Arab–Israeli conflict

Arab–Israeli conflict
Arab-Israeli conflict
Arab Israeli Conflict 6.png
  Arab League
  Have been in war with Israel
  Gaza Strip and West Bank
Date 1920 (start of large Arab-Jewish tensions)/1948 (creation of Israel) - present
Location Middle East
Result Ongoing
 Israel  Arab League
Casualties and losses
74,000 military deaths, 18,000 civilian deaths (1945-1995)[1]

The Arab–Israeli conflict (Arabic: الصراع العربي الإسرائيلي‎; Hebrew: הסכסוך הישראלי-ערבי‎) refers to political tensions and open hostilities between the Arab peoples and the Jewish community of the Middle East. The modern Arab-Israeli conflict began with the rise of Zionism and Arab Nationalism towards the end of the nineteenth century, and intensified with the creation of the modern State of Israel in 1948. Territory regarded by the Jewish people as their historical homeland is also regarded by the Pan-Arab movement as historically and presently belonging to the Palestinian Arabs,[2] and in the Pan-Islamic context, in territory regarded as Muslim lands.

The conflict, which started as a political and nationalist conflict over competing territorial ambitions following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, has shifted over the years from the large scale regional Arab–Israeli conflict to a more local Israeli–Palestinian conflict, though the Arab world and Israel generally remain at odds with each other over specific territory.


Religious aspects of the conflict

Jewish, Muslim and Christian groups invoke religious arguments for their uncompromising positions.[3] Contemporary history of the Arab–Israeli conflict is very much affected by Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious beliefs and their interpretations of the idea of the chosen people in their policies with regard to the "Promised Land" and the "Chosen City" of Jerusalem.[4]

The Land of Canaan or Eretz Yisrael (Land of Israel) was, according to the Torah (and the Koran, The Table 5:23), promised by God to the Children of Israel. According to biblical studies, the Israelites ruled that land from the 13th or 14th century BCE to the 1st century BCE (with short periods of foreign rule), remaining an ethnic majority of the population in the area until the 7th century CE.

In his 1896 manifesto, The Jewish State, Theodor Herzl repeatedly refers to the Biblical Promised land concept.[5] The Likud is currently the most prominent Israeli political party to include the Biblical claim to the Land of Israel in its platform.[6]

Muslims also claim rights to that land in accordance with the Quran.[7] Contrary to the Jewish claim that this land was promised only to the descendants of Abraham's younger son Isaac, they argue that the Land of Canaan was promised to all descendants of Abraham, including his elder son Ishmael, from whom Arabs claim descent.[7] Additionally, Muslims also revere many sites holy for Biblical Israelites, such as The Cave of the Patriarchs and the Temple Mount, and in the past 1,400 years have constructed Islamic landmarks on these ancient Israelite sites, such as the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Muslims also believe that Muhammad passed through Jerusalem on his first journey to heaven. Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, claims that all of the land of Palestine (the current Israel and Palestinian territories) is an Islamic waqf that must be governed by Muslims.[8]

Christian Zionists support Israel because they recognize an ancestral right of Jews to this land, as suggested, for instance, by Paul in Romans 11. Some also believe that the return of Jews in Israel is a prerequisite for the Second Coming of Christ.[9][10]


End of 19th century–1948

Arab League
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This article is part of the series:
Life in
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