Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Palestine issue: an historical ana;ysis

An Overview
The Palestine Issue remains one of the most complex dilemmas facing the new world. This paper will trace the history of this issue, from the beginning of Jewish nationalism to the present. Issues to be studied include Jewish migration to Palestine; the religious aspects of the issue, the formation of the State of Israel and the various Arab-Israeli wars; the Palestinian refugee problem; the rise of the PLO and Hamas; the Jewish settler movement; the peace process from Camp David to Oslo and beyond; the Intifadas of 1987 and 2000, the 2008–2009 Israel-Gaza conflict, and the core issues in dispute between the Palestinians and Israel.

1.1  Objectives of the Study
  • Understand the history of the Palestine Issue from the late-nineteenth century to the present and identify the key historical events;
  • Analyse the causes and effects of each of the Arab-Israeli wars and examine the most recent developments in the conflict and possibilities for the future;
  • Understand the origins and development of the State of Israel and identify key historical milestones in the history of Zionism, from its beginnings to the present;
  • Examine the origins and history of the Palestinian refugee problem from 1948 onwards and comprehend the history of the Palestinians and Palestinian nationalism in the twentieth century;
  • Interpret and analyse the two Palestinian Intifadas.
  • Explore the core issues in dispute between the Palestinians and Israel.
1.2  Introduction
The Palestine Issue is an ongoing dispute between the Palestinians and the Israelis. It forms part of the wider Arab–Israeli conflict. Many attempts have been made to broker a two-state solution, which would entail the creation of an independent Palestinian state alongside an independent Jewish state (until 1948) or next to the State of Israel (after Israel's establishment in 1948). At present, a considerable majority of both Israelis and Palestinians, according to a number of polls, prefer the two-state solution over any other solution as a means of resolving the conflict. 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.[1] 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[2]. 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.
There are various prominent and international actors involved in the Palestine Issue. The direct negotiating parties are the Israeli government, currently led by Benjamin Netanyahu, 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 2003, the Palestinian side has been fractured by conflict between the two major factions: Fatah, the traditionally dominant party, and its more recent electoral challenger, Hamas. Following Hamas' seizure of power in the Gaza Strip in June 2007, 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. The division of governance between the parties has effectively resulted in the collapse of bipartisan governance of the Palestinian National Authority (PA).

1.3  Periods of the Palestine Issue

On the historical timeline, the Palestinian issue spreads through six periods of time which fundamentally differ from each other:
  • The period of the Ottoman Empire rule in Palestine in which the Palestinians saw themselves as part of the overall Arab territories which were under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. During that period, the disputes were on the basis of religious background and not on national background.
  • The period of the British Mandate of Palestine, in which both parties were under British rule and under a single political entity - called Palestine in English. During this period the term "The Israeli–Palestinian conflict" was not used and instead the conflict was referred to as "the Jewish-Arab conflict over Palestine" (by the Arab population and the British population).
  • The period of time between the declaration of the State of Israel and the Six-Day War of 1967 in which the parties resided in three separate political entities: Israel, the Gaza Strip (which was controlled by Egypt) and the West Bank (which was annexed to Jordan).
  • The period of time between the Six-Day War of 1967 and the Oslo Accords of 1993), in which the conflicted parties reside in the area of the western Palestine, which was under the control of  Israel.
  • The period of time between the Oslo Accords and the Second Intifada of 2000, in which Israel exists alongside the semi-sovereign political entity - the Palestinian Authority.
  • The period of time between the beginning of the Second Intifada up until today, in which Israel returned to perform arresting operations in Area A zones in the West Bank and Gaza and later on retreated from the Gaza Strip in 2005 which lead to the strengthening of the Hamas which in 2007 took control over the Gaza Strip.

1.4   Prominent events throughout the history of the Palestine Issue [3]

The Palestine Issue spans roughly one century of political tensions and open hostilities, though Israel itself only was established in 1948. It involves the establishment of the Zionist movement and the subsequent creation of the State of Israel in territory regarded by the Pan-Arab movement as belonging to the Palestinians, be they Muslim, Christian, Druze or other (and in the Pan-Islamic context, in territory regarded as Muslim lands), and by the Jewish people as their historical homeland.
1.5  Religious aspects of the Palestine Issue
The Land of Canaan or Eretz Israel (Land of Israel) was, according to the Torah, promised by God to the Israelites. In his 1896 manifesto The Jewish State, Theodor Herzl repeatedly refers to the Biblical Promised land concept.[4] Biblical records and archaeological evidence indicate that the Jews conquered and began to settle the land of Canaan during the thirteenth century BCE. Moses had given the Israelites political organization and led them out of Egypt, bringing them to the borders of the promised land. The Likud party of Israel is currently the most prominent party which includes the Biblical claim to the Land of Israel in its platform.[5] Some currently argue that the Jews' claim to the Promised Land has been invalidated by subsequent holy messages, including the Christian doctrine of Replacement Theology. Anti-Zionist Jewish groups also evoke religious arguments. Muslims too claim to have religious priority due to the presence of the Dome of the Rock, Al-Aqsa Mosque, The Cave of the Patriarchs, and other religious sites being in the land. Also Muslims believe that Prophet Muhammed passed through Jerusalem on his first journey to heaven.

