Israeli–Palestinian conflict.

The latest violence followed a month of rising tensions in Jerusalem, though the conflict has gone on for decades.

The conflict originated with the election of the Islamist political party Hamas in 2005 and 2006 in the Gaza Strip and escalated with the split of the Palestinian Authority Palestinian government into the Fatah government in the West Bank and the Hamas government in Gaza and the following violent ousting of Fatah after.

The problem;

How did it start?

Britain took control of the area from  Jews known as Palestine after the ruler of that part of the Middle East, the Ottoman Empire, was defeated in WW1.

The land was inhabited by a Jewish minority and Arab majority.

Tensions between the two peoples grew when the international community gave Britain the task of establishing a “national home” in Palestine for Jewish people.

For Jews, it was their ancestral home, but Palestinian Arabs also claimed the land and opposed the move.

Between the 1920s and 40s, the number of Jews arriving there grew, with many fleeing from persecution in Europe and seeking a homeland after the Holocaust of WWII.

Violence between Jews and Arabs, and against British rule, also grew.

In 1947, the UN voted for Palestine to be split into separate Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem becoming an international city.

That plan was accepted by Jewish leaders but rejected by the Arab side and never implemented.

In 1948, unable to solve the problem, British rulers left and Jewish leaders declared the creation of the state of Israel.

Many Palestinians objected and a war followed. Troops from neighbouring Arab countries invaded.

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were forced out of their homes in what they call Al-Nakba, or the ‘Catastrophe’

By the time the fighting ended in a ceasefire the following year, Israel controlled most of the territory.

Jordan occupied land which became known as the West Bank, and Egypt occupied Gaza.

Jerusalem was divided between Israeli forces in the West and Jordanian forces in the East.

Because there was never a peace agreement – each side blamed the other – there were more wars and fighting in the decades which followed.

 

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