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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Essay on Palestinian Conflict

INSTRUCTIONS:  The conflict between two peoples in Palestine went through three phases: 1882-1948, 1948-1993, 1993-Present.  What characteristics defined each phase?  What major events occurred during each and why they are important?  What incidents or phenomena sparked the
transition from one phase to the next?

Essay on Palestinian Conflict
            The current conflict between the Arabs and the Zionist has been a direct result of various events that took place in 1882 to 1948, 1948 to 1993, and 1993 up to the modern times. Each phases contributed to the increasing conflict between the two groups within the Palestinian region. According to historical accounts, the root of the Israeli and Palestinian war takes its roots at the end of World War I. It was during this time when Palestine, along with other Ottoman colonies was given to different countries by the League of Nations. Palestine was taken over by the British government until it deemed itself ready to be an independent state. While the other colonies were handed their independence, Palestine continued to be under the control of the British. Along with this, the increasing number of Jewish immigrants increased within the region of the ongoing persecution of the Nazis in Europe. The League of Nation therefore, created a mandate which allowed Jews to enter Palestine. This policy resulted in a mass Jewish immigration beginning 1922 (EBSCO 1). 

            The growing number of Jewish immigrants further angered the Arabs who at that time was already asking for their freedom. After more than ten years of managing the conflict between the two groups, the British government decided to give the region back to the United Nations. In an attempt to appease the situation the UN proposed a separate state for the Arabs and the Jews. The division however, was not favorable towards the Palestinians as the Arabs only got 45% of the land. The Jews on the other hand, received 55% of the territory despite the fact that the group only consisted 30% of the population. The resolution was rejected by the Arabs who waged an uprising against the Jews. In return, the Zionist group committed a massacre which killed 33 Arabs (EBSCO 1).

            The year 1948 marked the full-scale civil war between the Arabs and the Israelis. With the ongoing Jewish persecution and mass murder of World War II, Zionism as a group gained more support from moderate Jews. With the growing number of support from the moderate Jews, the Zionist group residing in Palestine established the proposed Jewish state of Israel by declaring their independence in May 1948. Despite the mandate of the United Nations which allocated only 55% of the land for the Jews, the Zionists occupied 77% of the Palestinian land. This included the city of Jerusalem which was initially decreed by the UN as a “corpus separatum” or separate body.  The Jews continued to assert its dominance over the Palestinian territory despite the effort of the UN to provide the Arabs with a legitimate sovereignty. The conflict continued until Israel was able to conquer the remaining 23% of the entire Palestinian territory (EBSCO 1). This was followed by a number of wars that spanned until 1993. This includes the Six-Day War of 1967, the Attrition Battle of 1967-1970, the October War  of 1973, and the First Intifada which lasted from 1987-1993 (ICS 1).

            After decades of conflict, the Oslo Accord was set to create an arrangement between the Israel and the PLO as the two signed a Declaration of Principles. The Accord also resulted in the creation of a Palestinian Authority which is responsible for the control of territory as well as the gradual withdrawal of Israel’s military force from the Gaza Strip. In addition to this, the Oslo Accord resulted in the exchange of Letters of Mutual Recognition from both parties. Over the years however, the groups accused each other of not following the agreement. This then resulted to a Second Intifada which began in 2000. Consequently, this was followed by a series of bloodsheds and war between the Israelis and the Palestinians (ICS 1).

Works Cited
“Arab-Israeli Conflict”. 2012. ICS Resource. 1 July 2013 from

“History of Israel and Palestine”. 2013. EBSCO Host Connection. 1 July 2013



Muhammad Y. Muslih, The Origins of Palestinian Nationalism (Columbia, 1988), pp. 69-87; 232-34.

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