History of the Palestine Issue
2.1   End of 19th century-1948
In the late 19th century, under the banner of a new movement called Zionism[6], many European Jews began purchasing swamps and other desert land from the Ottoman sultan and his agents. Before World War I, the Middle East, including Palestine, had been under the control of the Ottoman Empire for nearly 500 years. During the closing years of their empire the Ottomans began to espouse their Turkish ethnic identity, asserting the primacy of Turks within the empire, leading to discrimination against the Arabs. The promise of liberation from the Ottomans led many Jews and Arabs to support the allied powers during World War I, leading to the emergence of widespread Arab nationalism.[7] During this time tensions between the native Arab population of Palestine and the small, but growing, Jewish population in the area had begun to increase. Until the First World War, the Palestine was a part of the Ottoman Empire and the population was overwhelmingly (about 90%) Arabs. It was the introduction, under the Balfour Declaration and the British Mandate, of Jewish immigrants in such numbers as to lead the Arabs of Palestine to believe themselves threatened that caused the conflict, a conflict that has not been resolved to this day. In 1917, the British government issued the Balfour Declaration, which stated that the government viewed favourably "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people." The Declaration was issued as a result of the belief of key members of the government, including Prime Minister Lloyd George, that Jewish support was essential to winning the war; however, the declaration caused great disquiet in the Arab world. After the war, the area came under British rule as the British Mandate of Palestine. The area mandated to the British, included what is today Israel, Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza.
Jewish immigration to Palestine increased. By 1931, 17 percent of the population of Palestine was Jews, an increase of six percent since 1922. Jewish immigration increased soon after the Nazis came to power in Germany, causing the Jewish population in Palestine to double. Palestinian Arabs saw this rapid influx of Jewish immigrants as a threat to their homeland and their identity as a people. Moreover, Jewish policies of purchasing land and prohibiting the employment of Arabs in Jewish-owned industries and farms greatly angered the Palestinian Arab communities. Demonstrations were held as early as 1920, protesting what the Arabs felt were unfair preferences for the Jewish immigrants set forth by the British mandate that governed Palestine at the time. This resentment led to outbreaks of violence. In August 1929, 67 Jews were killed by the Arabs in the city of Hebron, in what became known as the Hebron Massacre. By 1936, escalating tensions led to the 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine.[8]
By the 1920s, the Jewish and Arab populations had grown hostile to each other. Eventually, violence between Arab and Jews had begun a vicious cycle which continues to this day. In response to Arab pressure, the British Mandate authorities greatly reduced the number of Jewish immigrants to Palestine. These restrictions remained in place until the end of the mandate, a period which coincided with the Nazi Holocaust and the flight of Jewish refugees from Europe. As a consequence, most Jewish entrants to Palestine were illegal, causing further tensions in the region. Following several failed attempts to solve the problem diplomatically, the British asked the newly formed United Nations for help. On 15 May 1947 the UN appointed a committee, the UNSCOP, composed of representatives from eleven states. To make the committee more neutral, none of the Great Powers were represented. After five weeks of in-country study, the commission recommended creating a partitioned state with separate territories for the Jews and the Arabs in Palestine . This "two state solution" was accepted with resolution 181 by the UN General Assembly in November 1947 by 33 votes to 13 with 10 abstentions. The Arab states, which constituted the Arab League, voted against. The Arab leadership (in and out of Palestine) opposed the plan. The Arabs argued that it violated the rights of the majority of the people in Palestine, which at time was 67% non-Jewish (1,237,000) and 33% Jewish (608,000).[9] Arab leaders also argued that a large number of Arabs would be trapped in the Jewish state. Every major Arab leader objected in principle to the right of the Jews to an independent state in Palestine, reflecting the policies of the Arab League. Arab and Jewish Palestinians were fighting openly to control strategic positions in the region. Several major atrocities were committed by both sides.
2.2   Formation of Israel and the First Arab-Israel war in 1948
When it became clear that the British intended to leave by May 15, Zionist leaders decided (as they claim) to implement that part of the partition plan calling for establishment of a Jewish state. In Tel Aviv on May 14 the Provisional State Council, formerly the National Council, "representing the Jewish people in Palestine and the World Zionist Movement," proclaimed the "establishment of the Jewish State in Palestine, to be called Medinat Israel (the State of Israel) … open to the immigration of Jews from all the countries of their dispersion."
The next day, the Arab League reiterated officially their opposition to the "two-state solution" in a letter to the UN. That day, the armies of Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Iraq invaded the territory partitioned for the Arab state, thus starting the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. The Israeli Defense Force repulsed the Arab nations from part of the occupied territories, thus extending its borders beyond the original UNSCOP partition.[10] By December 1948, Israel controlled most of the portion of Mandate Palestine west of the Jordan River. The remainder of the Mandate consisted of Jordan, the area that came to be called the West Bank (controlled by Jordan), and the Gaza Strip (controlled by Egypt). Prior to and during this conflict, 711,000 Palestinians Arabs fled their original lands to become Palestinian refugees, in part, due to several atrocities committed by the Israeli forces. The Arabs failed to prevent establishment of a Jewish state. The War came to an end with the signing of the 1949 Armistice Agreements between Israel and each of its Arab neighbours. This 1949 armistice line, the so-called green line, is to this day the internationally-recognized border of the state of Israel. It is often referred to as the "pre-1967" border. David Ben Gurion, Israel's first prime minister, accepted the two state solution that the UN established in 1947, but Ben Gurion expressed in a letter to his wife: ...a "partial" Jewish State was just a beginning, and [Ben Gurion] planned the organization of a powerful army, and the use of coercion or force to absorb all the country's extension.[11]
Following the adoption by the United Nations of Resolution 181 in November 1947 and the declaration of the State of Israel in May 1948, there were riots in Yemen and Syria. In Libya, Jews were deprived of citizenship. As a result, a large number of Jews were emigrated from Arab lands, although many also emigrated for ideological reasons. Overall, about 850,000 Jews had left the Arab World by the early 1970s.  As a result of Israel's victory in its 1948 war, any Arabs caught on the wrong side of the cease-fire line were unable to return to their homes in what became Israel. Likewise, any Jews on the West Bank or in Gaza were exiled from their property and homes to Israel.
2.3   The Second Arab-Israel war / The Suez Crisis in 1956
During the 1950s there was considerable tension between Israel and Egypt, which, under President Gamal Abdul Nasser, had become a leader in the Arab world. In 1956, Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping, and blockaded the Gulf of Aqaba. On July 26, 1956, Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal Company, and closed the canal to Israeli shipping.[12]
It provided an opportunity for Israel with Britain and France, to attack Egypt and occupy a part of Palestine that Egypt had controlled since 1949, the Gaza Strip, from which Israel was forced by UN and US pressure to withdraw 1957. Great Britain and France ostensibly joined the attack because of their dispute with Egypt's president Nasser, who had just nationalized the Suez Canal. Nasser took over the canal after Great Britain and France withdrew offers to finance the construction of the Aswân High Dam. Israel seized the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula within a few days. The second Arab-Israel war was halted by the UN after a few days, and a UN Emergency Force (UNEF) was sent to supervise the cease-fire in the Canal zone. In a rare instance of cooperation, the United States and the Soviet Union supported the UN resolution forcing the three invading countries to leave Egypt and Gaza. By the end of the year their forces withdrew from Egypt, but Israel refused to leave Gaza until early 1957, and only after the United States had promised to help resolve the conflict and keep the Straits of Tiran open.
2.4   The Third Arab-Israel war / The Six-Day war in 1967
After the 1956 war, Arab nationalism increased dramatically, as did demands for revenge led by Egypt's president Nasser. In 1966-67, Nasser, began a pan-Arab campaign seeking unified support to conquer Israel and expel the Jews. Freshly armed with the latest in Soviet supplied planes, tanks, and other military stocks, Egypt felt, for the first time since 1948, that they were in a position to overrun Israel. Egyptian media began a supportive jingoist campaign whipping up a fervor of popular support for war. This enthusiasm spilled over to the other Arab capitals. On May 19, 1967, Egypt expelled UNEF observers, and deployed 100,000 soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula. It again closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping, returning the region to the way it was in 1956 when Israel was blockaded. On May 30, 1967, Jordan entered into the mutual defense pact between Egypt and Syria. Egypt mobilized Sinai units, crossing UN lines (after having expelled the UN border monitors) and mobilized and massed on Israel's southern border. Likewise, armies in Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan also mobilized, encircling Israel for an imminent coordinated attack. In response, on June 5 Israel sent almost all of its planes on a preemptive mission into Egypt. The Israeli Air Force (IAF) destroyed most of the Egyptian Air Force in a surprise attack, then turned east to destroy the Jordanian, Syrian and Iraqi air forces. This strike was the crucial element in Israel's victory in the Six-Day War (5-10 June 1967).[13] The Six-Day War left Israel in possession of Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula, which it took from Egypt; Arab East Jerusalem and the West Bank, which it took from Jordan; and the Golan Heights, taken from Syria. Land under Israel's jurisdiction after the 1967 war was about four times the size of the area within its 1949 armistice frontiers. The occupied territories included an Arab population of about 1.5 million. The results of the war affect the geopolitics of the region to this day.
2.5  The P.L.O.
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) is a political and paramilitary organization regarded by the Arab League since October 1974 as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people."[14] Founded by a meeting of 422 Palestinian national figures in Jerusalem in May 1964 following an earlier decision of the Arab League, its goal was the liberation of Palestine through armed struggle. The original PLO Charter (issued on 28 May 1964) stated that "Palestine with its boundaries that existed at the time of the British mandate is an integral regional unit". It also called for a right of return and self-determination for Palestinians. In 1974, the PLO called for an independent state in the territory of Mandate Palestine. The group used guerrilla tactics to attack Israel from their bases in Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, as well as from within the Gaza Strip and West Bank. In 1988, the PLO officially endorsed a two-state solution, with Israel and Palestine living side by side contingent on specific terms such as making East Jerusalem capital of the Palestinian state and giving Palestinians the right of return to land occupied by Palestinians prior to the 1948 and 1967 wars with Israel.[15] In 1993, PLO chairman Yasser Arafat recognized the State of Israel in an official letter to its prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin. Arafat was the Chairman of the PLO Executive Committee from 1969 until his death in 2004. He was succeeded by Mahmoud Abbas. Present members of PLO include the parties like Fatah and The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
Due to the influence of the Egyptian President Nasser the PLO supported the 'Pan-Arabism' - the ideology that the Arabs should live in one state. The defeat of Syria, Jordan and Egypt in the Six Day War of 1967 destroyed the credibility of the states that sought to be patrons of the Palestinian people and weakened Nasser significantly. The way was opened for Yasser Arafat, who advocated guerrilla warfare and who successfully sought to make the PLO a fully independent organization under the control of the fedayeen organizations. At the Palestinian National Congress meeting of 1969, Fatah gained control of the executive bodies of the PLO. Arafat was appointed PLO chairman at the Palestinian National Congress in Cairo on February 3, 1969.

