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, (10,000 square miles at present) land at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea. During its long history, its area, population and ownership varied greatly. The present state of Israel occupies all the land from the Jordan river to the Mediterranean ocean, bounded by Egypt in the south, Lebanon in the north, and Jordan in the East. The recognized borders of Israel constitute about 78% of the land. The remainder is divided between land occupied by Israel since the 1967 6-day war and the autonomous regions under the control of the Palestinian autonomy. The Gaza strip occupies an additional 141 square miles south of Israel, and is under the control of the Palestinian authority. Palestine has been settled continuously for tens of thousands of years. Fossil remains have been found of Homo Erectus, Neanderthal and transitional types between Neanderthal and modern man. Archeologists have found hybrid Emmer wheat at Jericho dating from before 8,000 B.C., making it one of the oldest sites of agricultural activity in the world. Amorites, Canaanites, and other Semitic peoples related to the Phoenicians of Tyre entered the area about 2000 B.C. The area became known as the Land of Canaan. The Jewish Kingdoms of Ancient Judah and Israel The archeological record indicates that the Jewish people evolved out of native Cana'anite peoples and invading tribes. Some time between about 1800 and 1500 B.C., it is thought that a Semitic people called Hebrews (hapiru) left Mesopotamia and settled in Canaan. Canaan was settled by different tribes including Semitic peoples, Hittites, and later Philistines, peoples of the sea who are thought to have arrived from Mycenae, or to be part of the ancient Greek peoples that also settled Mycenae. According to the Bible, Moses led the Israelites, or a portion of them, out of Egypt. Under Joshua, they conquered the tribes and city states of Canaan. Based on biblical traditions, it is estimated that king David conquered Jerusalem about 1000 B.C. and established an Israelite kingdom over much of Canaan including parts of Transjordan. The kingdom was divided into Judea in the south and Israel in the north following the death of David's son, Solomon. Jerusalem remained the center of Jewish sovereignty and of Jewish worship whenever the Jews exercised sovereignty over the country in the subsequent period, up to the Jewish revolt in 133 AD. The Assyrians conquered Israel in 722 or 721 B.C. The Babylonians conquered Judah around 586 B.C. They destroyed Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem, and exiled a large number of Jews. About 50 years later, the Persian king Cyrus conquered Babylonia. Cyrus allowed a group of Jews from Babylonia to rebuild Jerusalem and settle in it. However, a large number of Jews remained in Babylonia, forming the first Jewish Diaspora. After the reestablishment of a Jewish state or protectorate, the Babylonian exiles maintained contact with authorities there. The Persians ruled the land from about 530 to 331 B.C. Alexander the Great then conquered the Persian Empire. After Alexander's death in 323 B.C., his generals divided the empire. One of these generals, Seleucus, founded a dynasty that gained control of much of
Palestine about 200 B.C. At first, the new rulers, called Seleucids, allowed the practice of Judaism. But later, one of the kings, Antiochus IV, tried to prohibit it. In 167 B.C., the Jews revolted under the leadership of the Maccabeans and either drove the Seleucids out of Palestine or at least established a large degree of autonomy, forming a kingdom with its capital in Jerusalem. The kingdom received Roman "protection" when Judah Maccabee was made a "friend of the Roman senate and people" in 164 B.C. according to the records of Roman historians. Palestine From Roman to Ottoman Rule About 61 B.C., Roman troops under Pompei invaded Judea and sacked Jerusalem in support of King Herod. Judea had become a client state of Rome. Initially it was ruled by the client Herodian dynasty. The land was divided into districts of Judea, Galilee, Peraea and a small trans-Jordanian section, each of which eventually came under direct Roman control. The Romans called the large central area of the land, which included Jerusalem, Judea. According to Christian belief, Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem, Judea, in the early years of Roman rule. Roman rulers put down Jewish revolts in about A.D. 70 and A.D. 132. In A.D. 135, the Romans drove the Jews out of Jerusalem, following the failed Bar Kochba revolt. The Romans named the area Palaestina, at about this time. The name Palaestina, which became Palestine in English, is derived from Herodotus, who used the term Palaistine Syria to refer to the entire southern part of Syria, meaning "Philistine Syria." Most of the Jews who continued to practice their religion fled or were forcibly exiled from Palestine, eventually forming a second Jewish Diaspora. However, Jewish communities continued to exist, primarily in the Galilee, the northernmost part of Palestine. Palestine was governed by the Roman Empire until the fourth century A.D. (300's) and then by the Byzantine Empire. In time, Christianity spread to most of Palestine. The population consisted of Jewish converts to Christianity and paganism, peoples imported by the Romans, and others who had probably inhabited Palestine continuously. During the seventh century (A.D. 600's), Muslim Arab armies moved north from Arabia to conquer most of the Middle East, including Palestine. Jerusalem was conquered about 638 by the Caliph Umar (Omar) who gave his protection to its inhabitants. Muslim powers controlled the region until the early 1900's. The rulers allowed Christians and Jews to keep their religions. However, most of the local population gradually accepted Islam and the Arab-Islamic culture of their rulers. Jerusalem (Al-Quds) became holy to Muslims as the site where, according to tradition, Muhammad ascended to heaven after a miraculous overnight ride from Mecca on his horse Al-Buraq. The al-Aqsa mosque was built on the site generally regarded as the area of the Jewish temples. The Seljuk Turks conquered Jerusalem in 1071, but their rule in Palestine lasted less than 30 years. Initially they were replaced by the Fatimid rulers of Egypt. The Fatimids took advantage of the Seljuk struggles with the Christian crusaders. They made an alliance with the crusaders in 1098 and captured Jerusalem, Jaffa and other parts of Palestine. The Crusaders, however, broke the alliance and invaded Palestine about a year later. They captured Jaffa and Jerusalem in 1099, slaughtered many Jewish and
Muslim defenders and forbade Jews to live in Jerusalem. They held the city until 1187. In that year, the Muslim ruler Saladin conquered Jerusalem. The Crusaders then held a smaller and smaller area along the coast of Palestine, under treaty with Saladin. However, they broke the treaty with Saladin and later treaties. Crusade after crusade tried to recapture Jerusalem, but they were unable to do so for more than a brief period. The Crusaders left Palestine for good when the Muslims captured Acre in 1291. During the post-crusade period, crusaders often raided the coast of Palestine. To deny the Crusaders gains from these raids, the Muslims pulled their people back from the coasts and destroyed coastal towns and farms. This depopulated and impoverished the coast of Palestine for hundreds of years. In the mid-1200's, Mamelukes, originally soldier-slaves of the Arabs based in Egypt, established an empire that in time included the area of Palestine. Arab-speaking Muslims made up most of the population of the area once called Palestine. Beginning in the late 1300's, Jews from Spain and other Mediterranean lands settled in Jerusalem and other parts of the land. The Ottoman Empire defeated the Mamelukes in 1517, and Palestine became part of the Ottoman Empire. The Turkish Sultan invited Jews fleeing the Spanish Catholic inquisition to settle in the Turkish empire, including several cities in Palestine. In 1798, Napoleon entered the land. The war with Napoleon and subsequent misadministration by Egyptian and Ottoman rulers, reduced the population of Palestine. Arabs and Jews fled to safer and more prosperous lands. Revolts by Palestinian Arabs against Egyptian and Ottoman rule at this time may have helped to catalyze Palestinian national feeling. Subsequent reorganization and opening of the Turkish Empire to foreigners restored some order. They also allowed the beginnings of Jewish settlement under various Zionist and proto-Zionist movements. Both Arab and Jewish population increased. By 1880, about 24,000 Jews were living in Palestine, out of a population of about 400,000. At about that time, the Ottoman government imposed severe restrictions on Jewish immigration and land purchase, and also began actively soliciting inviting Muslims from other parts of the Ottoman empire to settle in Palestine, including Circassians and Bosnians. The restrictions were evaded in various ways by Jews seeking to colonize Palestine, chiefly by bribery. The Rise of Zionism - Jews had never stopped coming to "the Holy land" or Palestine in small numbers throughout the exile. Palestine also remained the center of Jewish worship and a part of Jewish culture. However, the Jewish connection with the land was mostly abstract and connected with dreams of messianic redemption. In the nineteenth century new social currents animated Jewish life. The emancipation of European Jews, signaled by the French revolution, brought Jews out of the Ghetto and into the modern world, exposing them to modern ideas. The liberal concepts introduced by emancipation and modern nationalist ideas were blended with traditional Jewish ideas about Israel and Zion. The marriage of "love of Zion" with modern nationalism took place first among the Sephardic (Spanish and Eastern) Jewish community of Europe. There, the tradition of living in the land of the Jews and return to Zion had remained practical goals rather than messianic
The Arabs. and for Syria and Lebanon to be given to the France. Initially. Rishon Letzion and elsewhere. A small group founded the NILI underground that fed intelligence information to the British. who lived in what is now Yugoslavia. a large number of Jews were forced to flee Palestine during the war. the Ottoman Empire joined Germany and Austria-Hungary against the Allies. Zichron Jacob. and many in the British government including Lawrence. and Hebrew was a living language. Britain and France planned to divide the Ottoman holdings in the Middle East among themselves after the war. However. At the same time. Palestine's Arab population grew rapidly. north of Jaffa.During World War I (1914-1918). The United States and other countries pressed for Arab self-determination. The Zionist movement became a formal organization in 1897 with the first Zionist congress in Basle. They had been able to enter Palestine as Russian nationals because of the concessions Turkey had granted to Russian citizens.000 were Arabs. By 1914. Lawrence's exploits and their importance in the war against Turkey were somewhat exaggerated by himself and by the enterprising publicist Lowell Thomas. but the information they provided is said to have helped the British invasion effort.aspirations. however. in order to free the land of Turkish rule. it was more difficult for the Jews. believed that the Arabs had been short-changed by the British promise to give Syria to the French. Arabs led by T. Though practically forgotten. particularly in Germany and Eastern Europe. About 615. the Turkish military governor ordered internment and deportation of all foreign nationals. The Zionists established farm communities in Palestine at Petah Tikva. the total population of Palestine stood at about 700. they envisioned the population of Palestine by millions of European Jews who would soon form a decisive majority in the land. and it is very probable that Herzl was influenced by them. The Turks eventually caught members of the NILI group. Therefore. Herzl's grandfather was acquainted with the writings of Alcalay. part to be placed under a joint Allied government.E. Emancipation of Jews triggered a new type of virulent anti-Jewish political and social movement in Europe. A large number of Jews were Russian nationals. Lawrence and backed by Sharif Husayn revolted against the Ottomans in the belief that Britain would help establish Arab independence in the Middle East. published the first Zionist writings in the 1840s. The Zionists wished to establish a "Jewish Homeland" in Palestine under Turkish or German rule. In any case. and likewise by the promise of Palestine as a Jewish . and they had used this method to overcome restrictions on immigration. For a time. oppression of Jews in Eastern Europe stimulated emigration of Jews to Palestine. most Zionists were not concerned about the Arab population. owing to outbreaks of cholera and typhus. In 1916. organized by Theodor Herzl. which they ignored.000. They had also maintained Russian citizenship to avoid being drafted into the Turkish army. Beginning in the late 1800's. Britain also offered to back Arab demands for postwar independence from the Ottomans in return for Arab support for the Allies and seems to have promised the same territories to the Arabs. The war was hard on both Jewish and Arab populations. An Ottoman military government ruled Palestine. and 85.000 were Jews World War I . The Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916 called for part of Palestine to be under British rule. Later they established the new city of Tel Aviv. or thought would agree to voluntary transfer to other Arab countries. Rabbi Yehuda Alcalay. these ideas took root among a few European Jews.000 to 100.
