The Israel-Palestine Conundrum

You may believe that the Iran-Palestine conflict has been around for centuries but it started only in the initial years of the 20th century.The Palestine region(as it was known during the Ottoman Regime) housed predominantly two religions- Muslims and Christians.The Jews were also present in traces.

The Jews at the time believed that they belong to a unified nation rather than being viewed as a religion.This thought came to be known as Zionism.A large number of Jews from several parts of Europe began to throng Jerusalem(part of Palestine) from 1910 as if was considered the natural home by them.

The end of the World War 1 resulted in the breakdown of the Ottoman Empire.Southern Syria was divided by the British after the defeat of the Turks.The land west of the Jordan river known as Palestine was placed under direct British Control and later came to be known as British Palestine or Mandate Palestine.

The British encouraged Jews from Europe to settle in the newly created territory under its rule.Responding to the call, mass migration happened.The Arabs already living the area were not recipient to the huge number of immigrants.Frequent altercations on a wide scale of violations were reported due to the conflict between the Arabs and the Jews.Britain, acknowledging the problem at hand, imposed harsher conditions for Jews looking for a new home in the British Palestine.But the flow did not stop, it merely slowed down.Fast forward to World War 2 and the deplorable Holocaust, a new flurry of Jews flocked to the region.By this time, tensions between the two communities had risen to dangerous levels and the British government with the help of the United Nations (UN) decided to break up Mandate Palestine.

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Changing status of the area

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In  1948, three regions were created from British Palestine;1.Palestine: to safeguard the interests of the Muslims;2.Israel: to answer the call of Jews for a separate nation;3. Jerusalem: an international site which housed ancient script urreligion’s: Islam and Christianity.The new arrangement did not go down well with the neighboring Arab nations.Together with Palestine, they declared war on Israel in 1950s.Israel, on the path of defending itself, ventured into inner parts of Palestine and Jerusalem.By the end of the war, I Israel controlled all the territory once known as British Palestine except the Gaza strip which was governed by Egypt.

Tensions did not cool down in the middle-east even after the war.In the ensuing six-day war in 1967, Israel won the regions of West Bank, Golan Heights and Gaza strip from Jordan, Syria, and Egypt respectively.Protests, both violent and non-violent continued in the Palestine region occupied by the Israeli government.The suppression of the Palestine people led to the formation of extremist organizations, the most predominant among them being the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

Due to the increased area and population under its control, as well as strained public law & order the Israeli government arranged to relinquish some of the territories  under its control.A twelve-day secret negotiation between Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin on 17 September 1978  led to the Camp David Accords signed at White House, USA and were overseen  by  the then President Jimmy Carter.In the following year, the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty was signed by the Egyptian and Israeli heads.The treaty led to the cessation of state of war which had existed since the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, normalization of relations and complete withdrawl of Israeli military  and civilians from Sinai Peninsula, which Israel had captured in the 1967 war.The agreement notably made Egypt the first Arab state to recognize Israel.

Although Menachem Begin and Anwar El Sadat were honoured with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for the peace treaty, the pact was ridiculed in the Arab world.As a result, Egypt was suspended from the Arab League( a regional organization of Arab countries in and around North Africa, the Horn of Africa, and Arabia).Sadat was assasinated by members of Egyptian Islamic Jihad for the supposed dishonour the treaty brought to the Islamic community.

Over the years, Jews moved into Gaza and West Bank in search for a new settlement.These Jews were tempted by the favorable policies of Israeli government which provided cheap housing and other benefits to Jews who migrated to the two areas.This led to a growing proportion of Jews in the Muslim majority regions.The situation of the Palestinian citizens worsened as the influx continued.

The resentment among the suffrers led to the the First Intafada in 1987.This was a extreme movement against the Israeli occupation of Gaza and West Bank.A new militant group-HAMAS was formed in this movement.HAMAS posed itself as a superior alternative to the PLO.The state squashed the movement with force.Both sides lost men, but the brunt was severe on the Palestinian side.

As the situation did not show any signs of improvement, talks began between the PLO and Israeli government.Subsequently, in 1993 the Oslo Accord was signed by the two parties as the Israeli government  gave some sort of authority to the PLO to govern the Palestinian people.But with the surge in popularity of HAMAS, peace remained a distant dream.The militant group would not settle for anything less than a full fledged Palestine nation.It carried out terrorist strikes sporadically to give out its message as if it was inaudible before.

The demagogic approach produced an inflammatory response.The second Intafada happened in early 2000s.It was grand when compared to the first Intafada.The result was even grander.Streets of Palestine regions were painted crimson.Never had Israel seen such bloodbath.

By this time, Israel realised that their could never be peace per se.The civilians became apathetic to the plight of their Palestinian counterparts as the state began construction of walls and settlements to fortify its territory.The infrastructure built would function as a detterent to the militants.Also, it would segregate the Palestinian occupied regions from Israel.

In August 2005, Israeli began evacuation of its settlers from Gaza and kissed goodbye to the region by sealing its border with the region.The move did not bring any relief to the Gaza strip.HAMAS and the secular-Palestinian National Authority fought for control of the region.Notwithstanding this, HAMAS was elected as the popular party in the Palestinian Legislative elections in 2006.

Even after having a elected government, the environment in Gaza has been far from cordial.Several clashes happen between small militia groups that have formed in the years of violence.There are attacks on Israel as well.The situation cannot remain so for a long time.One hopes for a better tomorrow for the people of the once Palestine, but that tomorrow is no closer than it was yesterday. 

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