History of Israel Palestine Conflict | Timeline, History, Map

Israel Palestine Conflict History 

When the Industrial Revolution began in Europe, it also brought about the spirit of nationalism among the Europeans. The British and the French emerged as two major European powers. After the unification of Germany by Bismarck, even Germany emerged as a strong power. 

This period of nationalism in Europe also was a period of colonization. In fact, colonization of the world had begun by European powers after geographical discoveries and Industrial Revolution. The British and the French resented the rise of Germany as they perceived it as a serious competitor. 

The later part of the 1880s saw alliance formations in Europe which ultimately culminated in the First World War. Germany formed an alliance with Austria, Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire, while the British had formed their own alliance with the French. The Ottoman territory would be disastrous even for the British and French as they used the oil from the territory for industrial activities back home. 

As the First World War broke out, in 1916, the British and the French signed the Sykes-Picot Agreement. Also known as the Asia Minor Agreement, the agreement had the British and the French decide the division of the Ottoman territory among themselves after the First World War. As the war ended, the British and French emerged victoriously and Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottomans lost. The victorious powers of the First World War now decided to curb German ambitions and also divide the Ottoman territory. 

The Treaty of Versailles

The establishment of the League of Nations, the Mandate system, and the Balfour Declaration gave effect to the ambitions of victorious powers. The British got the mandate of Iraq and Palestine, while the French kept Syria and Lebanon as mandates. In order to curb German ambitions, the Treaty of Versailles was designed and signed in 1919. 

As per the treaty, the Germans were not allowed to maintain a strong military and its resources were to be shared with victorious powers like Britain and France. The prime intention to inflict harm on Germany was to ensure that it does not recover enough to act as a threat to Britain and France again. It also severely limited Germany's colonial ambitions. The wars also created a sense of nationalism in the Jews.

 The Jews were also inspired to have their own national home in the land they believed had been 'promised to them by God. Theodor Herzl, in 1896, established the World Zionist Organization in Basel in Switzerland as a political movement to take Jews from Europe to Zion. (Zionism subsequently emerged as a political movement of Jews, Zion or Jerusalem is where the Temple Mount is located in Palestine.) The basic idea of Theodor Herzl was that first, rich European Jews would go to Palestine and purchase lands and over a period of time, other Jews would go and settle in Palestine. Zionism, which emerged as a political movement, ended up being a movement to colonize Palestine. As the number of Jews in Palestine began to increase, the move was not appreciated by the Arabs. 

After the First World War, as the Mandate of Palestine had come under British control the Arabs complained to the British about the rising number of Jews in Palestine, The British subsequently controlled the entry of the Jews into Palestine but did not impose a complete halt. This sowed the seeds of the Arab-Palestine disenchantment.

Also, Read the Six-Day War Causes

Hitler and jew

Jews from Europe to Palestine

During the inter-war period, Germany began to defy the Treaty of Versailles and also began to proot the Jews in Germany. Hitler blamed Jews for the problems of Germany and in 1940, unleashed the horror Forecast as a 'final solution to the Jewish Problem. The mass massacre of Jews led to a wave of deep sympathy for the Jewish people all over the world. 

The US also convinced its ally Britain to allow lakh Jews from Europe to Palestine and ease the entry restrictions. As more number of Jews entry of en to enter Palestinė, it upset the Arabs in Palestine, The situation in Palestine was very volatile. As brows and Arabs fought for the claim of Palestine, the UN was created as a successor to the League of Nations on 15 May 1947. 


Israel Palestine Conflict Map
Israel Palestine map

The British decided to hand over their Mandate of Palestine to the UN for deliberation. Subsequently, the UN established the United Nations Special Commission on Palestine (UNSCOP). 

The UNSCOP deliberated upon the Palestinian issue. During the UN debates, one group advocated that Arabs have been controlling Palestine, but Jews also have a rightful claim on the territory, and therefore the territory of Palestine should be partitioned for Arab Palestinians and Jews, creating a plan which came to be known as the Majority Plan. On the other hand, the other group advocated that horses should be a Federal Palestine and Jews can be accommodated in a unified Federal Palestine without the need to partition. Thus, this group created this plan which came to be known as the Minority Plan

On 29 November 1947, the UN voted on both the plans. As per the vote, the Majority Plan received the maximum votes. The Palestine territory was to be partitioned, and it was decided to establish an Arab Palestine and a Jewish Palestine while keeping the city of Jerusalem under international control. 

As per the decision of the UN, with the support of the US, on 14 May 1948, Jewish Palestine got established on the demarcated territory and Israel, as a state, was born. However, the Arabs failed to establish Arab Palestine on the demarcated territory. In 1948, after the creation of Jewish Palestine or Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq. Egypt and Jordan collectively attacked Israel. 

This led to the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948. The UN immediately stepped in and by 1949, an Armistice agreement was achieved. From 1919 to 1956, there was a truce in the region, but in 1956 Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal and prevented Israel from accessing the Suez Canal. 

This led to a tripartite agreement between Israel, Britain, and France in Sevres, France, after which, Ariel Sharon of Israel attacked Egypt and captured the Gaza Strip and Sharm el Shaikh

The subsequent intervention of the US to defuse the crisis led to peace again. But the Suez crisis firstly led to a big blow to the supremacy of Britain and France while boosting the image of Nasser in the Arab world. The awakened Arab world began to ponder as to why the Arabs could not succeed in establishing Arab Palestine. The Arabs realized that it was because they lacked an organization like the Jews and recognized the fact that splinter groups advocating for Arab Palestine have to be brought under a unified umbrella.

Establishment of  Palestine Liberation Organization

In 1964, the Arabs established the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The PLO emerged as an organization of the Arabs fighting Israeli militarily for supremacy in the Palestinian region. Britain, France, and Israel, along with the Americans, condemned the creation of the PLO in 1967, Egypt was mobilizing its military units along with the Sinai and also closed the Gulf of Aqaba to Israel. 

This war lasted for six days (also known as the Six-Day War) and Israel captured the Gaza Strip from Egypt. Israel also took the West Bank from Jordan and Golan Heights from Syria after the war. Arabs took the matter to the UN, urging the UN to compel Israel to vacate the occupied territory and go back to accept the borders that existed before the 1967 war.

The UN passed UN Resolution 242, urging Israel to vacate the territory and immediately resort to holding of borders as existed before 1967. The state of Israel refused to comply with the UN orders. The refusal of Israel to comply with UN resolution 242 came as a big shock to the Arab world. The PLO subsequently became more radical to tackle Israel.

Factions within Palestine Liberation Organization(PLO)

  1. Filastinya al Wathonlyah al Tahrir al Harakat (FATAH)
  2. Popular front for the liberation of Palestine
  3. Democratic Front for the liberation of Palestine
  4. Palestine Communist Part

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