Britain issued the Balfour Declaration..because they always arrive to suck the blood of everybody. The declaration was the result of lobbying by the small British Zionist movement. Chaim Weizmann. but the British denied this. Zionist and Arab representatives pleaded their case. At the Paris peace conference in 1919. The declaration was a letter addressed to Lord Rothschild. Instead. "Their history and their past proves that it is impossible to live with them. and did not relish living under Jewish rule. Paradoxically. Feisal conditioned his support on satisfaction of Arab aspirations in Syria. The declaration stated Britain's support for the creation of a Jewish national home in Palestine. especially by Dr. considering that the areas now called Palestine were their land. but it was motivated by British strategic considerations. Dr. inspired by anti-Semitism. Arabs lobbied the American King-Crane commission.In November 1917. The British and French saw the Mandates as instruments of imperial ambitions. The Arabs opposed the idea of a Jewish national home. before Britain had conquered Jerusalem and the area to be known as Palestine. Remarkably. of his support for the Zionist cause (see Feisal-Frankfurter Correspondence ). The Zionists presented a map of the area they wanted for the Jewish national home. but claimed he had never signed any such documents. and decided to ask for a mandate that would implement the Jewish national home of the Balfour declaration. Weizmann and the Emir Feisal reached a signed agreement regarding Arab support for a Jewish national home. In all the countries where they are at present. they are not wanted. a major motivation for the declaration may have been the belief. The Arabs felt they were in danger of dispossession by the Zionists. Chief Justice Frankfurter. much of the Ottoman Empire was divided into mandated territories assigned to the victors of the war. perhaps. the King Crane commission had been sent to hear the views of the inhabitants. At the Paris peace conference and through the League of Nations. based on a request of the Zionist organization in Great Britain. who had emigrated from Russia to Britain.. The Arabs claimed that Palestine was included in the area promised to them. and later formed a national movement to combat the terms of the Mandate. At the commission hearings. without violating the civil and religious rights of the existing non-Jewish communities. Syria was given to the French as a League of Nations mandate and Feisal not only withdrew his support from the Zionist project. The British Mandate for Palestine The Balfour Declaration . Aref Pasha Dajani expressed this opinion about the Jews." . However. a project that would be supported by the Americans. that international Jewry would come to the aid of the British if they declared themselves in favor of a Jewish homeland. in favor of annexation of the Palestine mandate area to Syria.homeland. and the fear that the Germans were about to issue such a declaration. At the instigation of US President Wilson. The British were anxious to keep Palestine away from the French.. Feisal also assured the American Zionist representative.. US President Wilson insisted that the mandates must foster eventual independence. and met each other.
the British representative in Amman. A crackle of thorns. 1956 p 19) However.We as a nation. Abdullah made no attempt to march on Damascus. Zionists had recognized the inevitability of conflict with the Palestinian and other Arabs. that as Churchill suggested in 1922. The area granted to the mandate was much larger than the area sought by the Zionists. London. It is possible. marched toward Transjordan with 2.. Abdullah marched north and by March 1921. had 50 policemen. Ultimately. which would extend west and east of the River Jordan.. The area of the mandate (see map at right) given to Britain at the San Remo conference was much larger than historic Palestine as envisaged by the Zionists. based on the Balfour declaration. who would lead the Yishuv (the Jewish community in Palestine) and go on to be the first Prime Minister of Israel. Sir Alec Kirkbride. the British never intended that all of this area would become a Jewish national home. A Jewish agency was created only in 1929. remove the French and reinstate the Hashemite monarchy. want this country to be ours. He announced his intention to march to Damascus. and perhaps never intended to do so . David Ben Gurion. Herbert Samuel. wrote that "There was no intention at that stage  of forming the territory east of the river Jordan into an independent Arab state. some believe that Britain had no special plans for Transjordan initially.By this time. told a meeting of the governing body of the Jewish Yishuv in 1919 "But not everybody sees that there is no solution to this question. later called "The Jewish Agency for Palestine. rather than the views of the inhabitants. was formalized in 1922.000 soldiers. He asked for guidance from the British High Commissioner. and Samuel eventually replied that it was unlikely Abdullah would enter British controlled areas. the son of King Husayn of the Hijaz. The mandate." The Zionists and others presented their case to the Paris Peace conference. Abdullah. Britain received a provisional mandate over Palestine. On the other hand. delayed by the desire to create a body that represented both Zionist and nonZionist Jews." that would represent Jewish interests in Palestine to the British and to promote Jewish immigration. want this country to be theirs. who had sought an eastern border to the West of Amman. Sir Alec Kirkbride. The British were to help the Jews build a national home and promote the creation of self-governing institutions. The mandate provided for an agency." (Kirkbride. In his memoirs. Two days later. the Arabs as a nation. the British plan was adopted. The Jewish agency in Palestine became in many respects the de-facto government of the Jewish Yishuv (community). The main issues taken into account were division of rights between Britain and France. In 1920. Alexander. he occupied the entire country.
later Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and eventually a Nazi collaborator. The riots of 1920 and 1921 reflected opposition to the Balfour declaration and fears that the Arabs of Palestine would be dispossessed. Ormsby-Gore. The violence led to the formation of the Haganah Jewish self-defense organization in 1920. Arab standard of living increased faster in Palestine than other areas. "Palestine is largely inhabited by unreasonable people. The Arabs wanted as little as possible to do with the Jews and the mandate. The British responded with the Passfield White Paper. The major instigators were Hajj Amin El Husseini. as required by the mandate. undersecretary of state for the colonies concluded. That report stated that in the best case. economic. The Arabs claimed that Jewish immigration and land purchases were displacing and dispossessing the Arabs of Palestine. the Arabs would not accept proposals for such institutions if they included any Jews at all. and so no institutions were created. Jaffa and Haifa. The white paper attempted to stop immigration to Palestine based on the recommendations of the Hope Simpson report. nor even in the Arab Agency that the British wanted to set up. The riots were also fueled by false rumors that the Jews intended to build a synagogue at the wailing wall. and Arif -El Arif. headed by Benjamin Vladimir (Ze'ev) Jabotinsky. A part of the Zionist movement felt betrayed at losing a large area of what they termed "historic Palestine" to Transjordan. and would not participate in municipal councils. spring of 1921 and summer of 1929. which would have an Arab majority. The area east of the river. The pogroms led to evacuation of most of the Jewish community of Hebron. However. The British hoped to establish self-governing institutions in Palestine.In the spring of 1920. Arab nationalists opposed to the Balfour declaration. a prominent Palestinian journalist. Hebron. The riots of 1929 occurred against the background of Jewish-Arab nationalist antagonism. and split off to form the "Revisionist" movement. The Jews were alarmed by the prospect of such institutions. the Arabs of Palestine benefited from the Mandate and Zionist investment. and population grew prodigiously throughout the Mandate years. instigated riots and pogroms against Jews in Jerusalem. including the AlAqsa mosque. (see Zionism and its Impact). However. or otherwise encroach upon the Muslim rule over the Temple Mount compound. and were probably attempts to show the British that Palestine as a Jewish National home would be ungovernable. was made a separate British mandate and eventually given independence (See map at right) . the British declared that the boundary of Palestine would be limited to the area west of the river. . the mandate and the Jewish National Home. called Transjordan (now Jordan).In 1922. population and other indicators suggest that objectively." Arab Riots and Jewish immigration . following extensive .
"). and later by Menachem Begin. Husseini fled to Iraq. the British began limiting immigration and the 1939 White Paper decreed that 15.000 Jews would be allowed to enter Palestine each year for five years. perpetrated by the Irgun (Irgun Tsvai Leumi or "Etsel. where he was involved in an Axis-supported coup against the British and then to Nazi Germany. where he subsequently broadcast for the Axis powers. The revolt was kindled when British forces killed Izz al din El Qassam in a gun battle." In response to the riots. a former Turkish officer. The commission's recommendations also included voluntary transfer of Arabs and Jews to separate the populations. and with random terror and bombings of Arab civilian targets. later known as the Arab Revolt or Great Uprising. immigration would be subject to Arab approval. The revolt was coopted by the Husseini family and by Fawzi El Kaukji. Saud said that if the British failed to follow Arab wishes in Palestine. the Hesder. About half the 5. and destined to final destruction and eternal damnation hereafter. a race accursed by God according to His Holy Book. Large numbers of Jews began to come from Poland owing to discriminatory laws and harsh economic conditions. which spread rapidly owing to initial unpreparedness of the British authorities. However. appear to wield over them and the English people generally. Izz al Din El Qassam was a Syrian preacher who had emigrated to Palestine and was agitating against the British and the Jews. The Jewish Agency made a deal. Etsel was the military underground of the right-wing dissident "revisionist group" headed first by Vladimir (Ze'ev) Jabotinsky. The Hesder saved tens of thousands of lives. and the remnant of the Hebron Jewish community was evacuated as well. that allowed Jews to escape Germany to Palestine in return for hard currency that the Reich needed. who seceded from the Zionist movement. The rise of Hitler in Germany added to this tide of immigration. The Yishuv (Jewish community) responded with both defensive measures. rejected partition and demanded that the British curtail Jewish immigration. and it was possibly financed in part by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy.economic development. Otherwise further Jewish immigration would infringe on the position of the existing Arab population. Jewish immigration swelled in the 1930s. Thereafter. the land could support immigration of another 20.000 families in total. driven by persecution in Eastern Europe. The Peel commission of 1937 recommended partitioning Palestine into a small Jewish state and a large Arab one. the British took drastic and often cruel steps to curtail the riots.000 residents of the Jewish quarter of the old city of Jerusalem were forced to flee. At the same time. even before the rise of Nazism. broke out. The Jewish leadership considered the plan but the Palestinian and Arab leadership. including King Saud of Saudi Arabia . and the still more strange hypnotic influence which the Jews. British MPs and the Zionist movement sharply criticized the new policy and PM Ramsay McDonald issued a "clarification" stating that Jewish immigration would not be stopped. Arab Revolt and the White Paper . The Husseini family killed both Jews and members of Palestinian Arab families opposed to their hegemony. Thousands of Arabs and hundreds of Jews were killed in the revolt.In 1936 widespread rioting. the Arabs would turn against them and side with their enemies. He said that Arabs did not understand the "strange attitude of your British Government. was active .
1940. either because it was mistaken for a Nazi ship. To prevent transshipment. There. The British would not approve transshipment to Mauritius or entry to Palestine.Reports of Nazi atrocities became increasingly frequent and vivid. but rather a restatement of Zionist aims that went beyond the Balfour declaration. These suspicions were later confirmed. an initiative by the Nazis to deport Jews and an initiative by the US to save European Jews. because the Soviets had agreed to collaborate with the British in barring Jewish immigration. Many of the ships sank or were caught by the British or the Nazis and turned back. Rickety boats full of refugees tried to reach Palestine. killing 280. apparently without the participation of the Mossad l'aliya Bet. tens of thousands of Jews were saved by the illegal immigration. an enemy to be fought. though some Palestinian and Arab leaders were sympathetic to the Nazi cause. Illegal Immigration . the SS Bulgaria docked in Haifa with 350 Jewish refugees and was ordered to return to Bulgaria. for transshipment to the island of Mauritius. The threat of extermination also created great pressure for immigration to Palestine.The Jews of Palestine responded to the White Paper and the Holocaust by organizing illegal immigration to Palestine from occupied Europe. Illegal immigration (Aliya Bet) was organized by the Jewish Agency between 1939 and 1942. The Bulgaria capsized in the Turkish straits. The Biltmore Declaration . and again between 1945 and 1948. a vessel that had left Constanta in Rumania with about 769 refugees.in curtailing Jewish immigration from neutral countries and organized SS death squads in Yugoslavia. (More about he Arab Revolt or Great Uprising). Instead. the ship sank. and the extermination of European Jews came to be known as the Holocaust. and they joined the British in fighting the Germans. the Turks ordered the Struma out of the harbor. A few weeks later. Jews had a special motivation for fighting the Nazis because of Nazi persecution of Jews and growing suspicions that the Nazis were systematically exterminating the Jews of Europe.During World War II (1939-1945). On February 24. the doors of Palestine remained shut to Jewish immigration. This was not simply a return to the Balfour declaration repudiated by the British White Paper. . it was forced to undergo repairs of its engine and leaking hull. The Zionist leadership met in the Biltmore Hotel in New York City in 1942 and declared that it supported the establishment of Palestine as a Jewish Commonwealth. 1942. Despite the desperate need to find a haven for refugees. and a determination that the British were in principle. 1941. The Turks would not grant the refugees sanctuary. The Patria (also called "Patra") contained immigrants offloaded from three other ships. It sank with the loss of 428 men. many Palestinian Arabs and Jews joined the Allied forces. and over 250 lives were lost. there were private initiatives. In 1941 the British freed Jewish Haganah underground leaders in a general amnesty. Despite the many setbacks. the Haganah placed a small explosive charge on the ship on November 25. got to Istanbul on December 16. rather than an ally. 269 women and 70 children. The Struma. Illegal immigration continued until late in the war. They thought the charge would damage the engines. through the "Institution for Illegal Immigration" (Hamossad L'aliya Beth). when a tightened British blockade and stricter controls in occupied Europe made it impractical. The Holocaust . It had been torpedoed by a Soviet submarine. Additionally. but the gates of Palestine were closed by the British White Paper. or more likely. or shipped to Mauritius or other destinations for internment.
