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Arab-Israeli Conflict

Arab-Israeli Conflict
2 Peoples
• Palestinians
– religion: Muslim (90%) & Christian (10%)
– language: Arabic
– supported by Arab countries
• Israelis
– religion: mainly Jewish
– language: Hebrew
– supported by US and Britain
Claims to Land
Claims to the Land
• Biblical promise of land to
Abraham and his
descendants [begets
Isaac, begets Jacob
a.k.a. Israel]
• Ancestors lived in area
nearly 2000 years ago
• Jerusalem home to most
important Jewish site—
Western Wall
• Need for haven from
European anti-Semitism
• Ancestors have been
living in area nearly
2000 years
• Demographic majority
• Bible is not a legitimate
basis for modern claim
to territory
• Jerusalem home to 3rd
most important Muslim
site-Dome of the
Rock/Al-Aqsa Mosque
Temple Mount
Israel: The Western Wall
• Jerusalem is the site of the holiest
site in Judaism, remains of the earliest
• “The Western Wall is part of the
retaining wall supporting the temple
mount built by Herod in 20 B.C. After
the destruction of the Second Temple in
70 A.D., Jews were not allowed to come
to Jerusalem until the Byzantine period,
when they could visit once a year on the
anniversary of the destruction of the
Temple and weep over the ruins of the
Holy Temple. Because of this, the wall
became known as the ‘Wailing Wall.’”
Western or Wailing Wall
Dome of the Rock
Al Aqsa Mosque
The spiritual and
political renewal of
the Jewish people
in its ancestral
homeland of
 Freedom from
Western anti-Semitism.
Theodore Herzl
Role of the British
Hussein-McMahon Letters,
....Britain is
prepared to
recognize and
uphold the
independence of
the Arabs in all
regions lying
within the frontiers
proposed by the
Sharif of Mecca....
Hussein ibn Ali,
Sharif of Mecca
Role of the British
The Balfour Declaration
The Balfour Declaration
• In 1917 Britain, at the height of World War
One, agreed for its own imperial reasons
agreed to sponsor the creation of a Jewish
homeland in Palestine.
• Palestinians were not consulted, Lord Balfour
“in Palestine we do not propose even to go
through the form of consulting the wishes of
the present inhabitants of the country. The
Four Great Powers are committed to Zionism.
And Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or
bad, is rooted in age-long traditions, in
present needs, in future hopes, of far
profounder import than the desires and
prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who inhabit
that ancient land… In short so far as
Palestine is concerned, the powers have
made no statement of fact which is not
admittedly wrong, and no declaration of
policy which, at least in the letter, they have
not always intended to violate.”
British Mandate
How did the Treaty of Versailles change the world map?
1918 - Ottoman Empire is defeated in World War I
igniting widespread Turkish nationalism
leading to the creation of Turkey.
The League of Nations asks Britain to
oversea Palestine as a mandate – a territory
to be controlled by the League of Nations
until ready for independence.
T. Loessin; Akins H.S.
How did the Treaty of Versailles change the world map?
1918 - Ottoman Empire is defeated in World War I
igniting widespread Turkish nationalism
leading to the creation of Turkey.
The League of Nations asks Britain to
oversea Palestine as a mandate – a territory
to be controlled by the League of Nations
until ready for independence.
• Arabs were concerned
about the increased immigration
of Jews to Palestine.
• Jews were making requests for
a homeland to be carved out of
the region when the war ended.
T. Loessin; Akins H.S.
1. Britain issues
the Balfour Declaration.
Unable to settle the matter
after World War II,
Britain decides to turn the
issue over to the U.N.
World War Two and Holocaust
The Nazis
• In 1933 the Nazis came
to power in Germany.
• Immigration exploded
as Jews sought to
escape Europe.
Between 1933 and
1936 140,000 new
immigrants arrived.
• The Palestinians
believed they were
being swamped.
The Holocaust.
• Nazi Germany, and Hitler, perpetrated the worst
‘Pogrom’ in living memory by systematically
trying to eliminate all Jewish people.
• The factory-like process by which Jewish men,
women and children were identified, labelled,
moved, stored, abused and finally killed became
called the ‘Holocaust’.
• Over 6 million Jewish people died.
• The Germans did not succeed in eliminating the
Jews however.
World War II
• The discovery of Hitler’s death camps profoundly
shocked the world and highlighted the case of
the Jewish people who had survived.
• Many Jewish people began seeking refuge in
• The Arab states near Palestine were,
meanwhile, throwing off colonial rule and getting
together to preserve Palestine for the Arabs.
