Recent Papers 12-18-2021

The Israel and Palestine conflict is almost more than a 100 year old issue. Let me take you back to World War 1 when the Britain took over Palestine. Before the World War 1, the Ottoman Empire were ruling over the Palestine. But in the World War 1, the Britain defeated the Ottoman Empire and took control over the area known as Palestine. During that time, the land was inhabited by Jews and Arabs. The Jews were the minority and the Arabs were the majority.

Tension between these two arose when the British were given the responsibility of establishing a home for Jewish people. This task was given to British by international community. It was ancestral home for the Jews but the Arabs (Palestinians) opposed the decision.

In between the time period of 1920s to 1940s more and more Jews started coming in and they grew their families there. After the World War 2, many escaped to Europe to look for a new homeland. In 1947, the UN voted for Palestine to be split into two separate lands one for the Jews and the other for the Arabs. This decision was accepted by the Jews but not by Arabs. Thus this decision was never implemented.

How Israel Was Created?

In 1948, since British were unable to solve the issue, they left the land and Jewish leaders declared the creation of a new land called Israel. A war was followed when the Arabs objected. Many troops from the neighboring Arab countries invaded. Millions of Palestinians were forced out of their homes which was called Al-Nakba. A lot of them fled away.

By the time fight ended, the Israelis took over the most territory. Jordan occupied a land which became the West Bank and Gaza was occupied by Egypt. Jerusalem was divided into two forces, in the west it was Israeli forces and in the east it was Jordan forces. Since there was no agreement of peace, there were more wars following for decades.

In 1967s war, the Israelis took over the West bank and the East Jerusalem. They also occupied the most part of the Syria Golan Heights, Gaza and the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula.

Many Palestinians refugees and their offspring live in Gaza and West bank and also in the neighboring countries like Jordan and Syria. None of those refugees are allowed to go to their homes. Israeli leaders say that this would threaten their existence as a Jewish state.

West bank is still occupied by the Israelis. Israelis claim that whole Jerusalem as their capital while the Palestinians claim the half of the Jerusalem is their future capital.

What Is The Current Situation?

Tensions between Palestine and Israel are high. Gaza is ruled by the Palestinians militant groups Hamas. Hamas has fought with Israel many times. Gaza’s borders are controlled by Israel and Egypt so that no weapon can enter the land of Gaza.

What Are The Main Problems?

There are a number of issues which Israel and the Palestinians cannot agree on. These include: what should happen to Palestinian refugees; whether Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank should stay or be removed; whether the two sides should share Jerusalem; and - perhaps most tricky of all - whether a Palestinian state should be created alongside Israel.

Peace talks have been taking place on and off for more than 25 years, but so far have not solved the conflict.

What Does The Future Hold?

Presently, the prospects for meaningful progress toward a comprehensive resolution of the conflict are low. The most that can be done in the short term is to try to minimize the risks for a new round of violence, (re)commence the rebuilding of Gaza, and seek to advance modest improvements in communication and trust between Jews and Palestinians inside Israel, in East Jerusalem, and in the West Bank. Given the fragility of relationships, none of the above would be easy to achieve. Triggers relating to the Muslim Holy Sites in Jerusalem and to evictions of Palestinian families on the one hand, and to renewed rockets or other terrorist attacks against Israelis on the other, will continue to be vulnerable to exploitation by extremists on either side.

Given the significant resilience of victimization (“everyone’s against us”) narratives to external pressures, outside actors — including the US, the Europeans, and Arab States — would have to apply strong measures to extract any meaningful concessions from the parties to the conflict.

Along with high-level engagements, international actors should act to support grassroots efforts to deescalate tensions, improve conditions of life for Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and reduce frictions with Jewish settlers. The long-time blockade of Gaza must be lifted, keeping in place limited restrictions only. Fifteen years of maintaining an open-air prison in the Strip seems to have done little to serve Israel’s security concerns.

Finally, along with investments in inter-communal peacebuilding projects, Israel’s next government should work to reduce inequalities for the one-fifth of its citizens who are Israeli Palestinians, including doing much more to address inequalities in legislation and funds allocation, housing building permits, youth unemployment, and in reducing intra-societal violence within Israeli-Palestinian communities.

When an Israeli strike hit al-Wihda street in central Gaza City early on Sunday, at least 13 members of the extended al-Kawalek family are believed to have been killed, buried in the rubble of their own home.

Many of the victims were children, with one said to be as young as six months.

"We saw nothing but smoke," one of the surviving members of the family, Sanaa al-Kawalek, told Felesteen Online. "I couldn`t see my son next to me and I was hugging him, but I could see nothing."

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) described the bombing as "abnormal" and said the civilian casualties were unintended. A spokesman said air strikes had caused a tunnel to collapse, bringing houses down with it.

Among those killed were sisters Yara, 9, and Rula, 5. Both had been receiving treatment for trauma from the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).