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Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Overview
The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

. The conflict is wide-ranging, and the term is also used in reference to the earlier phases of the same conflict, between Jewish
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 and Zionist
Zionism
Zionism is a Jewish political movement that, in its broadest sense, has supported the self-determination of the Jewish people in a sovereign Jewish national homeland. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement continues primarily to advocate on behalf of the Jewish state...

 yishuv
Yishuv
The Yishuv or Ha-Yishuv is the term referring to the body of Jewish residents in Palestine before the establishment of the State of Israel...

 and the Arab population living in Palestine under Ottoman or British rule. It forms part of the wider Arab–Israeli conflict
Arab–Israeli conflict
The Arab–Israeli conflict refers to political tensions and open hostilities between the Arab peoples and the Jewish community of the Middle East. The modern Arab-Israeli conflict began with the rise of Zionism and Arab Nationalism towards the end of the nineteenth century, and intensified with the...

. The remaining key issues are: mutual recognition, borders, security, water rights, control of Jerusalem, Israeli settlements, Palestinian freedom of movement
Palestinian freedom of movement
The restriction of the movement of Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied territories by the Israeli government is an issue in the Israel-Palestinian conflict. According to B'Tselem, following the 1967 war, the Occupied Territories were proclaimed closed military zones...

 and legalities concerning refugees.
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Encyclopedia
The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

. The conflict is wide-ranging, and the term is also used in reference to the earlier phases of the same conflict, between Jewish
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 and Zionist
Zionism
Zionism is a Jewish political movement that, in its broadest sense, has supported the self-determination of the Jewish people in a sovereign Jewish national homeland. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement continues primarily to advocate on behalf of the Jewish state...

 yishuv
Yishuv
The Yishuv or Ha-Yishuv is the term referring to the body of Jewish residents in Palestine before the establishment of the State of Israel...

 and the Arab population living in Palestine under Ottoman or British rule. It forms part of the wider Arab–Israeli conflict
Arab–Israeli conflict
The Arab–Israeli conflict refers to political tensions and open hostilities between the Arab peoples and the Jewish community of the Middle East. The modern Arab-Israeli conflict began with the rise of Zionism and Arab Nationalism towards the end of the nineteenth century, and intensified with the...

. The remaining key issues are: mutual recognition, borders, security, water rights, control of Jerusalem, Israeli settlements, Palestinian freedom of movement
Palestinian freedom of movement
The restriction of the movement of Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied territories by the Israeli government is an issue in the Israel-Palestinian conflict. According to B'Tselem, following the 1967 war, the Occupied Territories were proclaimed closed military zones...

 and legalities concerning refugees. The violence resulting from the conflict has prompted international actions, as well as other security and human rights concerns, both within and between both sides, and internationally. In addition, the violence has curbed expansion of tourism in the region, which is full of historic and religious sites that are of interest to many people around the world.

Many attempts have been made to broker a two-state solution
Two-state solution
The two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the consensus solution that is currently under discussion by the key parties to the conflict, most recently at the Annapolis Conference in November 2007...

, involving the creation of an independent Palestinian state
Proposals for a Palestinian state
Proposals for a Palestinian state currently refers to the proposed establishment of an independent state for the Palestinian people in Palestine on land that was occupied by Israel since the Six-Day War of 1967 and before by Egypt and by Jordan since 1949...

 alongside an independent Jewish state or next to the State of Israel (after Israel's establishment in 1948). As recently as 2007, a majority of both Israelis and Palestinians, according to a number of polls, prefer the two-state solution over any other solution as a means of resolving the conflict. Moreover, a considerable majority of the Jewish public sees the Palestinians' demand for an independent state as just, and thinks Israel can agree to the establishment of such a state. A majority of Palestinians and Israelis view the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 and Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

 as an acceptable location of the hypothetical Palestinian state in a two-state solution. However, there are significant areas of disagreement over the shape of any final agreement and also regarding the level of credibility each side sees in the other in upholding basic commitments.

Within Israeli and Palestinian society, the conflict generates a wide variety of views and opinions
Views of the Arab-Israeli conflict
The Arab-Israeli conflict is the result of numerous factors. Reasons cited for the conflict therefore vary from participant to participant and observer to observer. A powerful example of this divide can be found in opinion surveys of Palestinians and Israelis...

. This highlights the deep divisions which exist not only between Israelis and Palestinians, but also within each society.

A hallmark of the conflict has been the level of violence witnessed for virtually its entire duration. Fighting has been conducted by regular armies, paramilitary groups, terror cells and individuals. Casualties have not been restricted to the military, with a large number of fatalities in civilian population on both sides.

There are prominent international actors involved in the conflict. The two parties engaged in direct negotiation are the Israeli government, currently led by Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu is the current Prime Minister of Israel. He serves also as the Chairman of the Likud Party, as a Knesset member, as the Health Minister of Israel, as the Pensioner Affairs Minister of Israel and as the Economic Strategy Minister of Israel.Netanyahu is the first and, to...

, and the Palestine Liberation Organization
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

 (PLO), currently headed by Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas , also known by the kunya Abu Mazen , has been the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation since 11 November 2004 and became President of the Palestinian National Authority on 15 January 2005 on the Fatah ticket.Elected to serve until 9 January 2009, he unilaterally...

. The official negotiations are mediated by an international contingent known as the Quartet on the Middle East
Quartet on the Middle East
The Quartet on the Middle East, sometimes called the Diplomatic Quartet or Madrid Quartet or simply the Quartet, is a foursome of nations and international and supranational entities involved in mediating the peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Quartet are the United Nations, the...

 (the Quartet) represented by a special envoy that consists of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

, and the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

. The Arab League
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

 is another important actor, which has proposed an alternative peace plan
Arab Peace Initiative
The Beirut Summit was a meeting of the Arab League in Beirut, Lebanon in March 2002 to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The meeting became especially noteworthy for the adoption, by the Arab states attending, of a proposal offering a comprehensive peace between the Arab countries and...

. Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, a founding member of the Arab League, has historically been a key participant.

Since 2003, the Palestinian side has been fractured by conflict between the two major factions
Fatah-Hamas conflict
The Fatah–Hamas conflict , also referred to as the Palestinian Civil War , and the Conflict of Brothers , i.e...

: Fatah
Fatah
Fataḥ is a major Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization , a multi-party confederation. In Palestinian politics it is on the left-wing of the spectrum; it is mainly nationalist, although not predominantly socialist. Its official goals are found...

, the traditionally dominant party, and its later electoral challenger, Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

. Following Hamas' seizure of power in the Gaza Strip in June 2007
Battle of Gaza (2007)
The Battle of Gaza was a military conflict between Hamas and Fatah that took place between June 7 and 15, 2007 in the Gaza Strip. After winning Palestinian legislative elections in 2006, Hamas and Fatah formed the Palestinan authority national unity government in 2007, headed by Ismail Haniya. In...

, the territory controlled by the Palestinian National Authority
Palestinian National Authority
The Palestinian Authority is the administrative organization established to govern parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip...

 (the Palestinian interim government) is split between Fatah in the West Bank, and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The division of governance between the parties has effectively resulted in the collapse of bipartisan governance of the Palestinian National Authority
Palestinian National Authority
The Palestinian Authority is the administrative organization established to govern parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip...

 (PA).

A round of peace negotiations
Annapolis Conference
-Attendees:U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice organized and hosted the conference. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and U.S. President George W. Bush attended the meeting...

 began at Annapolis
Annapolis, Maryland
Annapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Maryland, as well as the county seat of Anne Arundel County. It had a population of 38,394 at the 2010 census and is situated on the Chesapeake Bay at the mouth of the Severn River, south of Baltimore and about east of Washington, D.C. Annapolis is...

, Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

, United States, in November 2007. These talks were aimed at having a final resolution by the end of 2008.

Direct negotiations between the Israeli government and Palestinian leadership began in September of 2010
Direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians in 2010
Direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority have been taking place since September 2010, between United States President Barack Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and ended when Netanyahu refused to extend...

 aimed at reaching an official final status settlement.

Peace process


Oslo Accords (1993)




In 1993, Israeli officials led by Yitzhak Rabin
Yitzhak Rabin
' was an Israeli politician, statesman and general. He was the fifth Prime Minister of Israel, serving two terms in office, 1974–77 and 1992 until his assassination in 1995....

 and Palestinian leaders from the Palestine Liberation Organization
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

 led by Yasser Arafat
Yasser Arafat
Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini , popularly known as Yasser Arafat or by his kunya Abu Ammar , was a Palestinian leader and a Laureate of the Nobel Prize. He was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization , President of the Palestinian National Authority...

 strove to find a peaceful solution through what became known as the Oslo peace process. A crucial milestone in this process was Arafat's letter of recognition of Israel's right to exist. In 1993, the Oslo Accords were finalized as a framework for future Israeli-Palestinian relations. The crux of the Oslo agreement was that Israel would gradually cede control of the Palestinian territories over to the Palestinians in exchange for peace. The Oslo process was delicate and progressed in fits and starts, the process took a turning point at the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin
Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin
The assassination of Yitzhak Rabin took place on November 4, 1995 at 21:30, at the end of a rally in support of the Oslo Accords at the Kings of Israel Square in Tel Aviv...

 and finally unraveled when Arafat and Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak is an Israeli politician who served as Prime Minister from 1999 until 2001. He was leader of the Labor Party until January 2011 and holds the posts of Minister of Defense and Deputy Prime Minister in Binyamin Netanyahu's government....

 failed to reach agreement at Camp David in July 2000. Robert Malley
Robert Malley
Robert Malley is an American lawyer, political scientist and specialist in conflict resolution. He is currently Program Director for Middle East and North Africa at the International Crisis Group in Washington, D.C., and a former Special Assistant to President Bill Clinton for Arab-Israeli Affairs...

, special assistant to United States President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 for Arab-Israeli Affairs, has confirmed that while Barak made no formal written offer to Arafat, the US did present concepts for peace which were considered by the Israeli side yet left unanswered by Arafat "the Palestinians’ principal failing is that from the beginning of the Camp David summit onward they were unable either to say yes to the American ideas or to present a cogent and specific counterproposal of their own". Consequently, there are different accounts of the proposals considered.


Camp David Summit (2000)


In July 2000, U.S. President Bill Clinton convened a peace summit between Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. Barak reportedly offered the Palestinian leader approximately 95% of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as Palestinian sovereignty over East Jerusalem, and that 69 Jewish settlements (which comprise 85% of the West Bank's Jewish settlers) would be ceded to Israel. He also proposed "temporary Israeli control" indefinitely over another 10% of the West Bank territory—an area including many more Jewish settlements. According to Palestinian sources, the remaining area would be under Palestinian control, yet certain areas would be broken up by Israeli bypass roads and checkpoints. Depending on how the security roads would be configured, these Israeli roads might impede free travel by Palestinians throughout their proposed nation and reduce the ability to absorb Palestinian refugees.

