Israel - Palestine Conflict

Ellen Finnel

Historical Background

  • 1917- Britain takes Palestine from Ottomans. According to BBC, "Gives support to 'national home for the Jewish people' in Palestine through the Balfour Declaration, along with an insistence that 'nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities'".

  • 1917-1947

    • Britain takes Palestine, gives land rights to Jews

    • Prepare for self-rule, limit migration to 10,000 per year, until Holocaust

    • U.N. recommends separate Jewish+Arab states, int. w/international control of Jerusalem

  • 1948-1960s

    • Israel declares independence

    • First Arab-Israeli war [1948-1949], Israel is given more land including west Jerusalem

    • Palestinian Arabs flee, 750,000 of 1,200,000

    • Jewish refugees from holocaust settle in Israel, 250,000+


    • Israel, with Britain & France invade Egypt to reopen canal, end Pal. incursions

    • Is. begins to build nuclear reactor w/France

    • The Six Day War was the second conflict between Israel and neighbouring Egypt, Jordan and Syria

  • France stops arm supplies, U.S. increases sales to Israel


    • The war starts in June 1967 following months of tension

    • Israel launches attack on Egypt, Jordan and Syria joins

    • Israel gains control of east Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza, Golan Heights, Sinai

    • Jewish settlements are set up in these areas later

  • 1972-1976

    • Palestinian gunman killed the Israeli team at Munich olympics [Black September]

    • 1973, Egypt/Syria launch attack on Israeli forces in Sinai and Golan Heights [Yom Kippur War] Israel wins, but public shifts on dominant Labor Party

    • 1974, Gush Emunim group formed, promote Jewish settlements on West Bank

    • 75, UN describes Zionism as a form of racism, revoked 1991

    • 76, Israeli Arabs protest gov. take land in Galilee, six killed


    • Peace treaty signed 1978 by Egypt/Israel, witnessed by Jimmy Carter

    • Ended 30 years of war

    • Israel returned the Sinai to Egypt

    • Accords widely denounced by many Arab nations

    • Also set up negotiations between Israel and Palestine on the issue of the West Bank and the Gaza strip. However, no progress was made until the 1990s.

  • 1982-1986

    • 1982, Israel invades Lebanon to get rid of PLO after assassination of Israeli ambassador. Success, massacre of Palestinian refugees

    • 1985, Israel leaves most of Lebanon occupies narrow area of border


    • 1988,Muslim Brotherhood forms Hamas movement, violence against Israel

    • First real challenge to Israeli power, Palestine removes army from occupied land

    • 1990, 1 million Soviet Union Jews emigrate to Israel

    • 1992, Israeli Labor Party returns to power, pledges to stop Jewish settlement


    • Mutual peaceful recognitions between Israelis and Palestinians

    • Palestine would have control over West Bank & Gaza Strip for 5 years

    • Some Pal. groups rejected and turned violent

    • 1994, extremist Jew killed 29 Arabs

    • 1994, peace treaty signed

    • 1995, more transfer of power to Palestinian National Authority

    • 1996, Jewish extremist kills Palestinian leader Yitzhak Rabin

Modern Developments

  • 2000-2006

    • 2000, Israel withdraws from southern Lebanon, with some disputes

    • Tempers rise when Israeli leader Ariel Sharon put a shared Jewish and Muslim holy site under “perpetual Israeli control”, lead to form Second Intifada

    • Peace talks break down under new prime minister Ariel Sharon

    • 2002, largest military operation in West Bank since 1967 after string of Palestinian suicide bombings

    • Israel builds barrier around West Bank to “stop Palestinian bombings”, met with controversy

    • 2003, U.S., European Union, Russia, United Nations propose independent Palestinian state. Both sides accept plan, freeze jewish settlements on West Bank and end attacks on Israel

    • 2005, Israel withdraws all settlers and military from Gaza, maintain control over airspace, waters, border crossings

    • 2006, Hamas Islamist group wins Palestinian parliamentary elections. Attacks on Israel from Gaza escalate, frequent raids on Israel


    • 2006 July-August, Second Lebanon War starts

    • Israel vs. Hezbollah [Islamic militant group]

