Israel and her Arab neighbours are also in conflict over the ‘Occupied Territories’, which Israel took from three Arab States in 1967. This creates conflict because yet again other countries believe it was their land. In 1967 there was a The Six Day War in which Israel feared they were going to be attacked by the Arab Nations so struck first. The war was over in six days, her Arab enemies defeated. During the war Israel seized the West Bank from Jordan, the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Desert from Egypt and the Golan Heights from Syria. Israel started moving people into these occupied territories, which is illegal under International Law. In 1973 Israel signed a Peace Treaty with Egypt and gave back the Sinai Desert and Egypt recognised Israel as a state. Israel are keen to keep hold of the occupied territories as they provide further security from the other Arab states however the Arab nations want their land back.
There is also a conflict between Israel and her Arab neighbours over the ‘terrorist’ murders, which have taken place against Israelis and Arabs, mainly Palestinians, by both sides. This has led to conflict because both believe that the terrorist attacks were unfair and those that die should be avenged by reciprocating the attacks. These are the attacks made by Palestinians. On the 1st of June, 2001, twenty young Israelis were killed by a suicide bomber in a Tel Aviv disco. In March of 2002,a Hamas suicide bomber killed 30 elderly Jews in an Israeli seaside resort. On the 11th of June 2003, an 18-year-old member of Hamas, Abdel Madi Shabneh killed sixteen Israelis and wounded over a hundred in a suicide bomb attack on a bus. On the 19th of August 2003, a suicide bomber killed 22 civillians on a Jerusalem bus, 130 passengers and passers-by injured. Israelis responded to these attacks. In July 2002, Israel F16 aircraft dropped a 1-ton bomb on the apartment of Hamas’ military leader in the West Bank blowing him and sixteen civilians to smithereens including 9 children.In March 2004, Israeli helicopter gun ships assassinated the founder and spiritual leader of Hamas, Sheikh Yassin. He was a cleric and wheelchair bound paraplegic. In April 2004 the Hamas Israeli forces assassinated leader in Gaza.
Another problem with the Occupied territories is the water. The West Bank held key underground water sources meaning that over 80% of Israel’s water comes from the West Bank. If they gave up the West Bank there would be a serious water shortage in Israel and they would have to look elsewhere for water or leave.
Jerusalem is another area of conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians. It is the holy city for both Muslims and Jews. For Muslims, it was visited by the Prophet Muhammad and for Jews it was King David’s City. Neither Jew nor Muslim can accept the other ruling it, which means there is constant conflict over it. Palestinians and other Arabs want Jerusalem to become the capital of a new Palestine however it is doubtful that Israel will ever accept this.
In 2002, Israel decided to build a wall in the West bank. This was meant to protect Jewish settlements and make it more difficult for suicide bombers to enter Israel. There was an obvious need for some kind of protection, as over 130 suicide bombers had crossed into Israel from the West Bank. However as the wall was in Occupied Territory the Security wall was declared illegal in 2004.
An additional reason for conflict is the Palestinian Economic conditions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Over 50% of Palestinians are unemployed and face serious prejudice and discrimination if they look for other work in Israel. Another 50% live below the poverty line. Many Palestinians have lost their land and homes to make way for new Israeli development. Health and education services suffer due to restrictions on Palestinian movement in the West Bank. This makes life for the Palestinian refugees extremely difficult forcing them to speak out for better conditions.
Arab Nations often think of the Arab – Israeli conflict as a religious conflict. Muslims against Jews, which they view as infidels. The Arab countries use religion to organise all Muslim nations against Israel. Which makes religion is also key reason for the conflict Arab – Israeli conflict.
Iran is also very anti Israeli. It is part of the Arab Nations, therefore shares their views. It also is of the same religion, Muslim. The leader of Iran has said ‘Iran wants to wipe Israel of the face of the earth.’
Hamas and Hezbollah is another contributing factor for the conflict between Israel and her Arab neighbours. Hamas is a Palestinian Islamist organization that forms the main party of the Palestinian National Authority. Hamas is known outside the Palestinian territories for its suicide bombings and other attacks against Israel, specifically civilians, as well as military and security forces targets. Hamas' charter was written in 1988 and calls for the destruction of Israel and its replacement with a Palestinian Islamic state in the area that is now Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.Hezbollah is a Shi'a Islamic militia and political and paramilitary organization based in Lebanon. The three main goals were the eradication of what it viewed as Western colonialism in Lebanon, the bringing to justice of those who committed atrocities during the war, and establishing an Islamic government in Lebanon. Hezbollah has popular support in Shi'a Lebanese society and has organised demonstrations of hundreds of thousands. Hezbollah also receives arms, training, and financial support from Iran. Hezbollah, which started only with a militia, has grown to an organization which has seats in the Lebanese government, a radio and a satellite television station, and programs for social development. Because of the lack of communication between these to groups and the refusal to cooperate this contributes to preventing peace between the Arabs and Israelis.
To conclude, the major reason for why there is conflict and attempts to develop a peace process since 1993 is Israel’s refusal to give back the occupied territory that isn’t rightfully theirs in the first place, even though they need it for a comfortable living. However if they could survive without it for years before why do they need it all of a sudden. I also believe that if the state of Israel had never been created then the situation would not be as bad as it is now. I think that they could have both coexisted in Palestine peacefully if the Jews had never decided to take over as I think it was unfair of them to force the Palestinians to leave their homes.