Arab-Israeli Conflict: Introduction
The conflict between
Israel and the
Palestinians is one
that is:
• Extremely dangerous
• Long-lasting
• Complicated
• Animated by religious
Israel: Land for Jews
• Israel –refers to the
modern nation
established in 1948
• Established as a
homeland for the Jews
who had faced
centuries of
discrimination at the
hands of others
• The majority of the
population is Jewish
Jerusalem: The Western Wall
• Jerusalem, located
in Israel, is the site
of the holiest site in
Judaism, -remains
of the earliest
Palestine: Homeland for
-Palestinians are the Arabic
speaking people that live
in Palestine.
-Most Palestinians practice
Islam which came to
Palestine around 638 AD.
-Jerusalem is one of the
most holy cities for Islam
because Moslems believe
that Muhammad
ascended to heaven here
Timeline of Events: A short
1250 BC: Israelites began to conquer and settle the land of Canaan, or
modern day Israel
63 BC: The Jewish state, Judea, was incorporated into the Roman province
of Palestine. It remains under Roman rule until 638 A.D.
70 AD: Jewish Diaspora- A revolt against Roman rule was put down This
marks the beginning of the Jewish Diaspora, or dispersion. Romans force
Jews out of Palestine.
313-638 AD: The Byzantine Christian Era. Palestine was ruled by the
Byzantine Emperors in Byzantium.
650 AD: Conquest by Arab Muslims-Palestine is controlled by Muslims for
the next 1,000 years.
1200-1300- Jews living in Europe face persecution by non Jew during the
Middle Ages.
Timeline of Events: A short
Early 1800’s- Rise of anti-Semitism-hatred or fear of Jewish people
1897: Zionism-movement to establish a Jewish homeland begins,
immigration of Jews to Palestine picks up pace.
1917-Balfour Declaration- British Prime Minister Lord Balfour declares a
need for Jewish homeland.
1920-1947: British Mandate period. Britain administered the area and
promised a homeland to both Jews and Palestinians
1939- Nazi Holocaust results in the death of over 6 million European Jews.
1947-48: United Nations controlled
1948: Israel is given its independence. Arab nations attack. At the end of
the war, territory that would have gone to Palestinians is claimed by Egypt
and Jordan.
David Ben Gurion.1886-1976
•Prime Minister of Israel 1948-1953,
•Zionist but not an extremist.
•Refused terrorism as a political tool.
•Urged Jews to form military selfdefence force
David Ben-Gurion declares Israel’s
Independence May 14, 1948
Israel was quickly recognised by the USA and Russia.
They were powerful, and rich, friends.
Israel 1948 at Independence
Jewish Territory
Arab Territory
1948-9 Israeli War of
• Arab League countries declared war on
the new Israel immediately. Egypt, Iraq,
Syria, Jordan and Lebanon all planned
• The idea was to crush Israel before it
could become established.
Results of the war.
• Israel soundly defeats Arab forces
• Israel signed armistice agreements with all the
Arab states.
– Egypt gains Gaza Strip, Jordan gains West Bank.
• Israel expands by another 25%!
• Palestinian Refugees forced to fee Israel,
• Thousands of Jews forced out of surrounding
Arab nations
Gaza Strip-Egyptian
‘West Bank’-Jordanian
Rise of the PLO-1964
• Arabs created the
Palestine Liberation
Organization (PLO) to
regain land
• Led by Yasser
Arafat (died 2004)
• Guerrilla tactics
• Terrorism
1967 War: The Six Day War
• Fearing attack by
Egypt, Syria, Iraq and
Jordan, Israel
launched a
preemptive strike
• Israel captured the
West Bank, Gaza
Strip, Sinai Peninsula
and the Golan
1973 Yom Kippur War
• Iraq, Egypt, Syria, and Jordan
attacked Israel to regain lands
lost in the 6 day war.
• The Arab nations were initially
successful as the Israelis were
celebrating Yom Kippur and
had not anticipated an attack.
• After several weeks, Israel
recovered its occupied lands
and a cease fire was reached.
• Both Arabs and Jews gained
confidence as a result of the
1978 Camp David Accords
• The first peace treaty
between Israel and an
Arab State-Egypt
• This historic agreement
led to Israel returning the
Sinai Peninsula to Egypt
in return for diplomatic
• Egyptian leader Anwar
Sadat was assassinated
in 1981 by the Egyptian
Islamic Jihad
First Intifadah, 1987-1993
• Palestinians began
the Intifada – “the
• Frustrated with lack
of progress with the
establishment of a
homeland for them
they begin terrorist
attacks against
Israeli citizens
Oslo Accords-1993
• Yassir Arafat (PLO) &
Yitzhak Rabin (Israel)
• gave Palestinians self
rule in the Gaza Strip &
the West Bank
• PLO agreed to stop
opposing Israeli
settlements and using
terrorist methods
Road Map to Peace
• 2003 – goal was a permanent settlement
between the Arabs & Israelis by 2005
The Remaining Issues
• The right of Israel to exist as a nation on land previously occupied by
• Palestinian Refugees the establishment of a homeland for them and
the right of return
• The building of settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip
• Status of Jerusalem
• Terrorism
• Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights and the West Bank.
• Water rights
• Defensible and safe borders for Israel and Palestine
• Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails
• International and Arab recognition of Israel and normalized relations