Israeli–Palestinian conflict

Israeli–Palestinian conflict

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an ongoing dispute between the State of Israel and the Palestinians. It forms part of the wider Arab–Israeli conflict. Essentially, it is a dispute between two national identities with claims over the same area of land. Many attempts have been made to broker a two-state solution, which would entail the creation of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel. At present, the vast majority of Israelis and Palestinians, according to many major polls, agree a two-state solution is the best way to end the conflict. [" [ America through Arab eyes] ". By Rami G. Khouri. International Herald Tribune. Published April 21, 2008.
*The latest survey, conducted in March, covered a representative sample of over 4,000 people in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (1.6 percent margin of error)... A majority of Arabs continues to support the two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, though an increasing majority is pessimistic about its prospects.
] [" [ Hamas won't go away] ." "The Economist". Published 31 January 2008.
*Several of Hamas's leaders have hinted that if a majority of Palestinians agreed to a two-state solution in a referendum, the Islamists would abide by the verdict... The hope among the majority of Palestinians and Israelis who want two states living in peace side by side is that, over time, Hamas will disavow its determination to destroy the Jewish state and enter talks on a lasting peace.
] [" [ Just another forgotten peace summit] ." "". By Prof. Ephraim Yaar and Prof. Tamar Hermann. Published 11/12/2007.
*Moreover, a considerable majority of the Jewish public sees the Palestinians' demand for an independent state as just, and thinks Israel can agree to the establishment of such a state.
] Most Palestinians view the West Bank and Gaza Strip as constituting the area of their future state, which is a view also accepted by most Israelis.Dershowitz, Alan. "The Case for Peace: How the Arab-Israeli Conflict Can Be Resolved". Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2005] A handful of academics advocate a one-state solution, whereby all of Israel, the Gaza Strip, and West Bank would become a bi-national state with equal rights for all. [ [ Israel: The Alternative] , "The New York Review of Books", Volume 50, Number 16, October 23 2003] [Virginia Tilley, "The One-State Solution", University of Michigan Press (May 24 2005), ISBN 0472115138] However, there are significant areas of disagreement over the shape of any final agreement and also regarding the level of credibility each side sees in the other in upholding basic commitments. [""
*The source of the Jewish public's skepticism - and even pessimism - is apparently the widespread belief that a peace agreement based on the "two states for two peoples" formula would not lead the Palestinians to end their conflict with Israel.

There are various domestic and international actors involved in the conflict. The direct negotiating parties are the Israeli government, currently led by Ehud Olmert, and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), currently headed by Mahmoud Abbas. The official negotiations are mediated by an international contingent known as the Quartet on the Middle East (the "Quartet") represented by a special envoy that consists of the United States, Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations. The Arab League is another important actor, which has proposed an alternative peace plan. Egypt, a founding member of the Arab League, has historically been a key participant.

Since 2006, the Palestinian side has been fractured by conflict between the two major factions: Hamas, the largest party, and Fatah. As a result, the territory controlled by the Palestinian National Authority (the Palestinian interim government) is split between Fatah in the West Bank, and Hamas in the Gaza strip. This has proved problematic as Hamas is considered a terrorist organization by Israel and many other countries
* Israel: [ The Financial Sources of the Hamas Terror Organization] , "Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs"
* USA: [ Country Reports on Terrorism 2005] , "US Department of State", April 2006
* European Union: [ COUNCIL DECISION of 21 December 2005] , "COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION"] which means that despite the fact it won the Palestinian elections of 2006, it has not been allowed to participate in official negotiations.

The most recent round of peace negotiations began at Annapolis, Maryland, United States, in November 2007. These talks aim to have a final resolution by the end of 2008. [ [ New Mid-East peace drive launched] , "BBC News", 28 November 2007] The parties agree there are six core, or 'final status,' issues which need to be resolved:
* "It is understood that these negotiations shall cover remaining issues, including: Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, security arrangements, borders, relations and cooperation with other neighbors, and other issues of common interest." ( [ Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, Article V, Section 3] , Oslo, September 13 1993)
* "In furtherance of the goal of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security, we agree to immediately launch good-faith bilateral negotiations in order to conclude a peace treaty, resolving all outstanding issues, including all core issues without exception, as specified in previous agreements." ( [ Joint Understanding Read by President Bush at Annapolis Conference] , Annapolis, November 27 2007)
* "As President Bush said, Prime Minister Olmert and President Abbas have agreed to an ambitious work plan to negotiate and resolve all outstanding issues, including all core issues, without exception, as specified in previous agreements, by the end of next year. These issues include borders, refugees, security, water, settlements, and Jerusalem." ( [ Condoleezza Rice's Remarks at the Annapolis Conference] , November 27 2007)] Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, security, borders and water. These issues are discussed at length below.

Within Israeli and Palestinian society, the conflict generates a wide variety of views and opinions (see also Israeli and Palestinian views of the peace process). This serves to highlight the deep divisions which exist not only between Israelis and Palestinians, but also amongst themselves.