2.6   Black September in Jordan

In 1970, following an extended civil war, King Hussein expelled the PLO from Jordan. September 1970 is known as the Black September in Arab history and sometimes is referred to as the "era of regrettable events". It was a month when Hashemite King Hussein of Jordan moved to quash the autonomy of Palestinian organizations and restore his monarchy's rule over the country. The violence resulted in the heavy causalities of Palestinians.[16] Armed conflict lasted until July 1971 with the expulsion of the PLO and thousands of Palestinian fighters to Lebanon. During the 1970s, the PLO was effectively an umbrella group of eight organizations headquartered in Damascus and Beirut, all devoted to armed resistance to either Zionism or Israeli occupation, using methods which included attacks on civilians and guerrilla warfare against Israel. After Black September, the Cairo Agreement led the PLO to establish itself in Lebanon.
During the Lebanese Civil War, the PLO first fought against Maronite Christian militias, notably the Phalange, then against Israel, then, finally against the Syrian-supported Amal militia. In the 1985-1988 War of the Camps, Amal and other pro-Syrian militias besieged Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon to drive out supporters of Arafat. Many thousands of Palestinians died of violence and starvation. After the Amal siege ended, there was a great deal of intra-Palestinian fighting in the camps. In 1982, the PLO relocated to Tunis after it was driven out of Lebanon by Israel during Israel's six-month invasion of Lebanon. On October 1, 1985, in Operation Wooden Leg, Israeli Air Force F-15s bombed the PLO's Tunis headquarters, killing more than 60 people. It is suggested that the Tunis period (1982-1991) was a negative point in the PLO's history, leading up to the Oslo negotiations and formation of the Palestinian Authority (PA). The PLO in exile was distant from a concentrated number of Palestinians and became far less effective.[17]
In 1987, the First Intifada broke out in the Occupied Territories. Arafat declared in Geneva that the PLO would support a solution of the conflict based on these Resolutions. Effectively, the PLO recognized Israel's right to exist within pre-1967 borders, with the understanding that the Palestinians would be allowed to set up their own state in the West Bank and Gaza. The United States accepted this clarification by Arafat and began to allow diplomatic contacts with PLO officials. The Proclamation of Independence did not lead to a Palestinian State, although over 100 states recognized the "State of Palestine". In 1990, the PLO under Yasser Arafat openly supported Saddam Hussein in his regime's invasion of Kuwait, leading to a later rupture in Palestinian-Kuwaiti ties and the expulsion of many Palestinians from Kuwait. In 1993, the PLO secretly negotiated the Oslo Accords with Israel. The accords were signed on 20 August 1993. The Accords granted the Palestinians right to self-government on the Gaza Strip and the city of Jericho in the West Bank through the creation of the Palestinian Authority. Yasser Arafat was appointed head of the Palestinian Authority and a timetable for elections was laid out which saw Arafat elected president in January 1996, 18 months behind schedule. Although the PLO and the PA are not formally linked, the PLO dominates the administration. The headquarters of the PLO were moved to Ramallah on the West Bank. The Second or Al-Aqsa Intifada started concurrent with the breakdown of talks at Camp David with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak.
2.7  The Fourth Arab-Israel war / The war of Attrition in 1967-1970
In the summer of 1967, Arab leaders met in Khartoum in response to the war, to discuss the Arab position toward Israel. They reached consensus that there should be no recognition, no peace and no negotiations with Israel. The War of Attrition was a limited war fought between Israel and forces of the Egyptian Republic and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) from 1967 to 1970. It was initiated by Egypt as a way to force Israel to negotiate on favourable terms the return of the Sinai Peninsula by Israel, which had been in control of the territory since the mid-1967 Six-Day War. However, this objective was not realized, and instead the hostilities ended with a ceasefire signed between the countries in 1970 with frontiers remaining in the same place as when the war began, with no real commitment to serious peace negotiations[18]. When the cease fire came into effect, Israel had lost territory on the east side of the Suez Canal to Egypt, but gained territory west of the canal and in the Golan Heights.
2.8  The Fifth Arab-Israel war / The October/Yom-Kippur war in 1973
In October, 1973, Egypt joined Syria in a war on Israel to regain the territories lost in 1967. The two Arab states struck unexpectedly on October 6, which fell on Yom Kippur, Israel's holiest fast day. After crossing the swise channel the Arab forces gain a lot of advanced positions in Sinai Peninsula and Golan Heights and manage to defeat the Israeli forces for more then three weeks. Israeli forces with a massive U.S. economic and military assistance managed to stop the Arab forces after a three-week struggle and defeat with the cost of many casualties, and the Arabs strong showing won them support from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and most of the world's developing countries. Israel, forced to compete with the nearly unlimited Arab resources, was faced with a serious financial setback. Only massive U.S. economic and military assistance enabled it to redress the balance, but even American aid was unable to prevent a downward spiral of the economy. The Yom Kippur War accommodated indirect confrontation between the US and the Soviet Union. When Israel had turned the tide of war, the USSR threatened military intervention. The United States, wary of nuclear war, secured a ceasefire on October 25.[19]  The October war was ultimately a political success for the Egyptian president, Anwar Sadat (although not a military victory), despite Egyptian military setbacks that occurred after the initial successful crossing, as it forced the Israelis to the negotiating table. When the cease fire came into effect, Israel had lost territory on the east side of the Suez Canal to Egypt, but gained territory west of the canal and in the Golan Heights. Ultimately, Sinai would return to Egypt five years later after the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty
2.9  The Camp David Agreements in 1978
In an effort to encourage a peace settlement, U.S. President Richard M. Nixon charged his secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, with the task of negotiating agreements between Israel and Egypt and Syria. Kissinger managed to work out military disengagements between Israel and Egypt in the Sinai and between Israel and Syria in the Golan Heights during 1974. The peace initiatives leaded to the signing of the Camp David Accords by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin on September 17, 1978, following twelve days of secret negotiations at Camp David.[20] The two agreements were signed at the White House, and were witnessed by United States President Jimmy Carter. The Accords led directly to the 1979 Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty. Many countries like Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and Albania threatened war with Egypt if they signed a peace agreement with Israel. Libya, Iraq, Syria, and other Arab nations called Egypt a traitor, and said they would support an Eastern invasion by any means possible, even by military action. Israel felt Egypt could help protect Israel from other Arabs and Eastern communists.  In November 1977, Anwar Sadat became the first Arab leader to visit Israel, thereby implicitly recognizing Israel. The Sadat visit came about after he delivered a speech in Egypt stating that he would travel anywhere, "even Jerusalem," to discuss peace.
There were two 1978 Camp David agreements The first agreement was a framework for negotiations to establish an autonomous self-governing authority in the West Bank and the Gaza strip, it was less clear than the agreements concerning the Sinai, and was later interpreted differently by Israel, Egypt, and the United States. The fate of Jerusalem was deliberately excluded from this agreement. The second part of the agreement dealt with Egyptian-Israeli relations, the real content being in the second agreement. The third part "Associated Principles" declared principles that should apply to relations between Israel and all of its Arab neighbors. The second agreement outlined a basis for the peace treaty six months later, in particular deciding the future of the Sinai peninsula. Israel agreed to withdraw its armed forces from the Sinai, evacuate its 4,500 civilian inhabitants, and restore it to Egypt in return for normal diplomatic relations with Egypt, guarantees of freedom of passage through the Suez.
