Portion of the Temple Scroll , one of the Dead Sea Scrolls written during the Second Temple period With successive Persian rule , the autonomous province Yehud Medinata was gradually developing back into urban society, largely dominated by Judeans.
The Greek conquests largely skipped the region without any resistance or interest. Incorporated into Ptolemaic and finally Seleucid empires, the southern Levant was heavily hellenized , building the tensions between Judeans and Greeks. The conflict erupted in BCE with the Maccabean Revolt , which succeeded in establishing an independent Hasmonean Kingdom in Judah, which later expanded over much of modern Israel, as the Seleucids gradually lost control in the region. The struggle between pro-Roman and pro-Parthian factions in Judea eventually led to the installation of Herod the Great and consolidation of the Herodian kingdom as a vassal Judean state of Rome.
With the decline of the Herodian dynasty , Judea, transformed into a Roman province , became the site of a violent struggle of Jews against Greco-Romans, culminating in the Jewish—Roman wars , ending in wide-scale destruction, expulsions, and genocide. Jewish presence in the region significantly dwindled after the failure of the Bar Kokhba revolt against the Roman Empire in CE. Christianity was gradually evolving over Roman paganism, when the area stood under Byzantine rule.
Through the 5th and 6th centuries, the dramatic events of the repeated Samaritan revolts reshaped the land, with massive destruction to Byzantine Christian and Samaritan societies and a resulting decrease of the population.
After the Persian conquest and the installation of a short-lived Jewish Commonwealth in CE, the Byzantine Empire reconquered the country in Middle Ages and modern history Further information: Control of the region transferred between the Rashidun Caliphs , Umayyads , Abbasids , Fatimids, Seljuks, Crusaders , and Ayyubids throughout the next three centuries.
When the city fell, about 60, people were massacred, including 6, Jews seeking refuge in a synagogue. In Sultan Saladin , founder of the Ayyubid dynasty , defeated the Crusaders in the Battle of Hattin and subsequently captured Jerusalem and almost all of Palestine. In time, Saladin issued a proclamation inviting Jews to return and settle in Jerusalem,  and according to Judah al-Harizi , they did: He wrote "If the gentiles wish to make peace, we shall make peace and leave them on clear terms; but as for the land, we shall not leave it in their hands, nor in the hands of any nation, not in any generation.
Jerusalem, although left without the protection of any city walls since , also saw a flurry of new construction projects centred around the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on the Temple Mount. In the Mamluk Sultan Baybars converted the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron into an exclusive Islamic sanctuary and banned Christians and Jews from entering, who previously had been able to enter it for a fee.
The ban remained in place until Israel took control of the building in Meir Latif arrived from Italy and counted Jewish families in Jerusalem. With the help of the Sephardic immigration from Spain, the Jewish population had increased to 10, by the early 16th century.
In the territory was divided between Britain and France under the mandate system , and the British-administered area which included modern day Israel was named Mandatory Palestine.
Balfour Declaration and Intercommunal conflict in Mandatory Palestine Theodor Herzl , visionary of the Jewish state Since the existence of the earliest Jewish diaspora , many Jews have aspired to return to "Zion" and the "Land of Israel",  though the amount of effort that should be spent towards such an aim was a matter of dispute. The Maccabaeans will rise again. Let me repeat once more my opening words: The Jews wish to have a State, and they shall have one.
We shall live at last as free men on our own soil, and die peacefully in our own home. The world will be freed by our liberty, enriched by our wealth, magnified by our greatness. And whatever we attempt there to accomplish for our own welfare will react with beneficent force for the good of humanity. This was a major cause of the Arab revolt of —39 during which the British Mandate authorities alongside the Zionist militias of Haganah and Irgun killed 5, Arabs and wounded 14,,   resulting in over ten percent of the adult male Palestinian Arab population killed, wounded, imprisoned or exiled.
With countries around the world turning away Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust , a clandestine movement known as Aliyah Bet was organized to bring Jews to Palestine.