A hallmark of the conflict has been the level of violence witnessed for virtually its entire duration. Fighting has been conducted by regular armies, paramilitary groups, and terror cells. Casualties have not been restricted to the military, with a large loss of civilian life on both sides.


Basic historical outline

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict resulted from competing Jewish and Arab national aspirations for the region of Palestine, conflicting promises by the British in the forms of the Hussein-McMahon Correspondence and the Balfour Declaration of 1917, and several outbreaks of violence between Jewish and Arab residents of the region of Palestine.

The roots of the conflict can be traced to the late 19th century, which saw a rise in national movements, including Zionism and Arab nationalism. Zionism, the Jewish national movement, was established as a political movement in 1897, largely as a response to Russian and European anti-Semitism. [ 'The Return to Zion'] , Jewish Virtual Library] [ 'Zionism - Definition and History' (] ] It sought the establishment of a Jewish Nation-State in Palestine (a region known to the Jews by the name of the historical Jewish homeland, Eretz Israel) so that they might find sanctuary and self- determination there. To this end, the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish National Fund encouraged immigration and funded purchase of land, both under Ottoman rule and under British rule, in the region of Palestine.Mark Tessler. "A History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict" (Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1994), p. 53.]

Following World War I and the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, Palestine came under the control of the United Kingdom through the Sykes-Picot Agreement and a League of Nations mandate. During the mandatory period, the British made conflicting promises to both populations in the forms of the Hussein-McMahon Correspondence and the Balfour Declaration of 1917, and tensions between Arab and Jewish groups in the region erupted into physical violence as in the 1920 Palestine riots, the 1921 Palestine riots, the 1929 Hebron massacre and the 1936-1939 Arab revolt in Palestine.

The British responded to these outbreaks of violence with the Haycraft Commission of Inquiry, the Shaw Report, the Peel Commission of 1936-1937, and the White Paper of 1939. The Peel Commission proposed a failed partition plan, while the White Paper established a quota for Jewish immigration set by the British in the short-term and by the Arab population in the long-term. Both Arab and Jewish groups directed violence against the British, as in the 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine, the King David Hotel bombing, and the assassinations of Lord Moyne and Count Bernadotte, in order to expel the mandatory government, which was held in contempt by both sides.

This violence and the heavy cost of World War II led Britain to turn the issue of Palestine over to the United Nations. In 1947, the U.N. approved the partition of the British Mandate of Palestine into two states: one Jewish and one Arab. The Jewish leadership accepted the plan, but Palestinian Arab leaders, supported by the Arab League, rejected the plan, and a civil war broke out. Israel quickly gained the upper hand in this intercommunal fighting, and on May 14 1948 declared its independence. Five Arab League countries (Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Transjordan and Iraq), then invaded Palestine, starting the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. The war resulted in an Israeli victory, with Israel capturing additional territory beyond the partition borders, but leaving Jerusalem as a divided city; the territory Israel did not capture was taken over by Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, and Transjordan (now Jordan). The war also resulted in the 1948 Palestinian exodus, known to Palestinians as Al-Naqba.

For decades after 1948, Arab governments had refused to recognize Israel and in 1964 the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was founded with the central tenet that Palestine, with its original Mandate borders, is the indivisible homeland of the Arab Palestinian people. In turn, Israel refused to recognize the PLO as a negotiating partner.

In the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan, the Gaza Strip from Egypt, and East Jerusalem including the Old City and its holy sites, which Israel annexed and reunited with the Western neighborhoods of Jerusalem. The status of the city as Israel's capital and the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip created a new set of contentious issues which became one major focus of the conflict.

In 1970, the PLO was expelled from Jordan, in what was known as the Black September. Large numbers of Palestinians moved into Lebanon after the Black September, joining the thousands already there. In 1973 a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria launched the Yom Kippur War against Israel. The Egyptians and Syrians advanced during the first 24–48 hours, after which momentum began to swing in Israel's favor. Eventually a cease-fire took effect that ended the war. This war paved the way for the Camp David Accords in 1978, which set a precedent for future peace negotiations.

Figures include both Israeli civilians and security forces and casualties in both the Occupied Territories and Israel.