The Camp David Accords has left enormous ramifications on Middle Eastern politics. Most notably, the perception of Egypt within the Arab world changed. One key point of criticism was at concluding a peace treaty without demanding greater concessions for Israeli recognition of the Palestinians' right to self-determination. Egypt was also suspended from the Arab League from 1979 until 1989. The Camp David Accords also prompted the disintegration of a united Arab front in opposition to Israel. Lastly, the biggest consequence of all may be in the psychology of the participants of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
2.10  The Sixth Arab-Israel war /  Lebanon Invasion in 1982-1985
From 1978, the presence of Palestinian guerrillas in Lebanon led to Arab raids on Israel and Israeli retaliatory incursions. On 6 June, 1982, Israel launched a full-scale invasion. By 14 June Beirut was encircled, Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Syrian forces were evacuated mainly to Syria. In Feb 1985, there was a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from the country without any gain or losses incurred. Israel maintains an occupied area called as a 'security zone' in South Lebanon and supports the South Lebanese Army Militia of Lahad, both were occupying the south of Lebanon to defend Israelis from Palestinian attacks, and both carried out number of massacres against Lebanese and Palestinian people. Israel's alleged complicity in massacres in two Palestinian refugee camps increased Arab hostility and many other massacres like Beirut, Nabattiyeh, Abbasiyeh, Qana with hundreds of Lebanese civilians killed by Israelis. Talks between Israel and Lebanon, between Dec 1982 and May 1983, resulted in an agreement, drawn up by US secretary of state George Shultz, calling for the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Lebanon within three months. Syria refused to acknowledge the agreement, and left some 30,000 troops, with about 7,000 PLO members, in northeast, Israel retaliated by refusing to withdraw its forces from the south. Meanwhile the problems in Lebanon continued. Guerrilla groups of the Lebanese resistant on south of Lebanon started their resistant against the Israeli occupation since 1985 when the main important resistant group in Lebanon which is Hezbollah was founded.
2.11  The First Intifada in 1987-1991
The Israeli Prime Minister Peres met King Hussein of Jordan secretly in the south of France in 1985. Later, in a speech to the UN, Peres said he would not rule out the possibility of an international conference on the Middle East. PLO leader Yasser Arafat also had talks with Hussein and later, in Cairo, renounced PLO guerrilla activity outside Israeli-occupied territory. In Israel, government of national unity was having some success with its economic policies, inflation falling in 1986 to manageable levels, but from 1987 it was faced with an organized Palestinian uprising in the occupied territories, the Intifada.
In December 1987, the First Intifada began. The first Intifada was a mass Palestinian uprising against Israeli rule in the Palestinian Territories.[21] The rebellion began in the Jabalia refugee camp and quickly spread throughout Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Palestinian actions ranged from civil disobedience to violence. In addition to general strikes, boycotts on Israeli products, graffiti and barricades, Palestinian demonstrations that included stone-throwing by youths against the Israel Defense Forces brought the Intifada international attention. The harsh response by the Israeli government drew criticism from both the United States and the UN. The uprising began Dec 1987 in the Gaza Strip. Rumours that a fatal traffic collision had been caused by Israeli security service agents in retaliation for the stabbing of an Israeli the previous week led to demonstrations by teenagers armed with slingshots. It subsequently spread, despite attempts at repression. Some 1,300 Palestinians and 80 Israelis were killed in the uprising up to the end of 1991. Many Palestinian private homes were dynamited by military order.
2.12   The Oslo Accords in 1993, 1995
The Oslo Accords, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or Declaration of Principles (DOP) was a milestone in the Palestinian peace process. It was the first direct, face-to-face agreement between Israel and political representatives of Palestinians. The Accords were wrapped-up in Oslo, Norway on 20 August 1993, and subsequently officially signed at a public ceremony in Washington D.C. on 13 September 1993 in the presence of PLO chairman Yasser Arafat, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and US President Bill Clinton.
The Oslo Accords were a framework for the future relations between the two parties. The Accords provided for the creation of a Palestinian Authority. The Palestinian Authority would have responsibility for the administration of the territory under its control. The Accords also called for the withdrawal of the Israel Defence Forces from parts of the Gaza Strip and West Bank. It was anticipated that this arrangement would last for a five-year interim period during which a permanent agreement would be negotiated. Permanent issues such as Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees, Israeli settlements, security and borders were deliberately left to be decided at a later stage. Interim self-government was to be granted by Israel in phases. Along with the principles, the two groups signed Letters of Mutual Recognition - the Israeli government recognized the PLO as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, while the PLO recognized the right of the state of Israel to exist and renounced terrorism as well as other violence, and its desire for the destruction of the Israeli state. The Council would establish a strong police force, while Israel would continue to carry the responsibility for defending against external threats. An Israeli-Palestinian Economic Cooperation Committee would be established in order to develop and implement in a cooperative manner the programs identified in the protocols. A redeployment of Israeli military forces in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip would take place.[22]  The Oslo II agreement was signed in 1995 and detailed the division of the West Bank into Areas A, B, and C. Area A was land under full Palestinian civilian control. In Area A, Palestinians were also responsible for internal security. The Oslo agreements remain important documents in Israeli-Palestinian relations.
The optimism of the moment appealed to Israelis, and 60% of them supported the Oslo Accords when they were first presented The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) realized the loss of its most important diplomatic patron, due to the deterioration of the Soviet Union that started in 1989. One of the importanct factors which pushed the PLO to the accords was the fallout from the Gulf War; because Arafat took a pro-Iraqi stand during the war, the Arab Gulf states cut off financial assistance to the PLO, and the PLO was not invited to the Madrid Conference of 1991 at which Israel discussed peace with Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestinian groups that were not associated with the PLO. The accords aroused among both Israelis and Palestinians a wave of hope for an end to the conflict, but skeptics abounded everywhere. In Israel, a strong debate over the accords took place; the left wing supported them, while the right wing opposed them.. Palestinian reactions were also divided. Fatah, the group that represented the Palestinians in the negotiations, accepted the accords. But Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine objected to the accords because their own charters refuse to recognize Israel's right to exist in Palestine. On both sides there were fears of the other side's intentions. Israelis suspected that the Palestinians were entering into a tactical peace agreement, and that they were not sincere about wanting to reach peace and coexistence with Israel. Many Palestinians feared that Israel was not serious about dismantling their settlements in the West Bank, especially around Jerusalem. The Oslo process was delicate and progressed in fits and starts, the process took a turning point at the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and finally came to a close when Arafat and Ehud Barak failed to reach agreement. The main obstacle to agreement appears to have been the status of Jerusalem[23].