Arafat rejected this offer. President Clinton reportedly requested that Arafat make a counter-offer, but he proposed none. Former Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben Ami who kept a diary of the negotiations said in an interview in 2001, when asked whether the Palestinians made a counterproposal: "No. And that is the heart of the matter. Never, in the negotiations between us and the Palestinians, was there a Palestinian counterproposal."

No tenable solution was crafted which would satisfy both Israeli and Palestinian demands, even under intense U.S. pressure. Clinton blamed Arafat for the failure of the Camp David Summit. In the months following the summit, Clinton appointed former U.S. Senator
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 George J. Mitchell
George J. Mitchell
George John Mitchell, Jr., is the former U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Peace under the Obama administration. A Democrat, Mitchell was a United States Senator who served as the Senate Majority Leader from 1989 to 1995...

 to lead a fact-finding committee that later published the Mitchell Report aimed at restoring the peace process.

Taba Summit (2001)


The Israeli negotiation team presented a new map at the Taba Summit
Taba Summit
The Taba summit were talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, held from January 21 to January 27, 2001 at Taba in the Sinai peninsula...

 in Taba, Egypt
Taba (Egypt)
Taba is a small Egyptian town near the northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba. Taba is the location of Egypt's busiest border crossing with neighboring Israel. Little more than a bus depot and a luxury hotel , Taba is a frequent vacation spot for Egyptians and tourists, especially those from Israel on...

 in January 2001. The proposition removed the "temporarily Israeli controlled" areas, and the Palestinian side accepted this as a basis for further negotiation. However, Prime Minister Ehud Barak did not conduct further negotiations at that time; the talks ended without an agreement. The following month the Likud
Likud
Likud is the major center-right political party in Israel. It was founded in 1973 by Menachem Begin in an alliance with several right-wing and liberal parties. Likud's victory in the 1977 elections was a major turning point in the country's political history, marking the first time the left had...

 party candidate Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon is an Israeli statesman and retired general, who served as Israel’s 11th Prime Minister. He has been in a permanent vegetative state since suffering a stroke on 4 January 2006....

 was elected as Israeli prime minister on 7 February 2001.

Road Map for Peace


One peace proposal, presented by the Quartet
Quartet on the Middle East
The Quartet on the Middle East, sometimes called the Diplomatic Quartet or Madrid Quartet or simply the Quartet, is a foursome of nations and international and supranational entities involved in mediating the peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Quartet are the United Nations, the...

 of the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States on September 17, 2002, was the Road Map for Peace. This plan did not attempt to resolve difficult questions such as the fate of Jerusalem or Israeli settlements, but left that to be negotiated in later phases of the process. The proposal never made it beyond the first phase, which called for a halt to Israeli settlement construction and a halt to Israeli and Palestinian violence, none of which was achieved.

Arab Peace Initiative


The Arab Peace Initiative
Arab Peace Initiative
The Beirut Summit was a meeting of the Arab League in Beirut, Lebanon in March 2002 to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The meeting became especially noteworthy for the adoption, by the Arab states attending, of a proposal offering a comprehensive peace between the Arab countries and...

 (Arabic: مبادرة السلام العربية) was first proposed by Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia
Abdullah of Saudi Arabia
Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, is the King of Saudi Arabia. He succeeded to the throne on 1 August 2005 upon the death of his half-brother, King Fahd. When Crown Prince, he governed Saudi Arabia as regent from 1998 to 2005...

 in the Beirut Summit. The peace initiative is a proposed solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict as a whole, and the Israeli–Palestinian conflict in particular.

The initiative was initially published on March 28, 2002, at the Beirut Summit, and agreed upon again in 2007 in the Riyadh Summit
2007 Arab League summit
The 2007 Arab League Summit, also called the Riyadh Summit, refers to a convention of leaders from 21 members of the Arab League who gathered in Riyadh for the 19th Arab summit in March 2007. The summit convened on the 28 March 2007 and was preceded by a set of preparatory meetings starting on 24...

.

Unlike the Road Map for Peace, it spelled out "final-solution" borders based explicitly on the UN borders established before the 1967 Six-Day War
Six-Day War
The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

. It offered full normalization of relations with Israel, in exchange for the withdrawal of its forces from all the occupied territories, including the Golan Heights, to recognize "an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital" in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as a "just solution" for the Palestinian refugees.

A number of Israeli officials have responded to the initiative with both support and criticism. The Israeli government has expressed reservations on 'red line,' issues such as the Palestinian refugee problem, homeland security concerns, and the nature of Jerusalem. However, the Arab League continues to raise it as a possible solution, and meetings between the Arab League and Israel have been held.

Present status


The peace process has been predicated on a "two-state solution" thus far but recent polling trends show a decrease in support among Palestinians. A poll conducted in the West Bank and Gaza showed that only 34% of Palestinians support the "two states for two peoples" premise. According to the same poll, 65% preferred talks and 20% violence; however, it revealed that "73% of 1,010 Palestinians in W. Bank, Gaza agree with 'hadith
Hadith
The term Hadīth is used to denote a saying or an act or tacit approval or criticism ascribed either validly or invalidly to the Islamic prophet Muhammad....

' quoted in Hamas Charter about the need to kill Jews hiding behind stones, trees", "72% of Palestinians endorsed the denial of Jewish history in Jerusalem, 62% supported kidnapping IDF soldiers and holding them hostage and 53% were in favor or teaching songs about hating Jews in Palestinian schools."

Current issues in dispute


The following outlined positions are the official positions of the two parties; however, it is important to note that neither side holds a single position. Both the Israeli and the Palestinian sides include both moderate
Moderate
In politics and religion, a moderate is an individual who is not extreme, partisan or radical. In recent years, political moderates has gained traction as a buzzword....

 and extremist
Extremism
Extremism is any ideology or political act far outside the perceived political center of a society; or otherwise claimed to violate common moral standards...

 bodies as well as dovish
Political dove
In politics, the term dove refers to person who advocates peace and pacifism, in contrast with a hawk, who promotes war and belligerence.-Israel:...

 and hawkish
War Hawk
War Hawk is a term originally used to describe members of the Twelfth Congress of the United States who advocated waging war against the British in the War of 1812...

 bodies.

Many Palestinians nowadays believe that Israel is not really interested in reaching an arrangement, but rather interested in continuing to control the entire territory from the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

 to the Jordan River.

On the other hand, many Israelis nowadays believe that the Palestinians’ true intentions are to conquer the Palestine
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

 region entirely and that their official claims are only a temporary strategy. As a proof to these Israeli claims, they note the rise of the Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

, which has called for the takeover of all parts of Israel, incitement against Israel made in the Palestinian schools' textbooks and to the Palestinian political violence
Palestinian political violence
Palestinian political violence refers to acts of violence undertaken to further the Palestinian cause. These political objectives include self-determination in and sovereignty over Palestine, the liberation of Palestine and establishment of a Palestinian state, either in place of both Israel and...

 made against Israeli civilians within the Green Line borders
Green Line (Israel)
Green Line refers to the demarcation lines set out in the 1949 Armistice Agreements between Israel and its neighbours after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War...

.

Due to the large number of opinions and interpretations, the question of the true demands of the parties is a political issue by itself, about which many Israelis and Palestinians disagree.

Jerusalem



The border of Jerusalem is a particularly delicate issue, with each side asserting claims over this city. The three largest Abrahamic religions
Abrahamic religions
Abrahamic religions are the monotheistic faiths emphasizing and tracing their common origin to Abraham or recognizing a spiritual tradition identified with him...

Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

, Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

, and Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

—include Jerusalem as an important setting for their religious and historical narratives. Israel asserts that the city should not be divided and should remain unified within Israel's political control. Palestinians claim at least the parts of the city which were not part of Israel prior to June 1967. As of 2005, there were more than 719,000 people living in Jerusalem; 465,000 were Jews (mostly living in West Jerusalem) and 232,000 were Muslims (mostly living in East Jerusalem).

The Israeli government, including the Knesset
Knesset
The Knesset is the unicameral legislature of Israel, located in Givat Ram, Jerusalem.-Role in Israeli Government :The legislative branch of the Israeli government, the Knesset passes all laws, elects the President and Prime Minister , approves the cabinet, and supervises the work of the government...

 and Supreme Court, is centered in the "new city" of West Jerusalem and has been since Israel's founding in 1948. After Israel captured the Jordanian-controlled East Jerusalem in the Six-Day War, it assumed complete administrative control of East Jerusalem. In 1980, Israel issued a new law
Jerusalem Law
The Jerusalem Law is a common name of Basic Law: Jerusalem, Capital of Israel passed by the Knesset on July 30, 1980 .It began as a private member's bill proposed by Geula Cohen, whose original text stated that "the integrity and unity of greater Jerusalem in its boundaries after the Six-Day War...

 stating, "Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel."

At the Camp David and Taba Summits in 2000–01, the United States proposed a plan in which the Arab parts of Jerusalem would be given to the proposed Palestinian state while the Jewish parts of Jerusalem were retained by Israel. All archaeological work under the Temple Mount would be jointly controlled by the Israeli and Palestinian governments. Both sides accepted the proposal in principle, but the summits ultimately failed.

Israel has grave concerns regarding the welfare of Jewish holy places under possible Palestinian control. When Jerusalem was under Jordanian control, no Jews were allowed to visit the Western Wall
Western Wall
The Western Wall, Wailing Wall or Kotel is located in the Old City of Jerusalem at the foot of the western side of the Temple Mount...

 or other Jewish holy places, and the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives
Mount of Olives
The Mount of Olives is a mountain ridge in East Jerusalem with three peaks running from north to south. The highest, at-Tur, rises to 818 meters . It is named for the olive groves that once covered its slopes...

 was desecrated. In 2000, a Palestinian mob took over Joseph's Tomb
Joseph's Tomb
Joseph's Tomb is a funerary monument located at the eastern entrance to the valley that separates Mounts Gerizim and Ebal, 325 yards northwest of Jacob's Well, on the outskirts of the West Bank city of Nablus, near Tell Balāṭa, the site of biblical Shechem...

, a shrine considered sacred by both Jews and Muslims, looted and burned the building and turned it into a mosque
Mosque
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...

. There are unauthorized Palestinian excavations for construction on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, which could threaten the stability of the Western Wall. Israel, on the other hand, has seldom blocked access to holy places sacred to other religions. Israeli security agencies routinely monitor and arrest Jewish extremists that plan attacks, resulting in almost no serious incidents for the last 20 years. Moreover, Israel has given almost complete autonomy to the Muslim trust (Waqf
Waqf
A waqf also spelled wakf formally known as wakf-alal-aulad is an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law, typically denoting a building or plot of land for Muslim religious or charitable purposes. The donated assets are held by a charitable trust...

) over the Temple Mount.

Israel expresses concern over the security of its residents if neighborhoods of Jerusalem are placed under Palestinian control. Jerusalem has been a prime target for attacks by militant groups against civilian targets since 1967. Many Jewish neighborhoods have been fired upon from Arab areas. The proximity of the Arab areas, if these regions were to fall in the boundaries of a Palestinian state, would be so close as to threaten the safety of Jewish residents. Nadav Shragai states this idea in his study for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs is a public policy think tank devoted to research and analysis of critical issues facing the Middle East. The center is located in Jerusalem, Israel...

