The history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict goes back many decades, to when the UN formed Israel in 1948. The conflict is between the Israelis who are Jewish, and the Palestinians who are Arabs, with both sides fighting over land rights in the Middle East. The surrounding countries of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon, support the Palestinians, in their fight to get their homeland back. The Palestinian supporting countries immediately attacked Israel, and a big conflict in the Middle East began. The Israelis believe they have sole rights to govern, and live in their country, although the Palestinians think they should be able to live on their homeland, which they have
inhabited for many centuries.
Background on the Conflict
The formation of Israel has been the fundamental cause of the major wars, between the Arabs and the Jewish people for decades. These wars occurred in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973, and 1982. The first war immediately followed Israel’s formation. In this war, the Israelis took the entire Egypt-Palestine frontier, except for the Gaza Strip. In 1956, Israel took the Suez Canal, from Egypt by raiding Arab bases, which increased their buffer zone. The buffer zone is an area that Israel controlled but did not own. This made the Palestinian’s effort to attack more difficult, because they had to cross over more land. Then in 1967 Israel shot down six Egyptian military planes, causing the Egyptians to activate their troops. Israel then eliminated the Egyptian Air Force and won what came to be known as the “Six Day War.” In this war Israel seized the city of Jerusalem; this city is of significance to both sides of the conflict, because it’s historically connected with their religious beliefs. They also obtained the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and Golan Heights, which increased their land holdings. In 1973, the “Yom Kippur War” occurred. This war was caused by Egypt crossing the Suez Canal, and Syria, another Arab country attacking from the Golan Heights. Israel suffered heavy casualties, but still managed to drive them back, and retained possession of previously captured territory. In 1974, Egypt signed a cease-fire, and Syria started negotiation of peace agreements. When Egypt signed the peace treaty, and recognized that Israel has a right to exist, Israel gave back the Sinai Peninsula in 1979. Increased tensions between the two groups caused Israel to bomb Lebanon, because there are two major Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) centers situated there.