2.13  Camp David Summit (2000)

In July 2000, U.S. President Bill Clinton convened a peace summit between Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. Barak reportedly offered the Palestinian leader approximately 95% of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as Palestinian sovereignty over East Jerusalem, and that 69 Jewish settlements (which comprise 85% of the West Bank's Jewish settlers) would be ceded to Israel. He also proposed "temporary Israeli control" indefinitely over another 10% of the West Bank territory—an area including many more Jewish settlements. According to Palestinian sources, the remaining area would be under Palestinian control, yet certain areas would be broken up by Israeli bypass roads and checkpoints. Depending on how the security roads would be configured, these Israeli roads might impede free travel by Palestinians throughout their proposed nation and reduce the ability to absorb Palestinian refugees. Yasser Arafat rejected this offer. No tenable solution was drafted which would satisfy both Israeli and Palestinian demands, even under intense U.S. pressure. Clinton blamed Arafat for the failure of the Camp David Summit. In the months following the summit, Clinton appointed former U.S. Senator George J. Mitchell to lead a fact-finding committee that later published the Mitchell Report aimed at restoring the peace process.
2.14   The Second Intifada (Began in 2000)
The Second Intifada, also known as the al-Aqsa Intifada was the second Palestinian uprising, a period of intensified Palestinian-Israeli violence, which began in late September 2000. "Al-Aqsa" is the name of a prominent Muslim mosque, constructed in the 8th century CE at the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, a location considered the holiest site in Judaism and third holiest in Islam. "Intifada" is an Arabic word that literally translates into English as "shaking off". Some sources view the start of Intifada to be the 28 September, 2000 riots and injuries soon after Ariel Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount, an area known to Muslims as Al-Haram As-Sharif [24]. Critics claim that Sharon knew that the visit could trigger violence, and that the purpose of his visit was political. According to the New York Times, many in the Arab world, including Egyptians, Palestinians, Lebanese and Jordanians, point to Sharon's visit as the beginning of the Second Intifada and derailment of the peace process.
The Middle East Peace Summit at Camp David in 2000 took place. It failed with both sides blaming the other for the failure of the talks. There were four principal obstacles to agreement: territory, Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, refugees and the 'right of return', and Israeli security concerns. Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian parliament postponed the planned September 13, 2000 declaration of statehood for an independent Palestinian state. On September 29, 2000, the day after Sharon's visit, following Friday prayers, large riots broke out around the Old City of Jerusalem. After Palestinians on the Temple Mount threw rocks over the Western Wall at Jewish worshipers and tourists below, wounding the district police commander, Israeli police stormed the Temple Mount and fired rubber-coated steel bullets at the rioters, killing four Palestinian youths and wounding as many as 200. In the days that followed, demonstrations erupted all over the West Bank and Gaza, as violence escalated. During the first few days of riots, the IDF fired approximately 1.3 million bullets.[25] Palestinian tactics have ranged from carrying out mass protests and general strikes, similar to the First Intifada, to armed attacks on settlers, civilians and security forces, suicide bombing attacks, and firing Qassam rockets into Israeli residential areas. The Intifada never ended officially, but violence hit relatively low levels during 2005. The death toll both military and civilians of the entire conflict in 2000-2004 is estimated to be 3,223 Palestinians and 950 Israelis, although this number is criticized for not differentiating between combatants and civilians.

2.15  Taba Summit (2001)

The Israeli negotiation team presented a new map at the Taba Summit in Taba, Egypt in January 2001. The proposition removed the "temporarily Israeli controlled" areas, and the Palestinian side accepted this as a basis for further negotiation. However, Prime Minister Ehud Barak did not conduct further negotiations at that time; the talks ended without an agreement. The following month the right-wing Likud party candidate Ariel Sharon was elected as Israeli prime minister in February 2001.

2.16  Road Map for Peace (2002)

One peace proposal, presented by the Quartet of the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States on September 17, 2002, was the Road Map for Peace. This plan did not attempt to resolve difficult questions such as the fate of Jerusalem or Israeli settlements, but left that to be negotiated in later phases of the process. Israel did not accept the proposal as written but called out 14 "reservations" or changes before they would accept it, which were unacceptable to the current Palestinian government. The proposal never made it beyond the first phase, which called for a halt to Israeli settlement construction and a halt to Israeli and Palestinian violence, none of which was achieved.

