17 August 1918

Bolshevik revolutionary leader Moisei Uritsky is assassinated.

Moisei Solomonovich Uritsky was a prominent Bolshevik revolutionary leader who played a significant role during the early days of the Russian Revolution and the subsequent Russian Civil War. He was born on April 14, 1873, in the town of Romny, which is now part of Ukraine.

Uritsky became involved in revolutionary activities at a young age and joined the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP), which later split into the Bolshevik and Menshevik factions. He sided with the Bolsheviks and was known for his fervent dedication to the party’s cause.

During the October Revolution of 1917, which led to the Bolsheviks’ rise to power, Uritsky played a crucial role in Petrograd (modern-day Saint Petersburg), which was a key center of revolutionary activity. He was appointed as the head of the Cheka (All-Russian Extraordinary Commission for Combating Counter-Revolution and Sabotage), the Bolshevik secret police and security agency.

However, Uritsky’s time in power was short-lived. On August 30, 1918, he was assassinated by Leonid Kannegisser, a young man who opposed Bolshevik rule and held Uritsky responsible for the repressive actions of the Cheka. Kannegisser managed to infiltrate Uritsky’s office in Petrograd and shot him, before being apprehended and subsequently executed.

Uritsky’s assassination was a significant event during a period of intense turmoil in Russia. It further highlighted the deepening divide between the Bolsheviks and their opponents, both within and outside the party. Uritsky’s death also contributed to the Bolsheviks’ growing concern about internal security and the need to suppress perceived threats to their rule.

Following Uritsky’s assassination, Felix Dzerzhinsky took over as the head of the Cheka. Dzerzhinsky continued Uritsky’s work of establishing a strong and feared security apparatus, which played a key role in maintaining Bolshevik control during the early years of the Soviet regime.

17 August 2005

Forced evacuation of settlers first begins, as part of Israeli disengagement from Gaza.


The Israeli disengagement from Gaza, also known as “Gaza expulsion” and “Hitnatkut”, was the withdrawal of the Israeli army from Gaza, and the dismantling of all Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip in 2005. Four settlements in the northern West Bank were also evacuated.

The disengagement was proposed in 2003 by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, adopted by the Government in June 2004, approved by the Knesset in February 2005 and enacted in August 2005. Israeli citizens who refused to accept government compensation packages and voluntarily vacate their homes prior to the August 15, 2005 deadline, were evicted by Israeli security forces over a period of several days. The eviction of all residents, demolition of the residential buildings and evacuation of associated security personnel from the Gaza Strip was completed by September 12, 2005. The eviction and dismantlement of the four settlements in the northern West Bank was completed ten days later. A total of 8,000 Jewish settlers from all 21 settlements in the Gaza Strip were relocated. The average settler received compensation of over U.S $200,000.

Post-disengagement, Israel continued to exercise control over the external perimeter of Gaza, including seaports, air space, and the passage of people and goods.