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Middle East Facts

Arab Palestinian-Israeli Conflict – Over a century of ongoing dispute

Arab Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

The Israeli–Arab/Palestinian conflict is an ongoing dispute between the State of Israel and the Arab/Palestinians and is part of the wider Arab–Israeli conflict. At present, major polls show the vast majority of Israelis and Arab/Palestinians do not agree a two-state solution is the best way to end the conflict. Most Arab/Palestinians falsely view the Judea and Samaria aka West Bank and Gaza Strip as their future state, and most Israelis disagree. The Arabs received about 78% of Jewish allocated land by International law and treaties after WWI and the new Arab State was set-up on all the land east of the Jordan River, now calledJordan. Today, over 75% of the population of Jordan is Arab/Palestinians and most Arabs in Judea andSamaria aka West Bank carry Jordanian passports. Therefore, Jordan is the Arab/Palestinian state that was set-up illegally on Jewish territory in violation of international laws and treaties.

Since the six day war of June 1967; the negotiating parties to resolve the conflict, have been the Israeli government and the Arab/Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

The official negotiations were originally mediated by an international contingent known as the Quartet on theMiddle East (the Quartet) represented by a special envoy that consists of the United StatesRussia, the European Union, and the United Nations. The Arab League (who recommended the expulsion of the Jews from Arab countries and the confiscation of all their assets), another important actor, has proposed an alternative peace plan. Egypt, a founding member of the Arab League, has historically been a key participant. The United States has been an ardent supporter of Israel often taking positions against UN Resolutions (which are only a recommendation and non-binding until accepted by all the parties) condemning the actions of Israel. But rarely if ever is the UN condemning terror and violence by the Arabs against Israel, or any other Arab violations against Israel.

Since 2006, the Arab/Palestinian side has been fractured by conflict between the two major factions: Fattah, the largest party, and Hamas. As a result, the territory controlled by the Arab/Palestinian National Authority (the Palestinian interim authority) is split between Fattah in Judea and Samaria aka West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza strip, which also historically is Jewish land.

Hamas is recognized by the world at large as a terrorist organization and if the world nations reverse that decision. Hamas will still be recognized as a terrorist organization by Israel and the United States; although Hamas deceptively and by force and intimidation won the Arab/Palestinian 2006 elections in Gaza; therefore, Hamas has not been allowed to participate in official negotiations. The Arab/Palestinians are the occupiers; these people are living in refugee camps with sufficient food, potable water, electricity, adequate medical care, and work.

New Peace negotiations between the Arabs and Israelis began at AnnapolisMarylandUnited States, in November 2007. No final solution occurred to date; but Arab terror and violence continues unabated, which is an obstacle to peace negotiations and coexistence. The parties agree there are six 'final status' issues which need to be resolved: Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, security, borders and water. Thus; when the Arab/Palestinians would relocate to Jordan, (which was set-up as the new Arab State on Jewish territory under international law and treaties), then most disputes would be resolved. (Israel from a legal authority under international law; has the right to demand the return of its territory in Jordan).



Causes of the Arab/Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

The Palestinian-Israeli conflict stems from competing Jewish and Arab claims to the land in Palestine (the Zionist liberation and occupation of its Jewish Palestinian land), and the conflicting promises by the British in the forms of the Hussein-McMahon Correspondence (which he signed an affidavit, that he never promised Palestine to the Arabs) and the Balfour Declaration of 1917 confirming that all of Palestine as the historical ancestral land of the Jewish people and the promise to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in all of Palestine (this was made into international law and treaties; after WWI and confirmed by the 1920 treaty of Sevres and Lausanne, including the 1919 Faisal Weitzman Agreement acknowledging that all of Palestine as the Jewish National Home. Moreover; the past century; saw countless outbreaks of violence between Jewish and Arab residents in the region of Jewish Palestine.

The roots of the Arab-Israeli conflict can be traced to the late 19th century, which saw a rise in national movements, including Zionism and Arab nationalism in EgyptSyriaIraq and others. Zionism, the Jewish national movement, was established as a political movement in 1897, largely as a response to Russian and European anti-Semitism.


Zionism sought the re-establishment of the Jewish Nation-State in all of Palestine so that they might find sanctuary and self-determination there. Palestine aka the land of Israel is the Jewish historical ancestral land, which was never forsaken or abandoned.


The Jewish people ever since the destruction of the second Jewish Temple on Temple Mount in Jerusalem; have prayed for their return to Jerusalem, celebrated holidays in the memory of Jerusalem, observed fast days in its memory and the Jewish people mourn the destruction of the Jewish Temple on a daily basis including at Jewish marriage ceremony, by breaking a glass and recited during the three daily prayers; aspiring and pleading to the almighty for the Jewish people to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Jewish Temple on Temple Mount; where the previous two Jewish Temples stood.


