| Israeli/Palestinian Conflict Essay
In the Eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea lies Israel. To the west it’s neighbored by Egypt, Syria and Jordan on the east, to the north is Lebanon and to the east and southeast is Jordan while Palestine is also at the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, south of Lebanon and west of Jordan. Israel’s sea plains are particularly fertile and almost half the rest of the total area is a desert, this area is the called the southern Negev region. Jordan is the Israel’s most important river and flows from the north through Hule and Kinneret Lake before flowing into the Dead Sea. Palestine comprises of Jordan valley and Ghawr, coastal and inner plains, mountains and hills and southern desert. At different periods in history Israel and Palestine was a small land but due to the dynamic growth in population the area and control of the area changed. Today the state of Israel occupies all the land along the Jordan River all the way to the Mediterranean Sea. About 78% of Israel is recognizably occupied by Israel and the rest is under control of the Palestine authority after the six day war in 1967. The Gaza strip is mostly beneath the control of the Palestinians with on a small area occupied by Israel settlers. The Gaza strip absorbs an extra 141 square miles south of Israel along the sea coast (Yoav, 2006)._x000D_
The story of Palestine and Israel dates back to around 61 B.C. when the Romans captured Judea in collaboration with King Herod. At that time the land comprised of Judea, Galilee, Peraea and a part of Jordan. The Romans took control of these regions and called the whole region Judea. Roman authorities calmed Jewish revolts in about A.D. 70 and A.D. 132. One of the Jewish revolts in A.D 135, Bar Kochba, failed and the Jews were driven out of Jerusalem by the Romans. The Romans gave the entire area the name Palaestina, which eventually evolved into Palestine in English. The name came from Herodotus, meaning Philistine Syria (Clarisa, 2001). Nearly all of the Jews who continued to observe their religion had to flee or were forced out and exiled to Palestine. Palestine started becoming a second Jewish Diaspora. However some Jews intermingled with the people brought in by the Romans and changed their religion. at some point in the A.D. 600’s, Muslim Arab troops came from Arabia to surmount a good number of the Middle East region, as well as Palestine (Baylis, 1999). About A.D 638 Jerusalem was occupied by the Caliph Umar. Muslim authorities controlled the section until the early 1900’s. Christians and Jews were not prohibited to maintain their religions. Nevertheless, a good number of the local population progressively received Islam and the Arab-Islamic way of life of their rulers. Jerusalem became sacred to Muslims as the location where, according to |s, It is generally believed that after a miraculous overnight journey from Mecca on his horse Al-Buraq, Muhammad ascended to heaven at that particular place. The Muslims built the al-Aqsa mosque on the spot which, by and large is regarded as the region of the Jewish temples. Jerusalem was captured by Turks in 1071 but was sooner replaced by the Fatimid rulers from Egypt. The Egyptian rulers took advantage of the Seljuk struggles with the Christian crusaders and made an allegiance with the crusaders in 1098 and captured Jerusalem, Jaffa and other parts of Palestine. Jews from Spain and other Mediterranean domains advanced in Jerusalem and other parts of the territory in 1300. The Ottoman Empire overpowered the Mamelukes in 1517, and Palestine became a division of the Ottoman Empire._x000D_
The Turkish Sultan invited Jews fleeing the Spanish Catholic investigation to inhabit in the Turkish Empire, as well as a number of cities in Palestine. The populace of Palestine was reduced by the 1798 Napoleon war. At the same time the successive misadministration by Egyptian and Ottoman rulers (Yoav, 2006).Arabs and Jews sought refuge to more safer and well-off lands. Consequent restructuring and aperture of the Turkish Empire to foreigners brought some order. Jewish and Arab movements emerged as the new administration allowed the clustering of Jews and Arabs into movements. Zionism and Arab nationalism emerged from this. The Zionist movement became a contemporary association for the formation of a motherland for the Jewish people; later in 1987 it established itself as a political movement. The Zionist movement advocated for the founding of a nation-state for the Jewish people in Palestine. Zionist aspirations were gradual and Arabs predicted this as a danger in the Palestine region. Jewish settlers took land from the Arab and evicted he fellaheen from their lands. The fellaheen were cultivators and practiced cultivation as tenant farmers. This acquisition of the land by the Jewish irritated the Arabs and increased the tension between the Arabs and the Jews. The League of Nations authorized the British, which was now the main administrator, to make Palestine a national home for the Jewish people, the British still maintained the name Palestine that had been used previously by the Arabs and the Romans. The UN Resolution 181 of 1948 divided Palestine into two states one comprising of the Palestinian Arabs and the other composed of the Jews. Israel was thus formed but the Arabs were totally against this and fought against it but eventually they lost and the Palestinian state never really came into stability. Israel took the region slotted to the Palestinian and Jordan, by the UN Partition Resolution. This resulted to over three quarters of Palestinians becoming refugees. The peace efforts by the Oslo agreements gave Palestinians a hope of getting their own state as the agreement promised steady abandonment of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank by Israel .However, the peace process was affected by terror attacks and consultations that did not have a ray of light for the Palestinians. Ironically Israel continued establishing settlements and so does it even today. In the final status parley at Camp David and Taba, Israel openly offered to turn more than 97% of the territory in the West Bank and all of Gaza, as well as Arab regions of Jerusalem. The Palestinians rejected this offer. Originally formed to regain all of Palestine for the Palestinian Arabs, the Palestine Liberation Organization signaled that it would accept a two state solution in 1988 (Baylis, 1999)._x000D_
