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. But in 1523 Palestine was conquered by the Turks and became part of the Ottoman Empire. However, the Turks and Arabs were both Muslims.

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2. Events since 1948

   After the Partition Plan was enforced in 1948, the Jews were given 14760km2 of fertile land. It had taken the Zionists 70 years to purchase 7% of Palestine, and now the UN was offering them another 50%. The plan was rejected by all Arab governments. However, the Zionists were not completely happy either, as Jerusalem was excluded as a Jewish state. The Zionists believed that all Jews should move back to Palestine, and wanted to strengthen Jewish territory and drive the Arabs out. With the backing of the American Jews and the government, Israelis now ...

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