The World Zionist Organization and the Jewish National Fund encouraged and promoted immigration and funded the purchase of land under Ottoman rule and while the British Mandate control (as trustee for the Jewish people) in the region of Jewish Palestine.


In the 1870’s, a wave of anti-Semitism spurred a new migration from central Europe, and in 1898, Theodore Hertzel organized a Zionist international movement to establish in Palestine the reconstituted home for the Jewish People secured by public law. Thousands of Jewish Palestinians were already living in Palestine as their descendants had done so for over 35 centuries.


In 1917, Arthur James Balfour, as Foreign Secretary, authored the Balfour Declaration, which supported the re-establishment of a Jewish homeland in all of Palestine. The Balfour Declaration pledged England’s support of Zionist goals in order to win the support of the international community, especially American Jews support to the Allies during World War I. Thus, many Jews joined; The British and Allied armies to fight the Germans and the Ottoman Empire.

In 1916, one year prior to the 1917 Balfour Declaration, a secret agreement was made between the British War Cabinet and Zionist leaders promising the latter a “national home” in Palestine in consideration of their efforts to bring the United States into World War I on the side of Great Britain.

Following World War I and the dissolution of the Ottoman EmpirePalestine came under the control of theUnited Kingdom through the Sykes-Picot Agreement and a League of Nations mandate for Palestine. During the Palestine mandatory period, the British were the trustee for the Jewish people with duty and obligation to promote Jewish immigration, help develop the country and establish the sovereign government of Israel.

The British intentionally violated the terms of the Mandate and allocated Jewish land to the Arabs and reallocated about 78% of Jewish territory under international law and treaties, east of the Jordan River as the new State of Transjordan now known as Jordan.

The British submitted the Balfour Declaration of 1917 to the Jewish people. The Paris Peace Conference in 1919-20 and subsequent Supreme Allied Powers International conferences made Palestine a British mandate, with the British as trustee for the Jewish people to create a Jewish sovereign state. The League of Nationsadopted and approved the international treaties, and more Jews entered Palestine. The Arab/Palestinians resented this “immigration” into their occupied territory. Tensions between Arab and Jewish groups in the region erupted into physical violence—That started the Arab riots and violence against the Jews: 1920 Palestine riots, the 1921 Palestine riots, the 1929 Arab Hebron massacre of the Jews and the 1936-1939 Arab revolt in Palestine; that began the forced expulsion of many Jews from Jerusalem and their property taken over by the Arabs.

The British tried to maintain a precarious peace, but Hitler’s anti-Semitic policy increased the influx of Jews into Palestine and caused further Arab resentment. The Jewish population rose to nearly half a million in 1935. The Arab rebellion started in 1936 and continued to expand until a major British Military effort suppressed it two years later; destroying and leveling whole streets of Arab homes, meanwhile many Jews were injured and killed, and property destroyed.


The British illegally proposed a failed partition plan, while the British White Paper of 1939 illegally established a quota for Jewish immigration set by the British in the short-term; (which caused the deaths of millions of Jews trying to escape Nazi extermination), and by the Arab population in the long-term. Both Arab terrorists and Jewish groups directed violence against the British in order to expel the British mandatory government from Palestine, which was held in contempt by both sides.

In 1942, Zionist leaders met in New York’s Biltmore Hotel to devise the Biltmore Program which called for unlimited immigration of Jews to Palestine which, after the war, would become a sovereign Jewish commonwealth state.


In May 1945, after the German surrender, the Jewish Agency wrote Prime Minister Churchill demanding the full and immediate implementation of the Biltmore resolution, the cancellation of the White Paper, the establishment of Palestine as a Jewish state, Jewish immigration to be an Agency responsibility, and reparation to be made by Germany in kind beginning with all German property in Palestine. The Arab/Palestinians, who are the occupiers of Jewish land, have no say in any of this.


The British stalled, and the Haganah (the Jewish voluntary militia organized in local units primarily for local defense) engaged in extensive smuggling of Jewish Holocaust survivors. In October 1945, Haganah’s clandestine radio station, Kol Israel, declared the beginning of “The Jewish Resistance Movement”. OnOctober 31, 1945 the Jews in Palestine engaged in an extensive “Jewish defensive” campaign and attacked three small British naval craft, wrecked British railway lines, and attacked a British railway station and a British oil refinery. In June 1946, Jewish defense forces executed more sabotage in Palestine against the oppressive British authorities who violated the terms of the Mandate with impunity. The Jewish defense group inPalestine destroyed twenty-two RAF planes at one airfield. 

The Haganah agreed to an Irgun (Jewish defense group offshoot of Haganah) attack on British headquarters in the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. The bombings killed ninety-one British, Arab, and Jewish people and wounded forty-five. The Jewish defense forces had notified the King David Hotel of the impending explosion, but the British chose to ignore it, to the detriment of all those casualties.

