What is Israel Palestine Conflict?
The Israel-Palestine conflict has its roots deeply inhabited in world history. The dispute is centuries old and has resulted in nothing but bloodshed and destruction for both sides. To categorically understand the Israel-Palestine conflict, it is mandatory to know the grounds of the clashes. Below are historical events that are related to the Israel-Palestine conflict and continue to trigger the fire of conflict:
Older Version of Israel Palestine Conflict
The Israel-Palestine conflict is considered to be the most intractable conflict ever in the world. Its roots point toward the dispute over the land between the Jews and Palestinians. According to them, the land is the biblical birthright to the Jews. This can be better understood by considering the older view of the Israel Palestine Conflict. The key points include:
- The most widely accepted reference to the history of bygone Israel is the Hebrew Bible. The holy book mentions the description of the origin of religions like Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
- In ancient times, Solomon’s temple was built in Jerusalem by King Solomon during his rule in primitive Israel in around 957 BC. This kingdom was bifurcated into realms in the year 931 BC. The northern province was named Israel, while the southern province was given the name Judah.
- Jerusalem was attacked and crusaded in the 6th century by the ruler of Babylon while the Jews were forced to take refuge in Babylon. The temple of Solomon was also destroyed.
- The Jews built the second temple of Solomon in the year 538 BC when the Achaemenid ruler Cyrus defeated the Babylonians and permitted the Jews to reside in Judah.
- The second temple of Solomon was looted and destroyed by the Romans in the first Jewish-Roman war in the year 70 BC.
- The Roman ruler Hadrian threw all the Jews out of Judah and renamed the place Syria Palaestina, in order to delete all the pieces of evidence of Jewish existence.
- Here onwards, Israel has witnessed the rule of various kingdoms such as Greeks, Persians, Fatimids, Seljuk Turks, Arabs, Egyptians, Mamluks, and the Ottoman empire.
New Version of Israel Palestine Dispute
Israel has been constantly exploited by the rulers in history. Israel continues to be the victim and this can be seen clearly by the new version of the Israel-Palestine Conflict:
- The last kingdom known to have control over Israel, including the largest part of western Asia, was the Ottoman Empire, which ruled there for a long period starting from 1517 to 1917.
- During this time, Jews were the minority in the region, with 3 percent of the population, while Muslims were the dominant group, with about 87 percent of the population, and the remaining 10 percent of the population as Christians.
- The struggle of the Jews against discrimination and cruelty started in the 19th century when the Zionism principle gained recognition.
- Zionism was a principle promulgated by Theodor Herzl, a Jewish journalist, in which the demand for retaining the Jewish homeland was raised.
- The British dualism caused a blunder in the history of the Israel-Palestine conflict when the British betrayed several empires and nations either offering the same piece of land or control over the same land.
- The British offered "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people," while they had already dealt with the French on an agreement that confirmed British control over Palestine. The Britishers have also offered control of Palestine and the other regions to the Arab rulers as well.
- This dual policy by the British caused havoc in the region and worsened the situation.
Palestine after First World War and the Ottoman Empire
Palestine has always been exploited. The influence of the first world war and the Ottoman Empire over Palestine can be summarised as:
- The Ottoman Empire ended in 1917, and after the First World War, the Britishers made Palestine their colony and it was named Mandatory Palestine.
- In the next decade, the British helped the Jews to recenter in Palestine, resulting in the Jewish population keeping on increasing in the region, simultaneously increasing the conflicts with the Arabs.
- In the year 1936, a revolt broke out from the Arabs against the British, demanding Palestine as a nation for themselves, which was crushed by the British with the help of the Jewish army.
Palestine After Second World War
The second world war had proven to be more hazardous to the Palestine state than the previous one. Here is what happened with Palestine After Second World War:
- At the time of the Second World War, Jewish organizations sheltered a large number of illegal Jewish immigrants from the European nations into Palestine.
- Citing the seriousness of the matter, the British government sought the help of the United Nations, which intervened with a solution to divide the country into Palestinian and Jewish realms. This suggestion was not accepted by the Palestinian Arabs.
- After the Second World War was over, Palestine also achieved independence from the Britishers in the year 1948 and was named Israel.
- As soon as Israel got independence, its neighboring countries, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt, started the Arab-Israeli war against Israel.
- The war continued for almost one year, and in the year 1949, the West Bank was agreed to by Jordan while the Gaza strip was agreed to by Egypt. In exchange, Israel gained control over a much larger area than it had previously.
- Over half a million Palestinians became homeless and sought refuge in the nearby countries, which termed this war the Nakba.
Factors Triggering the Israel-Palestine Conflict
Here has been a constant fire between the two of them that resulted in a harmful conflict. The following factors triggered the conflict even more:
- Political Instability: this has been a matter of concern in both the states. There has been stagnation and incapability in the leadership structure of both, leading to a lot of violence Also, Israel had undergone 4 elections in the last 2 years.
- Hamas in Rule in Palestine: Palestine has been under the eye of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, which wants to overrule Palestine and raise the banner of Allah via violent jihad. Moreover, the Palestine President is quite old and they are not conducting any elections. Terrorism in Israel and Hamas has become a serious limitation.
- Division of the state: There is no unity in the state of Israel and people are highly divided. Only 20% of the Israelis are Arabic and are considered to have the same ethnicity as the Palestinians. This division has resulted in interstate wars.
- Loss of US significance: The US is on the way to preventing the UNSC from the Palestinian cause meeting and has shed off its role from the same saying that it is Israeli's duty to defend themselves. Also, The US, under President Joe Biden, does not have much leverage on Israel.
- Conflict of thoughts: Most of the Palestine people are against the two-state solution. However, the division of rule between Hamas and the Fatah is not yet decided
Israel Palestine Conflict UPSC
The Israel-Palestine conflict is a very important topic covered under the syllabus of International Relations and Current Affairs. You can get the International study notes study material for USPC to prepare for the UPSC Exam. To learn more about the Israel-Palestine conflict, you can get the UPSC Syllabus and UPSC Previous Year’s Question Papers.
Israel Palestine Conflict UPSC Prelims Sample Question
Question: Which of the following countries have its/their control over the West Bank region?
Select the correct answers from the codes given below.
A) Only Palestine
B) Israel and Palestine
C) Only Israel
D) Jordan and Egypt
Answer: Option C