Conflict in the Holy Land
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The Mandate
This conflict begins
after WWI, when the
Ottoman Empire lost
control of the Middle
East. The land was
divided and European
countries were given
mandate, or control, of
the region.
The Holocaust
Jewish immigration to the Middle East was steadily
growing because of Zionism. After WWII and the
uncovering of the Holocaust, the Zionist movement gained
more support to create a Jewish homeland.
The Partition
In 1947, the United Nations
announced a plan to divide
Palestine into an Arab and
Jewish state. Jews agreed,
but Arabs vowed to do
anything needed to prevent
the U.N. plan from being
carried out.
The State of Israel
The Jews were
outnumbered in Palestine,
but their armies were
much more advanced
because of involvement in
WWII. Despite the
bloodshed, the State of
Israel was created on May
14, 1948.
David Ben-Gurion: leader of
Zionism movement and first
prime minister of Israel
Arab-Israeli War
That night, a combined Arab
force of Egyptians, Iraqis,
Jordanians, Syrians, Lebanese,
Saudi, and Yemeni troops
attacked. The Arab-Israeli War
or Israeli War for Independence
lasted for 8 months, during
which time the Jews not only
defended their land, but
expanded the territory to
include most of the lands the
Palestinians had been offered
and rejected.
The Refugee Camps
The land Palestine lost
was divided among
their Arab neighbors,
leaving Palestine with
nothing. This created
over 780,000 refugees
who were displaced.
Many of them left
Israel, but some had
nowhere to go and
ended up in refugee
camps along Arab
The situation in camps like these is
a breeding ground for terrorism.
Suez War
Although Israel
became a member of
the United Nations,
many Arab countries
refused to recognize
its existence. Skirmishes
resulted, including the
Suez War of 1956
between Israel and
Six Day War
The Six Day War of
1967 was a sweeping
victory for the Israelis.
They overran the
enemies, gaining
control of the Sinai
Peninsula and the City
of Jerusalem, which is
sacred to both Muslims
and Jews.
Munich Olympic Games 1972
Terrorist attacks were intended to avenge the victory,
including the 1972 murders of 11 Israeli athletes at the
Munich Olympic Games.
Yom Kippur War - 1973
In 1973, Egypt and Syria carried out
an attack on Israel during Yom
Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish
calendar. This time, the Arabs were
better prepared with weapons from
the Soviet Union. The Israelis were
able to hold off the Arabs, but the
Yom Kippur War was an important
step to the peace process.
Camp David Accords
President Jimmy Carter
became involved in the
peace process by
arranging a meeting
between Anwar Sadat of
Egypt and Menachem
Begin of Israel. They
signed a treaty agreeing
that Israel would return
the Sinai Peninsula to
Egypt in exchange for
recognition of Israel as a
The First Treaty Fails
Despite the treaty,
terrorism continued.
Anwar Sadat was
assassinated by Muslim
extremists for agreeing to
acknowledge Israel.
Israel invaded Lebanon
in 1982, in search of
terrorists hiding out in the
Intifada – “Uprising”
In the 1980’s Palestinians began the Intifada, or war
of sticks and stones. Israeli soldiers did not know
how to react to the Palestinian civilians without
looking like bullies.
Death…A Part of Life?
The 1990’s showed little improvement to the situation. Israeli
extremists were responsible for the Hebron Massacre where
29 Palestinians were killed at a mosque. Another Jewish
extremist, angered by peace efforts, assassinated Prime
Minister Yitzak Rabin. Palestinian terrorism is also common.
Suicide bombings by Palestinian groups attack both civilian
and military targets.
Is there still hope for
peace in Israel?