Conflict in Palestine: Review of Main Events

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A historical look at the conflict between the Arab population and the Jewish population allows recognize the main events and the chronology of agreements, tensions and the current situation in the region of Palestine. In this way, we highlight the following events, taking as reference the Zionism of the 19th century.

second half of the 19th century: beginning of the Zionist movement (Jewish feeling of returning to the holy homeland). Jewish ethnic groups from different parts of the world began to migrate to the region of Palestine, still under the rule of the Turkish-Ottoman Empire.

End of World War I: fall of the Ottoman-Turkish Empire and border delimitation of countries based on British and French interests.

End of World War II: UN (1947) – the creation of the State of Israel is approved, with the promise of the creation of a Palestinian State.

1948-1949: First Arab-Israeli War - Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Transjordan (now Jordan) attacked Israel. Israel's victory expanded its territories, annexing West Jerusalem and new areas in the center, northeast and southwest. Transjordan conquered the West Bank and Egypt the Gaza Strip.

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1956: Suez Conflict – Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal, an important passage between the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. France, England and Israel invaded Egypt. Due to agreements established by the USSR and the United States, the invading countries retreated and Egypt was strengthened, increasing the ideals of Pan-Arabism.

1964: Creation of the PLO (Organization for the Liberation of Palestine), led by Yasser Arafat.

1967: Six Day War – Israel advanced and conquered the Golan Heights (Syria), the West Bank, East Jerusalem (Jordan) and the Sinai Peninsula (Egypt).

1973: Yom Kippur War – Offensive of the Arab countries defeated in the Six Day War in an attempt to recover the lost territories. Israel won again. In response, Arab member countries of OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) put pressure on central countries, raising oil prices.

1979: Camp David Accords – Mediated by US President Jimmy Carter, Egypt and Israel sealed an agreement, ending economic embargoes and mutual sanctions. Israel returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt which, in turn, recognized the representativeness of the State of Israel. Egypt was the first Arab country to recognize the State of Israel, being considered a traitor by some Arab leaders.

1980s: Amidst the poverty situation of the Palestinian majority, the few prospects for a peace agreement in the region and the recruitment of young people through religious values, armed militias, known in the West as terrorist groups, such as Hamas and the Hezbollah.

1987: 1st Intifada - In an unplanned way, Palestinian civilians started to attack Israeli soldiers. Tensions increased on the Gaza and West Bank borders.

1993: Oslo Accords - US President Bill Clinton established mediation between Arafat (Palestine) and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The creation of the ANP (Palestinian National Authority) was established as the official political organization of the Palestinian nation and the gradual disengagement of Gaza and the West Bank.

1995: Rabin was murdered by a Jewish extremist. The far right took power in Israel and did not commit to evacuating the areas where the Palestinian population is concentrated.

2000: 2nd Intifada – coordinated mainly by Hamas.

2005: Beginning of withdrawal from Jewish settlements in Gaza. Mahmoud Abbas won the Palestinian presidential election. A member of the moderate Fatah group, he favored negotiations with Israel.

2006: Hamas won the Palestinian parliamentary elections. UN, EU, United States and Israel did not recognize such elections. Disputes between Hamas and Fatah, which sought the formation of a Palestinian State by different paths, increased: Hamas seeks a State Religious, using force and denying the Jewish presence, while Fatah seeks a secular state favorable to dialogue with Israel.

2007: Egypt and Israel's trade blockade of Gaza in order to reduce Hamas' access to various supplies, such as weapons, but which ended up reducing the quality of life of all Palestinians in the region.

2009: Right-winger Benjamin Netanyahu, from the conservative Likud party, took over as prime minister of Israel. New West Bank settlements were planned.

2010: Expectation of the Palestinian elections, which were again postponed and, this time, indefinitely, due to Fatah divisions and Hamas boycotts. Israel announced the construction of 1600 houses in East Jerusalem. The UN, Russia, the United States and the EU have set a two-year deadline for Israel to vacate the West Bank. Shortly thereafter, Israel attacked a convoy of Turkish ships carrying supplies of food and medicine to Gaza, killing nine unarmed civilians.

2011: Hamas and Fatah signaled for a dialogue in order to eliminate their political and strategic differences. US President Barack Obama stated that the ideal scenario would be a return to pre-Six-Day War borders.

2012: Palestine acquired the status of an Observer Non-Member State of the UN, without the right to vote in the General Assembly, but able to participate in the discussions of the institution.

2013 (first semester): Legislative elections in Israel kept the concentration of power in the hands of the conservative Likud party. Members of Hamas and Fatah forged closer ties to create a coalition government.


Julio César Lázaro da Silva
Brazil School Collaborator
Graduated in Geography from Universidade Estadual Paulista - UNESP
Master in Human Geography from Universidade Estadual Paulista - UNESP

Source: Brazil School - https://brasilescola.uol.com.br/geografia/conflito-na-palestina-revisao-dos-principais-acontecimentos.htm

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