The Israeli Palestinian conflict is the conflict that has been going on between Israel and Palestine. It refers to the political tensions and hostilities between the Arab and Jewish community in the Middle East that lasted over a century. The conflict started in the late nineteenth century. This was the period that Ottoman Empire rule where Arabs at the ottoman Palestine considered themselves part of the overall Arab territories which were under the rule of the same empire. The disputes that arose in this time were caused by religious affiliations.
The start of the conflict is traced to Jewish immigration to Palestine after the Zion movement was established. It is seen as part of Arab nationalism. The central argument is that the people of the Arab universe constitute one nation that is brought together by a common language, culture, religion and historical heritage. The conflict started as a political and national affair that was about competition for territorial issues following the failure of the Ottoman Empire (Milton-Edwards 15).
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In 1917 to 1948 the Jewish Arab conflict arose over the land of the Palestine. Both parties were under the British rule. Between 1948 and 1967 Israel was declared a state and was followed by a war that lasted six days. British mandate was terminated from Palestine. For armies from Jordan, Syria, Iraq sand Egypt invaded the then formed Israel. The war ended with Israel winning. It took territory beyond borders for a proposed Jewish state and the borders for a proposed Palestinian state.
From 1967 to 1973 Arab leaders met in Khartoum to try and respond to the war. They resolved not to recognize, not to initiate peace and not to negotiate with Israel but instead started the attrition war in order to make Israel give in the Sinai Peninsula. The war ended in 1970 after the death of Nasser. In 1973 Egypt and Syria attacked Israel. The Israel army was not prepare and took sometime to get themselves organized. The use and the Soviet Union joined. When Israel started taking control of the war USSR threatened to intervene with its military. The USA made a cease fire in October 1973 avoiding the nuclear war.
Egypt signed a treaty with Israel in 1979 to end the conflict. The Sinai Peninsula was given back to Egypt and the Gaza strip remained with Israel. Jordan signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1994. In 1981, Israel attacked Iraq and decoyed the nuclear equipment that had been created. The gulf war erupted and Iraq fired 39 missiles to Israel which did not respond to this to eliminate chances of encouraging a great war (Gunderson 93).
In September 1970, on the black September, thousands of people died mostly Palestinians when Hashemite king Hussein quashed the autonomy of Palestinian organizations. From 2000, violence between Israel and Palestinian armies intensified. The violence has mainly featured Hamas militants, Hezbollah fighters, and Palestinian and Israeli soldiers.
Groups on the two sides including Hamas and gush emunim created religious arguments on their uncompromising beliefs. Israel through the likud party puts forward that they have a biblical right over the land of Israel and its attachments. Christian zonists support the Israelites because they agree with the ancestral right of land for the Jews to Israel.
Muslims also claim that they have a religious connection to the land of Israel through the Quran. The Muslims argue that Israel was promised to all descendants of Abraham including the children of Ishmael, Abrahamâ€™s eldest son. The Jewson the other hand claim that Israel was given to the descendants of Abraham`s younger son Isaac only. The Muslims despise all holy places that Jews bring out from the bible for example the temple mount and put their own such as the dome of the rock. Thus Muslims claim that Muhammad passed through Jerusalem when he was going to heaven making Israel the Islamic waqf that must be ruled by Muslims.
Apart from the religious issue, the land issue also aggravated the conflict between Israel and Palestine. The two nations have been for a long time been involved in conflict over land issues. Israeli settlement in the western part has been the main land issue. The occupation of the wet bank and Gaza strip has been the main focus. Palestine wanted Israel to return all the land that it conquered in the 1967 war. Israel refused to do so and instead continued to develop settlements through out the peace process.
Refugees that were pushed away from their homes in 1948 when Israel was created and others who were affected in 1967 has been an issue in the conflict. Palestinians want these refuges to be resettled at their original homes in Israel. Israel has opposed the resettlement of these refuges claiming that it will result to Arab Palestinian majority and would finish Israel as a state for Jews (PappÃ© 188).
The Palestinian state has also been an issue of concern. The Palestinian liberation movement wanted a two state solution which Israel is against. Mainstream Palestinian wants a state to be created in the west bank and Gaza. Israelis are opposed to this because they think it will act as a breeding ground for terror associations.
Israel repression in response to Palestinian violence became a major issue of concern in the conflict. It did this first by reducing the entrance of Palestine at the border. This brought down Palestinians standards of living and was humiliated at the check points. Following terror attacks, Israeli forces opened fire quickly sometimes killing innocent civilians (Gelvin 123).
The conflict between Israel and Palestine has had some serious implications. Monetary implications have been great for the two countries. Much money and funds have been used to purchase arms and equipment used in the war. Millions of dollars have lost, stagnating the economic growth of the two countries. Heavy budgeting on the war has had a negative influence on the economies of the two countries.
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The conflict has contributed to a water crisis in the Middle East. Population growth has exuded the water available for the two nations. Water is perceived as a gift from God to which people should have an inalienable right. The Dead Sea which is located at the lowest elevation is slowly vanishing. This is due to the gradual water loss. The sea ha split in to two separate lakes and its coastline resided considerably. Israel and Arab governments have diverted the water for agricultural and industrial purposes. This replenishes the red sea. The Palestinian government has demanded that it wants a fare share of the water.
Official and unofficial actors from the international community should seek to create forums and time to promote brainstorming and exchange of ideas that involve Israeli and Palestinian communities with regard to peace and ways of achieving it. This not only raises the awareness of each others grievances but also formation of equal and strong networks where ideas are voiced without consequence.
Communities and leaders must be ready for and be encouraged to make compromise in order to achieve peace. Arab states are supposed to help Palestinians in this process. Americans and Europeans are supposed to work through political options ahead of negotiations. This support would enable Palestinian leadership to pick up on the positive Israel gestures and proposals as well as pressure Israeli leadership to respect international momentum towards peace.
Lastly there is need for leaders and communities to face the hard truths of the conflict. The basic issues such as the borders, security, refugee return and settlement are not going away but must be faced in peace efforts. Efforts must address the security of Israel and the finality of the agreement, making clear to Palestinians Arabs that it is final.
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