Jews & Arabs in Palestine,
In 1920, there
was 1 Jew to
every 10 Arabs in
By 1947, the ratio
was 2 Arabs for
every Jew.
The Arabs felt
that they were
losing control of
their “country!”
UN Partition Plan 1947
UN Plan for Palestine (1947)
Partition (separate) the area into 2 countries
Israel (Jewish State) and Palestine (Arab State)
55% of land goes to the Jews
45% of land goes to the Arabs
Total Population: 1.8 million
• 1.2 million Arabs living in area
• 600,000 Jews living in area
Jerusalem:“international city” controlled by UN
Accepted by Jews
Rejected by Arabs
No Arab on committee
The Arab League 1947
• The Arab states now combined together to
form the “Arab League”
• The Arab League consisted of Syria,
Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi
Arabia and Yemen, and it became a
formidable Arab force arranged against
the Jewish settlers.
Israel Becomes a Nation:
May 14, 1948
Chaim Weizmann,
1st President
David Ben-Gurion,
1st Prime Minister
Six Day War 1967
Six Day War
The Arab-Israeli conflict that began in 1948 has continued through the years.
In 1967 and again in 1973, war erupted. Six years after the 1973 war, Egypt
and Israel singed a peace agreement, but unrest among Palestinian Arabs in
Israel remained a major problem.
War in 1967, 1973
• 1967, Egypt
demanded UN
remove troops from
Gaza, Sinai
• Egyptian troops
moved into Sinai to
close off Gulf of
Aqaba, Israel’s route
to Red Sea
Israeli Attacks
Six-Day War
• Israel expected largescale Arab attack,
decided to strike first
• Launched air strikes
against Egypt, Syria,
Jordan; destroyed
most of airplanes on
• Ground troops moved
in, defeated Arabs
• In Six-Day War Israel
took control of Golan
Heights, Sinai
Peninsula, Gaza
Strip, West Bank,
East Jerusalem
• Took control of land in
West Bank, Gaza
with large Palestinian
PLO and Terrorist Activities
The Palestinians (Arabs) set up a more efficient
organisation to promote itself in 1964- with the
assistance of the Arab League (all the Arab
This was the PLO – or Palestinian Liberation
Organisation, based originally on the West Bank
Flag of the PLO-Palestinian
Liberation Organisation.
By Arabs the PLO were seen as
freedom fighters.
By Jewish settlers the PLO were seen
as terrorists.
Yasser Arafat- leader of the
PLO from 1968 onwards.
The October War/Yom Kippur
Egypt Strikes Back
Yom Kippur War
• Egypt, Syria determined to win territory back, launched Yom Kippur War,
surprise attack against Israel in 1973
• Took name from Jewish holy day when attack began
U.S. Support
• At first Arab troops made gains in war; Israeli’s government, led by Golda
Meir, not fully prepared for attack; needed military support from U.S.
• With support, Israeli forces regrouped, pushed back Egyptian, Syrian armies
Oil Embargo
• Both sides agreed to cease-fire after weeks of fighting
• During war, Arab members of OPEC declared oil embargo against countries
supporting Israel
• Price of oil around world rose dramatically as result of refusal to sell oil
Camp David Peace Accords
Egypt-Israel Peace Agreement
Egyptian President Sadat offers peace to Israel.
President Carter sets meeting in U.S.
6. Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and
Sadat sign the Camp David Accords in 1978.
• Egypt becomes first Arab nation to officially
recognize Israel’s statehood.
• Israel agrees to return Sinai Peninsula to Egypt.
Egypt’s President Anwar Sadat shocked
the world when he
became the first leader
of the Arab-world
to offer peace to Israel.
“We used to reject you,”
he told the Israeli
Parliament, “yet, today,
we agree to live with
Two years later,
you in permanent
Sadat is assassinated by angry Muslim extremists.
peace and justice.”
Egypt’s new President Hosni Mubarak
kept Sadat’s policy
and maintained
peace with Israel.
Palestinians could no
longer rely on Egypt in
their conflict with Israel.
Presidents Sadat (UAE), Carter
(USA), and Begin (Israel) sign
the Camp David Accords. 1978.
First Intifada
• Intifada: ‫ انتفاضة‬Arabic word stands for
shaking off or shivering because of fear or
• It also means abrupt and sudden waking
up from sleep or unconcerned status.
• Politically; The word came to symbolise
the Palestinian uprising against the Israeli
• The word also stands for the weakness of
the Palestinian people and their suffering
under the Israeli occupation.