000 Jews to immigrate immediately to Palestine.After the war.On November 6.preventing Jewish immigration to Palestine by force. to Palestine. in particular the Irgun and Lehi ("Stern gang") dissident terrorist groups. interrogated and sometimes tortured. The rival Zionist underground groups now united. The report of the Anglo-American Committee provided a detailed summary of the British mandate period and the security situation in Palestine. an officers club and British headquarters in the King David Hotel. Members of the underground were to be ostracized. He was also a personal friend of Winston Churchill. However. An Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry recommended allowing 100. was Minister of State for the Middle East and in charge of carrying out the terms of the 1939 White Paper . used force to try to drive the British out of Palestine. they presently reneged on their promise. The Jews were now desperate to bring the remaining Jews of Europe. the Labor party came to power in Great Britain. Partition . newspapers and politicians began to demand that the government settle the conflict and stop endangering the lives of British troops.Assassination of Lord Moyne .000 people being held in displaced persons camps. about 250. a known anti-Zionist. The Zionists felt that British restriction of immigration to Palestine had cost hundreds of thousands of lives. that had been hinted at by the British.The Jewish Agency and Zionist Executive believed that British and world reaction to the assassination of Lord Moyne could jeopardize cooperation after the war.The United Nations Special Commission on Palestine (UNSCOP) recommended that Palestine be divided into an Arab state and a Jewish state. Hakim and Bet Zuri were caught and were hanged by the British in 1945. and continued and redoubled efforts to stop Jewish immigration. and all of them. The US and other countries brought pressure to bear on the British to allow immigration. because virtually no country would give them shelter. In Britain. and might endanger the Jewish Yishuv if they came to be perceived as enemies of Britain and the allies. Displaced Persons . The British found Palestine to be ungovernable and returned the mandate to the United Nations. Leaders were caught by the Haganah. it was discovered that the Germans had murdered about six million Jews in Europe. in the Holocaust. and about a thousand persons were turned over to the British. The Haganah attempted to bring immigrants into Palestine illegally. 1947 as UN Resolution (GA . train stations. members of the Jewish Lehi underground Eliyahu Hakim and Eliyahu Bet Zuri assassinated Lord Moyne in Cairo. successor to the League of Nations. These people had been trapped in Europe. The commission called for Jerusalem to be put under international administration The UN General Assembly adopted this plan on Nov. as well as kidnapping and murder of British personnel. as well as a report on the effects of the Holocaust and the condition of European Jewry. United Resistance .In the summer of 1945. but it turned Winston Churchill against the Zionists. Moyne. The assassination did not change British policy. 29. This included bombing of trains. The Arabs brought pressure on the British to block such immigration. They had promised that they would reverse the British White Paper and would support a Jewish state in Palestine. known in Hebrew as the "Sezon" ("Season"). Therefore they embarked on a campaign against the Lehi and Irgun. The Season ("Sezon") .
about 100.000 Jews in Palestine. It soon became evident that the scheme could not work. and about 8% was owned by Jews or the Jewish Agency. were geographically cut off from the rest of the Jewish state. Truman. At the time of partition. The relatively large Jewish population of Jerusalem and the surroundings. Many factors contributed to Truman's decision to support partition. Emaus. slightly less than half the land in all of Palestine was owned by Arabs. almost all living in the areas allotted to the Jewish state or in the internationalized zone of Jerusalem.181). Mutual antagonism would make it impossible for either community to tolerate the other. The . The UN was unwilling and unable to force implementation of the internationalization of Jerusalem. The corridor included the populous Arab towns of Lod and Ramla and the smaller towns of Qoloniyeh. separated by a relatively large area. Jerusalem and environs were to be internationalized. slightly less than half was "crown lands" belonging to the state. and about 1. and the thing I have been doing. owing to support of both the US and the Soviet Union. the personal support of US President Harry S. the "corridor. There were about 600. no doubt. Qastel and others that guarded the road to Jerusalem. Truman wrote in his diary. including domestic politics and intense Zionist lobbying. and in particular." allotted to the Palestinian state. The intention was an economic union between the two states with open borders. The resolution divided the land into two approximately equal portions in a complicated scheme with zig-zag borders (see map at right and see Partition Map and detailed partition map of UNSCOP Proposal and final map: UN Palestine Partition Plan Map .2 million Arabs.1947). however." The Jews accepted the UN decision. The allocation of land by Resolution 181 was intended to produce two areas with Jewish and Arab majorities respectively. is to do what I think is right and let them all go to hell. but the Arabs rejected it.000. "I think the proper thing to do.
the Haganah prematurely activated "Plan Dalet" . most of the Arab population of Haifa left in March and April of 1948. To break the siege of Jerusalem. including Jewish and Arab areas. such as the Jerusalem corridor. negotiated with Golda Meir. The War of Independence . Abdullah. and a Haganah intelligence report of March. Arab Palestinians began leaving their towns and villages to escape the fighting. Palestinian irregulars cut off the supply of food. had an informal and secret agreement with Israel. and massacres that took place at Gush Etzion (by Palestinians) and in Deir Yassin (by Jews). Arab countries did not invade. but he soon broke the agreement and attacked across the Galilee. and by Fawzi El Kaukji in the Galilee. south of Jerusalem. This provision has been cited as evidence that the Zionists planned for the exodus and expulsion of Arab civilians in advance. despite pleas by both Jewish and British officials to stay. Arab riots broke out on November 30 and December 1 1947. Initially. the Jerusalem blockade. especially in the Jerusalem area. and prevent formation of a Palestinian state. Irgun and Lehi. the Haganah. the Arab countries each had separate agendas. . including ambushes of transportation. It is generally agreed that April 1948 marked a turning point in the fighting before the invasion by Arab armies. In Jerusalem. Notably. king of Jordan. two armies of Arab irregular volunteers.During the period before Israeli independence was declared. and by the underground groups of the "dissident" factions. let by Haj Amin El Husseini in the Jerusalem area. The Arab irregulars were met by the Zionist underground army. the Palestinians had a clear advantage.a plan prepared for general defense that was supposed to have been implemented when the British had left. The British did little to stop the fighting.The War of Independence or 1948 War is divided into the pre-independence period. Kaukji and his irregulars were allowed into Palestine from Syria by the British. riots such as the Haifa refinery riots.1948 War (the 'Nakba') . in favor of the initially outnumbered and outgunned Jewish forces. and the post-independence period. Pre-Independence . It also envisioned the "temporary" evacuation of Arab civilians from towns in certain strategic areas. 1948 indicated that the situation was critical. placed their fighters in Arab towns and conducted various aggressive operations against the Jewish towns and village under the eyes of the British. a small block of settlements in the territory allocated to the Palestinian state. During this time. In fact however. declared a war to rid Palestine of the Jews. but the scale of hostilities was limited by lack of arms and trained soldiers on both sides. water and fuel to Jerusalem during a long siege that began in late 1947. It required use of regular armed forces and army tactics. with the agreement that he would not engage in military actions. though the Jordan legion did assist the in the attack against Gush Etzion. to annex the portions of Palestine allocated to the Palestinian state in the West Bank.Arab League. Fighting and violence broke out immediately throughout the country. rather than as an underground. fighting in the open. Clashes between Israeli underground groups and Arab irregulars began almost as soon as the UN passed the partition resolution. Syria wanted to annex the northern part of Palestine. at the instigation of Haj Amin Al-Husseini.
A cease fire in June gave all sides time to regroup and reorganize. Jerusalem was to have been internationalized according to UN General Assembly Resolution 181 and UN General Assembly Resolution 303. notable successes were scored by the Egyptian and Syrian armies.The Haganah mounted its first full scale operation. were able to cut off the entire Negev and to occupy parts of the land that had been allocated to the Jewish state. Palestinian attempts to set up a real state were blocked by Egypt and Jordan. The Israelis took advantage of the cease fire to reorganize and recruit and train soldiers. 1948. 1948 and July 19. While Jordan did not invade Jewish territory. To get around it." Israeli peace activist Uri Avnery recounts how the Egyptian army attempted a massed armored strike against Tel Aviv. Jordan kept to its agreement not to invade areas allocated to the Jewish state. but Syria and Egypt did not.The governments of neighboring Arab states were more reluctant than is generally assumed to enter the war against Israel. Palestinians fled en masse despite the pleas of the British to remain. the Egyptians. It attacked the Arab villages of Qoloniyah and Qastel. 1948). Following attacks by Arab irregulars. armor and aircraft. Qastel fell on April 8. and the British withdrew from Palestine. in fact there was little coordination between them. The strike was turned back by a few recently arrived Messerchmitt aircraft. Fawzi El-Kaukji's "Salvation Army" was beaten back at the battle of Mishmar Haemeq on April 12. This marked a critical stage in the fighting. fear of popular pressure combined with fear that other Arab states would gain an advantage over them by fighting in Palestine. the Jews proclaimed the independent State of Israel. The fighting was conducted in several brief periods. just south of Tel Aviv. helped sway Syria. allowing convoys of supplies to reach the city. 1948. using 1. Operation Nahshon. artillery. despite bellicose declarations. In the initial stage. Abdel Khader Al-Husseini was killed there. Jordan and Egypt to go to war. The Arab side made a crucial error in accepting the truce. In particular. punctuated by cease fire agreements ( truces were declared June 11 to July 8. on the road to Jerusalem and temporarily broke the siege.The Jordanian positions at Latroun (or Latrun) could not be overcome despite several bloody attacks. The first cease fire and the Altalena . neighboring Arab nations invaded Palestine and Israel (click here for map). bought from Czechoslovakia. These successes helped convince US President Truman that the Jews would not be overrun by Arab forces. and the key Palestinian military commander. which Israel did not have. "In the Fields of Phillistia.October 15. In the north. In his book. However. the Arab Legion blocked convoys to besieged Jewish Jerusalem from its fortified positions in Latroun. the Irgun attacked the Arab town of Jaffa.500 troops. They were now able to bring in large . and he abandoned the trusteeship proposal that the US had put before the UN earlier. backed by tanks. Qoloniyeh fell on April 11. On May 14. The Syrians made some advances into the territory that had been allotted to the Palestinian state. The Arab Invasion . the Israelis ultimately built a "Burma Road' that was completed in June of 1948 and broke the siege of Jerusalem. In the following days and weeks. While officially they were fighting according to one plan. occupied by Arab irregular forces after the villagers had fled.
Israeli PM Ben Gurion ordered the IDF to sink the Altalena when Irgun leader Menahem Begin refused to give up its cargo of arms. The IDF was forced to withdraw after encounters with British aircraft. Israel held territories beyond the boundaries set by the UN plan . Resumption of the war . After the cease fire expired. The UN made no serious attempt to enforce the internationalization of Jerusalem. despite the treaty terms. which had been on the brink of starvation. many of whom were stripped of their property. so that virtually no Palestinians were left in central Israel.shiploads of arms.The war with the Egyptians had been static. (Click here for a map of Palestine before 1948) The Arab defeat and the birth of the refugee problem . Israel took the war with the Egyptians to their territory and entered the Sinai peninsula. as well as timely clandestine arms shipments. Palmah. enabled the Jews to gain a decisive victory. A large shipment of arms intended for the Palestinians was blocked by the IDF/Haganah and never reached Syria. During the long truce. in order to maintain a separate fighting force. as they were isolated in the "Falluja" pocket in central Israel.Despite initial setbacks. the underground armies of the Haganah. better organization and intelligence successes. The Palestinians and Arabs did not use the time well. and separated by barbed wire fences and no man's land areas. When the fighting ended in 1949. Click here to view a map of the UN plan for Jerusalem and Jerusalem as divided under the armistice agreements. Arab states were reluctant to commit more men to the struggle or to spend more money. they invaded the Arab towns of Lod and Ramla that had been blocking the road to Jerusalem and expelled most of the Palestinians living there. The conflict created about as many Jewish refugees from Arab countries.000 Arabs fled or were driven out of Israel and became refugees in neighboring Arab countries. the IDF cut a swath of land to open the "corridor" between Jerusalem and the rest of Israel. In the center. which was now divided between Jordan and Israel. but Israel has not pursued claims on behalf of these refugees . and to train and organize a real fighting force of 60. The truce probably saved Jerusalem. after killing a large number. Egypt held the Gaza Strip and Jordan held the West Bank. giving them a real advantage in troops and armament for the first time. The revisionist Irgun movement attempted to bring a shipload of arms into Israel on a ship called the Altalena. About 726.a total of 78% of the area west of the Jordan river. The rest of the area assigned to the Arab state was occupied by Egypt and Jordan.000 troops. Irgun and Lehi were amalgamated into a single national fighting force. rights and nationality. The Arabs and Palestinians lost their initial advantage when they failed to organize and unite. the Israel Defense Force (IDF). During the "ten days" period of fighting between the two truces. They destroyed numerous small Palestinian villages surrounding TelAviv.