, "An Israeli security body that was tasked in March 2000 with examining the possibility of transferring three Arab villages just outside of Jerusalem - Abu Dis, Al Azaria, and a-Ram - to Palestinian security control, assessed at the time that: 'Terrorists will be able to exploit the short distances, sometimes involving no more than crossing a street, to cause damage to people or property. A terrorist will be able to stand on the other side of the road, shoot at an Israeli or throw a bomb, and it may be impossible to do anything about it. The road will constitute the border.' If that is the case for neighborhoods outside of Jerusalem's municipal boundaries, how much more so for Arab neighborhoods within those boundaries.

Palestinians have voiced concerns regarding the welfare of Christian and Muslim holy places under Israeli control.

Some Palestinian advocates have made statements alleging that the tunnels were re-opened with the intent of causing the mosque's collapse. Israel considers these statements to be totally baseless and unfounded, and to be deliberately intended to incite aggression and public disorder, and stated this in a 1996 speech at the UN. The Israeli government insists it treats the Muslim and Christian holy sites with utmost respect. According to a 2010 study published by Freedom House
Freedom House
Freedom House is an international non-governmental organization based in Washington, D.C. that conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom and human rights...

, freedom of religion is respected.

Palestinian refugees of the 1948 war


Palestinian refugees are people who lost both their homes and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict. The number of Palestinians who fled or were expelled from Israel following its creation was estimated at 711,000 in 1949. Descendants of these original Palestinian Refugees are also eligible for registration and services provided by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East is a relief and human development agency, providing education, health care, social services and emergency aid to 5 million Palestine refugees living in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, as well as in the West Bank and the Gaza...

 (UNRWA), and as of 2010 number 4.7 million people. One third of the refugees live in recognized refugee camps in Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

, Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

, Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 and Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

. The remainder live in and around the cities and towns of these host countries.

Most of the people described above were born outside of Israel, but are descendants of original Palestinian refugees. Palestinian negotiators, most notably Yasser Arafat, have so far insisted that refugees have a right to return to the places where they lived before 1948 and 1967, including those within the 1949 Armistice lines
1949 Armistice Agreements
The 1949 Armistice Agreements are a set of agreements signed during 1949 between Israel and neighboring Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria. The agreements ended the official hostilities of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and established armistice lines between Israeli forces and the forces in...

, citing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly . The Declaration arose directly from the experience of the Second World War and represents the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled...

 and UN General Assembly Resolution 194
UN General Assembly Resolution 194
United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194 was passed on December 11, 1948, near the end of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. The resolution expresses appreciation for the efforts of UN Envoy Folke Bernadotte after his assassination by members of the Zionist ultra-nationalist Lehi , headed by Yitzhak...

 as evidence.

The Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 declared that it proposed the compromise of a "just resolution" of the refugee problem.

Palestinian and international authors have justified the right of return of the Palestinian refugees on several grounds:
  • A few authors included in the broader New Historians
    New Historians
    The New Historians are a loosely-defined group of Israeli historians who have challenged traditional versions of Israeli history, including Israel's role in the Palestinian Exodus in 1948 and Arab willingness to discuss peace. The term was coined in 1988 by one of the leading New Historians, Benny...

     assert that the Palestinian refugees were chased out or expelled by the actions of the Haganah
    Haganah
    Haganah was a Jewish paramilitary organization in what was then the British Mandate of Palestine from 1920 to 1948, which later became the core of the Israel Defense Forces.- Origins :...

    , Lehi
    Lehi (group)
    Lehi , commonly referred to in English as the Stern Group or Stern Gang, was a militant Zionist group founded by Avraham Stern in the British Mandate of Palestine...

     and Irgun
    Irgun
    The Irgun , or Irgun Zevai Leumi to give it its full title , was a Zionist paramilitary group that operated in Mandate Palestine between 1931 and 1948. It was an offshoot of the earlier and larger Jewish paramilitary organization haHaganah...

    . Prominent historians such as Professor Avi Shlaim have argued otherwise. Shlaim (2000) has given documented accounts of how the Palestinians lost their homes and land. He argues that from April 1948 the military forces of what was to become Israel had embarked on a new offensive strategy which involved destroying Arab villages and the forced removal of civilians.

  • The traditional Israeli point of view arguing that Arab leaders encouraged Palestinian Arabs to flee has also been disputed by the New Historians
    New Historians
    The New Historians are a loosely-defined group of Israeli historians who have challenged traditional versions of Israeli history, including Israel's role in the Palestinian Exodus in 1948 and Arab willingness to discuss peace. The term was coined in 1988 by one of the leading New Historians, Benny...

    , which instead have shown evidence indicating Arab leaders' will for the Palestinian Arab population to stay put.

  • The Israeli Law of Return
    Law of Return
    The Law of Return is Israeli legislation, passed on 5 July 1950, that gives Jews the right of return and settlement in Israel and gain citizenship...

     that grants citizenship to any Jew from anywhere in the world is viewed by some as discrimination against non-Jews, especially Palestinians that cannot apply for such citizenship or return to the territory which they left.

  • According to the UN Resolution 194, adopted in 1948, "the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible." UN Resolution 3236 "reaffirms also the inalienable right of the Palestinians to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced and uprooted, and calls for their return". Resolution 242 from the UN
    United Nations Security Council Resolution 242
    United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 was adopted unanimously by the UN Security Council on November 22, 1967, in the aftermath of the Six Day War. It was adopted under Chapter VIof the United Nations Charter...

     affirms the necessity for "achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem"; however, Resolution 242 does not specify that the "just settlement" must or should be in the form of a literal Palestinian right of return.


The most common arguments given for opposition are:
  • The Israeli government asserts that the Arab refugee problem is largely caused by the refusal of all Arab governments except Jordan to grant citizenship to Palestinian Arabs who reside within those countries' borders. This has produced much of the poverty and economic problems of the refugees, according to MFA documents.

  • The Palestinian refugee issue is handled by a separate authority from that handling other refugees, that is, by UNRWA and not the UNHCR. Most of the people recognizing themselves as Palestinian refugees would have otherwise been assimilated into their country of current residency, and would not maintain their refugee state if not for the separate entities.

  • Concerning the origin of the Palestinian refugees, the official version of the Israeli government is that during the 1948 War the Arab Higher Committee
    Arab Higher Committee
    The Arab Higher Committee was the central political organ of the Arab community of Mandate Palestine. It was established on 25 April 1936, on the initiative of Hajj Amin al-Husayni, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, and comprised the leaders of Palestinian Arab clans under the mufti's...

     and the Arab states encouraged Palestinians to flee in order to make it easier to rout the Jewish state or that they did so to escape the fights by fear. The Palestinian narrative is that refugees were expelled and dispossessed by Jewish militias and by the Israeli army
    Israel Defense Forces
    The Israel Defense Forces , commonly known in Israel by the Hebrew acronym Tzahal , are the military forces of the State of Israel. They consist of the ground forces, air force and navy. It is the sole military wing of the Israeli security forces, and has no civilian jurisdiction within Israel...

    , following a plan established even before the war. Historians still debate the causes of the 1948 Palestinian exodus
    Causes of the 1948 Palestinian exodus
    The causes and explanations of the exodus of Palestinian Arabs that arose during the 1947-1948 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine and the 1948 Arab-Israeli War are a matter of great controversy between historians and journalists, and of the Arab-Israeli conflict....

    .

  • Since none of the 900,000 Jewish refugees who fled anti-Semitic violence in the Arab world was ever compensated or repatriated by their former countries of residence—to no objection on the part of Arab leaders—a precedent has been set whereby it is the responsibility of the nation which accepts the refugees to assimilate them.

  • Although Israel accepts the right of the Palestinian Diaspora to return into a new Palestinian state, Israel insists that their return into the current state of Israel would be a great danger for the stability of the Jewish state; an influx of Palestinian refugees would lead to the destruction of the state of Israel.

Israeli security concerns



Throughout the conflict, Palestinian violence has been a concern for Israelis. Israel, along with the United States and the European Union, refer to the violence against Israeli civilians and military forces by Palestinian militants as terrorism. The motivations behind Palestinian violence against Israeli civilians are multiplex, and not all violent Palestinian groups agree with each other on specifics, however a common motive is to eliminate the Jewish state and replace it with a Palestinian Arab state. The most prominent Islamist groups, such as Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

, view the Israeli–Palestinian conflict as a religious jihad
Jihad
Jihad , an Islamic term, is a religious duty of Muslims. In Arabic, the word jihād translates as a noun meaning "struggle". Jihad appears 41 times in the Quran and frequently in the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of God ". A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid; the plural is...

.

Suicide bombing is used as a tactic among Palestinian organizations like Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

, Islamic Jihad, and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. In Israel, Palestinian suicide bombers have targeted civilian buses, restaurants, shopping malls, hotels and marketplaces. From 1993-2003, 303 Palestinian
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

 suicide bombers
Suicide Bombers
Suicide Bombers is the name of a 2005 EP by Leæther Strip. For the Australian hardcore band see Suicide Bombers -Track listing:# Suicide Bombers# Suicide Bombers # The Shame Of A Nation # This Is Where I Wanna Be...

 attacked Israel.

The Israeli government initiated construction of a security barrier following scores of suicide bombings and terrorist attacks in July 2003. Israel's coalition government approved the security barrier in the northern part of the green-line between Israel and the West Bank. Since the erection of the fence, terrorist acts have declined by more than 90%.

Since 2001, the threat of Qassam rocket
Qassam rocket
The Qassam rocket is a simple steel artillery rocket developed and deployed by the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military arm of Hamas. Three models have been produced and used between 2001 and 2011....

s fired from the Palestinian Territories into Israel is also of great concern for Israeli defense officials. In 2006—the year following Israel's disengagement from the Gaza Strip—the Israeli government recorded 1,726 such launches, more than four times the total rockets fired in 2005. As of January 2009, over 8,600 rockets had been launched, causing widespread psychological trauma and disruption of daily life. Over 500 rockets and mortars hit Israel between January–September 2010.

According to a study conducted by University of Haifa
University of Haifa
The University of Haifa is a university in Haifa, Israel.The University of Haifa was founded in 1963 by Haifa mayor Abba Hushi, to operate under the academic auspices of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem....

, 1 in 5 Israelis have lost a relative or friend in a Palestinian terrorist attack.

There is significant debate within Israel about how to deal with the country's security concerns. Options have included military action (including targeted killing
Targeted killing
Targeted killing is the deliberate, specific targeting and killing, by a government or its agents, of a supposed terrorist or of a supposed "unlawful combatant" who is not in that government's custody...

s and house demolitions of terrorist operatives), diplomacy, unilateral gestures toward peace, and increased security measures such as checkpoints, roadblocks and security barriers. The legality and the wisdom of all of the above tactics have been called into question by various commentators.

Since mid-June 2007, Israel's primary means of dealing with security concerns in the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 has been to cooperate with and permit United States-sponsored training, equipping, and funding of the Palestinian Authority's security forces, which with Israeli help have largely succeeded in quelling West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 supporters of Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

.