Palestinians continued to
resent Israel’s rule over
their lands and they began
turning increasingly to the
P.L.O. (Palestinian
Liberation Organization) a militant group fighting
an armed struggle for the
liberation of Palestine
from Israel.
T. Loessin; Akins H.S.
Yasir Arafat was the leader
of the P.L.O.
from 1969 – 2004.
In 1987 Palestinians began
the intifada - a widespread
“uprising” with acts of
civil disobedience – such
as attacking Israeli
soldiers, rock throwing,
boycotts, demonstrations.
By 1991 world pressure
led to peace talks again.
Oslo Peace Accords
Peace in 1993
• In 1993 Israel and the PLO
agreed to embark on a peace
• The PLO renounced terrorism
and agreed to recognise
Israeli sovereignty over 78%
of historic Palestine.
• In return the PLO believed
that Israel would end its
occupation and that the
remaining 22% of historic
Palestine would become the
state of Palestine.
• However, Israel gave no
guarantees and with the
murder of Rabin the peace
process effectively died.
Ongoing violence associated with the intifada as well as
Palestinian civil disobedience led to pressure on Israel.
7. Prime Minister of Israel Yitzhak Rabin and P.L.O.
leader Arafat issue a Declaration of Principles.
Rabin promised
self-rule for the Palestinians
in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.
Rabin and Arafat were both awarded
the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994.
Second Intifada
Continuing the Conflict
• 2000—second intifada began
• Palestinian youths joined by Palestinian security forces with guns
• Hamas sent suicide bombers into Israel to attack civilians
More Fighting
Hamas in Control
• Israelis countered by sending
troops backed by tanks, fighter jets,
helicopter gunships into cities in
West Bank, Gaza
• 2004, Israeli prime minister Ariel
Sharon withdrew Israel from Gaza,
parts of West Bank
• 2005, Gaza turned over to
• 2004, Arafat died, succeeded by
Mahmoud Abbas
• 2006, militant Hamas won control
of Palestinian parliament
Armed conflict also erupted when Israeli soldiers were kidnapped along borders
with Gaza and Lebanon. Israel launched air strikes to secure its borders.
West Bank Barrier---The Wall
A Controversial Construction
The West Bank Barrier
Impact of Wall
Completely surround 100,000
people in 42 towns
Reduce the available water supply
by 1 billion gallons
Confiscate hundreds of thousands
of acres of land
Severely restrict travel to jobs,
hospitals and schools
Adversely affect 4 out of 10
Current Issue: Security Barrier
Israeli Perspective
Palestinian Perspective
• Israel is building a barrier
between it and the West
Bank. Israel sees this as
a way to prevent further
suicide bombings.
• The barrier goes beyond
the border between the
West Bank and Israel.
– The barrier route is 449
miles, while the “Green
Line”—the “border”
between the West Bank
and Israel is 199 miles.
Hamas Elected
Background on Hamas
• Militant Islamist group
• acronym for Harakat al-Muqawama alIslamiya ("Islamic Resistance Movement")
• Against Israel’s occupation of the West Bank
and Gaza Strip
– Committed to the destruction of Israel
• Originally had two purposes:
– Carrying out an armed struggle against Israel, led
by Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades
– Delivering social welfare programmes
Hamas (1987)
• A. Attacks:
• 1. Many bombings,
suicide bombings, rocket
and artillery attacks,
kidnappings, beatings,
and other acts of
violence against Israeli
civilians during 80’s and
90’s- hundreds of
• 2. provides relief,
education, to
• 3. provides political
B. Goals:
1. destruction of Israel
2. destruction of Judaism
3. political violence
4. creation of a
Palestinian State
The Slogan of Hamas
“God is it’s target, the Prophet is it’s model, the
Qur’an it’s constitution: Jihad is it’s path and
death for the sake of God is the loftiest of it’s
Violence by Hamas
• Recognized as a terrorist group by Israel, the US, EU,
Canada and Japan
• Has a long record of it attacks and its refusal to
renounce violence
• First used suicide bombing in April 1993, five months
before PLO leader Yasir Arafat and Israeli prime
minister Yitzhak Rabin signed the Oslo Accords
• Oslo Accords established limited self-government for
parts of the West Bank and Gaza under the
Palestinian Authority (PA)
– Hamas condemned the accords, in which the PLO gave
Israel its formal recognition.
Hamas Strategies
• Suicide bombers
• Firing rockets
• Using human shields---storing rockets
under hospitals, schools, mosques, etc…
Control of Gaza
• Hamas controls the Gaza Strip
• There is no Israeli military presence inside
Gaza anymore, but the Gaza’s sea, air
and borders are under Israeli control
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