The Oslo accords were supposed to have led to a peaceful resolution of the conflict, but continued Israeli settlement and Palestinian violence and incitement degenerated into open conflict in September 2000. The right wing Israelites are majorly in resistance of creating a state, they argue that creation of a state will result to grounds for terror groups. The conventional Palestinians claim and advocate for creation of a state in the West Bank and Gaza. the Israeli administration has settled to a demilitarized Palestinian state with restricted power over its boundaries and assets. In addition to the Palestinians who were exiled in 1948 when Israel became a state, thousands of others also fled in 1967 (Peter, 2001). Over four million refugees from Palestine are currently living in crowded in camps with low standards of living in the West Bank and Gaza, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. There is a common agreement within the Palestine people that these refugees have a right to go back to their homes in Israel. Its not the Palestinians alone who fled away from Israel but almost an equal number of Jews have been forced out of the Arab lands to their homeland Israel. Israel against the return of the refugees because it perceives that this will result in a state with the dominance of Arabs and this would submerge and make the Jewish state to decline, in fact some of the Palestinians commonly agree that the decision to grant rights of return to the refugees would result to the end of Israel as a state._x000D_
Essentially all the movements and associations in Palestine were started with a sole aim of destroying Israel through the barrel of a gun and all forms of terror instilling activities, only the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was against use of violence. The PLO in 1993 took a pledge renouncing violence and agreeing to abide by the United Nations SC Resolution 242, it signed the Oslo Declaration of Principles. The United Nations SC Resolution 242 absolutely recognizes the right of existence Israel. Israel permitted the Palestine Liberation Organization to enter the West Bank and Gaza Strip and consequently the Palestinians achieved a self-sufficient power over nearly all of the people of these regions. On the other hand the radical Palestinian groups that ware in resistance with the agreements started operations of terrorism activities and suicide bombings against Israel. One of the fundamental movements, the Palestine National Authority argued that they could not control the nonconformist groups (Sela,2002). The September 2000 negotiations failed when Ariel Sharon paid a visit to the Temple mount (Harem as Sharif), which incorporates the Al-Aqsa mosque. This stimulated aggressive demonstrations and riots (He did not get into any of the mosques) which were counteracted with fatal compulsion by the IDF. The bloodshed became widespread “resistance,” known as “the Intifadeh,” and relating outsized divisions and subdivisions of the populace as well as the Palestine National Authority itself, and the Palestinian law enforcement force started by the Oslo agreements. Research shows that about the entire half of the Palestinians agree that the main purpose of the Intifadeh is to obliterate Israel. Over a thousand Israelites have been brutally killed in terror and suicide attacks since September 2000 and over three thousands Palestinians have lost their lives and several thousands injured by Israel defense operations. This resistance eliminated any hopes that were there for peace between the two regions and the reliability of Yasser Arafat and the PLO as peace partners. In response to the Palestinian violence, Israel controlled the surge of Palestinian employees to Israel to avert penetration of terrorists, and by austere inspection and formality at border checkpoints._x000D_
The closure of the border and the strict measures was heavily felt by the Palestine as their standards of livelihood became hard and often those who did not go to work were subject of inhumane embarrassing searches and long hours of waiting. This however was not a solution to the Israel government as the Palestinians started using terror at the border checkpoints. The Israel Defense force soldiers became too nervous and paranoid and often opened fire to blameless civilians and vehicles that seemed distrustful this made it complex for Palestine to travel to Jerusalem to work and to move through Palestinian towns. The Arab League, at the Beirut Summit, proposed a plan that was objected to end the differences between Israel and Palestine, but Israel refused to get involved in the plan majorly because it demanded a Palestine right to return. September 2000 incident made the Israel government to invoke strong revenge mechanisms against the Palestine terror activities that were becoming constantly rigorous. The March 2002 suicide bombing made Israel to instigate operation Defensive Wall in the West Bank. Extra checkpoints were also set up by the Israel Defense Forces and declaration of curfew hours. This has disrupted the normal social and economical lives of many of the people. Ditches encircle urban areas to thwart citizens from exiting (Yoav, 2006). The IDF has taken many lives of the Palestinians, annihilated many homes and uprooted olive groves. To sum up these stringent measures that the Israel has taken guarantee security; Israeli revolutionary settlers have beleaguered Palestinians, damaged belongings, uprooted olive trees and killed several Palestinians in uncertain conditions. The executors are hardly ever recognized and almost never brought to the book. _x000D_
