An Insight into the Historic Israel-Palestine Conflict By Kshitij Agrawal from KIIT Law School
The conflict dates back to the mid 20th century which has its main cause as same part of land claimed by Jews and Palestinians as their right. Jews claim the land of Israel as their biblical birthright. On the other hand, Palestinians seek self-determination. Innumerable attempts have been made to resolve the dispute among the countries, but the claims of each party have made it impossible to submit to the solution provided or recommended.
History of the conflict begins in the late 1800s. A period when Jews were persecuted largely due to their religious beliefs and foreign culture. In 1897, Jews started a Zionist Movement to end this persecution and to establish their own state in their ancestral homeland, Israel, which coincidentally fell in the geography of Palestine. In 1916, Skyes-Picot Agreement brought the land of Palestine under British control and later, Balfour Agreement promised the establishment of a Jewish homeland. After the rise of Nazi Government in 1930s, Jews influx in Palestine saw a major increase. Thousands of Jews relocated from Europe to Palestine. In 1947, the British Government referred the situation to UN who voted for a two-state solution, i.e. splitting the land in two countries which the Jews agreed and declared independence of Israel.
This saw an uproar in the Arabs of Palestine. Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Syria declared a war on Israel in 1948. However, the war resulted in Israel being emerged victorious and the expansion of territory. The Palestinians flew and settled in refugee camps on the border of Palestine. By 1964, a terrorist group called Palestine Liberation Organization was created.
In 1967, a six day war happened which resulted in Israel capturing control over territories of Golan Heights, West Bank and East Jerusalem, Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula. However, these territories had to be returned back to the defeated nations because of the UN Charter that did not allow for territorial gains from war.
Palestinians did not settle down after this too. In 1987, Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip fomented riots to show their discontent. This was known as first Intifada. After this, two settlements were agreed on to, the Oslo Peace Accord (1993) and Camp David Summit (2000). However, a second Intifada happened during the years of 2000-2005. This was a more violent movement and a large number of casualties on either side. For defence, a West Bank Barrier was built to separate Israel and Palestine settlements. A unilateral disarmament plan known as Gaza Expulsion Plan (2005) was agreed upon wherein the Israel's defence forces agreed to leave Gaza Strip and four settlements in Western Bank.
After the Oslo Peace Accord, a Palestine Authority was created having limited powers. This led to two parties named Hamas and Fatah fight for power. Hamas disagreed with the Oslo Accord whereas Fatah agreed to the accord. Currently, Gaza is in control of Hamas and West Bank is in control of Fatah.
The Palestinians want to establish independent states in West Bank and Gaza and the refugees who lost their homes in 1948 to be able to return back. They also want Israel to stop expanding their settlements. Lastly, they want East Jerusalem to be the capital of Independent Palestine. Whereas the Israeli's demand Sovereignty over Jerusalem, recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and the refugees returning to Palestine and not to Israel.
The conflict has not yet concluded and neither does the possibility appear of it being solved. Any solution that has been presented has seen failure in one way or the other. The international committee should take an active part to find a just and lasting peaceful solution to this conflict. The innocent citizens of the country have suffered enough and now creating peace among the nations should be the priority of international organizations.