Brief History of the Israeli – Palestinian Conflict


Editorial , Editor

Israel-Palestinian Conflict

Currently, tensions between Israel and Palestine are high as a result of the conflict over Jerusalem. The way an old empire was partitioned is still causing civil unrest over 100 years later. The modern history of the Israeli-Palestinian can be traced back to 1915 when the British promised to free the Arab lands conquered by the Ottoman Empire. After the defeat of the Ottoman Empire, the British were granted a mandate over Palestine and Jordan in 1920.

Between the 1st and 2nd World Wars, the Jewish population in Palestine increased as a result of antisemitism in Europe. During WW2, Arab revolts in Palestine occurred over the increase of the Jewish population. Also during WW2, Hitler promised to eliminate the Jewish settlements in Palestine. However, this did not occur because of Germany’s loss in WW2.

 In 1947 the newly formed United Nations created a special committee to decide how to partition Palestine. The plan was to divide Palestine into 5,000 square miles of Jewish territory, and 4,000 square miles of Palestinian territory, and to create an autonomous zone in Jerusalem. 

In 1948 the termination of the British mandate over Palestine led to a war between the Arab League and Israel. The war resulted in an Israeli victory which led to Israel annexing more territory than they were granted in the partition.

Violence between Israel and the Arab League would continue until 1967 when Palestinian attacks aided by the Egyptians led to the 6 Day War. The 6 Day War would result in an Israeli victory, which led to the annexation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

In the early 2000s, a new conflict would occur after the failure of the Camp David Summit. The Camp David Summit was supposed to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict diplomatically, however, it only lead to more violence. The failure of the summit would lead to the Al-Aqsa Intifada. During the Al-Aqsa Intifada, there were several Palestinian suicide bombings and attacks which resulted in Israel launching Operation Defensive Shield in 2002.

To this day, Israelis and Palestinians fight over the Al-Aqsa Mosque as a result of it being the third most holy site in Islam. However, this site is the holiest site in Judaism. On April 20th, 2022, according to the Israeli government, 3 shootings by Palestinian men resulted in 11 civilians being killed. It took place in central Tel Aviv. The event consequently caused mass panic in the city of Jerusalem. 

 Palestinian authorities counter this claim by stating it was yet another repression of Palestinian protests. Palestinian businessman Munib al-Masri said, “It is impossible to have double standards in the criteria for classifying human rights abuses at the time that the whole world is condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine which started in February, while the Palestinians have been under Israeli occupation for 74 years and the international community has done nothing,”.

 According to Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett, Israel offers free worship for both Muslims and Jews. However Palestinian activists claim that Israelis continue to commit crimes and violations against the people of  Palestine. Bennett claims that Israel is alone in trying to solve the Israeli-Arab conflict. Bennett said, “it’s vital for Israel to keep the stability and the success of this government”.The Israeli government claims that they are actively trying to solve the conflict. The Israelis gave the Gaza Strip back to Palestine. As stated by Bennett, “we pulled back to 67 lines”. Bennett blames Palestinian terrorist groups for shootings and unrest. However, Palestinian politician Mustafa Barghouti objected to this claim. Barghouti said ¨ “I was there two weeks ago, the Friday before last when the most horrible attack happened on peaceful worshipers by the Israeli army. They started beating people, and they started shooting them with what they call rubber bullets which are not really rubber bullets. They are rather big and very dangerous metallic canisters. They shot at people without discrimination. They injured 156 people, many of them seriously.” The Israeli government claims that the action taken on Friday by the Israeli police wasn’t politically motivated. Bennett objects to the notion that the conflict is two-sided. Bennett said, “ when they don’t attack us we don’t have issues when they do attack us I have to fight back”.

Although the Israeli government has used the military and police to crush Palestinian protesters the Palestinians have used terroristic tactics to rebel against the Israelis. Only time will tell which side used more brutal force to push their agenda.