    • 1,300 Lebanese people [mostly civilians] killed, one mil. displaced, 300,000 Jews israelites displaced

    • August 11, 2006 U.N. approves

  • 2007, Annapolis Conference establishes “two state solution” as basis for future Is/Pa talks


    • Israel launches month-long invasion of Gaza to prevent Palestinian groups from launching rockets

    • Right-wing parties win elections, prime minister is Benjamin Netanyahu

  • 2010-2015

    • 2010, direct talks with Israeli and Palestinian Authority, but falters

    • 2011, Hamas releases Israeli soldier for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners

    • 2012 March, worst clashes since 2008 with Gaza-based groups, following Israel’s killing of Palestinian resistance leader Zuheir al-Qaisi

    • 2012, Israel releases bodies of 91 bodies and suicide bombers to P.A., try to set more talks

    • 2012 November, Israel launches week-long campaign against Gaza arms groups following months of rocket attacks on Israeli towns

    • 2013 July, Israeli and Palestinian talks continue, Israel releases 104 Palestinian prisoners

    • 2014, Israel responds to kidnapping/murder of Jewish teenagers in West Bank by arresting many Hamas members. Palestine responds with escalating rocket-fire.

    • 2014 July-August, Israel responds to armed Gaza groups with military air and land campaign to destroy missile launch sites and attack tunnels. The conflict ends with uneasy ceasefire.

    • Stabbing attacks on Israelis by Palestinians raises tensions

Possible Solutions - Two Separate States

  • Solution would create the State of Palestine and the State of Israel

  • According to Wikipedia the solution was first introduced in 1947, “Partition was again proposed by the 1947 UN Partition Plan for the division of Palestine. It proposed a three-way division, again with Jerusalem held separately, under international control”

  • 1975, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People recommends the Palestinian people the right to return to their home/property and the right to independence as a state.

  • Proposal in 1975 vetoed by U.S.
  • Some questionable motives behind the U.S. veto, as they were a major arms supplier to Israel
  • According to a 2013 poll, 78% of Palestinians in the West Bank would accept the two-state solution as well as 70% of polled Israelis would accept the solution.
  • However, a series of unsuccessful peace talks have many people thinking that the two-state solution is no longer viable.

Possible Solutions - Single Divided State

- Three territories Israel, Gaza Strip, and West Bank

- Citizenship and equal rights for all citizens

- Many Israeli Arabs accept solution, as they wouldn't have to relocate

- According to Palestinian group Hamas co-founder Mahmoud Al-Zahar he, ""did not rule out the possibility of having Jews, Muslims and Christians living under the sovereignty of an Islamic state".

- However, some argue that Islamic Jihad doesn't support the single state solution

- On the Israeli side, former prime minister Olmert argued that the Israelis would face, "a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights" in which case "Israel [would be] finished".

- The single state solution is beginning to be recognized as a more likely solution to the longstanding Isreali-Palestinian conflict.


"Two-State Solution." Wikipedia. Wikimedia, n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2016.


"One-State Solution." Wikipedia. Wikimedia, 20 Apr. 2016. Web. 27 Apr. 2016.


"Milestones 1993-2000 the Oslo Accords." Office of the Historian, Bureau of

Public Affairs. Ed. THe GOVeRnmEnT. United States Department of State, n.d.

Web. 27 Apr. 2016. <


“Israel Profile - Timeline." BBC. N.p., 19 Apr. 2016. Web. 27 Apr. 2016.


"Oslo I Accord." Wikipedia. Wikimedia, 10 Feb. 2016. Web. 27 Apr. 2016.


Rubenstein, Danny. "One State/Two States: Rethinking Israel and Palestine."

Dissent Magazine. N.p., 2010. Web. 27 Apr. 2016.



"2006 Lebanon War." Wikipedia. Wikimedia, 23 Apr. 2016. Web. 27 Apr. 2016.


Wearing, David. "A Two State Solution is the most Practical Solution for Israel

and Palestine." The Guardian. N.p., 2 Nov. 2012. Web. 27 Apr. 2016.