Fri, 24 May, 2024


The Israel-Palestine Conflict (Blood & Religion)


By Samrajya Basnyat

The peaceful evening hours in Israel suddenly erupted with flames and rubble from the rockets landing into the country. The Islamic militant group named Hamas had fired rockets reigniting the old flames of war between the Jewish and Islamic nations.

Generations of conflict:
After the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in the First World War, The British took control of Palestine in the middle-east. During that period, the population of the region contained an Arab majority and a Jewish minority. Tensions between the two communities grew when the British were tasked by the International Community to establish a home nation for the Jews in Palestine. Both the Jewish and Arab Palestine people claimed the region as their ancestral home opposing the decision.
During the Second World War, the Jews fled from Nazi-occupied Europe to Palestine seeking shelter against the mass genocide. Tensions between the Jews, Arabs, and British kept boiling. In 1947, the UN conducted a partition plan to split the region between Jewish and Arab states, while the City of Jerusalem was declared an International City. The plan was accepted by the Jews but rejected by the Arabs.

Unable to solve the problem, in 1948, the British left the region and the Jewish leaders declared the creation of the state of Israel. Unsatisfied with the following events the Islamic nations declared an all-out war against Israel. Hence the 1st Arab-Israeli war took place in 1948. During the war, the Israelis fought for survival defeating all the invading Arab nations. By the time a ceasefire was called, Israel controlled most of the territory. Jordan occupied land which became known as the West Bank, and Egypt occupied Gaza. Jerusalem was divided between Israeli forces in the west and Jordanian forces in the east. More than 700,000 Palestinians became refugees in the surrounding Arab nations. This event was remembered as the 1948 Palestinian Exodus.

In 1964, the Palestinians formed the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to secure a country for their people through armed struggle. Hence the US and Israel designate them as a terrorist organization. In 1967, the 2nd Arab-Israel war happened which concluded in six days with Israel occupying the Gaza strip, West bank region, and the Sinai Peninsula. In 1973, the 3rd Arab-Israel war took place which fueled the hostilities between the two groups. Finally, in 1974 the PLO was officially recognized by the Arab League and the UN general assembly as the representatives of the Palestinians. After the peace talks between Egypt and Israel in 1979, Egypt became the first Arab nation to recognize Israel as a country which led to Israel returning the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt.
A new hope:
In 1992, Yitzhak Rabin was appointed as the Israeli Prime minister. He then stated that the PLO was not a terrorist organization but desperate Palestinians who just wanted their own country. Hence the PLO was officially recognized by Israel. In turn, the PLO too recognized Israel as a country. In 1993, at the Oslo Accords peace talks were initiated to peacefully divide and establish a Palestine country. As a result, in 1994 a Palestinian government is established. But due to the last 50 years of Jewish colonization, the West Bank area was separated into regions that included Jewish and Palestine people.
Unfortunately, things went downhill when the Prime Minister was assassinated by the extremist Jews for trying to initiate peace with Palestine. A few years earlier in 1987, extremist Muslims in Palestine formed the Hamas group whose sole purpose was the eradication of Israel. Hamas then in the following years conducted suicide bombings in Israel killing innocent civilians. This led to intensified hate between the two extremist groups. After civil clashes and the 2007 Palestine civil war, Hamas has control over the Gaza strip while the Palestinian government controls the West Bank region.
Current Timeline:

The renewed violence started on 6 May, when Palestinians protested in East Jerusalem over an anticipated decision of the Supreme Court of Israel on the eviction of six Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah. Under international law, the area, effectively annexed by Israel, is a part of the Palestinian territories that Israel currently holds under military occupation. The protests quickly escalated into violent confrontations between Jewish and Palestinian protesters. On 7 May, Israeli police stormed the compound of the al-Aqsa Mosque, the third-holiest site in Islam, the holiest site in Judaism. The police used tear gas, rubber bullets, and stun grenades against stone-throwing Palestinians.
On 10 May, Hamas gave Israel an ultimatum to withdraw security forces from the Temple Mount complex and Sheikh Jarrah. On the same day, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad began firing rockets into Israel from the Gaza Strip, hitting multiple residences and a school. Israel began a campaign of airstrikes against Gaza; by 16 May, some 950 targeted attacks had been demolished, completely or partially. As a result of the violence, at least 248 Palestinians were killed in Gaza, including 66 children. As of 12 May, Israel has reported injured Israelis, while as of 20 May, the Palestine National Authority has reported 1900 Palestinians injured, and at least 72000 displaced. A ceasefire between Israel and Hamas was enacted on 21 May 2021, ending 11 days of fighting with both sides claiming victory.
This conflict has caused the loss of innocent lives and property. With the leaders fighting for supremacy, the civilians have suffered. Hence history repeats itself.

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