Arab-Israeli peace diplomacy and treaties

*One State Solution
*Paris Peace Conference, 1919
*Faisal-Weizmann Agreement (1919)
*1949 Armistice Agreements
*Camp David Accords (1978)
*Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty (1979)
*Madrid Conference of 1991
*Oslo Accords (1993)
*Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace (1994)
*Camp David 2000 Summit
*History of the Arab-Israeli conflict
*Peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
*Projects working for peace among Israelis and Arabs
*List of Middle East peace proposals
*International law and the Arab-Israeli conflict

ee also

*Geography of Israel
*Israeli Settlements

;General background and information
*History of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
*Media coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

;Ideology and ideas
*Criticism of religion
*Jewish state
*Proposals for a Palestinian state

;Elements of the conflict

*Children and minors in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
*Child suicide bombers in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
*Palestinian political violence
*Peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

;Peace organizations in the region
*OneVoice Movement (non-partisan)
*Peace Now (left wing)
*Seeds of Peace (neutral)
*Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (left wing)

*"At the Green Line"
*"Death In Gaza"
*"Occupation 101
*"The Land of the Settlers"


Further reading

External links

;Academic, news, and similar sites (excluding Israeli or Palestinian sources)
* [ Plan of Israeli—Palestinian Resolution. A Conclusive Arrangement.]
* [ Israeli-Palestinian] Pros and Cons of hundreds of issues related to the conflict.
* [ Global Politician - Middle-East Section]
* [ Middle East Policy Council]
* [ The Washington Institute for Near East Policy]
* [ Aix Group - Joint Palestinian-Israeli-international economic working group] .
* [ The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict] --An overview of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians from 1948 through the present day. From the History Guy Website.
* [ The Media Line] - A non-profit news agency which provides credible, unbiased content, background and context from across the Middle East.
*Inter Press Service - [ Israel-Palestine: Holy Land, Unholy War] Independent coverage of the Middle East conflicts
* [ Should there be an independent Palestinian state?] - See the 2008 presidential candidates' views on this question
* [ Saving children] - Remarkable video story about a small group of people on a life-saving mission, helping Palestinian Children receive advanced medical treatment in Israeli hospitals

;Conflict resolution groups
* [ OneVoice Movement - One Million Voices to End the Conflict]
* [ Seeking Common Ground]

;Human rights groups
* [ Human Rights Watch: Israel/Palestine]
* [ B'Tselem - The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories]
* [ Al-Haq: Palestinian Human Rights Group] : West Bank affiliate of the International Commission of Jurists
* [ Palestinian Centre for Human Rights] : Gaza affiliate of the International Commission of Jurists

;Jewish and Israeli academic, news, and similar sites
* [ Resources >Modern Period>20th Cent.>History of Israel>State of Israel ] The Jewish History Resource Center, Project of the Dinur Center for Research in Jewish History, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
** [ A Timeline of Israeli-Palestinian history and the conflict]
** [ A history of Israel, Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict]
* [ Current breakdown of fatalities in conflict] - Institute for Counter-Terrorism
* [ Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs, Jerusalem]

;Pro-Israel advocacy and watchdog sites
* [ Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs Palestinian Violence and Terrorism]
* [ Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America]
* [ Palestine Facts]
* [ Eretz Yisroel: A comprehensive collection of news, articles and book excerpts]
*Jewish Virtual Library
** [ Palestinian Maps Omitting Israel] and [ Maps of "Palestine" as a means to instill fundamentally negative messages regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict]
** [ Myths and facts online: a guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict]
* [ Honest Reporting UK] monitoring mideast media
* [ Gamla shall not fall again]
* [ True Peace] - Chabad-Lubavitch site

;Pro-Palestinian advocacy and watchdog sites
* [ UN Security Council Resolutions Against Israel 1955-1992]
* [ Palestine Solidarity Campaign UK]
* [ Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign]
* [ Palestinian Campaign for the Cultural and Academic Boycott of Israel]
* [ Palestine Media Watch]
* [ Electronic Intifada]
* [ Palestine Solidarity Project] Palestinian grassroots organizing and reporting.;Jewish and Israeli "peace movement" news and advocacy sites
* [ The Other Israel, newsletter of the Israeli peace movement since 1983]
** The Other Israel, online archive under construction]
* [ "Barak's Generous offer"] from Gush Shalom. [ Macromedia Flash version]
* [ The Origin of the Palestine - Israel Conflict] , Published by Jews for Justice in the Middle East
* [ Background to the Israel-Palestine Crisis] --Q & A format overview by Stephen Shalom, who teaches political science at William Paterson University in New Jersey.
* [ Occupation Magazine]

Other sites:
* For analysis of various sociopolitical and legal issues regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, see: Professor Gad Barzilai's site: []
* [ century-intifada-israel-palestine-aufheben Behind the 21st Century Intifada - an analysis of Israel/Palestine] - a leftist, working-class history of the conflict
* [ a Russian perspective site]
* [ Arabs and Israelis held hostage by a common enemy] Salom Now! And METalks are two experimental initiatives which sought to rewrite the script of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, such popular, grassroots action is held hostage by some common enemies: despair, hatred, antipathy and distrust. (Jan, 2007)
* [ Exchange of friendly fire] Anat el-Hashahar, an Israeli and founder of METalks, debates the Arab-Israeli conflict – from Oslo to Lebanon – with Khaled Diab, an Egyptian journalist and writer.
* [ Website with information (articles, reports, maps, books, links, ...) on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict]

Peace proposals
* [ A Comparison Of Three Drafts For An Israeli-Palestinian Peace Agreement]

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