Consequently. However. the Egyptians turned to the Eastern bloc countries and concluded a deal with Czechoslovakia. Israel concluded an arms deal with France. In Israel. The USSR. in 1954. The goal was to create tension between the US and Egypt and prevent rapprochement. US aid to Israel was minimal and did not include military aid during the Truman and Eisenhower administrations. UN GA Resolution 194 called for cessation of hostilities and return of refugees who wish to live in peace. began receiving large quantities of Soviet military aid. Security Council Resolution 62 called for implementation of armistice agreements that would lead to a permanent peace. Arabs call the defeat and exile of the Palestinian Arabs in 1948 the Nakba (disaster). Egypt made some moves toward peace with Israel. When they were turned down by the West. This incident came to be known variously as "the Lavon affair" and "the shameful business. the refugee problem was not Line" Borders solved. These borders were not recognized by Arab states. now aligned itself with the Arab countries. A series of border incursions by Palestinians and by Egyptians from Gaza evoked increasingly severe Israeli reprisals. (Click here for a map of the armistice lines (so called "green line") . an Israeli spy ring was caught trying to blow up the US Information agency and other foreign institutions in Egypt. both Defense Minister Pinhas Lavon and Prime Minister David Ben Gurion disclaimed responsibility for the action. Israeli strategists believed that Egypt would go to war or force a diplomatic showdown as soon the weapons had been integrated. initially in favor of the Zionist state. which continued to refuse to recognize Israel. and began looking for a source of arms as well. and blamed each other. triggering larger raids.Following the overthrow of King Farouk of Egypt by the free officers headed by Naguib and Nasser. Despite continued US support for the existence of Israel. especially Syria and Egypt. The Arab countries.The Arab countries refused to sign a permanent peace treaty with Israel. The Arab League instituted an economic boycott against Israel that was partly honored by most industrial nations and continued in force until the 1990s. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) were equipped with surplus arms purchased third hand and with French aircraft and light armor." (click here for details). and began negotiating to purchase large quantities of arms. Egyptian President Gamal Nasser also closed the straits of Tiran and Suez Canal to Israeli shipping. Negotiations broke down because Israel refused to readmit more than a small number of refugees. the borders of Israel established by the armistice commission never received de jure (legal) international recognition. Egypt became suspicious of Israeli intentions. The borders of Israel were established along the "green line" of the armistice agreements of 1949. Map of the Israel "Green Though hostilities ceased. The Sinai Campaign . The assessment of Israeli "activists" . The UN arranged a series of cease-fires between the Arabs and the Jews in 1948 and 1949.
The 1967 6-Day War . Nasser decided to found the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as a "tame" alternative to the Fatah. However. Israel and Jordan agreed to abide by the water quotas set by the plan. In secret meetings. Israel swiftly conquered Sinai. The plan was carried out beginning October 29. an attack on the Israel water carrier at Beit Netopha. In the summer of 1956. successful attacks soon followed on January 14 and February 28. and Yasser Arafat began calling for war to eliminate Israel. France and Britain colluded in a plan to reverse the nationalization of the Suez canal. A second attempt was made on January 2. In 1957 he moved to Kuwait and together with Khalil Al Wazir (Abu Jihad) Farouq Qadumi. Israel.Yasser Arafat. 1964. countered by supporting Fatah and attempted to take over the Fatah group. page 124. Israel began to implement its National Water Carrier plan. Israel subsequently withdrew under pressure from the UN and in particular the United States. and a UN force was stationed in Sinai. Palestinian armed faction of Grand Mufti Hajj Amin El Husseini) was recruited by Egyptian intelligence while studying in Cairo in 1955. The Syrians. UN General Assembly Resolution 997 called for immediate withdrawal. In the Fatah newspaper.like Moshe Dayan was that Israel should wage preventive war before Egypt had fully integrated the new weapons. and agreed to by Arab engineers. The newly formed Palestinian Fatah movement seized on the Israeli diversion as an "imperialist event" that would catalyze their revolution. Syrian army intelligence recruited terrorists for actions against Israel. These minor terrorist activities received great publicity in the Arab world. Britain and France. Israel would invade the Sinai and land paratroopers near the Mitla pass. and founded the General Union of Palestinian Students (GUPS). which pumps water from the Sea of Galilee to irrigate south and central Israel. 1956. The US was furious at Israel. The beginning of the Fatah . Mahmoud Abass and others founded the Palestine Liberation Committee. Khalid al Hassan. an ineffective and bombastic diplomat at its head. Arab governments refused to participate however. 1965.Tension began developing between Israel and Arab countries in the 1960s. who had broken with Nasser's pan-Arabism. Filastinunah. and called for effective action against Israel. ("our Palestine") Arafat ridiculed Egyptian President Nasser and other Arab leaders for their impotence. and placed Ahmed Shukhairy. because of the implied recognition of Israel. but in fact no attack had taken place. and then land troops ostensibly to separate the sides. an Egyptian Palestinian who grew up in the Gaza strip and had been a member of the Ikhwan (Muslim Brothers) and the Futuwwah or Futtuwah (officially called "Nazi Scouts" according to Benny Morris. The first of these actions was announced on December 31. and were . Israel obtained guarantees that international waterways would remain open to Israeli shipping from the US. Righteous Victims. giving credit for the operations to Fatah. later renamed the Fatah (reverse acronym for Harakat Tahrir Filastin the Palestine Liberation Movement) modeled on the Algerian FLN. The project was in accordance with a plan proposed by US envoy Eric Johnston in 1955. Britain and France would issue an ultimatum. 1999. but the explosives charge was disarmed. Israeli troops remained in Sinai for many months.
PLO Chairman Ahmed Shukhairy announced that "if it will be our privilege to strike the first blow" the PLO would expel from Palestine all Zionists who had arrived after 1917 and eliminate the state of Israel. and made it clear that Egypt was prepared to fight Israel for Palestinian rights. The USSR was intent on protecting the new Ba'athist pro-Soviet government of Syria. The claim was false and was denied by the UN. in Mid-May. Israel responded by firing on the tractors and equipment doing the work in Syria.contrasted with the lack of action and bombastic talk of Gamal Nasser. Nasser was pushed to an increasingly bellicose stance. 1967. 1967. the troops could only be stationed in Egypt with Egyptian agreement. a Radio Cairo broadcast stated: "The existence of Israel has continued too long. On May 23. to the Fatah movement. Egyptian President Gamal Nasser began making bellicose statements. Nasser justified the dismissal of the UNEF. and the conflict escalated into air strikes. A torrent of rhetoric issued from Arab capitals and in the UN." On the same day. for a long time it was believed that Nasser had really hoped U Thant would not remove the troops. The battle has come in which we shall destroy Israel. and decided to divert the sources of the Jordan river that feed the Sea of Galilee. Against this background. UN Secretary General U Thant agreed to remove the troops on May 18. Formally. When Israelis responded in force. This ferment is considered the catalyst of the events that brought about the 6-day war. In several summit conferences beginning in 1964. On May 16. and that he could use the presence of the UN troops as an excuse to do nothing. Arab leaders ratified the establishment of the PLO. Syria appealed to Egypt. We welcome the battle we have long awaited. As tension rose. The Syrians responded by firing in the DMZs (Click here for a map of the demilitarized zones). declared their resolve to destroy Israel. In a speech to Arab Trade Unionists on May 26. using increasingly accurate and longer range guns as the Syrians moved the equipment from the border. and represented to the Syrians and Egyptians that Israel was preparing to attack Syria. believing the claim of the USSR that Israel was massing troops on the Syrian border. He also attacked the Jordanians as tools of the imperialists. or as Yasser Arafat and the Palestinians claim. Egypt asked for the withdrawal of the UN Emergency Force (UNEF) from Sinai and the Gaza Strip. stepping up the constant pressure on Jordan's King Hussein. At the UN. 1967. Syria began shelling Israeli towns in the north. The Syrians and Lebanese began to implement the diversions. It is a moot point whether it is to be attributed to Syrian rivalry with Nasser. analysts such as Avi Shlaim (The Iron Wall) and others believe that each country was dragged into the conflict by inter-Arab rivalry and did not contemplate a war. but Moshe Dayan claimed many years later that 80% of the incidents were deliberately provoked. to prevent Israel from implementing the water carrier plan. This was followed by Israeli attempts to cultivate the demilitarized zones (DMZ) as provided in the armistice agreements. Faced with the "heroic" deeds of the Palestinians under Syrian tutelage. challenging Nasser's leadership. Nasser never intended to attack Israel according to . Nasser closed the straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping. Despite the bellicose rhetoric. The United States failed to live up to its guarantees of freedom of the waterways to Israel. Israel was within its rights according to the armistice agreements. However. We welcome the Israeli aggression. The peak hour has come.
Nonetheless. recently declassified documents reveal that the Egyptians in fact planned to attack Israel on May 28. and Foreign Minister Abba Eban opposed unilateral action. On May 31. Our goal is clear--to wipe Israel off the map. The plan. The Israelis told the Americans. and because Israel's ability to maintain its army fully mobilized is limited. Kuwait.Shlaim. Nasser was still speaking of confrontation with Israel. and the heavy tanks were refurbished WWII Sherman tanks fitted with diesel engines. but the idea never got passed the stage of thinking out loud. However. 1967. Jordan. Jordan signed a defense pact with Egypt. Algeria. Iraq likewise joined a military alliance with Egypt and committed itself to war. aircraft. He told members of the Egyptian National Assembly. and Kosygin wrote to Nasser. Nasser understood that he had lost the element of surprise and called off the attack. US President Johnson told Soviet Premier Kosygin.. Nasser stated: "The armies of Egypt. despite the huge superiority in armor. but the Israeli aircraft were mostly old. On paper. while the army started the war. codenamed operation Dawn. the Iraqi President Rahman Aref announced. while standing behind us are the armies of Iraq. which he believed would be against the wishes of the United States." US and Israeli assessments were that Israel would win any war handily. Syria and Lebanon are poised on the borders of Israel. while Syrians and Egyptians were equipped with late model Soviet heavy tanks. had discussed the possibility of a sort of coup. Israel's main arms supplier was France. Egypt and Syria were equipped with large quantities of the latest Soviet military equipment. because it was considered that an Arab attack might be imminent. readying itself for war. on May 29. "God will surely help and urge us to restore the situation to what it was in 1948.to face the challenge. and troops favoring the combined forces of the Arab countries. the critical hour has arrived. but Prime Minister Eshkol was reluctant to take action. The Israeli and Jewish public. We have reached the stage of serious action and not declarations. Israel had almost as many aircraft as the Egyptians. was discovered by Israel." On June 4. according to Michael Oren. Israel had gotten almost no military aid from the United States. Today they will know that the Arabs are arranged for battle. Be that as it may. "This is our opportunity to wipe out the ignominy which has been with us since 1948. On paper. many of the Israeli "tanks" were in fact tiny French AMX anti-tank vehicles. Israel had also been allowed to purchase about 250 M-48 Patton tanks from Germany in 1965. including Yitzhak Rabin. and even the Super-Mirages were no match for the Mig-21 fighters acquired by Egypt from the USSR. He had been dragged into the conflict by Soviet maneuvers and Syrian fears and his need to claim leadership of the Arab world according to them." IDF officers began pressuring the civilian establishment to declare war. and some in the government. Ariel Sharon now admits that he and others. Prior to 1967. 1967. believed that there was a .. and the US refused an Israeli request for 100 Pattons to replace the ones that were out of service. Sudan and the whole Arab nation. Most of these tanks were being refitted with Diesel engines in 1967. the IDF had a large number of "tanks" matching or almost matching the arms of the Arab countries. in which government officials were to be locked in a room. This act will astound the world. On May 30.