Palestinian violence outside of Israel


Some Palestinians have committed violent acts over the globe on the pretext of a struggle against Israel. Many foreigners, including Americans and Europeans, have been killed and injured by Palestinian militants. At least 53 Americans have been killed and 83 injured by Palestinian violence since the signing of the Oslo Accords
Oslo Accords
The Oslo Accords, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or Declaration of Principles , was an attempt to resolve the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict...

.

During the late 1960s, the PLO became increasingly infamous for its use of international terror. In 1969 alone, the PLO was responsible for hijacking 82 planes. El Al Airlines became a regular hijacking target. The hijacking of Air France
Air France
Air France , stylised as AIRFRANCE, is the French flag carrier headquartered in Tremblay-en-France, , and is one of the world's largest airlines. It is a subsidiary of the Air France-KLM Group and a founding member of the SkyTeam global airline alliance...

 Flight 139 by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine is a Palestinian Marxist-Leninist organisation founded in 1967. It has consistently been the second-largest of the groups forming the Palestine Liberation Organization , the largest being Fatah...

 culminated during a hostage-rescue mission
Operation Entebbe
Operation Entebbe was a counter-terrorist hostage-rescue mission carried out by the Special Forces of the Israel Defense Forces at Entebbe Airport in Uganda on 4 July 1976. A week earlier, on 27 June, an Air France plane with 248 passengers was hijacked by Palestinian and German terrorists and...

, where Israeli special forces successfully rescued the majority of the hostages.

However, one of the most well-known and notorious terrorist acts was the capture and eventual murder of 11 Israeli athletes
Munich massacre
The Munich massacre is an informal name for events that occurred during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Bavaria in southern West Germany, when members of the Israeli Olympic team were taken hostage and eventually killed by the Palestinian group Black September. Members of Black September...

 during the 1972 Olympic Games
1972 Summer Olympics
The 1972 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XX Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event held in Munich, West Germany, from August 26 to September 11, 1972....

.

Attacks on diplomatic missions and Israelis abroad


Numerous embassies and Israeli travelers have been attacked by Palestinian militant groups during the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.
  • December 26, 1968: Two Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
    Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
    The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine is a Palestinian Marxist-Leninist organisation founded in 1967. It has consistently been the second-largest of the groups forming the Palestine Liberation Organization , the largest being Fatah...

     militants attacked an El Al plane about to depart
    El Al Flight 253
    El Al Flight 253, was a Boeing 707 en route from Tel Aviv, Israel, to New York when it was attacked by two Arab terrorists as it was about to depart from a layover in Athens Greece on December 26, 1968. One passenger was killed and one female crew member was seriously injured in the attack...

    , killing one Israeli and injuring two others.
  • February 18, 1969: Three Israeli El Al Boeing 707
    Boeing 707
    The Boeing 707 is a four-engine narrow-body commercial passenger jet airliner developed by Boeing in the early 1950s. Its name is most commonly pronounced as "Seven Oh Seven". The first airline to operate the 707 was Pan American World Airways, inaugurating the type's first commercial flight on...

     crew members, including the pilot, were killed by three PFLP terrorists in Zurich
    Zürich
    Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zurich. It is located in central Switzerland at the northwestern tip of Lake Zurich...

    .
  • February 10, 1970: 12 Israeli El Al passengers were killed and wounded by Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
    Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
    The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine is a Palestinian Marxist-Leninist, secular political and military organization. It is also frequently referred to as the Democratic Front, or al-Jabha al-Dimuqratiyah...

     terrorists at a Munich
    Munich
    Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

     airport.
  • May 4, 1970: An employee at the Israeli consulate in Paraguay was killed by two armed Palestinians.
  • May 8, 1972: Four Black September terrorists hijacked a Belgian airliner at Lod Airport. During the rescue operation, five Israeli soldiers and one passenger were killed.
  • May 17, 1972: Three members of the Turkish Liberation Army, a militant organization linked to the PLO, kidnapped and executed Israeli consul-general Efraim Elrom in Istanbul
    Istanbul
    Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

    .
  • May 30, 1972: The Japanese Red Army
    Japanese Red Army
    The was a Communist terrorist group founded by Fusako Shigenobu early in 1971 in Lebanon. It sometimes called itself Arab-JRA after the Lod airport massacre...

     killed eight Israelis and 17 United States citizen and injured 80 others
    Lod Airport massacre
    The Lod Airport massacre was a terrorist attack that occurred on May 30, 1972, in which three members of the Japanese Red Army, on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine , killed 26 people and injured 80 others at Tel Aviv's Lod airport...

     at Lod airport on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
  • September 10, 1972: An Israeli official at the Israeli Embassy in Brussels
    Brussels
    Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

     was wounded by Fatah militants.
  • September 19, 1972: Ami Shachori, an agriculture counselor at the Israeli embassy in England, was assassinated by Black September militants.
  • July 1, 1973: Yosef Alon
    Yosef Alon
    Yosef Alon was an Israeli Air Force officer who was mysteriously shot and killed in the driveway of his home in Maryland, USA.-Early life:...

    , air force attaché in the Israeli Embassy in Washington, was shot to death outside his home by Black September.
  • December 17, 1973: Five Palestinian terrorists shot at passengers waiting in an El Al Israel Airlines lounge at a Rome airport, killing two civilians. Then they hurled incendiary
    Incendiary device
    Incendiary weapons, incendiary devices or incendiary bombs are bombs designed to start fires or destroy sensitive equipment using materials such as napalm, thermite, chlorine trifluoride, or white phosphorus....

     grenades at a Pan-Am Boeing 707
    Boeing 707
    The Boeing 707 is a four-engine narrow-body commercial passenger jet airliner developed by Boeing in the early 1950s. Its name is most commonly pronounced as "Seven Oh Seven". The first airline to operate the 707 was Pan American World Airways, inaugurating the type's first commercial flight on...

     waiting to take off, killing 29 passengers
    Pan Am Flight 110
    On December 17, 1973, Pan Am Flight 110 was scheduled to fly from Leonardo Da Vinci International Airport in Rome to Beirut International Airport in Lebanon and then on to Tehran, Iran...

    .
  • September 8, 1974: TWA jet with 88 passengers
    TWA Flight 841 (1974)
    On September 8, 1974, a Boeing 707-331B operating as TWA Flight 841 took off from Ben Gurion International Airport, Tel Aviv en route to JFK International Airport, New York City. It was scheduled to land in Athens, followed by Rome, and then proceed to New York. After stopping for 68 minutes in...

     traveling from Tel Aviv to Athens crashed into the Ionian Sea
    Ionian Sea
    The Ionian Sea , is an arm of the Mediterranean Sea, south of the Adriatic Sea. It is bounded by southern Italy including Calabria, Sicily and the Salento peninsula to the west, southern Albania to the north, and a large number of Greek islands, including Corfu, Zante, Kephalonia, Ithaka, and...

     after PFLP terrorists detonated a bomb hidden in the baggage compartment, killing all on board. The dead included 17 Americans and two Israelis.
  • November 13, 1979: Israeli Ambassador to Portugal
    Portugal
    Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

     Ephraim Eldar was wounded by Palestinian militants. A security guard was killed and an embassy chauffeur and local policeman were injured.
  • August 10, 1981: Palestinian terrorists threw two bombs at an Israeli embassy in Vienna
    Vienna
    Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

    , wounding a 75-year old woman.
  • August 29, 1981: Palestinian terrorists killed two people and wounded 30
    1981 Vienna synagogue attack
    The 1981 Vienna synagogue attack was a terror attack on the Stadttempel of Vienna, Austria carried out by Palestinian terrorists of the Abu Nidal organization. -Attack:...

     attending a Bar Mitzvah in Vienna.
  • June 4, 1982: Israeli ambassador to the United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

     Shlomo Argov
    Shlomo Argov
    Shlomo Argov was a prominent Israeli diplomat. He was the Israeli ambassador to the United Kingdom whose attempted assassination led to the 1982 Lebanon War.-Attempted assassination:...

     was wounded in an assassination attempt by Palestinian militants, setting off the 1982 Lebanon War
    1982 Lebanon War
    The 1982 Lebanon War , , called Operation Peace for Galilee by Israel, and later known in Israel as the Lebanon War and First Lebanon War, began on 6 June 1982, when the Israel Defense Forces invaded southern Lebanon...

    . Argov later died of his injuries in 2003.
  • September 23, 1982: Israeli Chargé d'Affaires in Malta
    Malta
    Malta , officially known as the Republic of Malta , is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya, with Gibraltar to the west and Alexandria to the east.Malta covers just over in...

     Esther Milo was wounded in an attempted kidnapping by Palestinian militants.
  • December 23, 1982: Palestinian militants detonated a bomb at the Israeli Consulate in Sydney
    Sydney
    Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people...

    , wounding two Israelis officials.
  • December 27, 1985: Fatah militants attacked El Al counters at Rome
    Rome
    Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

     and Vienna
    Vienna
    Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

     airports, killing 19 people.
  • April 2, 1986: Palestinian militants detonated a bomb on an Trans World Airlines
    Trans World Airlines
    Trans World Airlines was an American airline that existed from 1925 until it was bought out by and merged with American Airlines in 2001. It was a major domestic airline in the United States and the main U.S.-based competitor of Pan American World Airways on intercontinental routes from 1946...

     727, killing four Americans including a nine-month old infant
    TWA Flight 840 (1986)
    Trans World Airlines Flight 840, registration N54340, was a Boeing 727-231 flying en route from Rome's Fiumicino Airport to Athens. A bomb was detonated on the aircraft while it was over Argos, Greece, ejecting four American passengers to their deaths below. Five others on the aircraft were...

    .
  • September 6, 1986: 22 Turkish Jews were killed by Palestinian terrorists belonging to the Abu Nidal Organization while attending service at the Neve Shalom Synagogue
    Neve Shalom Synagogue
    Neve Shalom Synagogue, , is a synagogue located in the Galata district of Istanbul, Turkey.The synagogue was built in response to an increase in the Jewish population in the old Galata neighborhood in the late 1930s. A Jewish primary school was torn down in 1949 for that purpose and the synagogue...

     in Istanbul.
  • July 26, 1994: A vehicle packed with 30 pounds of explosives at the Israeli Embassy in London exploded, wounding 20.
  • November 28, 2002: Suicide bombers attacked the Israeli-owned Paradise Hotel in Kenya
    Kenya
    Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

    . 13 civilians, including 3 Israelis, were killed in the attack. At the same time, two surface-to-air missiles were fired at a civilian Boeing 757
    Boeing 757
    The Boeing 757 is a mid-size, narrow-body twin-engine jet airliner manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Passenger versions of the twinjet have a capacity of 186 to 289 persons and a maximum range of , depending on variant and cabin configuration...

     airliner owned by Israel-based Arkia Airlines as it took off from Moi International Airport
    Moi International Airport
    Moi International Airport , also Mombasa International Airport, or Mombasa Airport, is an airport in Kenya.-Location:Mombasa Airport, , is located in Mombasa District, Coast Province, in the city of Mombasa, in a township called Port Reitz, in southeastern Kenya, along the Indian Ocean coast.Its...