The British retaliated by raiding the Irgun headquarters in Tel Aviv. By the end of 1946 the Irgun-Stern groups in protecting and defending the unarmed terrorized Jewish people had killed 373 persons. The Haganah and the Jewish defense forces continued to operate with at least tacit support of a large part of the Jewish citizenry, who were consistently terrorized by the Arabs and harassed by the British.


Attack on Acre Prison, 4th May 1947

Disguised as British troops and with apparently the correct documents such as movement orders and identity papers, the Irgun blasted their way in. Jewish inmates obviously knew ahead of time as they then collaborated in the attack and escape.

To add to the confusion and panic, grenades were lobbed into the part of the prison which held those mentally unfit. A number of imprisoned Irgun terrorists and more than 100 Arabs escaped but there were troops in the vicinity and fighting resulted.

Most of the escapees got away but 8 Jews were killed and 13 were captured, many of them wounded. One of the attackers was Eitan Livni, a Pole, the father of Tzipi Livni an Israeli politician.



This violence and the heavy cost of World War II led Britain to abandon its promise and duty to re-establish the sovereignty of the Jewish people in Palestine and it turned the issue of Jewish Palestine which was reconstituted in 1920 by international law and treaty, over to the United Nations.

In 1947, the U.N. in violation of international laws and treaties and against its charter it recommended and approved the meaningless partition of the British Mandate of Palestine as trustee for the Jewish people, into two states: one Jewish and one Arab. The Jewish leadership accepted the plan, but Palestinian Arab leaders, supported by the Arab League, rejected the plan outright. The rejection by the Arabs made the UN recommendation of partition meaningless. Thus, a major conflict broke out, when the local Arabs attacked the local Jews. Israel who was fighting for survival gained the upper hand after some losses in this inter-communal fighting, and on May 14, 1948; The Jewish people declared its sovereign independence.

Five Arab League countries (EgyptLebanonSyriaTransjordan and Iraq and other Arab militia), then invadedPalestine, starting the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. The war eventually resulted in an Israeli victory after substantial losses, with Israel capturing additional territory beyond the UN illegal partition borders, but within the terms of international law and treaties of post WWI. After the armistice agreements went into affect. Jerusalem was left as a divided city. The territory Israel did not re-capture was taken over by EgyptLebanonSyria, andTransjordan (now Jordan). The war also resulted in the 1948 Palestinian exodus, which was caused at the urging of the 5 invading Arab armies, known to Palestinians as Al-Naqba.


For decades after 1948 and the Arab armies failed invasion of Palestine aka Israel. Arab governments had refused to recognize Israel and in 1964 the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was founded with the central tenet that Palestine, with its original Mandate borders, (that means it includes the land east of theJordan River which is now Jordan) is the indivisible homeland of the Arab Palestinian people. This was the doctrine the Soviets had programmed to the PLO.  In turn, Israel refused to recognize the PLO as a negotiating partner.


In the Six-Day War of 1967, Israel captured the whole Sinai up to the Suez Canal and liberated Judea and Samaria aka West Bank from Jordan, Golan from Syria, the Gaza Strip from Egypt, and East Jerusalem including the Old City and its holy sites, which Israel annexed and reunited with the Western neighborhoods of Jerusalem. The status of the city as Israel's capital and the liberation occupation of Judea and Samaria akaWest Bank and Gaza Strip (which is Israel’s territory under international law, agreements and treaties) created more conflict between the Arabs and Israelis.


In 1970, the PLO tried to take over Jordan and was expelled from Jordan, in what was known as the Black September. Large numbers of Arab/Palestinians moved into Lebanon after the Black September, joining the thousands Arabs already in Lebanon. In October 1973; a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syrialaunched the Yom Kippur War against Israel. The Egyptians and Syrians advanced during the first 24–48 hours, after which momentum began to swing in Israel's favor. The Jewish state called in its reserves, and after fighting numerous hard and bloody battles on two fronts; Israeli defense forces reached 30 miles from Cairoin the Egyptian front and 20 miles from Damascus in the Syrian front.

Eventually a cease-fire took effect that ended the war. This war with Israel the victor; paved the way for the Camp David Accords in 1978, which was suppose to set a precedent for future peace negotiations. In Israel, defending itself is a matter of survival. It is Israel must fight to defend itself and must win at all costs or be annihilated, for Israel and its people, there is no other option.


Status of Israel’s liberated occupied territories

Occupied Jewish Palestinian Territories is the term used by the UN to refer to the Judea and Samaria aka West Bank, Golan and Gaza Strip— territories which Israel conquered and liberated in a defensive war, it was liberated from Egypt, Syria and Jordan in the June 1967 Six-Day War—in the conflict. The Israeli government uses the term “Disputed Territories”, to indicate its position that most territories cannot be called occupied and are considered, liberated Jewish territory. Thus, Israel has a right to these territories under post WWI international law and treaties, as no nation had clear rights to them except Israel under international law, and there was no new operative diplomatic arrangement when Israel liberated and re-acquired them in June 1967.