Israel conquered the West Bank and Jerusalem. a unity government was formed. despite a warning by Israeli PM Levi Eshkol to stay out of the war. Under great public pressure from opposition parties. Israel destroyed over 400 enemy aircraft to achieve total air superiority. and warned Israel not to attack on its own. Ten thousand graves were dug in Tel Aviv public parks in anticipation of the heavy casualties. and stuttered in a dramatic radio speech to the nation. During the first days of the war. Nasser had been able to attribute the Egyptian defeat in 1956 to British and French support of the Israelis. 1967. and then the Jordan Legion advanced and took over the headquarters of the UN (Governor's house . hinting broadly that Israel would have to handle the problem itself. Israel had acquired extensive territories . The defeat brought about a million Palestinian Arabs . (see map of territories occupied in 1967) and despite the fact that the UN had already called for a cease fire. According to analysts such as Fouad Ajami. President Johnson promised an international flotilla. and some at least were fearful of war. Israel could not maintain total mobilization indefinitely. At first. Israeli troops quickly conquered the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza. including Moshe Dayan. escalated the conflict and gotten Israel into trouble. UN Resolution 242 called for negotiations of a permanent peace between the parties. that Nasser and the pan-Arabists always viewed themselves as heads of the Islamic world as well as the Arab world. While Israel had acquired territories and a military victory. this was clearly untrue. according to him. the US was unable to initiate any international action. After dealing with Egypt. despite opposition and doubts of some in the government. However. More details here: Six day war 1967 Six Day War Timeline (chronology) The aftermath of the war . that were several times larger than the 1948 borders. Ben Gurion berated Chief of Staff Itzhak Rabin for making aggressive statements that had.mortal threat to Israel. Syrian artillery based in the Golan Heights pounded civilian targets in northern Israel. it also marked a new day for Palestinian aspirations. ( Click here to view a map of Israeli borders after the 6 day war).the Sinai desert.Armon Hanatziv ) in Jerusalem. After warning King Hussein repeatedly to cease fire and withdraw. Israel decided to conquer the Golan heights.The 1967 6-Day war changed the perceived balance of power in the Middle East and created a new reality. Israel attacked the Egyptians beginning on June 5. When it became apparent that Egypt would not stand down. and reversed its position. 1967 after conquering the Golan Heights. Israel agreed to a cease fire on June 10. Jordanian artillery began firing at Jerusalem on the first day of the war. It should be remembered however. and for Israeli withdrawal from lands occupied in 1967. Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol appeared hesitant. Though he tried to blame the 1967 defeat on support supposedly given by the US Sixth fleet. Foreign Minister Abba Eban tried in vain to obtain from the US a guarantee that they would reopen the straights of Tiran. the disastrous defeat of the Arabs spelled the end of the Pan-Arab approach advocated by Gamal Abdul Nasser and contributed to the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. In the first hours of the war. who had been appointed defense minister. The Israeli government probably did not want war. the Golan heights and the West Bank.
Shapira also pointed out that annexing the West Bank would lend credence to claims that Israel was a colonialist enterprise. Israel strongly opposed the PLO because of its terrorist acts against Jews and because of its charter aims of destroying the state of Israel and expelling Jews who had arrived after 1917. objected.in Hebrew only). pp 530-536). but was turned down. The offer was transmitted in secret through the United States. After the war. Ya'akov Herzog met with him in the offices of his physician in London. Israel did not have a concrete peace proposal for Jordan. According to Herzog's notes of the meeting. Tom. 1967. not including the territory conquered by Syria in 1948. Israel in 1967 (1967: Veharetz shinta et paneiha . The Fatah organization (The Movement for Liberation of Palestine) was founded about 1957 (though it was formalized much later). the government decided to offer Egypt and Syria return of the Sinai Peninsula and Golan Heights for a peace settlement to be negotiated directly. The United States pressured Israel to make a statement calling for withdrawal from the conquered territories in return for peace. who had headed the PLO. At the request of Jordan's King Hussein. but Menachem Begin. but said he would reply in time. PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat addressed a session of the UN General Assembly in 1974. Moshe Dayan proposed that the Arabs of the West Bank should be given autonomy. Herzog offered his private view. (This meeting is documented in Segev. however he did not ask for peace. He did not reply when Herzog asked him if he was offering peace. Hussein discussed the reasons why he had been forced to go to war at length.under Israeli rule. Since all parts of Palestine were now under Israeli control. Fatah and the PLO now had freedom of action. After the 6-day war. 2005. Egypt and Syria refused to negotiate with Israel. Menachem Begin and Yigal Alon favored annexation. Fatah actions did not directly threaten Arab governments. the fate of the Palestinians came to play a large role in the Arab-Israeli struggle. was replaced as chairman by Yasser Arafat who headed the Fatah. the Palestine Liberation Organization became recognized by all the Arab states and eventually by the UN as the representative of the Palestinian people. Israel offered to withdraw to the international border rather than the 1949 armistice lines. On June 19. and the Arabs would be given a choice between becoming citizens or leaving. . and the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) was founded in 1964. Ahmad Shukairy. that there should be an economic confederation. He believed large numbers of Jews could now be brought to Israel to settle the territories. J ordan and the West Bank were not mentioned. Both had the declared aim of destroying Israel. Some government ministers including Pinchas Sapir. Zalman Aran of the Labor party and the NRP's Yaakov Shimshon Shapira feared the demographic problems that would arise from conquering all those Arabs. Religious and nationalist groups began agitating for annexation and settlement of areas in the West Bank and Golan heights. In time. and called for demilitarization of Sinai. 1967. without the restraints of the discredited Arab regimes. In the Golan. The offer apparently did not include the Gaza strip. who was later to favor the plan. The Israeli government was undecided concerning its plans for the territories. on the evening of July 2. He said that if there were to be peace. there would have to be peace with honor.
and was replaced by Anwar Sadat. and hinted broadly that the US would be willing to facilitate a solution that took account of Palestinian rights. Sadat continued to alternate peace plans with . Nasser died shortly thereafter. after PLO Chairman Arafat announced PLO acceptance of UN Resolution 242 in 1988. and would be amenable to a reasonable compromise.000 Israelis had settled in areas of the West Bank and Gaza. which gave credibility in Israel to claims of Israeli extremists that opposition to settlements was opposition to Israel. and continued during the Oslo accords. Likewise in November 1975. A decisive turning point was the Khartoum Arab summit. An increasing number of settlements were established as it became evident that Arab states would not negotiate with Israel. As of 2003. a second cease fire was signed in August 1970. About 15. The Khartoum resolutions may not have been an insurmountable barrier to peace. pp 537-538). Sadat tried repeatedly to interest Israel in partial peace deals in return for partial Israeli withdrawal. Yigal Alon had submitted his "Alon Plan" which called for Israeli retention of large parts of the West Bank in any peace settlement for strategic reasons. including Israel's right to exist. if the PLO would recognize the relevant UN resolutions. partly owing to the stubborn attitude of Israeli PM Golda Meir. The sides fought to a standstill in increasingly bloody exchanges that included participation by Soviet pilots on the Egyptian side. Egyptian president Nasser launched the war of attrition on the Suez canal. In Israel. The resolution was repealed in 1991. According to some sources. 1967 (Segev. and that Israel was essentially alone in a hostile world and could expect no justice. Nothing came of these peace efforts. 1967. who insisted that Israeli troops would not budge until there was a peace agreement in place. but he rejected the offer. but this was not accepted. and the US and UN tried to mediate peace through the offices of Gunnar Jarring. King Hussein of Jordan supposedly offered to make peace in return for Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and return of the holy places. about 220. in August and September of 1967. but the offer was politely turned down. with both sides declaring officially their acceptance of UN Resolution 242. A second landmark was the "Zionism is Racism" resolution passed by the United Nations in 1975. US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Harold H Saunders. but similar sentiments surfaced at a UN conference in Durban in 2001.The Mossad had proposed a Palestinian state under Israeli protection in a report dated June 14.000 Jews were settled in the Golan heights taken from Syria. and an additional 200. By July 1967. which seemed to shut the door on the possibility of negotiations with Israel or recognition of Israel in any form. told a US House Committee that the US now recognized the importance of the Palestinian national issue in the conflict. in the summer of 1967.After the 6-Day war. Prime Minister Levi Eshkol had died and was replaced by the hawkish Golda Meir. In 1970.000 were settled in areas of Jerusalem and environs conquered in 1967. Meanwhile however. (Click for Map of Israeli West Bank Settlements-2002) The War of Attrition . This policy was to bear fruit eventually in the Oslo Peace Process. settlement expansion became official Israeli policy after the opposition revisionist Likud party came to power in 1977. Under US pressure. Moshe Dayan received a delegation of notables who proposed self-rule for the West Bank. breaking the cease fire.
tried to run ahead of logistics and support to develop the bridgehead on the Egyptian side of the Suez canal. and the Israelis cut off the entire Egyptian third army. making way for Yitzhak Rabin. Futile counterattacks continued in Sinai for several days as Israeli divisions coped with traffic jams that prevented concentration of forces. disobeying the orders of cautious superiors. As troops mustered. it became apparent that equipment was missing and tanks were out of commission.700 Israeli soldiers and 8. (Click for map of Egyptian front ) Cease-fires ended most of the fighting within a month. The Soviets had sold the Egyptians new technology . Israel reconquered the Golan. after the Israeli government headed by Golda Meir rebuffed Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's offers to negotiate a settlement. Israeli army intelligence as well as the government were convinced that Israel had absolute military superiority and that Egypt would not dare to attack until it had rebuilt its army. Egyptians poured huge numbers of troops across the canal unopposed and began setting up a beachhead. Sadat had twice announced his intention to go to war. but nothing had happened. the Golda Meir was forced to resign as Prime Minister of Israel. until Israel could destroy the radar stations controlling them. less than 200 Israeli tanks were left guarding the Golan heights against far superior numbers. and with effective Egyptian resistance. They were convinced that Israeli arms were a sufficient deterrent to any aggressor. General Ariel Sharon. The Israel Army had neglected basic maintenance tasks and drill.500 Arab soldiers died in the war As a result of the war. Therefore. Israel troops crossed the canal. Egypt and Syria launched another war against Israel. Click for map of Syrian Front In Sinai. PM Meir and Defense Minister Moshe Dayan decided not to mobilize reserves. Meanwhile. was used instead as a line of fortifications intended to hold off the Egyptians as long as possible. The October War (Yom Kippur War) . The Egyptians crossed the Suez Canal on the afternoon of October 6.better surface to air missiles (SAM) and hand held Sager anti-tank weapons. After suffering heavily losses. the best course seemed to be to wait until the Arab countries met Israel's terms.In October 1973. Syrians made serious and at first unopposed inroads in the Golan as Egyptians crossed the Suez canal and retook a strip of the Sinai peninsula.the Bar Lev line. the holiest day in the Jewish religious calendar. but he was not taken seriously in Israel. When the intelligence reports were finally believed. Yom Kippur.threats of war. on the morning of the attack. The Israeli government had ignored repeated intelligence warnings. and had neglected artillery. The line of outposts built as watch posts along the Suez canal . But the air-force was initially neutralized because of the effectiveness of SAM missiles. A tiny number of soldiers faced the Egyptian onslaught and were wiped out after stubborn resistance. The Israelis were caught by surprise in more ways than one. About 2. Israel had counted on air power to tip the balance on the battlefield. Click for details of the Yom Kippur War . who had been Israeli ambassador to the US and previously Chief of staff of the IDF. This small force was reinforced after bridges were put across the canal.