    .

Palestinian violence against Palestinians



Fighting among rival Palestinian and Arab movements has played a crucial role in shaping Israel's security policy towards Palestinian militants, as well as in the Palestinian leadership's own policies. As early as the 1930s revolts in Palestine, Arab forces fought each other while also skirmishing with Zionist and British forces, and internal conflicts continue to the present day. During the Lebanese Civil War
Lebanese Civil War
The Lebanese Civil War was a multifaceted civil war in Lebanon. The war lasted from 1975 to 1990 and resulted in an estimated 150,000 to 230,000 civilian fatalities. Another one million people were wounded, and today approximately 350,000 people remain displaced. There was also a mass exodus of...

, Palestinian baathists
As-Sa'iqa
As-Sa'iqa is a Palestinian Baathist political and military faction created and controlled by Syria...

 broke from the Palestinian Liberation Organization and allied with the Shia Amal Movement
Amal Movement
Amal Movement is short for the Lebanese Resistance Detachments the acronym for which, in Arabic, is "amal", meaning "hope."Amal was founded in 1975 as the militia wing of the Movement of the Disinherited, a Shi'a political movement founded by Musa...

, fighting a bloody civil war
War of the camps
The War of the Camps was a subconflict within the 1984–89 phase of the Lebanese Civil War, in which Palestinian refugee camps were besieged by the Shi'ite Amal militia....

 that killed thousands of Palestinians.

In the First Intifada
First Intifada
The First Intifada was a Palestinian uprising against the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories. The uprising began in the Jabalia refugee camp and quickly spread throughout Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem....

, over a thousand Palestinians were killed in a campaign initiated by the Palestinian Liberation Organization to crack down on suspected Israeli security service informers and collaborators. The Palestinian Authority was strongly criticized for its treatment of alleged collaborators, rights groups complaining that those labeled collaborators were denied fair trials. According to a report released by the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group
Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group
The Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group is a diverse human rights group founded in December 1996 by a group of prominent Palestinians, including members of the Palestinian Legislative Council ....

, less than 45 percent of those killed were actually guilty of informing for Israel.

The policies towards suspected collaborators contravene agreements signed by the Palestinian leadership. Article XVI(2) of the Oslo II Agreement
Oslo Accords
The Oslo Accords, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or Declaration of Principles , was an attempt to resolve the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict...

 states:
"Palestinians who have maintained contact with the Israeli authorities will not be subjected to acts of harassment, violence, retribution, or prosecution."


The provision was designed to prevent Palestinian leaders from imposing retribution on fellow Palestinians who had worked on behalf of Israel during the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

In the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

, Hamas officials have killed and tortured thousands of Fatah
Fatah
Fataḥ is a major Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization , a multi-party confederation. In Palestinian politics it is on the left-wing of the spectrum; it is mainly nationalist, although not predominantly socialist. Its official goals are found...

 members and other Palestinians who oppose their rule. During the Battle of Gaza
Battle of Gaza (2007)
The Battle of Gaza was a military conflict between Hamas and Fatah that took place between June 7 and 15, 2007 in the Gaza Strip. After winning Palestinian legislative elections in 2006, Hamas and Fatah formed the Palestinan authority national unity government in 2007, headed by Ismail Haniya. In...

, more than 150 Palestinians died over a four day period. The violence among Palestinians was described as a civil war by some commentators. By 2007, more than 600 Palestinian people had died during the struggle between Hamas and Fatah
Fatah–Hamas conflict
The Fatah–Hamas conflict , also referred to as the Palestinian Civil War , and the Conflict of Brothers , i.e...

.

International status


In the past, Israel has demanded control over border crossings between the Palestinian territories and Jordan and Egypt, and the right to set the import and export controls, asserting that Israel and the Palestinian territories are a single economic space.

In the interim agreements reached as part of the Oslo Accords, the Palestinian Authority has received control over cities (Area A) while the surrounding countryside has been placed under Israeli security and Palestinian civil administration (Area B) or complete Israeli control (Area C). Israel has built additional highways to allow Israelis to traverse the area without entering Palestinian cities. The initial areas under Palestinian Authority control are diverse and non-contiguous. The areas have changed over time because of subsequent negotiations, including Oslo II, Wye River and Sharm el-Sheik. According to Palestinians, the separated areas make it impossible to create a viable nation and fails to address Palestinian security needs; Israel has expressed no agreement to withdrawal from some Areas B, resulting in no reduction in the division of the Palestinian areas, and the institution of a safe pass system, without Israeli checkpoints, between these parts. Because of increased Palestinian violence to occupation this plan is in abeyance.

Water resources


In the Middle East, water resources
Water resources
Water resources are sources of water that are useful or potentially useful. Uses of water include agricultural, industrial, household, recreational and environmental activities. Virtually all of these human uses require fresh water....

 are of great political concern. Since Israel receives much of its water from two large underground
Groundwater
Groundwater is water located beneath the ground surface in soil pore spaces and in the fractures of rock formations. A unit of rock or an unconsolidated deposit is called an aquifer when it can yield a usable quantity of water. The depth at which soil pore spaces or fractures and voids in rock...

 aquifer
Aquifer
An aquifer is a wet underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock or unconsolidated materials from which groundwater can be usefully extracted using a water well. The study of water flow in aquifers and the characterization of aquifers is called hydrogeology...

s which continue under the Green Line
Green Line (Israel)
Green Line refers to the demarcation lines set out in the 1949 Armistice Agreements between Israel and its neighbours after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War...

, the use of this water has been contentious in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Critics of this argument say that even though Israel withdraws some water from these areas, it also supplies the West Bank with approximately 40 million cubic metres annually, contributing to 77% of Palestinians' water supply in the West Bank, which is to be shared for a population of about 2.3 million.

While Israel's consumption of this water has decreased since it began its occupation of the West Bank, it still consumes the majority of it: in the 1950s, Israel consumed 95% of the water output of the Western Aquifer, and 82% of that produced by the Northeastern Aquifer. Although this water was drawn entirely on Israel's own side of the pre-1967 border, the sources of the water are nevertheless from the shared groundwater basins located under both West Bank and Israel.

In the treaty of the Oslo II Accord, both sides agreed to maintain "existing quantities of utilization from the resources." In so doing, the Palestinian Authority established the legality of Israeli water production in the West Bank. Moreover, Israel obligated itself in this agreement to provide water to supplement Palestinian production, and further agreed to allow additional Palestinian drilling in the Eastern Aquifer. Many Palestinians counter that the Oslo II agreement was intended to be a temporary resolution and that it was not intended to remain in effect more than a decade later. Indeed its name is "The Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement."

This agreement also established the right of the Palestinian Authority to explore and drill for natural gas, fuel and petroleum within its territory and territorial waters. It also delineated the major terms of conduct regarding regulations on the parties' facilities.

Israel continues to honor its obligations under the Interim Agreement.

Future and financing


Numerous foreign nations and international organizations have established bilateral agreements with the Palestinian and Israeli water authorities. It is estimated that a future investment of about US$ 1.1 billion for the West Bank and US$ 0.8 billion is needed for the planning period from 2003 to 2015.

In order to support and improve the water sector in the Palestinian territories, a number of bilateral and multilateral agencies have been supporting many different water and sanitation programs.

There are three large seawater desalination plants in Israel and two more scheduled to open before 2014. When the fourth plant becomes operational, 65% of Israel's water will come from desalination plants, according to Minister of Finance Dr. Yuval Steinitz.

Israeli military occupation of the West Bank


Occupied Palestinian Territory is the term used by the United Nations to refer to the West Bank, including East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem or Eastern Jerusalem refer to the parts of Jerusalem captured and annexed by Jordan in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and then captured and annexed by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War...

, and the Gaza Strip—territories which were captured by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War, having formerly been controlled by Egypt and Jordan. The Israeli government uses the term Disputed Territories, to argue that some territories cannot be called occupied as no nation had clear rights to them and there was no operative diplomatic arrangement when Israel acquired them in June 1967. The area is still referred to as Judea and Samaria by some Israeli groups, based on the historical regional names from ancient times.

In 1980, Israel annexed East Jerusalem. Israel has never annexed the West Bank or Gaza Strip, and the United Nations has demanded the "[t]ermination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force" and that Israeli forces withdraw "from territories occupied in the recent conflict" - the meaning and intent of the latter phrase is disputed. See Interpretations.

It has been the position of Israel that the most Arab-populated parts of West Bank (without major Jewish settlements), and the entire Gaza Strip must eventually be part of an independent Palestinian State. However, the precise borders of this state are in question. At Camp David, for example, then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak is an Israeli politician who served as Prime Minister from 1999 until 2001. He was leader of the Labor Party until January 2011 and holds the posts of Minister of Defense and Deputy Prime Minister in Binyamin Netanyahu's government....

 offered Yasser Arafat an opportunity to establish an independent Palestinian State composed of 92% of the West Bank, Arab neighborhood of East Jerusalem, and the entire Gaza Strip and dismantling of most settlements. Yasser Arafat rejected the proposal without providing a counter-offer.

Some Palestinians claim they are entitled to all of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem. Israel says it is justified in not ceding all this land, because of security concerns, and also because the lack of any valid diplomatic agreement at the time means that ownership and boundaries of this land is open for discussion. Palestinians claim any reduction of this claim is a severe deprivation of their rights. In negotiations, they claim that any moves to reduce the boundaries of this land is a hostile move against their key interests. Israel considers this land to be in dispute, and feels the purpose of negotiations is to define what the final borders will be.

Other Palestinian groups, such as Hamas, have in the past insisted that Palestinians must control not only the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem, but also all of Israel proper. For this reason, Hamas has viewed the peace process "as religiously forbidden and politically inconceivable".

Israeli settlements in the West Bank



According to DEMA, "In the years following the Six-Day War, and especially in the 1990s during the peace process, Israel re-established communities destroyed in 1929 and 1948 as well as established numerous new settlements in the West Bank." These settlements are, as of 2009, home to about 301,000 people. DEMA added, "Most of the settlements are in the western parts of the West Bank, while others are deep into Palestinian territory, overlooking Palestinian cities. These settlements have been the site of much inter-communal conflict." The issue of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and, until 2005, the Gaza Strip, have been described by the UK and the WEU as an obstacle to the peace process. The United Nations and the European Union have also called the settlements "illegal under international law
International law
Public international law concerns the structure and conduct of sovereign states; analogous entities, such as the Holy See; and intergovernmental organizations. To a lesser degree, international law also may affect multinational corporations and individuals, an impact increasingly evolving beyond...

."

However, Israel disputes this; several scholars and commentators disagree with the assessment that settlements are illegal, citing in 2005 recent historical trends to back up their argument. Those who justify the legality of the settlements use arguments based upon Articles 2 and 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, as well as UN Security Council Resolution 242. On a practical level, some objections voiced by Palestinians are that settlements divert resources needed by Palestinian towns, such as arable land, water, and other resources; and, that settlements reduce Palestinians' ability to travel freely via local roads, owing to security considerations.