2.17  Arab Peace Initiative (2002)

The Arab Peace Initiative was first proposed by Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in the Beirut Summit. The peace initiative is a proposed solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict as a whole, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in particular. The initiative was initially published on March 28, 2002, at the Beirut Summit, and agreed upon again in 2007 in the Riyadh Summit. The peace initiative achieved the unanimous consent of all members of the Arab League, including both the Hamas and Fatah Palestinian factions. Unlike the Road Map for Peace, it spelled out "final-solution" borders based explicitly on the UN borders established before the 1967 Six-Day War. It offered full normalization of relations with Israel, in exchange for the withdrawal of its forces from all the Occupied Territories, including the Golan Heights, to recognize "an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital" in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as a "just solution" for the Palestinian refugees. Although the proposal was rejected outright by Israel when it was first proposed in 2002, the Arab League continues to raise it as a possible solution, most recently in 2007, and recent meetings between the Arab League and Israel have been held.[26]

2.18   Israel’s Unilateral Disengagement Plan (2005)

Israel's unilateral disengagement plan, also known as the "Gaza pull-out plan", was a proposal by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, adopted by the government on June 6, 2004 and enacted in August 2005, to evict all Israelis from the Gaza Strip and from four settlements in the northern West Bank. Those Israeli citizens that refused to accept government compensation packages and voluntarily vacate their homes prior to the August 15, 2005 deadline, were evicted by Israeli security forces over a period of several days.[27] The eviction of all residents, demolition of the residential buildings and evacuation of associated security personnel from the Gaza Strip was completed by September 12, 2005. The eviction and dismantlement of the four settlements in the northern West Bank was completed ten days later. Despite disengaging, Israel demanded and has maintained full control over the Gaza Strip's airspace as well as the right to conduct military activity in its territorial waters. U.S. president George W. Bush endorsed the plan as a positive step towards the road map for peace. The unilateral disengagement plan has been criticized from various viewpoints. In Israel, it has been criticized by the settlers themselves, supported by the Israeli right, who saw Ariel Sharon's action as a betrayal of his previous policies of support of settlement. The Disengagement Plan was also criticized by both Israelis and other observers from the opposite viewpoint as an attempt to make permanent the different settlements of the West Bank, while the Gaza strip was rendered to the Palestinian National Authority as an economically-uninteresting territory with a Muslim population of nearly 1.4 million, seen as a "threat" to the Jewish identity of the Israeli democratic state.
2.19   Lebanon war in 2006
In July 2006, Hezbollah fighters crossed the border from Lebanon into Israel, attacked and killed eight Israeli soldiers, and abducted two others as hostages, setting off the 2006 Lebanon War which caused much destruction in Lebanon. A UN-sponsored ceasefire went into effect on August 14, 2006, officially ending the conflict. On September 6, 2007, in Operation Orchard, Israel bombed an eastern Syrian complex which was allegedly a nuclear reactor being built with assistance from North Korea. Israel had also bombed Syria in 2003.
2.20  Hamas
Hamas is an Islamic Palestinian socio-political organization which includes a paramilitary force, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades. Since June 2007, Hamas has governed the Gaza portion of the Palestinian Territories. Hamas was created in 1987 by Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi and Mohammad Taha of the Palestinian wing of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood at the beginning of the First Intifada, an uprising against Israeli rule in the Palestinian Territories. Hamas launched numerous suicide bombings against Israel, the first of them in April, 1993. Hamas ceased the attacks in 2005 and renounced them in April, 2006.[28] Hamas has also been responsible for Israel-targeted rocket attacks, IED attacks, and shootings, but reduced most of those operations in 2005 and 2006.
In January 2006, Hamas was successful in the Palestinian parliamentary elections, taking 76 of the 132 seats in the chamber, while the previous ruling Fatah party took 43. After Hamas's election victory, violent and non-violent infighting arose between Hamas and Fatah. Through its funding and management of schools, health-care clinics, mosques, youth groups, athletic clubs and day-care centers, Hamas by the mid-1990s had attained a "well-entrenched" presence in the West Bank and Gaza. Hamas's 1988 charter calls for replacing the State of Israel with a Palestinian Islamic state in the area that is now Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. However, Ismail Haniyeh, Prime Minister of the Hamas government in Gaza, stated in 2008 that the group was willing to accept a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders and has offered Israel a long-term truce.[29] Hamas wants to create an Islamic state in the West Bank and the Gaza strip, a goal which combines Palestinian nationalism with Islamist objectives. On 21 April 2008, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter met with Hamas Leader Khaled Meshal and reached an agreement that Hamas would respect the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip areas seized by Israel in the Six-Day War of 1967, provided this be ratified by the Palestinian people in a referendum. Hamas later publicly offered a long-term ceasefire with Israel if Israel agreed to return to its 1967 borders and to grant the "right of return" to all Palestinian refugees. Israel has not responded to the offer.

2.21   Israel-Gaza Conflict in 2008-2009

The 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict, part of the ongoing Israeli–Palestinian conflict, started when Israel launched a military campaign in the Gaza Strip on December 27, 2008.  The attack's stated aim was to stop Hamas attacks on southern Israel, and it included the targeting of Hamas' members, police force, and infrastructure. In the Arab World, the conflict has been described as the Gaza massacre.[30] Hamas assumed administrative control of Gaza following the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections and its 2007 military victory over Fatah, the secular Palestinian nationalist party. Subsequently, Egypt closed the Rafah Border Crossing when EU monitors left in July 2007. Israel closed off all remaining access to Gaza around the same time. The blockade allowed Israel to control the flow of goods going into Gaza, including power and water.[31] Israel halted all exports into Gaza. A fragile six-month truce between Hamas and Israel expired on December 19, 2008. Hamas and Israel could not agree on conditions to extend the truce. Hamas blamed Israel for not lifting the Gaza Strip blockade, and for an Israeli raid on a purported tunnel, crossing the border into the Gaza Strip from Israel on November 4, which it held constituted a serious breach of the truce. Israel accuses Hamas of violating the truce, citing the frequent rocket and mortar attacks on Israeli cities.
The Israeli operation began with an intense bombardment of the Gaza Strip, targeting Hamas bases, police training camps, police headquarters and offices. Civilian infrastructure, including mosques, houses, medical facilities and schools, were also attacked. Hamas intensified its rocket and mortar attacks against targets in Israel throughout the conflict. On January 3, 2009, the Israeli ground invasion began. The headquarters of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) was also shelled on January 15. Human rights groups and aid organisations have accused Hamas and Israel of war crimes and called for independent investigations and lawsuits.[32] On January 17, Israeli officials announced a unilateral ceasefire, without an agreement with Hamas. On January 18, in the afternoon, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other paramilitias stated they would stop launching rockets into Israel for one week, on condition that Israel would withdraw its military within this period. On January 21, Israeli troops completed their pullout from the Gaza Strip[33]. It is estimated that 1,370 or more Palestinians and 13 Israelis died in the conflict. In the days following the ceasefire, the BBC reported that more than 400,000 Gazans were left without running water. The BBC further reported that 4000 homes had been ruined, leaving tens of thousands of people homeless.[34]
Core Issues in dispute
The following outlined positions are the official positions of the two parties; however, it is important to note that both sides aren’t comprised of one piece. Both the Israeli and the Palestinian sides are compromised of both moderates and extremists bodies as well as dovish and hawkish bodies. Many Palestinians nowadays believe that Israel is not really interested in reaching an arrangement, but rather interested in continuing to control the entire territory from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River. As a proof to their claims, they point out to the expansion of the Jewish settlements during the terms of the Israeli left-wing political parties, the argument that it has always been Israel which has conquered territory which belonged to Arab countries, that the IDF entered Palestinian towns during the Intifada. On the other hand, many Israelis nowadays believe that the Palestinians’ true intentions are to conquer the Palestine region entirely and that their official claims are only a temporary strategy. As a proof to their claims, they point out to the rise of the Hamas, which has called for the takeover of all parts of Israel.
A variety of concerns have emerged as key issues in seeking a negotiated settlement between the two sides. Since the Oslo Accords, finalized in 1993, the government of Israel and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) have been officially committed to an eventual two-state solution. There are many core or 'final status' issues which need to be resolved.