The persistent Israel grounds of allowing Palestine state establishment that is based on a demilitarized state is also due to the fear that the Palestine may attack Israel from the West Bank. The West Bank holds a very essential strategic point for any force willing to attack Israel. Therefore, Israel is adamant on assurance that the Palestinian state would not approve a foreign militia to penetrate its boundaries, and has persisted on bases inside the West Bank. Israel and Palestine have a close interest in the city of Jerusalem, the eastern part. Jerusalem is a site for both the holy temple of the Jews and the Al-Aqsa mosque which is regarded by many has one o the top three holiest sites in Islam (Yoav, 2006). The UN Partition plan had opted to internationalize Jerusalem. Likud Party chaired by Ariel Sharon won the Israeli elections in January 2003, subsequent the relentless economic and protection condition in Israel. This resulted to a temporal peace between the Palestine and Israel. Sharon endorsed a plan to achieving peace put forth by the United States of America, the European Union and Russia. This opened consultations with Mahmud Abbas, and announced his assurance to the formation of a Palestinian state in the future (Peter, 2001)._x000D_
On March 19, 2003 Arafat allotted Mahmoud Abbas as the Prime Minister. The rest of Abbas’s term as prime minister was marked by frequent conflicts between him and Arafat over the circulation of control between the two. Arafat was labeled of regularly deflating Abbas and his government by the United States and Israel. a power struggle emanated, between Arafat over power of the Palestinian defense military; Arafat refused to discharge control to Abbas. In October 2003 Abbas resigned. By 2006 Sharon had withdrawn from the Gaza Strip but still held control of the coastline and airspace. This approach was welcomed by many as a step towards achieving peace between Israel and Palestine. Unfortunately, his own party and other right wing Israelis opposed this strategy strongly (Baylis, 1999). In the beginning of 2005 a national Unity government was formed by Sharon. The National Unity government was composed of representatives from Likud, Labor, and Meimad and Degel HaTorah as “out-of-government” followers devoid of any places in the government. Sharon forced 9,480 Jewish from 21 settlements in Gaza and four in the northern West Bank. This plan however resulted to some terror attacks but the government partially reacted. After the death of Yassar Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas won the presidency with the Palestinian National Authority ticket. The elections were free and fair and he had a clean majority. He promised to be committed to eliminating the terror and employ peaceful negotiations in regard to the withdrawal of Israel from the West Bank and the Gaza strip._x000D_
Accusations emerged against the Palestine Authority especially where Arafat and Fatah were accused of receiving billions of dollars in support from overseas nations and organizations. The aid was not used to bring change to the Palestinian society. The growth and prominence of these accusations increased the Palestine support for the Hamas movement. The escalation of the Hamas association amid the Palestinians, the steady breakdown of the Palestinian Authority and the Fatah organization, and the Israeli disentanglement arrangement and the death of Yasser Arafat led to the strategy alteration of the Hamas movement in early 2005 which started putting superior importance to its political distinctiveness (Benny, 2006) Hamas won elections in 2005 but still failed to recognize existence Israel. Presently there are two governments in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip which makes it impossible for any future peace and conflict resolution. Israelis considers a Palestinian state within the provisional borders as an alternative for peace but Abbas insists on final negations and affirms that he doesn’t want provisional boundaries state._x000D_
Various plans have been instigated to curb this never ending conlict between the two nations, the main problem being ownership and control of some parts of the countryside. diverse informal initiatives for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have been projected. The mainly accepted is the Geneva Accord, in which Israel would return roughly all the territories exterior to the present way of the security fence, and concede parts of Jerusalem to the Palestinians (Nafez, 2004). Israel should dispense over all security responsibilities in these areas. At the same time the Palestinian refugees should be allowed to go back to the Palestinian state, but not to Israel and that all prisoners held hostage by the two groups should be released. The Ayalon Nusseibeh Agreement stipulates analogous principles but is much less comprehensive. Though all this accords have not been signed by the Israeli or Palestinian governments.
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