In 2005, Israel's unilateral disengagement plan, a proposal put forward by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon is an Israeli statesman and retired general, who served as Israel’s 11th Prime Minister. He has been in a permanent vegetative state since suffering a stroke on 4 January 2006....

, was enacted. All residents of Jewish settlements in the Gaza strip were evacuated, and all residential buildings were demolished.

Various mediators and various proposed agreements have shown some degree of openness to Israel retaining some fraction of the settlements which currently exist in the West Bank; this openness is based on a variety of considerations, such as, the desire to find real compromise between Israeli and Palestinian territorial claims.

Israel's position that it needs to retain some West Bank land and settlements as a buffer in case of future aggression, and Israel's position that some settlements are legitimate, as they took shape when there was no operative diplomatic arrangement, and thus they did not violate any agreement.

Former US President George W. Bush has stated that he does not expect Israel to return entirely to the 1949 armistice lines because of "new realities on the ground." One of the main compromise plans put forth by the Clinton Administration would have allowed Israel to keep some settlements in the West Bank, especially those which were in large blocs near the pre-1967 borders of Israel. In return, Palestinians would have received some concessions of land in other parts of the country. The current US administration views a complete freeze of construction in settlements on the West Bank as a critical step toward peace. In May and June 2009, President Barack Obama said, "The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements," and the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, stated that the President "wants to see a stop to settlements — not some settlements, not outposts, not ‘natural growth’ exceptions.” However, Obama has since declared that the United States will no longer press Israel to stop West Bank settlement construction as a precondition for continued peace-process negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.

Actions toward stabilizing the conflict


In response to a weakening trend in Palestinian violence and growing economic and security cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the Israeli military has removed over 120 check points in 2010 and plans on disengaging from major Palestinian population areas. According to the IDF, terrorist activity in the West Bank decreased by 97% compared to violence in 2002.

PA-Israel efforts in the West Bank have "significantly increased investor confidence", and the Palestinian economy grew 6.8% in 2009.

Since the Second Intifada, Jewish Israelis have been banned from entering Palestinian cities. However, Israeli Arabs are allowed to enter West Bank cities on weekends.

The Palestinian Authority has petitioned the Israeli military to allow Jewish tourists to visit West Bank cities as "part of an effort" to improve the Palestinian economy. Israeli general Avi Mizrahi
Avi Mizrahi
Aluf Avi Mizrahi is a general in the Israel Defense Forces and the current Head of Israeli Central Command .-Military career:...

 spoke with Palestinian security officers while touring malls and soccer fields in the West Bank. Mizrahi gave permission to allow Israeli tour guides into Bethlehem, a move intended to "contribute to the Palestinian and Israeli economies."

Mutual recognition


The Oslo peace process was based upon Israel ceding authority to the Palestinians to run their own political and economic affairs. In return, it was agreed that Palestinians would promote peaceful co-existence, renounce violence and promote recognition of Israel among their own people. Despite Yasser Arafat's official renunciation of terrorism and recognition of Israel, some Palestinian groups continue to practice and advocate violence against civilians and do not recognize Israel as a legitimate political entity. Palestinians state that their ability to spread acceptance of Israel was greatly hampered by Israeli restrictions on Palestinian political freedoms, economic freedoms, civil liberties, and quality of life.

It is widely felt among Israelis that Palestinians did not in fact promote acceptance of Israel's right to exist. One of Israel's major reservations in regards to granting Palestinian sovereignty is its concern that there is not genuine public support by Palestinians for co-existence and elimination of terrorism and incitement. Some Palestinian groups, notably Fatah, the political party founded by PLO leaders, initially claimed they were willing to foster co-existence depending on the Palestinians being steadily given more political rights and autonomy. However, in 2010, even Fatah leaders such as Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas , also known by the kunya Abu Mazen , has been the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation since 11 November 2004 and became President of the Palestinian National Authority on 15 January 2005 on the Fatah ticket.Elected to serve until 9 January 2009, he unilaterally...

 refused to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, while the leader of al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades
Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades
The al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades is a coalition of Palestinian nationalist militias in the West Bank. The group's name refers to the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem...

, which is the official Fatah's military wing, publicly disclosed Fatah's "ultimate goal" to be the destruction of the Jewish state, and that Abbas would lie about recognition of Israel following "Zionist and American pressure" for "political calculations" as one of the means to achieve the aforementioned goal. In 2006, Hamas won a majority in the Palestinian Legislative Council
Palestinian Legislative Council
The Palestinian Legislative Council, the legislature of the Palestinian Authority, is a unicameral body with 132 members, elected from 16 electoral districts in the West Bank and Gaza...

, where it remains the majority party. Hamas has openly stated in the past that it completely opposed Israel's right to exist, and its charter states this. Following the release of Gilad Shalit
Gilad Shalit
Gilad Shalit is an Israeli – French citizen and Israel Defense Forces soldier. On 25 June 2006, he was captured inside Israel by Hamas militants in a cross-border raid via underground tunnels near the border with Gaza. The Hamas militants held him for over five years, until he was released on...

 in 2011, Abbas praised his capturing by Hamas and reassured the Arab public he would "never recognize a Jewish state".

Israel cites past concessions—such as Israel’s disengagement from the Gaza Strip in August 2005, which did not lead to a reduction of attacks and rocket fire against Israel—as an example of the Palestinian people not accepting Israel as a state. Palestinian groups and Israeli Human Rights organizations (namely B'Tselem
B'Tselem
B'Tselem is an Israeli non-governmental organization . It calls itself "The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories"...

) have pointed out that while the military occupation in Gaza was ended, the Israeli government still retained control of Gaza's airspace, territorial water, and borders, legally making it still under Israeli control. They also say that mainly thanks to these restrictions, the Palestinian quality of life in the Gaza Strip has not improved since the Israeli withdrawal.

Government


The Palestinian Authority is considered corrupt by a wide variety of sources, including some Palestinians. Some Israelis argue that it provides tacit support for extremists via its relationship with Hamas and other Islamic terrorist
Islamism
Islamism also , lit., "Political Islam" is set of ideologies holding that Islam is not only a religion but also a political system. Islamism is a controversial term, and definitions of it sometimes vary...

 movements, and that therefore it is unsuitable for governing any putative Palestinian state or (especially according to the right wing of Israeli politics), even negotiating about the character of such a state. Because of that, a number of organizations, including the previously ruling Likud
Likud
Likud is the major center-right political party in Israel. It was founded in 1973 by Menachem Begin in an alliance with several right-wing and liberal parties. Likud's victory in the 1977 elections was a major turning point in the country's political history, marking the first time the left had...

 party, declared they would not accept a Palestinian state based on the current PA.

Societal attitudes


Societal attitudes in both Israel and Palestine are a source of concern to those promoting dispute resolution.

According to a May 2011 poll carried out by the Palestinian Center For Public Opinion that asked Palestinians from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank including East Jerusalem, "which of the following means is the best to end the occupation and lead to the establishing of an independent Palestinian state", 5.0% supported "military operations", 25.0% supported non-violent popular resistance, 32.1% favored negotiations until an agreement could be reached, 23.1% preferred holding an international conference that would impose a solution on all parties, 12.4% supported seeking a solution through the United Nations, and 2.4% otherwise. Approximately three quarters of Palestinians surveyed believed that a military escalation in the Gaza Strip would be in Israel’s interest and 18.9% said it would be in Hamas’s interest. Regarding the resumption of launching Al-Qassam missiles from Gaza into Israel, 42.5% said "strongly oppose", 27.1% "somewhat oppose", 16.0% "somewhat support", 13.8% "strongly support", and 0.2% expressed no opinion.

The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs has expressed concerns that Hamas promote incitement against and overall non-acceptance of Israel, including promotion of violence against Israel.

Gaza blockade


According to Oxfam
Oxfam
Oxfam is an international confederation of 15 organizations working in 98 countries worldwide to find lasting solutions to poverty and related injustice around the world. In all Oxfam’s actions, the ultimate goal is to enable people to exercise their rights and manage their own lives...

, because of an import-export ban imposed on Gaza in 2007, 95% of Gaza’s industrial operations were suspended. Out of 35,000 people employed by 3,900 factories in June 2005, only 1,750 people remained employed by 195 factories in June 2007. By 2010, Gaza's unemployment rate had risen to 40% with 80% of the population living on less than 2 dollars a day. The Israeli Government's cut in the flow of fuel and electricity to the Gaza Strip has also been called collective punishment
Collective punishment
Collective punishment is the punishment of a group of people as a result of the behavior of one or more other individuals or groups. The punished group may often have no direct association with the other individuals or groups, or direct control over their actions...

. Jeremy Hobbs, director of Oxfam International, called on Israel “immediately [to] lift its inhumane and illegal siege.”

The Israeli governments argues it is justified under international law to impose a blockade on an enemy for security reasons. The power to impose a naval blockade is established under customary international law and Laws of armed conflict
Laws of war
The law of war is a body of law concerning acceptable justifications to engage in war and the limits to acceptable wartime conduct...

. The Military Advocate General
Military Advocate General
The Military Advocate General assists the Israel Defense Forces in imposing rules of conduct through legal advice, legal instruction, maintaining the mechanisms for military prosecution and legal defense, and fulfilling special legal tasks...

 of Israel has provided numerous reasonings for the policy:
"The State of Israel has been engaged in an ongoing armed conflict with terrorist organizations operating in the Gaza strip. This armed conflict has intensified after Hamas violently took over Gaza, in June 2007, and turned the territory under its de-facto control into a launching pad of mortar and rocket attacks against Israeli towns and villages in southern Israel."


Starting February 7, 2008, the Israeli Government reduced the electricity it sells directly to Gaza. This follows the ruling of Israel’s High Court of Justice’s decision, which held, with respect to the amount of industrial fuel supplied to Gaza, that, “The clarification that we made indicates that the supply of industrial diesel fuel to the Gaza Strip in the winter months of last year was comparable to the amount that the Respondents now undertake to allow into the Gaza Strip. This fact also indicates that the amount is reasonable and sufficient to meet the vital humanitarian needs in the Gaza Strip.” Palestinian militants killed two Israelis in the process of delivering fuel to the Nahal Oz
Nahal Oz
Nahal Oz is a kibbutz in southern Israel. Located in the northwestern part of the Negev desert close to the border with the Gaza Strip and near the development towns of Sderot and Netivot, it falls under the jurisdiction of Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Council. In 2006 it had a population of...

 fuel depot.

With regard to Israel’s plan, the Court stated that, “calls for a reduction of five percent of the power supply in three of the ten power lines that supply electricity from Israel to the Gaza Strip, to a level of 13.5 megawatts in two of the lines and 12.5 megawatts in the third line, we [the Court] were convinced that this reduction does not breach the humanitarian obligations imposed on the State of Israel in the framework of the armed conflict being waged between it and the Hamas organization that controls the Gaza Strip. Our conclusion is based, in part, on the affidavit of the Respondents indicating that the relevant Palestinian officials stated that they can reduce the load in the event limitations are placed on the power lines, and that they had used this capability in the past."

