- On the morning of Saturday, October 7, the Palestinian group Hamas carried out a surprise attack on Israel on an unprecedented scale: firing thousands of rockets, infiltrating militants into Israeli territory, and taking an unknown number of hostages.
- This article will discuss the reasons for the age-old Israel Palestine conflict.
What is the Israel-Palestine conflict?
- Jews and Arabs have been at odds over a plot of land between the Jordan and Mediterranean rivers for more than a century.
- The UN decided in 1947 to divide Palestine into Jewish and Arab governments, with Jerusalem becoming a global metropolis.
- Jewish authorities agreed to the proposal, but the Arab side opposed it and it was never put into action.
- First off, Israel, which is situated just east of the Mediterranean Sea, is the only Jewish state in the world. Arab residents of the area call it Palestine, and they desire to create a state called Palestine on all or a portion of that region.
- Second, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict centres on the ownership and management of land.
- Thirdly, the current political battle started in the early 20th century, despite the fact that Jews and Arab Muslims both date their claims to the country back several thousand years.
- Fourthly, Jews who were escaping persecution in Europe yearned to establish a national homeland in a region with a predominance of Arab and Muslim people. The Ottoman Empire and, later, the British Empire both included this region.
- Fifth, the Arabs opposed, believing they had a claim to the country. Both sides have since fought numerous wars over the land.
About Hamas and Fatah:
- The Palestine Liberation Organization’s largest group, Fatah, is intimately associated with Yasser Arafat’s leadership.
- Hamas on the other hand is a fundamentalist Sunni-Islamic group in Palestine.
- Fatah lost its majority in the Palestinian parliament to Hamas in the 2006 legislative elections.
- As a result, a struggle erupted between Fatah and Hamas, with the former controlling the Palestinian National Authority in the West Bank and the latter ruling Gaza.
- Both parties have vowed to put all of Palestine back under Islamic governance.
- Their main point of contention is how to best accomplish this shared goal; while Fatah favours a nonviolent approach, Hamas prefers to use violence.
Potential Remedies for Israel Arab-Israeli conflict
There are primarily two methods for solving the issue:
- Two-state solution:
- It would first establish independent Israel and Palestine. Gaza and the majority of the West Bank would be turned up to Palestine as an independent state, leaving Israel to control the remaining territory.
- Since the 1947 UN Partition Plan, it has been the objective of the international community.
- It would specify the Green Line, a demarcation line that divided Israeli and Palestinian territory in 1967. Jerusalem would also be split between the two states.
- Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip would all be combined into one huge nation.
- There are two variations of it. One would establish a solitary democratic nation, which is supported by certain leftists and Palestinians. Jews would be outnumbered by Arab Muslims, eliminating Israel’s identity as a Jewish state.
- The alternative proposal, which is supported by some right-leaning Israelis, calls for Israel to annex the West Bank and forcibly remove or deny voting rights to Palestinians.
Why hasn’t the problem been fixed yet?
- Jerusalem: The Palestinians and Israel both have conflicting claims to the city. Israel considers the entirety of Jerusalem to be its capital and took control of the formerly Jordanian-held eastern portion in 1967.
- Palestinian Statehood: PLO and Israeli authorities have yet to reach an agreement on the issue of the Palestinian Statehood. Israel further claims that any peace agreement must call for Palestinian acknowledgment of it as the “nation-state of the Jewish people”.
- Borders: The positions of the prospective borders of a Palestinian state are fundamentally disputed by both parties. Palestinians demand borders based on the 1949–1967 ceasefire lines that divided Israel from East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza. Israel, meanwhile, has requested an expansion of its eastern boundary all the way to the Jordan River.
- Settlements: In the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem since 1967, Israel has constructed around 140 settlements which the majority of the international community views them as illegal. For a viable Palestinian state, according to the Palestinians, all settlements must be razed.
- Refugees:5 million Palestinian refugees are reportedly supported by UN agencies in the Middle East. This covers the offspring of those who left or were driven from their homes by Jewish forces during the 1948–1949 conflict. Israel claims that the Palestinians do not have the right to return to their previous homes, despite the Palestinians’ insistence.
- Political Division: Palestinians are still divided politically between Fatah and Hamas, making it impossible for them to engage in joint negotiations. Israel also doesn’t want to talk to the terrorist organisation Hamas.
- The international community must make an effort to bring the two states together in peace.
- A successful peace initiative would also need to address the four main problems that have hampered the peace process: Israeli security, Palestinian refugees, West Bank borders and settlements, and Jerusalem.