3.1.  Jerusalem

The border of Jerusalem is a particularly delicate issue, with each side asserting claims over this city. The three largest Abrahamic religionsJudaism, Christianity, and Islam—include Jerusalem as an important setting for their religious and historical narratives.[35] Israel asserts that the city should not be divided and should remain unified within Israel's political control. Palestinians claim at least the parts of the city which were not part of Israel prior to June 1967. After Israel captured the Jordanian-controlled East Jerusalem in the Six-Day War, they assumed complete administrative control of East Jerusalem. In 1980, Israel issued a new law stating, "Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel." At the Camp David and Taba Summits in 2000–01, the United States proposed a plan in which the Arab parts of Jerusalem would be given to the proposed Palestinian state while the Jewish parts of Jerusalem were retained by Israel. Both sides accepted the proposal in principle, but the summits ultimately failed. There are unauthorized Palestinian excavations for construction on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, which could threaten the stability of the Western Wall. Israel, on the other hand, has seldom blocked access to holy places sacred to other religions. Palestinians have grave concerns regarding the welfare of Christian and Muslim holy places under Israeli control.

3.2.   Palestinian refugees

The number of Palestinians who were expelled or fled from Israel following its creation was estimated at 711,000 in 1949. The number of refugees now stands at around four million.[36] Palestinian negotiators, most notably Yasser Arafat, have so far insisted that refugees have a right to return to the places where they lived before 1948 and 1967, including those within the 1949 Armistice lines, citing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and UN General Assembly Resolution 194 as evidence. The Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 declared that it proposed the compromise of a "just resolution" of the refugee problem. Palestinian and international authors have justified the right of return of the Palestinian refugees on several grounds.[37] The strongest legal basis on the issue is UN Resolution 194, adopted in 1948. It states that, "the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible." UN Resolution 3236 "reaffirms also the inalienable right of the Palestinians to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced and uprooted, and calls for their return".

3.3.   Israeli settlements in the West Bank

In the years following the Six-Day War, and especially in the 1990s during the peace process, Israel established numerous new settlements in the West Bank. These settlements are now home to about 350,000 people. Most of the settlements are in the western parts of the West Bank, while others are deep into Palestinian territory, overlooking Palestinian cities. These settlements have been the site of much inter-communal conflict. The issue of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and, until 2005, the Gaza Strip have been described as an obstacle to a peaceful resolution of the conflict, by the international media; as well as the international political community. The establishment and expansion of these settlements in the West Bank and (at the time) the Gaza Strip[38] have been described as violations of the fourth Geneva Convention by the UN Security Council in several resolutions. The European Union and the General Assembly of the United Nations consider the settlements to be illegal. On a practical level, some objections voiced by Palestinians are that settlements divert resources needed by Palestinian towns, such as arable land, water, and other resources; and, that settlements reduce Palestinians' ability to travel freely via local roads, owing to security considerations. However Israel disputes this. it has not changed the view of the international community and human rights organizations.[39]

3.4.   International status

In the past, Israel has demanded control over border crossings between the Palestinian territories and Jordan and Egypt, and the right to set the import and export controls. Palestinians insist on contiguous territory which will in turn rupture the existing territorial contiguity of Israel. In the interim agreements reached as part of the Oslo Accords, the Palestinian Authority has received control over cities (Area A) while the surrounding countryside has been placed under Israeli security and Palestinian civil administration (Area B) or complete Israeli control (Area C). According to Palestinians, the separated areas make it impossible to create a viable nation and fails to address Palestinian security needs; Israel has expressed no agreement to withdrawal from some Areas B, resulting in no reduction in the division of the Palestinian areas, and the institution of a safe pass system, without Israeli checkpoints, between these parts. The number of checkpoints has increased, resulting in more suicide bombings since the early summer of 2003. Neither side has publicized a proposal for a final map.

3.5.   Resource distribution

In the Middle East, water is a resource of great political concern. The use of water has been contentious in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Since some of the wells used to draw this water lie within the Palestinian Authority areas, there are many who question the legality of using the water for Israeli needs. But critics of this argument point out that even though Israel withdraws some water from these areas, it also supplies the West Bank with approximately 40 MCM annually.[40] Palestinians note, as one of their most central concerns, that their society must be given land and resources with enough contiguity to give them a viable society, and that they must therefore not be forced to give up too many resources to Israel, as this may cause economic collapse.

3.6.   Status of the Occupied Palestinian Territories

Occupied Palestinian Territory is the term used by the United Nations to refer to the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip - territories which were conquered by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War, having formerly been controlled by Egypt and Jordan.[41] The Israeli government uses the term Disputed Territories, to indicate its position that some territories cannot be called occupied as no nation had clear rights to them and there was no operative diplomatic arrangement when Israel acquired them in June 1967. The area is still referred to as Judea and Samaria by some Israeli groups, based on the historical regional names from ancient times. Some Palestinians claim they are entitled to all of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem. In negotiations, Palestinians claim that any moves to reduce the boundaries of this land is a hostile move against their key interests. Israel considers this land to be in dispute. Other Palestinian groups, such as Hamas, have in the past insisted that Palestinians must control not only the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem, but also all of Israel proper [42].

3.7.   Mutual recognition

It is widely felt among Israelis that Palestinians did not in fact promote acceptance of Israel's right to exist. Some Palestinian groups, notably Fatah, the political party founded by PLO leaders, claim they are willing to foster co-existence if Palestinians are steadily given more political rights and autonomy. In 2006, Hamas won a majority in the Palestinian Legislative Council, where it remains the majority party. While Hamas has openly stated in the past that it completely opposed Israel's right to exist, and its charter states this, there is evidence that its position may have softened recently.[43] Palestinians state that their ability to spread acceptance of Israel was greatly hampered by Israeli restrictions on Palestinian political freedoms, economic freedoms, civil liberties, and quality of life. Many feel that their own opposition to Israel was justified by Israel's apparent stifling of any genuine Palestinian political and economic development.