On June 20, 2010, Israel's Security Cabinet approved a new system governing the blockade that would allow practically all non-military or dual-use items to enter the Gaza strip. According to a cabinet statement, Israel would "expand the transfer of construction materials designated for projects that have been approved by the Palestinian Authority, including schools, health institutions, water, sanitation and more – as well as (projects) that are under international supervision." Despite the easing of the land blockade, Israel will continue to inspect all goods bound for Gaza by sea at the port of Ashdod.

Palestinian army


The Israeli Cabinet issued a statement expressing that it does not wish the Palestinians to build up an army capable of offensive operations, considering that the only party against which such an army could be turned in the near future is Israel itself. However, Israel has already allowed for the creation of a Palestinian police that can conduct police operations and also carry out limited-scale warfare. Palestinians have argued that the Israel Defense Forces
Israel Defense Forces
The Israel Defense Forces , commonly known in Israel by the Hebrew acronym Tzahal , are the military forces of the State of Israel. They consist of the ground forces, air force and navy. It is the sole military wing of the Israeli security forces, and has no civilian jurisdiction within Israel...

, a large and modern armed force, poses a direct and pressing threat to the sovereignty of any future Palestinian state, making a defensive force for a Palestinian state a matter of necessity. To this, Israelis claim that signing a treaty while building an army is a show of bad intentions.

Since 2006, the United States has been training, equipping, and funding the Palestinian Authority's security forces, which have been cooperating with Israel at unprecedented levels in the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

 to quell supporters of Hamas, the main Palestinian Islamist group that opposes direct negotiations with Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

. The United States government has spent over 500 million building and training the Palestinian National Security Forces and Presidential Guard. The IDF believes the US-trained forces will soon be capable of "overrunning small IDF outposts and isolated Israeli communities" in the event of a conflict.

Events since December 2009



In December 2009, the Israeli government ordered a 10-month lull in permits for new settlement homes in the West Bank. The restrictions, which Israeli politicians and media have referred to as a "freeze", do not apply to East Jerusalem (whose annexation by Israel is not recognised internationally), municipal buildings, schools, synagogues and other community infrastructure in the settlements. About 3,000 homes already under construction will be allowed to proceed. The Israeli government said the move was aimed at restarting peace talks, but Palestinian officials said it was insufficient. Palestinian officials had refused to rejoin peace talks unless a total building halt was imposed, including in East Jerusalem. The announcement followed calls by the US government for a total freeze in settlement building. The US government, the European Union, Russia and the UN criticized Israel's plans to continue building in East Jerusalem, but both the US and the EU stated that neither the Palestinians nor Israel should have preconditions for resuming the suspended peace talks.

A renewed effort to negotiate peace was initiated by United States President Barack Obama in 2010. Despite prevalent scepticism, President Obama indicated in a speech to the United Nations on September 23, 2010 that he is hopeful of a diplomatic peace within one year.

Israeli leaders rejected demands to extend the 10-month moratorium on settlement construction which expired on September 27 at midnight. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman rebuffed claims that the renewal of West Bank settlement construction was a provocative move meant to torpedo the peace talks. Lieberman said the Palestinians failed to accept the gesture of the moratorium for nine months and "now they are pressuring Israel to continue the very freeze they rejected." Lieberman said Israel was ready to enter peace talks with no preconditions.

Mohamed Abbas threatened to abandon the negotiations if settlement construction was renewed. He said "Israel has a moratorium for 10 months and it should be extended for three to four months more to give peace a chance."

Thirteen Palestinian militant groups led by Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

 initiated a violent campaign to disrupt peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. A series of attacks killed and wounded eight Israelis, including two pregnant women, between August and September 2010. Khaled Mashaal said Hamas will continue to "kill illegal settlers on our land." On September 28, 2010, two Palestinian militants were killed by an IDF drone after attempting to launch rockets from the central Gaza Strip.

In December 2010, Palestinian spokesmen rejected Binyamin Netanyahu's attempt to reach a "interim agreement" that did not cover borders or refugees.

In November 2011, Israeli Brigadier General Nitzan Alon
Nitzan Alon
Brigadier General Nitzan Alon is a Brigadier General in the Israel Defense Forces, and the commander of Judah and Samaria division. He was born in 1964. Between 1984 and 1998 he was assigned to various positions in an IDF elite unit. In 1998 he was appointed as commander of the elite unit.In 2001...

 criticized "acts of terror" by Jewish extremists against Palestinians. Called, "price tag" attacks, they are carried out against Palestinians in retaliation for Israeli government attempts to demolish illegal settlements. At least one Israeli peace activist has been threatened. A spokesman for the Israeli Defense Forces said the price tag attacks are "criminal violence, carried out by a small number of radical Jewish extremists." The UN said that attacks on Palestinians by Jewish extremists had nearly tripled during the last two years.

Fatalities 1948-present


A variety of studies provide differing casualty data for the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, 13,000 Israelis and Palestinians were killed in conflict with each other between 1948 and 1997. Other estimations give 14,500 killed between 1948-2009. Palestinian fatalities during the 1982 Lebanon War were 2,000 PLO combatants killed in armed conflict with Israel.


Civilian casualty figures for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Israeli-Palestinian conflict
The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. The conflict is wide-ranging, and the term is also used in reference to the earlier phases of the same conflict, between Jewish and Zionist yishuv and the Arab population living in Palestine under Ottoman or...

 from B'tselem
B'Tselem
B'Tselem is an Israeli non-governmental organization . It calls itself "The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories"...

 and Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Israel)
The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs is one of the most important ministries in the Israeli government. The ministry's role is to implement Israel's foreign policy, and promote economic, cultural, and scientific relations with other countries....

 between 1987 and 2010
(numbers in parentheses represent casualties under age 18)
Year Deaths
Palestinians Israelis
2011 20 (4) 16 (4)
2010 81 (9) 8 (0)
2009 1034 (314) 9 (1)
2008 887 (128) 35 (4)
2007 385 (52) 13 (0)
2006 665 (140) 23 (1)
2005 190 (49) 51 (6)
2004 832 (181) 108 (8)
2003 588 (119) 185 (21)
2002 1032 (160) 419 (47)
2001 469 (80) 192 (36)
2000 282 (86) 41 (0)
1999 9 (0) 4 (0)
1998 28 (3) 12 (0)
1997 21 (5) 29 (3)
1996 74 (11) 75 (8)
1995 45 (5) 46 (0)
1994 152 (24) 74 (2)
1993 180 (41) 61 (0)
1992 138 (23) 34 (1)
1991 104 (27) 19 (0)
1990 145 (25) 22 (0)
1989 305 (83) 31 (1)
1988 310 (50) 12 (3)
1987 22 (5) 0 (0)
Total 7978 (1620) 1503 (142)


Note: Figures includes 1,593 Palestinian fatalities attributed to intra-Palestinian violence.
Figures do not include the 600 Palestinians killed by other Palestinians in the Gaza Strip since 2006.



Demographic percentages for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Israeli-Palestinian conflict
The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. The conflict is wide-ranging, and the term is also used in reference to the earlier phases of the same conflict, between Jewish and Zionist yishuv and the Arab population living in Palestine under Ottoman or...

 according to Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs , is a United Nations body formed in December 1991 by General Assembly Resolution 46/182...

 from September 2000 until the end of July 2007.
Belligerent Combatant Civilian Male Female Children Children Male Children Female
Palestinian 41% 59% 94% 6% 20% 87% 13%
Israeli 31% 69% 69% 31% 12% Not available Not available




Note: It is considerably more difficult to distinguish precisely who amongst those Palestinians killed were civilians. Numerous pro-Israel organizations as well as the Israeli army claim the majority of Palestinians killed in armed conflict were combat-age males.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs for the occupied Palestinian territory (OCHAoPt) "was established in late 2000" by the United Nations. The office monitors the conflict and presents figures relating to both internal-violence and direct conflict clashes.


Partial casualty figures for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Israeli-Palestinian conflict
The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. The conflict is wide-ranging, and the term is also used in reference to the earlier phases of the same conflict, between Jewish and Zionist yishuv and the Arab population living in Palestine under Ottoman or...

 from the OCHAoPt
(numbers in parentheses represent casualties under age 18)
Year Deaths Injuries
Palestinians Israelis Palestinians Israelis
2008-26.12.08 464 (87) 31 (4)
2007 396 (43) 13 (0) 1843 (265) 322 (3)
2006 678 (127) 25 (2) 3194 (470) 377 (7)
2005 216 (52) 48 (6) 1260 (129) 484 (4)
Total 1754 (309) 117 (12) 6297 (864) 1183 (14)




All numbers refer to casualties of direct conflict between Israelis and Palestinians including in IDF military operations, artillery shelling, search and arrest campaigns, Barrier demonstrations, targeted killings, settler violence etc. The figures do not include events indirectly related to the conflict such as casualties from unexploded ordnance, etc., or events when the circumstances remain unclear or are in dispute. The figures include all reported casualties of all ages and both genders.

Figures include both Israeli civilians and security forces casualties in West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

, Gaza
Gaza
Gaza , also referred to as Gaza City, is a Palestinian city in the Gaza Strip, with a population of about 450,000, making it the largest city in the Palestinian territories.Inhabited since at least the 15th century BC,...

 and Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

.

Criticism of casualty statistics in the Second Intifada


As reported by the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, since September 29, 2000 a total of 7,454 Palestinian and Israeli individuals were killed due to the conflict. According to the report, 1,317 of the 6,371 Palestinians were minors, and at least 2,996 did not participate in fighting at time of death. Palestinians killed 1,083 Israelis, including 741 civilians. 124 of those killed were minors.

The International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism
International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism
The International Institute for Counter-Terrorism is a non-profit organization located at the Interdisciplinary Center , Herzliya, Israel. The ICT was founded in 1996 and describes itself as "the leading academic institute for counter-terrorism in the world, facilitating international cooperation...

 criticized the methodology of Palestinian-based rights groups, including B'tselem, and questioned their accuracy in classifying civilian/combatant ratios.

In a study published by Scholars for Peace in the Middle East
Scholars for Peace in the Middle East
Scholars for Peace in the Middle East is an independent non-profit international community network of academic scholars, which according to its founder, conducts "pro-Israel advocacy"...

, Elihu D. Richter and Dr. Yael Stein examined B'tselem methods in calculating casualties during Operation Cast Lead. They argue that B'tselem's report contains "errors of omission, commission and classification bias which result in overestimates of the ratio of non-combatants to combatants."

Stein and Richter claim the high male/female ratios among Palestinians, including those in their mid- to late- teens, "suggests that the IDF classifications are combatant and non-combatant status are probably far more accurate than those of B’Tselem."