PLO fighters. targeting the United States and the Netherlands in particular for their support for Israel. the Christian Phalangists and Muslim militias massacred at least 600 Muslims and Christians at checkpoints.Subsequent shuttle diplomacy by US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger resulted in partial Israeli withdrawals from the Sinai peninsula. Major Saad Haddad formed the Southern Lebanese Army (SLA).Lebanon became increasingly unstable as Maronite Christians found their once--dominant position threatened by demographic changes which gave Muslims an increasingly large majority.Oil Embargo .In the aftermath of the Yom Kippur war. leading to a Peace treaty in 1979. The PLO in Lebanon and the Lebanese Civil War . President Elias Sarkis called for Syrian intervention. characterized by a grim routine of car bombs. under much less favorable terms than could have been obtained before the war. 1976. 1976. 1976. incited tension between Muslims and Christians and turned Lebanon into a base for attacks on Israel. On January 20. The embargo continued until March of 1974. Arab states led by Saudi Arabia declared an oil embargo. Prices soared from $3 to over $11 a barrel. an attack by Christian Phalangist militias on a bus carrying Palestinians ignited the civil war. with the Palestinians joining the Muslim forces. granting of a permanent observer status at the UN to the PLO and passage of the Zionism is Racism resolution in 1975. In March. Egypt led by Anwar Sadat. A revolt by the PLO against the Jordanian government led to the expulsion of the PLO from Jordan in 1970. assassinations and harassment and killing of civilians at roadblocks set up by warring militias. signed the Camp David framework agreements. the Christian Phalangist . under the protection and with the probable active participation of the Syrian army. However. destroyed the Christian towns of Jiyeh and Damour. Full-scale civil war broke out. with the Maronites on the verge of defeat. due to panic stockpiling as well as actual shortages. Israel withdrew from the Sinai Peninsula in 1982. now led by Menahem Begin. Peace With Egypt . the Syrians entered Lebanon ostensibly to protect the Christians and the fragile Lebanese multi-ethnic multireligious constitution. possibly reinforced by a Syrian PLO contingent that had entered Lebanon in 1975. With the agreement of the Americans and the Israelis. PLO fighters streamed into Lebanon. Oil sold to European countries eventually made its way to the United States and the Netherlands in any case. Lebanese political and social life descended into chaos. but also to further long-standing Baathist ambitions to make Lebanon as part of Greater Syria. massacring about 500 people. In 1975. beginning the 1975-1976 civil war. Right-wing opposition leader Menahem Begin was adamant in his opposition to any withdrawals. who incurred the animosity of native Lebanese. but there were nonetheless long lines for gasoline and overnight price increases. Lebanon also has a relatively large population of Palestinian refugees. It probably helped motivate European diplomatic moves that were conciliatory to the Arabs. in 1978. and Israel. Tensions between different religious groups were exacerbated by clan rivalry. especially the Christians. On August 13. and played a part in the invitation of Yasser Arafat to address the UN General Assembly. The embargo heightened the perception that Arab countries could exercise political leverage by controlling the oil supply. a militia intended to protect Christian residents of southern Lebanon. which was allied with Israel In June. controlling an increasingly lawless West Beirut. Oil production was reduced by 340 million barrels from October to December of 1973.
The US withdrew and Lebanon. This southern area became an "open border" area separated by the "good fence. deteriorated into chaos. In July of 1981 a cease-fire between Israel and the PLO was brokered by the US. and to protect local residents from the PLO. charged with maintaining peace. In response. shot Israeli Ambassador Shlomo Argov in the head in London. They allowed or sent their Lebanese Phalangist Christian allies into the Sabra and Shatilla Palestinian refugee camps. The SLA and Israel set up a 12-mile wide security zone to protect Israeli territory from attacks across the border. kidnappings and bombings. Nonetheless. into Lebanon. An Israeli commission of inquiry led by judge Kahan indirectly implicated Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon and several others in the massacres. UN Security Council resolution 425 called for the immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces and the creation of an UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). and began organizing a resistance movement.On June 3 1982. Lebanon became increasingly lawless. an Israeli ally. Israel invaded Lebanon in March 1978. the PLO continued to gather strength and dig in in southern Lebanon. As Israel withdrew. the Lebanese President-elect. Attacks and counter attacks along the northern border of Israel continued. The war aroused furor in Israel as the army exceeded the official war aims. Order was restored only after Lebanon became essentially a satellite of Syria. Most analysts believe that the shooting of Argov served only as an excuse for an operation planned by defense Minister Ariel Sharon with the tacit approval of the US administration. The Hizb Allah (party of Allah) or Hizbolla. not controlled by the PLO. After an attack on a bus on the Haifa-Tel-Aviv road. It was generally honored by both sides. 1982." allowing Lebanese residents to find work in Israel.militia attacked the Tel al-Za'atar refugee camp and killed as many as 3. On September 14. In response. The Iranian Islamist regime sent its Pasdaran revolutionary guards. Ostensibly to maintain order. Israeli forces turned over positions inside Lebanon along the border to the SLA. Bashir Gemayel. killing about 700 people and exciting the wrath of the international community as well as the Israeli public. The Israel invasion resulted in expulsion of the PLO from Lebanon to Tunis in August. Israel subsequently extricated itself slowly from Lebanon. . terrorists of the Abu Nidal faction. Israel invaded Lebanon in force. in which about thirty people were killed. which had been occupying their villages and using them as bases for shelling Israel. noting that they could have foreseen the possibility of the violence and acted to prevent it. Beirut life came to be characterized by gunfire. especially Beirut. when the last Israeli troops were withdrawn by PM Ehud Barak. The Kahan report resulted in the resignation of Sharon as defense minister. The 1982 War in Lebanon (Peace for the Galilee) . It occupied most of the area south of the Litani River in Operation Litani. Israel continued to maintain a presence in south Lebanon until 2000.000 civilians. The Phalangists committed a massacre in Sabra and Shatilla. the Israeli government decided to move into West Beirut. was killed by a large bomb that was apparently planted by Syrian intelligence. who had previously organized the takeover of the US embassy in Teheran. Attempts by the US to restore order failed owing to large scale suicide bombings of a marine barracks and the US embassy.
In November 1985. Demonization of one side or the other will not help you understand the conflict nor will it lead to a solution." though many "histories" have certainly been written by partisans of either side. Accounts of history. they will bury it again.The Pollard Affair . This very brief account is intended as a balanced overview and introduction to Palestinian and Israeli history. Most of the accounts on the Web are intended to convince rather than to inform. We are now living in that later time and paying the price of that postponement. By 1991 the Intifadeh had all but ended. It would be wrong to try to use this history to determine "who is right. on the other hand. which did little to secure his freedom. and it is inconvenient. Palestinians in the occupied territories took their fate into their own hands. Dozens of accounts have been written. but massive Israeli repression in this period laid the seeds for future violence (see First Intifada). Jonathan Pollard. but it is hoped that this document will provide a fair introduction. and the rights of each side cannot be dismissed as partisans of each side try to do. The affair was a severe embarrassment to US-Israeli relations and raised the specter of "double loyalty" accusations for American Jews. History. the Oslo agreements (Oslo Declaration of Principles and The Oslo Interim Agreement) were attempts to do just that: to postpone the difficult issues for some later time. The revolt was initiated by local residents and involved mostly low-level violence such as rock throwing. Pollard became a cause celebre of the Zionist right. in collecting "points" for their side. The problems posed by the Palestinian refugees. are used to justify claims and to negate claims. This account intends to inform. a Jewish-American employee of the US Naval Anti-Terrorist Alert Center was arrested for spying for Israel. who pointed out that he had been used and abandoned by the Israeli government. and nothing . winning sympathy for the struggle of the Palestinians against the Israeli occupiers. is not just based on ancient rights. The claim of the Jews. the real threat of terror and conflicting and well grounded claims to Jerusalem. Beginning in 1987. If they find it. cannot find the truth except by accident. The Muslim and Arab habitation of the land goes back over a thousand years and has a long and varied history. but the US government apparently reneged on the deal and Pollard was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1987. Those who are interested in advocacy. Nor can all the claims be ignored. but on continuous settlement in the land since ancient times as well as on the immense effort and investment of the Zionist movement in developing the land since the late nineteenth century. In retrospect. At the same time. are perhaps the most important factors in the Arab-Israeli conflict. an exceptional sentence relative to similar cases. The Arab population did not all arrive in Palestine after Zionist settlement. to vilify the enemy and to glorify "our own" side.. It is unlikely that anyone has written or will write an "objective" and definitive summary that would be accepted by everyone. with precisely that purpose in mind. a revolt called the Intifadeh began in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The First Intifada . as some right-wing Zionists imagine. and the history of the conflict. and different perceptions of history.While the fortunes of the PLO waned. interpreting history in different ways. He pleaded guilty in a plea bargain deal.
who was an opponent of the Oslo process. Two separate documents explain how I think we should gather facts and learn about the conflict. Arab sources spread the false rumor that the gate endangered the foundations of the Al-Aqsa mosque. a Hamas suicide bomber exploded a car bomb at Mehola in the West Bank. with Yasser Arafat as Chairman (titled "Rais" . 1994. In 1993 and 1995. even before the Oslo declaration of Principles. killing 30 people before being killed himself. He was replaced by Shimon Peres. which created the Palestinian National Authority (PNA). The peace process with the Palestinians led to the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Gaza Strip and most cities and towns of the West Bank by early 1996. at a peace rally. On February 25. Ominously. . On November 5. In retaliation. a disgruntled right-wing settler. as well as in understanding it. Baruch Goldstein. and will always seek out primary source documents to verify whatever claims are made about those documents or about quotes from those documents. and doubling the number of settlers there by 2004. opened fire on worshippers in the Cave of the Patriarchs (Mosque of Abraham) in Hebron. Yigal Amir.more. About 97% of the Palestinians in these areas were nominally under Palestinian rule. Israel embarked on an accelerated settlement program. A timeline provides details of many events not discussed in this history. 1993. and the importance of words in making Middle East history. Serious students will also refer to the bibliography for more information and different viewpoints. Israel and the PLO signed the Oslo Declaration of Principles and The Oslo Interim Agreement. US pressure. The Oslo Peace Process Following the Gulf war. building thousands of housing units in the West Bank. who oversaw the signing of the Oslo Interim agreement. the ongoing break up of the USSR and favorable international opinion made it possible to convene negotiations toward settlement of the Palestinian problem. attacks on settlers continued. The peace process became increasingly unpopular in Israel. Palestinians took control of these areas. This caused several days of rioting and numerous casualties. Netanyahu decided to complete a controversial underground tourist attraction in Jerusalem by opening a gate between two tunnels. and source documents provide additional background. a supposedly temporary entity that would have the power to negotiate with Israel and to govern areas of the West Bank and Gaza evacuated by Israel. on April 16. Though the PLO had agreed to forego violence in the Oslo declaration of principles. As the Israelis withdrew. Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian-controlled parts of the West Bank elected a legislature controlled by the Fatah faction. the Hamas carried out several suicide attacks in Israel beginning in April of 1994. In January 1996. Israel and Jordan signed a peace treaty in 1994. Israeli PM Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by a young right-wing fanatic. 1995. A rash of Hamas suicide bombings in the spring of 1996 and inept campaign strategy caused Peres to lose the election held in May of 1996 to Likud party head Benjamin Netanyahu."President" by the Palestinians) to administer these areas. killing himself and one Israeli. but the area controlled by the Palestine National Authority amounted to about 8% of the land.
it was also agreed to set up a US led investigative committee that would report on the causes of the violence and make recommendations to the UN. to be used as the Palestinian capital. However. in his book. but Syrian President Hafez Assad rejected an offer related through US President Clinton. This apparently characterizes initial Israeli proposals. Barak turned his attention to the Palestinians. most of the provisions of the agreement were not carried out by the Palestinians. However. At the conference. This eventually resulted in the Mitchell Report. a suburb of Jerusalem. in January of 1997 Israel and the PNA signed an interim agreement on Hebron.Despite Netanyahu's opposition to the Oslo process. and Labor party head Ehud Barak became Prime Minister. The Second Intifada (Al-Aqsa Intifada) Negotiations for a final settlement at Camp David in the USA. and the Israelis did not withdraw as stipulated in the Wye agreements while Netanyahu was in office. . In May of 1999 Benjamin Netanyahu was voted out of office. Shortly thereafter. Both sides vowed to put an end to the bloodshed and return to negotiations. which according to Ross. Israel insisted on annexing key portions of the Palestinian areas and on leaving most settlements intact. in order to bring about an end to the violence. however. Arab leaders and Yasser Arafat met in an extraordinary Arab League Summit in Cairo. Palestinian violence erupted on September 28. leaving an enclave of about 500 settlers living in the middle of an Arab city. which would produce an Arab majority in Israel. About two weeks later a suicide bombing in Jerusalem put an end to the truce. is also the site of the Al-Aqsa mosque. which would have given Syria most of the Golan heights except for access to the sea of Galilee. and offered only a limited form of Palestinian statehood. The US called a summit conference in Sharm-El Sheikh in October. and negotiators began working toward a final settlement. 2000. Negotiations at the Wye River Plantation in October of 1998 produced agreements on further withdrawal of Israeli troops and renewed Palestinian commitments to prevent terror and incitement. False rumors spread that Sharon had entered the mosque. Barak continued settlement expansion programs. triggered by a visit of Ariel Sharon to the Temple mount in Jerusalem. that supposedly reflects the US compromise proposal at Camp David. Palestinians insisted that refugees should have the right to return to Israel. shown at right. 2004. Israel made the troop withdrawals mandated by the Wye agreements. but he vowed to pursue peace negotiations actively. holy to Muslims. Barak first tried to renew negotiations with Syria. called the Haram as Sharif in Arabic. Dennis Ross presents a map. this offer was withdrawn in the wake of violence that broke out in mid-May of 2000. The Missing Peace. This location. protected by the IDF. Barak offered to turn over Abu Dis. The Israeli government met on December 27 and accepted Click for larger map the proposals with reservations. 2000 ended in deadlock. Both sides agreed on Israeli withdrawal from Gaza. helping to fan the unrest. and issued a belligerent communique praising the Intifada and calling for an international investigative commission rather than the one agreed upon in Sharm El Sheikh. to include about 91% of the territory of the West Bank. However. in July. Palestinians claim that the only offers made at Camp David included cantons or "Bantustans" that would make up the Palestinian State. The IDF withdrew from most of Hebron.
