The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is the ongoing struggle between Israelis and Palestinians that began in the early 20th century. The conflict is wide-ranging, and the term is also used in reference to the earlier phases of the same conflict, between the Zionists and the Arab population living in the area.
A densely-populated country on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, Israel is the only state in the world with a majority Jewish population.
It has been locked in conflict with the Palestinians and its Arab neighbours over ownership of land considered holy by Jews, Christians and Muslims since its creation in 1948.
The division of the former British mandate of Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel in the years after the end of World War II was the culmination of the Zionist movement, whose aim was a homeland for Jews scattered all over the world
The Gaza Strip is a rectangle along the Mediterranean coast between Israel and Egypt. The majority of its approximately 1.4
million residents are Palestinian refugees, many of whom have been living in refugee camps for decades; 80 percent were
estimated to be living in poverty in mid-2007.
In a pre-emptive attack on Egypt on 5 June 1967 that drew Syria and Jordan into a regional war, Israel made massive territorial gains capturing the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula up to the Suez Canal.
The principle of land-for-peace that has formed the basis of Arab-Israeli negotiations is based on Israel giving up land won in the 1967 war in return for peace deals recognising Israeli borders and its right to security. The Sinai Peninsula was returned to Egypt as part of the 1979 peace deal with Israel.
1947-1948: The Palestinian Jews, forced to form an organized defense against the Arabs, formed the Hagana, the beginnings of the Israeli Defense Forces [IDF]. There was also a Jewish underground called the Irgun, led by Menachem Begin (who later became Prime Minister of Israel). Besides fighting the Arabs, the Irgun was instrumental in driving out the pro-Arab British. Finally, in 1947 the British turned the Palestine matter over to the United Nations.
Since the 1993 Declaration of Principles, which resulted from the Oslo peace process, there have been several handovers of land to differing degrees of Palestinian civil and security control.
On the ground in the West Bank the Palestinian Authority territory is broken up by Jewish settlements, Israeli controlled roads and large tracts of Israeli controlled land designated as military areas or nature reserves.
parts of the Ottoman Empire were handed over to the French to control and parts were handed over to the British – including Palestine. Britain governed this area under a League of Nations mandate from 1920 to 1948. To the Arab population who lived there, it was their homeland and had been promised to them by the Allies for help in defeating the Turks by the McMahon Agreement - though the British claimed the agreement gave no such promise.
The same area of land had also been promised to the Jews (as they had interpreted it) in the Balfour Declaration and after 1920, many Jews migrated to the area and lived with the far more numerous Arabs there.
The main problem after the war for Palestine was perceived beliefs. The Arabs had joined the Allies to fight the Turks during the war and convinced themselves that they were due to be given what they believed was their land once the war was over.
Clashing with this was the belief among all Jews that the Balfour Declaration had promised them the same piece of territory.
In August 1929, relations between the Jews and Arabs in Palestine broke down. The focal point of this discontent was Jerusalem.
The primary cause of trouble was the increased influx of Jews who had emigrated to Palestine. The number of Jews in the region had doubled in ten years
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the world's longest standing conflicts. Many people feel that resolving this conflict is the key to resolving the various conflicts throughout the Middle East. Some observers see this conflict creating Arab resentment towards the "West" and fueling radical Islamic terrorism.
The First Word War brought the fall of the Ottoman Empire, following which the French and British victors divided the Arab region. It was also the start of British occupation in Palestine. While this was going on, the population of Jews in Palestine started increasing through immigration with the help of non-Muslim countries.