The origin of the conflict in the Middle East dates back to ancient times, when the Jews were expelled from Palestine, which was under Roman rule.
The origin of the conflict in the Middle East dates back to ancient times, when the Jews were expelled from Palestine, which was under Roman rule. They were forced to spread the diaspora throughout Europe and North Africa. At the same time, a small Jewish presence remained in Palestine throughout the Middle Ages. Since the middle of the 19th century, due to anti-Semitism, pogroms and finally the Holocaust, the idea intensified among the Jews to create their own state in the land of their ancestors.
The Zionist movement
This movement advocated the idea of buying the land of Palestine (now consisting of Israel, Gaza and the West Bank), which was under British rule. More and more Jews immigrated to the territory that was once inhabited by the Arab population. This led to conflict between the two groups. During the First World War, the British power promised to give the territory to the two groups, in exchange for their support during the war.
1947: United Nations Partition Plan
Britain supported the idea of creating the state of Israel, but the Palestinians did not agree. Due to the stress of the conflict, Britain gave its mandate to the United Nations.
On November 29, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly approved resolution 181, which established the division of the territory into two states: an Israeli state and a Palestinian state. The partition gave 60% of the territory to Israel and 40% to Palestine, despite the fact that the Palestinian population is larger. The Arab countries and the Palestinian population did not accept the plan.
1948-1949: First Middle East War
On May 14, 1948, the Jews unilaterally proclaimed the State of Israel. Immediately, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq and Saudi Arabia responded by sending their troops against the newly established state, sparking the first Arab-Israeli war. This led to the shifting of borders in favor of Israel, which gained more territory when an armistice was signed in 1949.
Egypt annexed Gaza, and Jordan acquired the West Bank, but the Palestinian state was never established in those territories. More than 700,000 Palestinians had to flee to neighboring countries: the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The war and expulsion of the Palestinians is called “Nakbar” in Arabic, which means “catastrophe.” In Hebrew, that war is called the Israeli War of Independence.
June 1967: Six Day War
Israel destroyed an Egyptian air base in a preemptive strike. Jordan and Syria also intervened in the war. In a few days, Israel was able to conquer Gaza, the Sinai in Egypt, the Golan Heights in Syria, the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
October 1973: Yom Kippur War
On October 6, 1973, the day of the main Jewish holiday, Egyptian and Syrian soldiers launched a surprise attack on Israel on two fronts. Under pressure from the United States and the Soviet Union, the war ended on October 26, 1973, when both sides signed United Nations Resolution 338. Israel regained lost territory, and the Arab countries had to recognize the State of Israel.
1978: Camp David Accords
Under the mediation of President Jimmy Carter, Egypt and Israel agreed to normalize their relations in an agreement that is still in effect. But the sensitive issues of Gaza and the West Bank are not in the agreement.
1987-1993: First intifada
The Palestinian uprising against Israel is called the intifada. The first intifada started with a random accident where an Israeli truck fatally rammed four Palestinians. It provoked an uprising by the Palestinians, whose anger has been growing since the Six-Day War.
It was during the first intifada that pamphlets signed by Hamas appeared for the first time. In 1988, King Hussein of Jordan transferred the West Bank to the PLO, Palestine Liberation Organization, but Israel continued to occupy it.
1993-1995: Oslo Peace Process
The process launched under Norwegian mediation to end the first intifada addresses the difficult questions of the future of Palestinian refugees and the status of Jerusalem. Both issues contributed to the failure of the process. Egypt and Jordan gave up their Palestinian territories, and the Palestinian Authority was created to govern limited areas of Palestinian territory.
2000-2005: Second intifada
Peace has again been derailed by violence on both sides. Israel has closed the occupied territories in an increasingly impoverished manner, further impoverishing its population. During this time, suicide attacks increased in the territory of Israel.
In 2005, the Israeli army withdrew from Gaza, and with it all 21 Jewish settlements were destroyed. Palestinian leaders have accused Israel of relocating Jews living in the West Bank.
2007: Hamas seizes power in Gaza
Hamas, with its Islamist ideology, denies the right to exist of the State of Israel and has taken power in Gaza. The West Bank is under the administration of Al Fatah, which has a socialist-secular ideology.
All attempts at peace have so far failed.