According to Ross. or Amnon or Shlomo. your capital in East Jerusalem will be gone. but at time when you will have Sharon as Prime Minister. and above all it kept adamant to annex the settlements blocs to the city of Jerusalem. The Missing Peace. and no definitive Palestinian reply was forthcoming. Nov. "all what was circulated that Israel proffered to the Palestinian side great concessions is incorrect. The deadline passed. he told Abu Ala (Ahmed Qurei): Mark my words. It illustrates the approximate boundaries of the Palestine state under the Clinton bridging proposals. 755) The map at right was presented by Ross in The Missing Peace. .were "within the parameters." (Dennis Ross. and you 97% will become 40-45 percent. On November 13. they [the US] will disengage from the issue and they will do so at a time when you won't have Barak. He will be elected for sure if there is no deal. Abu Ala replied: "I am afraid it may take another fifty years to settle this issue. He went ahead as saying." asserting that Israel rejected to give back Jerusalem to the Palestinian. 2005). President Clinton said that Chairman Yasser Arafat had made a "colossal historical blunder" in refusing the terms. Nabil Sha'at. omitting land to be ceded by Israel to Palestine. the Palestinian Authority International Press Center related these remarks of Palestinian Minister of Information. on the anniversary of the death of Yasser Arafat: He also set out that Israel has never endeavored to reach a final solution during the second Camp David negotiations. 14. Minister Sha'at made clear that this point led the negotiations of Camp David II to a gridlock. Palestinian negotiators present a different version. on December 29. 2004. unlimited right of return for refugees to your own state will be gone. causing the breakdown of the peace process. 2005. (Haaretz. p. putting to rest the rumor which tells that Israel proposed for the Palestinians a state with 97% of the West Bank and 10% of the Jordan Valley. At a memorial dinner held in November 2005 in memory of Yitzhak Rabin. the IDF out of the Jordan Valley will be gone." The Palestinians equivocated.
Arab and Islamic countries tried to leverage on the need for their cooperation in the war against terror to win concessions for the Palestinians. was voted out of office at the beginning of February and replaced by a right wing government headed by Ariel Sharon. They could return to Israel only with the agreement of Israel. 2002. Barak had hoped to reach a deal he could present to the Israeli public. the Palestinian proposal called for eventual return of all the refugees to Israel. substantive disagreements remained about the refugee issues and final settlement maps. Particularly damaging for the Palestinians were the demonstrations held in favor of Bin Laden. under European and Egyptian patronage. On the other. Palestinians have never disputed the published version of President Clinton's bridging proposals in which it is quite clear that the Palestinians would have sovereignty over Arab East Jerusalem. No official maps were actually presented by or to the sides during the negotiations. The boat was intercepted on January 3. President Clinton had believed there were only differences of wording between the Israeli and Palestinian approaches. despite attempts by the Mitchell commission and others to restore calm.What was suggested by Ehud Barak.S. Clinton's Bridging proposals called for allowing refugees to return from abroad to the Palestinian state. who had furthered the peace process. at Taba. However. Against this background. on the day that US envoy Anthony Zinni arrived to attempt to arrive at a settlement. Negotiations were terminated because Barak. The terror attack on the World Trade Center in the US on September 11. On the one hand. was only to give Arafat a presidential headquarters in the Old City of Jerusalem. 2001. and evidence linking a boatload of illegal arms intercepted by Israel. but the late president rebuffed this suggestion roundly. Israeli PM Barak broke off negotiations on January 28. Following the failure of the negotiations. The Gush Shalom group and the Foundation for Middle East Peace also published a map of an offer made by the Barak government at Taba (Click here for details of the different maps). and was angry and disappointed. Violence continued into 2001 and 2002. However. Israel made increasing incursions into Palestinian areas. the former Israeli prime minister. he added. the US and EU seemed to give Israel wider latitude for action against the Palestinians. the Palestinians continued to claim that Israel had offered only "Bantustans" in the West Bank. who headed the US negotiating team. the Karine A. In last minute negotiations at Taba on January 21-27 2001. 2001. had direct repercussions for the Israel-Palestine conflict. as organizations such as Hamas and Hizbulla came to be linked with the Al-Qaeda group of Osama Bin-Laden. The Israeli government did not publish any maps. U. summarized the proposals presented by the USA in the maps presented above. including the Haram as Sharif (temple mount). the sides failed to reach a settlement despite further Israeli concessions. many Americans began to view terrorist actions in a new light. suspending them until after the elections. One of the major outstanding questions was the refugee problem. Dennis Ross. Though both sides agreed to a joint communiqué saying they had never been so close to agreement. and confined PNA Chairman Arafat to . This proposal was unacceptable to Israel as it would create an Arab majority in Israel and put an end to Jewish exercise of the right to self-determination. with Iranian support for the PNA.
for their part. though they were later retracted. calling on the sides to stop the violence once again. killing over 500 people. was adopted by a meeting of the Arab League. continued with their policy of assassinating wanted men in the Palestinian areas. The IDF also destroyed records. Israel claimed it has evidence of complicity by Barghouti in numerous terrorist acts. This proposal. as General Zinni was again coming to the Middle East. confirming the Israeli version of events. The Saudi Peace Proposal and the Palestinian State Resolution . head of the Fatah Tanzeem. but this did not seem to affect the frequency or severity of suicide bombings and ambushes. Israel launched a massive raid.his compound in Ramalah. mentioning the peace plan of Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah. intended to root out terror infrastructure. following Defensive Wall. as the Israeli security forces made better . withdrawal in the Golan and appropriate arrangements regarding Jerusalem and the refugees. These charges were repeated by most news sources in Europe.Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah made a dramatic proposal to end the long Arab war against Israel in return for Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian territories. Tulkarm and other towns. During the course of the fighting. A blast at the Park Hotel in Nethanya killed 27 people as they were celebrating Passover. On March. and for the first time since 1947 calling for creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. and it eventually put him on trial. Later in the fighting. the IDF managed to locate Marwan Barghouti. Jenin. During the last week in March. building. However. and that the PNA treasury had approved payments for suicide-bomber explosive belts. NGOs and other organizations clearly not involved in terror. Nablus. The Israelis. but the Palestinians stepped up attacks on soldiers as well as suicide bombings. Israel captured numerous documents providing evidence that Yasser Arafat had personally approved the organization of terror cells. operation Defensive Shield. the Palestinians launched a successful suicide attack almost every day. Palestinians charged that the Israelis had committed a massacre in the Jenin refugee camp. and to capture him. Suicide attacks abated. but did not stop. and eventually became incorporated in the quartet roadmap plan. roads and other innocent civilian infrastructure of banks. terror and suicide attacks and Israeli reprisals continued. 12. Critics argued that it would be impossible to put an end to terror by military activity in the absence of progress toward a peaceful solution. The Israelis captured or killed numerous persons suspected of involvement in terrorist activities. more than half of whom were terrorists. mostly members of the Fatah Al-Aqsa Martyrs suicide brigades. Human rights groups who entered the Jenin refugee camp after the Israeli invasion reported that there was a great deal of damage and that the IDF had probably committed war crimes by preventing medical aid. in addition to many unsuccessful ones. Yasser Arafat declared a cessation of violence several times. Israel claimed that only about 50 were killed in the Jenin refugee camp. the number and frequency of successful terror attacks began to decline. but that only about 56 people had been killed. including reoccupation of Ramallah. condemning him to five life sentences for complicity in murder. Operation Defensive Shield Meanwhile however. 2002 the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1397. modified to be more specific about refugee issues.
He was unable to get the Israelis to withdraw completely from the areas they had reoccupied. nor could he get the Palestinians to agree to a cease fire. but insisting on democratic reform of the Palestine National Authority. calling for an an impartial investigative team to be send to determine the truth of Palestinian allegations. Yasser Arafat signed into law the Basic Law or constitution of the Palestinian transitional state. Opposition to the investigation was fueled by Israeli memories of the recent Durban conference as well as by the infamous Zionism is Racism resolution of the UN. President Bush made a long awaited speech on Middle East policy calling for a Palestinian state. and that the UN had reneged on initial agreements about the investigation. which was recalled repeatedly in public debate. claiming that the composition and procedures of the investigation would be unfair to Israel. and the Israelis were besieging the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. arrived to try to end the violence. In June. The Israeli government was quick to claim that the re-occupation would not continue indefinitely. The head of the PFLP allegedly coordinated a suicide attack from his cell in Jericho. but Yasser Arafat was still imprisoned in Ramallah. At the end of May. Israeli forces essentially reoccupied all of the West Bank. who needed quiet in Israel and Palestine to leave the US a free hand to organize an alliance against Iraq. Toward the end of Defensive Shield. News of a suicide bombing committed by the Hamas came while Bush and Sharon were meeting.and better use of intelligence gathered during the operation to detect and stop attacks. Israel objected to the composition of the team. Militants in the Church of Nativity were exiled to Cyprus and Europe. The two discussed plans for a regional summit to be held later in 2002. On April 19. where armed Palestinians had sought refuge from the IDF. following another wave of Palestinian suicide attacks. Israel had withdrawn from some towns. and the Israelis presented documents that they claim prove the involvement of Yasser Arafat and the PNA in terrorist activities. Israeli PM Ariel Sharon visited the US in May of 2002. the Security Council adopted Resolution 1405. The number of attempted attacks did not decrease noticeably however. UN resolution 1402 directed that Israel withdraw from the territories immediately. fueled by charges of a massacre. causing the Israeli PM to cut the visit short and return to Israel. Some of the wanted men in the Muqata compound in Ramallah were jailed in Jericho. Demonstrations and public outrage in Arab countries. expressing dismay that resolution 1402 had not been implemented. but later indicated otherwise. The sieges of Muqata and Church of Nativity were also resolved in May 2002. The UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1403. By the time Powell had left. The law states that Palestinian law will be based on the principles of Islamic law (Sha'ariyeh). Israel at first agreed to the investigation. but others apparently remained in the Muqata. prompted UN action. but later backtracked and blocked it. under pressure for democratic reform. US Secretary of State Colin Powell. Powell's mission did not accomplish anything. under pressure from the US administration to advance a peace program that could be acceptable to Palestinians and the Arab states. .