3.8.   Societal attitudes

Societal attitudes in both Israel and Palestine are a source of concern to those promoting dispute resolution. Some Israelis are concerned that key Palestinian leaders have promoted incitement against and overall non-acceptance of Israel, including promotion of violence against Israel. Some Palestinians are concerned that key Israeli leaders have refused to accept the reality of the Palestinian people and have been defended violence against Palestinians.[44]

3.9.  Gaza blockade

Because of an import-export ban imposed on Gaza in 2007, 95% of Gaza’s industrial operations were suspended. Out of 35,000 people employed by 3,900 factories in June 2005, only 1,750 people remained employed by 195 factories in June 2007. Closures have severely hindered health services in Gaza. Between 2007-2008, 120 people in Gaza died because they were not allowed to access medical treatment.[45] The Israeli Government's cut in the flow of fuel and electricity to the Gaza Strip has also been called collective punishment of the civilian population, which would be a violation of Israel’s obligations under the laws of war. Starting February 7, 2008, the Israeli Government reduced the electricity it sells directly to Gaza. Supporters of Israel have argued that Palestinian violence against Israeli civilians constitutes collective punishment of Palestinians for the actions of their government.
3.10.  Airspace
The West Bank and Israel form a strip only up to 80 kilometers wide. Israel has insisted on complete Israeli control of the airspace above the West Bank and Gaza as well as that above Israel itself. A Palestinian compromise of joint control over the combined airspace has been rejected by Israel.

3.11.   Palestinian army

The Israeli Cabinet issued a statement expressing that it does not wish the Palestinians to build up an army capable of offensive operations, considering that the only party against which such an army could be turned in the near future is Israel itself. Palestinians have argued that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), a large and modern armed force, poses a direct and pressing threat to the sovereignty of any future Palestinian state, making a defensive force for a Palestinian state a matter of necessity.
A. Books :
  1. Said, Edward W., (2004), Other America, Translated by Santhosh, V.R., Kozhikode: Pappiyon
  2. Lesch, Ann M. and Tschirgi, Dan., (1998), Origins and Development of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, West Port, Connecticut: Greenwood Press.
  3. Fraser, T.G., (1980),  The Middle East: 1914-1979, New York: St. Martin’s Press
  4. Smith, Charles D., (2004), Palestine and the Arab Israeli Conflict: A History With Documents. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s.
  5. William L. Cleveland,  (2004), A History of the Modern Middle East, Westview Press
  6. Mc Aleavy, Tony, (1998), The Arab-Israeli Conflict, New York: Cambridge University Press
  7. Armstrong, Karen. (1996), Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths. New York: Ballantine Books.
  8. Dershowitz, Alan, (2003), The Case for Israel. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc
  9. Lesch, Ann M. and Tschirgi, Dan. (1998), Origins and Development of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, West Port, Connecticut: Greenwood Press.
  10. Anthony H. Cordesman, (2009), The Gaza War: A Strategic Analysis,  Center for Strategic & International Studies.
  11. Khalidi, Rashid, (1992), Observations on the Right of Return, Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 21, No. 2.
  12. Sela, Avraham, (2002), Hamas: The Continuum Political Encyclopedia of the Middle East. Ed. Avraham Sela. New York: Continuum.
B. Web Resources :


[1] 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.
[2] Said, Edward W., (2004), Other America, Translated by Santhosh, V.R., Kozhikode: Pappiyon
[4]  Hertzl, Theodor (1896), The State of the Jews, Translated from the German by Sylvie D'Avigdor, published in 1946 by the American Zionist Emergency Council. Hertzl is considered as the father of Political Zionism.
[6]  Zionism is the international Jewish political movement that originally supported the establishment of a homeland for the Jewish People in Palestine. The area was the Jewish Biblical homeland, called the Land of Israel (Hebrew: Eretz Yisra'el). Since the creation of Israel, the Zionist movement continues primarily as support for the state of Israel.
[8]  Lesch, Ann M. and Tschirgi, Dan., (1998),  Origins and Development of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, West Port, Connecticut: Greenwood Press.
[9]  Fraser, T.G., (1980),  The Middle East: 1914-1979, New York: St. Martin’s Press. 
[10]  Smith, Charles D., (2004), Palestine and the Arab Israeli Conflict: A History With Documents. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s.
[14]  On 28 October 1974, the seventh Arab summit conference held in Rabat designated the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and reaffirmed their right to establish an independent state of urgency.
[15] William L. Cleveland,  (2004), A History of the Modern Middle East, Westview Press .
[16]  Mc Aleavy, Tony, (1998), The Arab-Israeli Conflict, New York: Cambridge University Press
[17] Rashid Khalidi, The Iron Cage, The Story of the Struffle for Palestinian Statehood.

[20]  Armstrong, Karen. (1996), Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths. New York: Ballantine Books.

[21]  "Uprising by Palestinians against Israeli rule in the West Bank and Gaza Strip territories", Intifada, Microsoft Encarta.
[22]  Dershowitz, Alan, (2003), The Case for Israel. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
[23]  Lesch, Ann M. and Tschirgi, Dan. (1998), Origins and Development of the Arab-Israeli Conflict. West Port, Connecticut: Greenwood Press.
[24]  Dark Times, Dire Decisions,  Jews and Communism, Oxford University Press.
[25]  Earlier estimates gave a million bullets and projectiles shot by Israeli forces in the first few days, 700,000 in the West Bank and 300,000 in the Gaza strip..
[26]  Fraser, T.G., (1980), The Middle East: 1914-1979, New York: St. Martin’s Press.
[28] "Hamas in call to end suicide bombings" The Observer. April 9, 2006
[35]  Jerusalem is the holiest site in the world for Judaism. The two Divine Temples were built on what is called the Temple Mount, the first over three thousand years ago. Archaeological evidence has proven that the Divine Temple of the Jews was built at that time, and the second built a few centuries after its destruction. Jerusalem was the capital city of the Israeli Empire, established right before the construction of the First Temple. For Muslims, Jerusalem is the third holiest (after Meccah and Medina). The Al-Aqsa Mosque was built on the Temple Mount several centuries ago. Israel controls Jerusalem today.
[36]  USA Today. May 7, 2003.
[37]  Khalidi, Rashid, (1992), Observations on the Right of Return, Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 21, No. 2.
[38]  In 2005, Israel's unilateral disengagement plan, a proposal put forward by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, was enacted. All Jewish residents in the Gaza strip were evacuated, and all residential buildings were demolished.
[39] Dershowitz, Alan, (2003), The Case for Israel. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc..
[42]  Sela, Avraham, (2002), Hamas: The Continuum Political Encyclopedia of the Middle East. Ed. Avraham Sela. New York: Continuum.
[43]  The Guardian, June 22, 2006


  1. Though I had read the articles as hard copy , I still respect the endeavor behind the two successful resources… let him do something which mark his traces … all the best ...

  2. السلام عليك يا حميمي
    حياك الله
    منذ ستتين أعلم علاقتك بها،
    وأعلم أنت تحب كلا تتشعب منها، من أدب ،ونقد؛
    صديقك هذا-داعيا- معكما ؛
    بارك الله لكما، وبارك عليكما ،وجمع بينكم في خير في خير.
    ننتظر منكما ما ينفع للأمة
    مع السلامة

  3. baarakallah
    i read ur sum post. it is very useful me as i am arabic student.