United Arab Republic, the recently formed Egypt-Syria union, quickly signs a defense pact with the new Iraqi government, and Israel faces the danger of being surrounded by a five-nation entity under Gamal Abdel Nasser. Iraqis celebrate the coup, but Western powers worry about oil and regional upheaval.

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