Israeli communities-settlements in 1920 Jewish allocated territory

Israel is falsely accused: The Israeli communities-settlements in Judea and Samaria aka West Bank and, until 2005, the Gaza Strip has been an obstacle to a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

The international media, the international political community (including the US, the UK, and the EU), the International Court of Justice, and international and human rights organizations who have also falsely called the settlements illegal; while ignoring Israel’s rights under international law and treaties. On the Contrary International law and treaties of post WWI specifically allocated all of Palestine as the reconstituted Jewish National Home and the right to reside anywhere in Palestine. This was confirmed by the 1920 treaty of Sevres and Lausanne, including the January 1919 Faisal Weitzman Agreement acknowledging that all of Palestine is the reconstituted Jewish State.

In the years following the Six-Day War, and especially in the 1990’s during the so called peace process, Israel re-established its communities and towns destroyed in 1929 and 1948 and established numerous new communities-settlements in Judea and Samaria aka West Bank.

Most of these communities-settlements of about 690,000 people are in the western parts of Judea and Samaria aka West Bank, while others are deep into Jewish Palestinian territory (which Arabs are permitted to reside and control at the generosity of the government of Israel), overlooking Jewish Palestinian cities, (which Arabs are permitted to reside and control at the generosity of the Israeli government). These communities-settlements have been the site of much inter-communal conflict. These false charges are instigated by the Arabs, who are not satisfied with the over 5 million square miles of territory they received after WWI. Now they also want what is left from the 75,000 square miles of land; allocated to the Jewish people after WWI, under international law and treaties.



The three largest Abrahamic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—claim Jerusalem in their religious and historical narratives. Israel asserts, and rightly so, that the city of Jerusalem since King David purchased Jerusalem from the Jebusites (to prevent conflict), has always been the capital of the Jewish Nation and cannot be divided; thus, Jerusalem must remain unified within Israel's political control and sovereignty. Arab/Palestinians falsely claim at least the parts of the city which were not controlled by Israel prior to June 1967 war. As of 2009, there are 695,000 Jews mostly living in all of Jerusalem, and there are 232,000 Muslims mostly living in East Jerusalem and areas nearby. There are also Christians and others, totaling about 70,000 people.


Arab-Palestinian refugees and a million Jewish refugees from Arab Countries

There are about 400,000 Arab/Palestinians and their descendants who were urged to flee from Israel by the Arab League following its creation (about 300,000 Arabs stayed and benefited greatly from Israel’s democracy; some became judges and some became members of the Israeli Parliament; something which is not permitted to Jews in any Arab-Muslim country). Arab-Palestinian refugees were asked to leave their homes by the 5 invading Arab armies while they advanced to destroy the new Sovereign Nation of Israel. Thus, Israel’s new defense forces; which included former personnel from the Haganah, Lehi, and Irgun. These unified Jewish forces defeated the Arab armies, and an armistice was declared. Armistice agreements were executed and demarcation lines were drawn as cease fire line, not borders.


The Arab Countries terrorized and expelled over a million Jewish families. Many of these families have lived in the Arab countries over 2400 years. This would be a thousand years before Islam was even created. The Arabs also confiscated all the assets of the expelled Jews, including businesses, homes and over 70,000 square miles of land (6 times the size of Israel), valued today in the trillions of dollars. Most of the Jewish families expelled from Arab lands, were resettled in Israel and today comprise over half the population in Israel. The worldwide population increase of the expelled Jewish families from Arab lands and their descendants number today over 8 million.


Arab/Palestinian negotiators have so far insisted that Arab refugees who left of their own volition, and all their descendants, from the 1948 and 1967 wars have a right to return to the places where they lived before 1948 and 1967; that includes those within the 1949 Armistice lines. The Arabs are citing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and UN General Assembly Resolution 194, adopted in 1948, which is only a recommendation and has no validity unless accepted by all parties, which states:

"the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors” (and as the past 68 years has shown that the Arab/Palestinians do not live in peace but commit terror and violence) “should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity”, (that also applies to the million Jewish families, refugees from Arab countries), “should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible."

UN Resolution 3236 "reaffirms also the inalienable right of the Arab/Palestinians and the Jewish people and their families to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced and uprooted, and calls for their return".

This terminology of return applies to the Jews who were forcefully expelled from Palestine, aka The Land of Israel by any past occupying force.

Resolution 242 from the UN affirms the necessity for "achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem". That includes the over million Jewish families-refugees from Arab countries who also had all their assets confiscated, including over 120,000 square km. of land.

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