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The Arab-Israeli Conflict

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GCSE History Coursework Modern World Study: The Arab-Israeli Conflict Why has it been so difficult to bring peace between Israel and the Palestinians since 1948? 1. The Roots of the Conflict Both the Arabs and the Israelis have equal religious and historical claims over Jerusalem, and these claims are the roots of the conflict. Jerusalem is Judaism's holiest city and is the site of Solomon's temple and the Dome of the Rock mosque, where Abraham sacrificed Isaac. Jerusalem is Islam's third holiest city, and is the site of the Al-Aqsa mosque. Jews first settled Palestine around 1200BC. In 63BC the Romans captured Jerusalem. After the Jewish revolt of 50-60AD the Jews were driven out of Palestine as punishment. This was known as the Diaspora. A second Diaspora followed another revolt in 135AD and from this time until the late nineteenth century Jews spread across Europe and few lived in Palestine. Until 642AD only small numbers of Arabs lived in Palestine. ...read more.


900,000 Arabs had fled from their homes seeking refuge in neighbouring countries. After the war in 1967, 181,300m2 of land was taken by Israel, and 1,115,000 Palestinian refugees were living in neighbouring countries, resulting in the formation of the PLO and Hamas in refugee camps. They had no permanent homes and no government of their own. Gaza Strip, West Bank and Jerusalem were now occupied territories. When Israelis began to occupy the West Bank after 1967, Arabs were either forced out or worked as a lower class with Israeli machinery working of agricultural land production trebling. Israeli presence increased the number of refugees in the West Bank. Jerusalem was included in this area. Settlers angered the Arabs as they felt it violated the negotiation that if Israeli state was recognised, Arabs could have land back. Land was used for industry, especially weapon construction. There were many settlements in the West Bank at this time. Jerusalem will always be a point of argument as it is holy to both sides, and politically neither is willing to concede. ...read more.


Finally, they wanted the refugees to be allowed to return. Both sides broke the 1993/5 peace agreement. 3. Recent Events and the Current Situation In September 2000, Ariel Sharon visited Al-Aqsa mosque, causing much anger among Palestinians. The al-Aqsa Intifada and al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades emerged from this incident. The Intifada was the Palestinian uprising against the Israeli occupation of West Bank and Gaza Strip. Through 2005 the level of violence sunk to a level which has made many declare the Intifada is coming to an end. Others define the Intifada to be ongoing even in 2006. From the Palestinian side, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Martyrs' Brigades, performed several attacks on Israeli interests, largely suicide bombings. Towards the end of 2000, a wall dividing Jewish and Palestinian territory starts being constructed, solely placed on Palestinian land, by which Palestinian territory is effectively annexed by Israel. In fairness, the construction of this wall did decrease the number of suicide bombings. In February 2004 Sharon declared a plan to remove all Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip. However, this did not end the violence. ...read more.

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