After a rumor was spread that Israel was about to blow up the Muqata. In October of 2002. head of the military wing of the Hamas in a missile attack on Gaza that cost the lives of 13 civilians. Arafat remained defiant. this fizzled after several violent attacks in Gaza. Israel continued the siege. the siege was lifted. The Israeli government proceeded with an attack on Gaza including entry into Gaza city and besieged Yasser Arafat and an estimated 200 others in the Muqata compound in Ramala. to be held January 28. Israel continued to occupy most of the West Bank." The quartet evolved a roadmap for a settlement. At the beginning of September. Despite a UN resolution. The USA exerted pressure on Israel to stop destroying buildings in the Muqata and to withdraw. The quartet partners and especially the US pressured the Palestinians to commit to a thoroughgoing reform of their government that would eliminate corruption and support for terror. Arafat's popularity with Palestinians soared. The PLC convened in September to approve the new cabinet chosen in line with reform efforts. PM Ariel Sharon initiated immediate elections. August and September witnessed a six week respite from major suicide and terror attacks. In April of 2002. It was proposed that Mahmud Abbas (Abu Mazen) would assume the post of Prime Minister. . 2003. During this period. the Labor party withdrew from the Israel unity government. PLC cabinet members refused to ratify the cabinet until Yasser Arafat would allow a Prime Minister to share power. The elections never took place. Israeli security forces foiled several suicide attack attempts and detected a truck laden with 1300 pounds of explosives and gas tanks. resulting in four deaths. facilitating an Israeli-Palestinian plan to return full Palestinian authority in Gaza and Bethlehem first. Israel destroyed all buildings in the compound except the main one. Israel demanded that Palestinians give up wanted persons who had taken refuge in the Muqata including Palestinian preventive security boss Tawfiq Tirawi. several attempts at Palestinian cease fire initiatives were foiled by refusal of extremist groups to participate and by Israeli acts such as the killing of Salah Shehadeh.In August and September 2002. Shehadeh was replaced by Mohamed Deif. the US government initiated a series of consultations with a group of diplomats that became known as the "Quartet. but Arafat remained confined to Ramalla and isolated. Ariel Sharon's Likud Party won a sweeping mandate to continue hard line policies against the Palestinians. promising not to harm Arafat. and the US and quartet partners continued to advance the quartet road map for middle east peace. overshadowing and displacing the stillpopular Yasser Arafat. However. the US continued to mass forces for an invasion of Iraq. Arafat agreed to elections in January. that was to be used by Palestinians in a suicide attack. The period of relative calm came to an end with suicide bombings in Umm El Fahm and in a Tel-Aviv bus. Arafat's popularity was at a nadir. Instead. including Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories and establishment of a Palestinian state. despite Israeli occupation. A second siege was reinstituted in the fall. Eventually. widespread demonstrations took place in the West Bank and Gaza. The Israel Labor party refused to form a unity government.
and Ahmed Qureia ("Abu Ala"). kindling fury among Palestinians and eliciting criticism from the US. and President Bush declared the war over on May 1. which generated a great deal of resentment. Soon after the summit. US. US forces entered Baghdad on April 9. some unsuccessful against Hamas leaders. The following day. Fateh and Hamas perpetrated a suicide attack at a Tel Aviv night club. In the following days. At a festive summit held on June 4 in Aqaba. four Israeli soldiers in Gaza were killed in a joint operation that included not only the Islamist extremists but also the Fatah movement of Abu Mazen. Abbas and his Gaza Security Chief Mohamed Dahlan began to move against Palestinian terrorists as required by the roadmap.The Iraq War. possibly in retaliation. Arab governments including the Palestinians hurried to make conciliatory gestures and talk of democracy. On August 20. The Palestinians had supported Saddam Hussein and his regime had provided payments for families of suicide bombers. Click here for more commentary on the roadmap. On September 8. Qureia vowed a tough line against Israel. Abbas announced that he would not act against terrorists on September 4. as well as sheltering Palestinian militants. The war produced an upheaval in the Middle East and especially affected the Palestinians. Yasser Arafat put himself in charge of organizing a new unified security force. an Arafat supporter. . a suicide bombing killed 21 people on a bus in Jerusalem. the US released an updated road map on April 30 immediately after the election of Abu Mazen. including the aged and crippled "spiritual leader" of the Hamas. at the same time criticizing the US occupation of Iraq. As it had promised the Palestinians. British and Australian forces invaded Iraq. 2003. a Hamas suicide bombing killed 16 Israelis in a bus on the main street of Jerusalem. A few hours later. but dismantled only uninhabited ones. On June 11. and made several assassination attempts. was appointed PM in his stead. In violation of the roadmap. EU leaders moved to ban the political wing of the Hamas and prevent monetary contributions to it. Israel began dismantling about ten of the 100 illegal outposts. Israelis made bloody raids in Gaza and elsewhere on the day of his election. however the violence did not abate. Arabs were astounded by the swiftness of Iraq's collapse. Israel tried to assassinate Hamas leader Ahmed Rantissi. but this did not save his political career. and the next day Israel began extensive raids in the territories. Islamist extremist Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders vowed to continue violence. Abbas resigned on September 6. Abu Mazen called for an end to violence. Israel moved into the West bank for a security clean up intended to last several days. As the Hudna (truce) unraveled. Mahmud Abbas was elected Palestinian PM on April 29. On June 10. there were threats and rumors of attempts on the life of PNA PM Mahmud Abbas by Palestinian extremists. Israeli PM Sharon and Palestinian PM Mahmoud Abbas (Abu-Mazen) pledged to fulfill the conditions of the road map and shook hands in the presence of US President George Bush. Israel assassinated Hamas leader Ismail Abu Shanab. Israel also announced that the lives of all Hamas leaders were forfeit. the Roadmap and Palestinian Reform On March 20. (Click here for commentary on the roadmap). whereupon Yasser Arafat moved to replace Dahlan with Gibril Rajoub and to put security and the interior ministry in the hands of his supporters.
Israel would give up sovereignty in Arab portions of Jerusalem. dividing Jerusalem. A long period of relative abatement in Palestinian attacks ensued. A similar barrier in Gaza had reduced infiltration to zero. changing the route to include major Israeli settlements and including a projected eastern portion that would envelope the Palestinians in two enclaves. and warm words from PNA Chairman Yasser Arafat. some on the Israeli side of the 1948 armistice Green Line. January 29. twin suicide bombings in Jerusalem and outside the Tzrifin Army base near Rishon Le Zion claimed a total of 15 lives. The Israeli government has denounced the agreement and the people involved in it. On December 8. though it is a fence over most of its extent. Likewise. but Israel continued attacks on Palestinian targets with considerable loss of civilian life. January 14. 2004. and February 22. by the "moderate" Fatah Al Aqsa brigades as well as by the Hamas and by the Popular Front for the liberation of Palestine. Palestinian groups and Israeli peace groups began an intense protest campaign.Israeli opposition political leaders and Palestinian leaders announced an agreement in principle on conditions for a final settlement. As the barrier went up. the barrier is in fact a forbidding cement wall. Israel invaded Gaza as well as Jenin. 2003. The agreement. including Ariel Sharon's Likud party. This was the first Israeli attack on Syrian territory since the Yom Kippur (Ramadan) war in 1973. Palestinian PM designate Ahmed Qurei and the PA condemned the bombing. and some on the Palestinian side. During 2003. Sharon and the Likud won the election by a landslide majority. opposed the barrier. including support from US Secretary of State Colin Powell. Suicide bombings were carried out December 25 2003. A period of quiet was broken by a suicide bombing in a Haifa restaurant on October 4. which has come to be known as the Geneva Accord. while the Palestinians would explicitly renounce the right of Palestinian refugees to return to Israel. attributed to Islamic Jihad. The right.On the evening of September 10. and tried to block advertisements for the agreement in the public media. PM Ariel Sharon adopted and adapted the barrier concept. In retaliation. proposed historic concessions by both sides. 2004. Suicide attacks continued from time to time. the UN General Assembly met in Emergency session and adopted resolution ES-10/14.A major issue of the 2003 Israel election campaign had been the erection of a security barrier (fence. done by either the Hamas and Islamic Jihad Islamist factions or by the Fatah Al Aqsa brigades. it became evident that it would trap many Palestinians who would be cut off from their fields and places of work. Palestinian extremists and their allies have denounced the agreement. but refused to commit to taking action against terror groups. the agreement has gotten widespread publicity. The Security Barrier (also called "Security Fence" "Apartheid Wall") . Geneva Accord . and putting most of the Israeli settlements in the West Bank outside the protection of the security arrangements. sending the Labor party and the leftist Meretz party into total disarray. a faction of Yasser Arafat's Fatah group over which the PNA has apparently lost control. which asked the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at the Hague for an advisory opinion on the legality of the barrier. and on October 5 they struck at a base in Syria that Israel claimed was training Palestinian terror groups. Though it has no formal standing at present. The barrier was to be erected along the Green line and would help to prevent suicide attacks in Israel. In populated areas where it is most visible. wall) advocated by dovish Israel Labor party. The . because it would create a de-facto border as they thought. 2003.
and that a meeting would definitely take place by the end of February. For a time. endorsing the quartet road map for peace and calling upon the sides to fulfill their obligations to the road map plan. lawlessness reigned and the Mayor resigned. ( Click here for maps and details about the security barrier/fence/wall) On July 9. . very little came of these moves.ICJ began its hearings on February 24. However. exsecurity-chief Mohamed Dahlan indicated that the Palestinian Authority could not rein-in the dissident Fatah Al-Aqsa brigades that had been responsible for several suicide bombings. negotiations to set the agenda of this meeting were postponed for various reasons. Israel boycotted the hearings. On February 26. However. including suicide bombings and Israeli assassinations. the Palestinians seemed unwilling or unable to control terrorist groups. vaunted and then evaporated. Government of Ahmed Qurei . Palestinian PM Ahmed Qurei formed a permanent government and moves began to institute a cease fire and renew negotiations with the Israelis. Most of these countries also criticized the barrier as illegal or a hindrance to peace negotiations. Qurei became concerned that the withdrawal without any negotiations would be a victory for the Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Israel announced that it would not abide by the court decision. rumored. the International Court of Justice delivered its advisory opinion on the Israeli security barrier. and likewise did not attend the hearings. the UN Security Council passed resolution 1515. when Sharon announced his unilateral disengagement plan and it appeared to be in earnest. and for their part. 2003. On November 19. submitted briefs saying that the court should not rule on the matter because it was a political question rather than a legal one. blocked by Arafat. the Israeli incursions continued. despite some successes in improving financial transparency as demanded by the EU and USA. but it did plan changes in the route of the barrier to satisfy requirements of the Israeli High Court. ended in dissension and bitter recriminations. The Palestinians used the hearings as a platform for de-legitimizing the occupation. after a long period of negotiations. disunity and lawlessness in the Palestinian territories. About 30 other countries including the United States and several EU countries. In Nablus. Qurei then announced that he would be ready to meet with Sharon. At the end of February. Chaos in Gaza -Meanwhile. The Israelis brought a bombed out bus and stressed that the wall prevents suicide attacks. Qurei announced that he would not meet with Sharon until Israel stopped building its security barrier (see below). However. Chairman Arafat promised to hold long-postponed elections. Prospective meetings between Ahmed Qurei and Israeli PM Ariel Sharon were announced. and Palestinians organized counter demonstrations. By the beginning of 2004 there were several reports of chaos. Attempts to unify the security forces. it became evident that Qurei was not really able to govern. but submitted a brief saying that the court should not rule on the matter. but many Palestinians did not believe he would keep his promise. political rivals of the PLO who run the PNA. The court ruled that the barrier violates human rights and that Israel must dismantle it. and who are grooming themselves to inherit leadership of the Palestinians. Zionist and Israeli groups organized demonstrations at the Hague. However.On November 12.
One group kidnapped police chief Ghazzi Jibbali and several French nationals. Subsequent agitation for reform elicited more declarations from Arafat. 2004 violence broke out in Gaza between factions of the Fatah. Israelis and Palestinians attributed the relative quiet to the partially constructed separation barrier and better Israeli intelligence. where no fence had been built. despite numerous attempts. The attackers came from the area south of Hebron in the West Bank. Palestinian legislators announced that they would adjourn in protest. Arafat announced that he is withdrawing the appointment of Musa Arafat.During the spring and summer of 2004 there were no successful major terror attacks within Israel. Yasser Arafat reorganized security. On August 31. and Israel took bloody revenge by bombing a Hamas training camp in Gaza. and to occupy Palestinian cities in the West Bank.On the weekend of July 18. but then announced that Musa will remain in charge of security in Gaza. PM Ahmed Qurei announced his resignation. Israel continued to arrest and kill Palestinians belonging to terrorist organizations. Subsequently. but Qurei insisted he would resign anyway. Opposition forces reacted by storming Musa Arafat's headquarters. which was not accepted by Arafat. and later released them. on condition that Jibbali will stand trial. in revenge for the killings of their leaders. The attack accelerated construction of the barrier. appointing his nephew. but when these were not implemented. In October of 2004 Israel conducted operation Days of Repentance to overcome Palestinian rocket fire on Israeli towns. Security situation in 2004 . Musa Arafat. 2004. . Hamas perpetrated a double suicide attack in Beersheba. The operation killed many civilians and left many others homeless. to be in charge of Palestinian security forces.
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