Casualty figures for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Israeli-Palestinian conflict
The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. The conflict is wide-ranging, and the term is also used in reference to the earlier phases of the same conflict, between Jewish and Zionist yishuv and the Arab population living in Palestine under Ottoman or...

 in the 1936-1939 Great Arab Revolt
Source Cited by Deaths
Palestinian Arabs Palestinian Jews
Arnon-Ohana, 1982, 140 Morris, Righteous Victims p 159. 4,500
Various Morris, Righteous Victims p 159. 3,000 to 6,000 several hundred




These figures represent deaths caused by the Palestinian uprising against the British mandatory government in Palestine, and include those killed by the British.

Land mine and explosive remnants of war casualties


A comprehensive collection mechanism to gather land mine
Land mine
A land mine is usually a weight-triggered explosive device which is intended to damage a target—either human or inanimate—by means of a blast and/or fragment impact....

 and explosive remnants of war
Explosive remnants of war
Explosive remnants of war is a term used in the humanitarian aid and sustainable development domains to describe the explosive threats remaining in post-conflict society...

 (ERW) casualty data does not exist for the Palestinian territories. In 2009, the United Nations Mine Action Centre
United Nations Mine Action Service
United Nations Mine Action Service is located in the It is responsible for ensuring an effective, proactive and coordinated United Nations response to landmines and explosive remnants of war through collaboration with 13 other UN departments, agencies, funds and programmes...

 reported that more than 2,500 mine and explosive remnants of war casualties occurred between 1967 and 1998, at least 794 casualties (127 killed, 654 injured and 13 unknown) occurred between 1999 to 2008 and that 12 people have been killed and 27 injured since the Gaza War. The UN Mine Action Centre identified the main risks as coming from "ERW left behind by Israeli aerial and artillery weapon systems, or from militant caches targeted by the Israeli forces." There are at least 15 confirmed minefields in the West Bank on the border with Jordan. The Palestinian National Security Forces do not have maps or records of the minefields.

See also



Diplomacy and treaties
  • List of Middle East peace proposals
  • One State Solution
  • Paris Peace Conference, 1919
    Paris Peace Conference, 1919
    The Paris Peace Conference was the meeting of the Allied victors following the end of World War I to set the peace terms for the defeated Central Powers following the armistices of 1918. It took place in Paris in 1919 and involved diplomats from more than 32 countries and nationalities...

  • Faisal-Weizmann Agreement (1919)
    Faisal-Weizmann Agreement
    The Faisal–Weizmann Agreement was signed on January 3, 1919, by Emir Feisal , who was for a short time King of the Arab Kingdom of Syria or Greater Syria in 1920, and was King of the Kingdom of Iraq from August 1921 to 1933, and Chaim Weizmann as part of the Paris Peace Conference, 1919 settling...

  • 1949 Armistice Agreements
    1949 Armistice Agreements
    The 1949 Armistice Agreements are a set of agreements signed during 1949 between Israel and neighboring Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria. The agreements ended the official hostilities of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and established armistice lines between Israeli forces and the forces in...

  • Camp David Accords (1978)
  • Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty (1979)
    Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty
    The 1979 Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty was signed in Washington, D.C. on the 26th of March 1979, following the 1978 Camp David Accords, which were signed by Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, and were witnessed by United States President Jimmy Carter.The peace...

  • Madrid Conference of 1991
    Madrid Conference of 1991
    The Madrid Conference was hosted by the government of Spain and co-sponsored by the USA and the USSR. It convened on October 30, 1991 and lasted for three days. It was an early attempt by the international community to start a peace process through negotiations involving Israel and the Palestinians...

  • Oslo Accords
    Oslo Accords
    The Oslo Accords, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or Declaration of Principles , was an attempt to resolve the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict...

     (1993)
  • Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace (1994)
    Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace
    The Israel–Jordan Treaty of Peace was signed in 1994. The treaty normalized relations between the two countries and resolved territorial disputes. The conflict had cost roughly US$18.3 billion...

  • Camp David 2000 Summit
    Camp David 2000 Summit
    The Middle East Peace Summit at Camp David of July 2000 took place between United States President Bill Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat...

  • Peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
    Peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
    The peace process in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict has taken shape over the years, despite the ongoing violence in the Middle East and an "all or nothing" attitude about a lasting peace, "which prevailed for most of the twentieth century"...

  • Projects working for peace among Israelis and Arabs
    Projects working for peace among Israelis and Arabs
    Projects working for peace among Arabs and Israelis have been operating for years in different fields.- Policy groups:Organizations or institutions which address and analyze policy issues in a wide range of areas...

  • International law and the Arab-Israeli conflict
    International law and the Arab-Israeli conflict
    There is a broad international consensus that the actions of the nations involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict violate prohibitions contained in international law. However, this legality is disputed by some of the nations involved...

  • List of modern conflicts in the Middle East
  • The Palestine Papers

Geography:
  • Palestine
    Palestine
    Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

  • Geography of Israel
    Geography of Israel
    The geography of Israel is very diverse, with desert conditions in the south, and snow-capped mountains in the north. Israel is located at at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea in western Asia...

  • Israeli Settlements


General background and information
  • History of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
    History of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
    The history of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict covers from the end of the 19th century to the present day. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict centers on conflicting, often mutually exclusive claims to the area called Palestine by the Palestinians and the Land of Israel by Israeli Jews.- Historical...

  • Bibliography of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
    Bibliography of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
    This is an incomplete bibliography of the Arab-Israeli conflict.-General History:* Bregman, Ahron . Israel's Wars: A History Since 1947. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-28716-2* Bregman, Ahron Elusive Peace: How the Holy Land Defeated America....

  • Peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
    Peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
    The peace process in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict has taken shape over the years, despite the ongoing violence in the Middle East and an "all or nothing" attitude about a lasting peace, "which prevailed for most of the twentieth century"...

  • Media coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict


Ideology and ideas
  • Zionism
    Zionism
    Zionism is a Jewish political movement that, in its broadest sense, has supported the self-determination of the Jewish people in a sovereign Jewish national homeland. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement continues primarily to advocate on behalf of the Jewish state...

  • Pan-Arabism
    Pan-Arabism
    Pan-Arabism is an ideology espousing the unification--or, sometimes, close cooperation and solidarity against perceived enemies of the Arabs--of the countries of the Arab world, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Arabian Sea. It is closely connected to Arab nationalism, which asserts that the Arabs...

  • Proposals for a Palestinian state
    Proposals for a Palestinian state
    Proposals for a Palestinian state currently refers to the proposed establishment of an independent state for the Palestinian people in Palestine on land that was occupied by Israel since the Six-Day War of 1967 and before by Egypt and by Jordan since 1949...

  • Jewish state
    Jewish state
    A homeland for the Jewish people was an idea that rose to the fore in the 19th century in the wake of growing anti-Semitism and Jewish assimilation. Jewish emancipation in Europe paved the way for two ideological solutions to the Jewish Question: cultural assimilation, as envisaged by Moses...

  • Israel and the apartheid analogy
  • Racism in the Palestinian territories
    Racism in the Palestinian territories
    Racism in the Palestinian territories refers mainly to campaigns of discrimination and intolerance. According to many observers, racism and ethnic discrimination against Jews, Palestinians, Christians and blacks, have existed in the Palestinian territories, or in Palestine, from the mid-19th...

  • Middle East economic integration
    Middle East economic integration
    Middle East economic integration has been envisioned, proposed or implemented by various parties in recent history.The stated rationale is that peace, stability and prosperity in the Middle East can only be sustained over the long-run through intra-regional economic cooperation.Governance,...



Elements of the conflict
  • Peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
    Peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
    The peace process in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict has taken shape over the years, despite the ongoing violence in the Middle East and an "all or nothing" attitude about a lasting peace, "which prevailed for most of the twentieth century"...

  • Palestinian political violence
    Palestinian political violence
    Palestinian political violence refers to acts of violence undertaken to further the Palestinian cause. These political objectives include self-determination in and sovereignty over Palestine, the liberation of Palestine and establishment of a Palestinian state, either in place of both Israel and...

  • Children in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
  • Fatah–Hamas conflict
    Fatah–Hamas conflict
    The Fatah–Hamas conflict , also referred to as the Palestinian Civil War , and the Conflict of Brothers , i.e...



Peace organizations in the region
  • OneVoice Movement
    OneVoice Movement
    OneVoice is a non profit organization and citizen activism movement working in Israel and the Palestinian territories to achieve a two-state solution through non-violent means...

     (non-partisan)
  • Peace Now (left wing)
  • Seeds of Peace
    Seeds of Peace
    Seeds of Peace is a peacebuilding youth organization based in New York City. It was founded in 1993. As its main program, the organization brings youth from areas of conflict to its international camp in Maine. It also provides regional programming to support Seeds of Peace graduates, known as...

     (neutral)
  • Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions
    Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions
    The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions is an Israeli peace and human rights organization dedicated to ending the occupation of the Palestinian territories and achieving a just peace between Israelis and Palestinians...



Documentaries
  • At the Green Line
    At the Green Line
    At the Green Line is a 2005 documentary made by Jesse Atlas that profiles several members of Courage to Refuse, a political group that refuses service in the Israeli military, as well as several Israelis serving in the military as part of their reserve duty...

  • Death In Gaza
    Death In Gaza
    Death In Gaza is an Emmy-award winning 2004 documentary film about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, opening in the West Bank but then moving to Gaza and eventually settling in Rafah where the film spends most of its time...

  • Occupation 101
    Occupation 101
    Occupation 101: Voice of the Silenced Majority is a 2006 documentary film on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict directed by Sufyan Omeish and Abdallah Omeish, and narrated by Alison Weir, founder of If Americans Knew...

  • Promises
    Promises (film)
    Promises is a 2001 documentary film that examines the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the perspectives of seven children living in the Palestinian communities in the West Bank and Israeli neighborhoods of Jerusalem....

  • Relentless: The Struggle for Peace in the Middle East
    Relentless: The Struggle for Peace in the Middle East
    Relentless: The Struggle for Peace in the Middle East, also known as Relentless: The Struggle for Peace in Israel, is a 2003 documentary produced by the pro-Israel media watchdog group HonestReporting...

  • The Land of the Settlers
    The Land of the Settlers
    The Land of the Settlers is a five part documentary series created by Chaim Yavin, who was described by the Arab News as "the Israeli version of America’s Walter Cronkite". With a handheld camera, Yavin traveled throughout his homeland of Israel and interviewed a range of Palestinians and Israelis...

  • ...more films

External links


United Nations

Academic, news, and similar sites (excluding Israeli or Palestinian sources)
  • Inter Press Service
    Inter Press Service
    Inter Press Service is a global news agency. Its main focus is the production of independent news and analysis about events and processes affecting economic, social and political development....

     - Israel-Palestine: Holy Land, Unholy War Independent coverage of the Middle East conflicts


Conflict resolution groups

Human rights groups

Jewish and Israeli academic, news, and similar sites
  • MidEastWeb.org




Pro-Israel advocacy and watchdog sites
  • Jewish Virtual Library




Pro-Palestinian advocacy and watchdog sites

Jewish and Israeli "peace movement" news and advocacy sites

Other sites:

Peace proposals