Israeli-Palestinian conflict

From Academic Kids

Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip are at the center of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip are at the center of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a part of the greater Arab-Israeli conflict, is an ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinians.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is by no means a simple two-sided conflict with all Israelis (or even all Israeli Jews) sharing one point of view and all Palestinians another. In both communities, there are individuals and groups who advocate total territorial removal of the other community, those who advocate a two-state solution, and those who advocate a binational solution of a single secular state encompassing present-day Israel and the Gaza strip and the West Bank.


Since the Oslo Accord, the government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have been officially committed to an eventual two-state solution. The main unresolved issues between these two bodies are:

  • The status and future of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, which Israel considers in dispute and Palestinians as well as most of the international community consider occupied
  • Israeli security from attacks against Israeli targets, which Israel considers acts of terrorism and Palestinians as legitimate resistance against an illegal occupying force
  • Palestinian security from Israeli military attacks.
  • The nature of a future Palestinian state.
  • The fate of the Palestinian refugees.
  • The settlement policies of Israel, and the ultimate fate of settlements.

The refugee issue arose as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. The issue of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem arose as a result of the Six-Day War in 1967.

People who sympathize with Palestinians tend to view the conflict as an illegitimate military occupation of Palestine, supported with military and diplomatic assistance from the U.S. Many tend to view the armed Palestinian resistance within the West Bank and Gaza Strip as a right granted by the Geneva conventions and the United Nations Charter, and some extend this view to justify attacks, frequently against civilians, within Israel proper.

PLO Fatah Hamas PIJ
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The emblems of all major Palestinian organizations include a map of the land they claim as Palestine (roughly, present-day Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.) Significant minority groups within Israel believe that the Jewish State should encompass part or all of the West Bank and Gaza

Those sympathetic to Israel tend to view the conflict as a campaign of terrorism perpetrated by Palestinian groups such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah and others, and supported by other states in the region and the majority of the Palestinians. They also cite the Geneva conventions and the United Nations Charter to support Israel [1] ( Many tend to believe that the control of part or all of the territory is necessary for the security of Israel. This sharp contrast of views on the nature of the conflict has been a key obstacle to resolution.

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A peace movement poster: Israeli and Palestinian flags and the words Salaam in Arabic and Shalom in Hebrew. Similar images have been used by several groups proposing a two-state solution to the conflict.

One current peace proposal is the Road map for peace presented by the Quartet of the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States on September 17, 2002. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has also proposed a controversial disengagement plan. According to plans submitted to the United States, Israel has stated that it will remove its entire "permanent ... civilian and military presence" in the Gaza Strip, but will "supervise and guard the external envelope on land, will maintain exclusive control in the air space of Gaza, and will continue to conduct military activities in the sea space of the Gaza Strip." The Israeli government argues that "as a result, there will be no basis for the claim that the Gaza Strip is occupied territory", while others argue that, should the disengagement happen, the only effect would be that Israel "would be permitted to complete the wall [that is, the Israeli West Bank Barrier] and to maintain the situation in the West Bank as is" [2] ( [3] (

With the unilateral disengagement plan, the Israeli government's stated intent is to allow Palestinians to create a homeland with minimal Israeli interference while extricating Israel from a situation it believes to be too costly and strategically unsound to maintain over the long run. Many Israelis, including a significant portion of Sharon's own Likud Party are worried that the lack of Israeli military presence in the Gaza Strip will lead to an increase in suicide attacks on Israel. A specific concern is that Palestinian militant groups such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, or the PFLP may emerge from the power vacuum of a post-disengagement Gaza as the political powers in the Gaza Strip.

Many have raised concerns about the spirit and consequences of unilateral disengagement. Tanya Reinhart, an Israeli scholar and activist, cast doubt on the intentions of the Israeli government, noting that "while the world believed that Rabin promised to eventually end the occupation and dismantle the settlements, the number of Israeli settlers actually doubled during his rule" [4] ( The disengagement, she contends, is simply a way to deflect international criticism, as opposed to a genuine effort to progress toward peace.


See history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for an account of events of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict beginning in the 1880s and continuing to present day.

Related articles






Until 1949




Ideology and ideas

Media coverage

Elements of the conflict

Organizations and armed forces





Related conflicts

Further reading

External links

de:Nahostkonflikt es:Conflicto rabe-israel he:הסכסוך הישראלי פלשתינאי ja:パレスチナ問題 sv:Israel/Palestina-konflikten zh:以巴冲突


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