Israel has since withdrawn from Sinai and the Gaza Strip
Israel and Arab countries have fought several conflicts since the Jewish state was created in 1948, without counting its offensives in Lebanon and the two intifadas, or uprisings, in occupied Palestinian territories:
The 1948 war
The first war breaks out on May 15, 1948, the day after the proclamation of Israel's statehood by David Ben-Gurion.
Palestine had been, however, the scene of fighting between Jewish and Palestinian militias in previous months.
Arab forces from Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria go to war against the new Jewish state.
During the war, which ends on January 7, 1949 with a ceasefire, more than 760,000 Palestinians are pushed to exodus or flee from their homes. Nearly 400 villages are razed.
The West Bank, including east Jerusalem, comes under Jordanian control and Egypt controls the Gaza Strip.
The Suez crisis
On October 29, 1956, three months after the nationalisation by Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser of the Suez Canal, Israel sends armoured vehicles and its air force to attack the Sinai Peninsula.
On October 31, Britain and France, whose concerns largely owned the canal, bombard Egypt.
Under pressure from the United Nations, which demands a ceasefire, along with the United States and the Soviet Union, Israel withdraws from Sinai. France and Britain end their operation.
The Six-Day War
Between June 5 and 10 in 1967, Israel defeats Egypt, Jordan and Syria and occupies the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, east Jerusalem, and Syria's Golan Heights.
Israel has since withdrawn from Sinai and the Gaza Strip, but the Golan Heights and east Jerusalem have been annexed and the West Bank remains occupied.
The Yom Kippur War
Also known as the "October War" and the "Ramadan War" in Arab countries, it erupts on October 6, 1973, with the Arab goal of obliging Israel to give back the territories lost in 1967.
Israel is attacked by Egypt across the Suez Canal and by Syria on the Golan Heights.
The Israeli army reverses early heavy losses and takes the upper hand, pushing its way into Syrian territory and crossing the Suez Canal. Ceasefire agreements are signed in 1974 and 1975.
After the historic visit in 1977 by Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat to Jerusalem, Israel in March 1979 signs a peace treaty in Washington with Egypt, formally ending the state of war that had existed between the two countries for 30 years.
Invasion of Lebanon
On March 14, 1978 Israel launches "Operation Litani" in south Lebanon, which it says is to protect the north of its territory from fighters from the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), which had a number of strongholds there.
It withdraws partially in June, leaving in place Christian militias.
On June 6, 1982 Israeli troops invade Lebanon during an operation codenamed "Peace in Galilee" and besiege Beirut, forcing the PLO to flee.
This is followed in September by massacres in Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila carried out by pro-Israeli Christian militias.
In December 1987, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza launch a "war of stones" which enflames Palestinian towns.
Beginning in 1993, under the impact of the intifada, Israel and the Palestinians agree the Oslo accords.
On September 28, 2000 a second intifada begins, sparked by the controversial visit by Israeli right-wing leader Ariel Sharon to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in east Jerusalem, which Jews refer to as the Temple Mount.
Firearms, explosive belts and rockets replace stones.
The Israeli army reoccupies the West Bank's main autonomous towns, then in March 2002 launch "Operation Defensive Shield", their biggest offensive in the West Bank since 1967.
War between Israel/Hezbollah
In mid-2006, following the abduction by Hezbollah of two Israeli soldiers at the border, a devastating 34-day war pits Israel -- whose troops had withdrawn from southern Lebanon in 2000 -- and the Lebanese Shiite group.
War between Israel/Hamas
In the Gaza Strip, from which Israeli troops withdrew in 2005 and in the hands of Hamas since 2007, Israel has launched several deadly operations in response to the abduction of an Israeli soldier and Palestinian rocket fire.
These include "Operation Summer Rains" in June 2006 and "Operation Cast Lead" in December 2008-January 2009.
The last confrontation between Israel and Hamas was in the summer of 2014.