By: Michelle Maylie, Jessica Bauman, and Katie Tronco

Table of Contents
A. History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict
a) Important Places Relating to the Conflict
b) Important People Relating to the Conflict
c) Key Wars and Battles
d) British Colonialism in Palestine
e) Zionism
B. Maps
C. Israeli and Palestinian Political Groups
D. Current Issues
1. Religion
2. Land
3. Israeli Settlements
4. Palestinian Nationhood
5. Gaza and West Bank
6. Security
7. Israel's right to exist
8. Terrorism
9. International Geopolitics
10. Opposing Viewpoints
E. Peace Accords


A. History of the Arab-Israeli conflict
Since pre-historic times Arab and Israel have fought for land ownership and societal acceptance, embarking in a century long conflict that has involved surrounding nations. Biblical stories of the history of Egyptians and their encounters with the people of Israeli formed the base for the leading tensions and events that have corrupted the nation of Israel. Through the start of World War II and the Holocaust, the Jewish people of Israel were eager to establish a homeland and start a new civilization, however ongoing tensions against their religions still existed. Thus leading to the present day conflicts between the Jewish leaders of Israel and the two Arab Palestinian groups, Hamasand Fatah, who are attempting to conquer the state of Israel.

Important Places relating to the conflict
The Middle East nation plays the prominent role in the conflict. Israel declared themselvs a country in 1948, and since then two major territories have been established to recognize the needs of the Palestinian groups. Thus Israel has occupied the two territories of the Gaza Strip and the West Banksince 1967. The state of Israel is a Jewish dominated land, while the two major territories are for the rebel groups of the Palestinian dynasty the Hamas and Fatah. The Fatah lead the West Bank, while the Hamas lead the Gaza Strip. Both territories have hopes of eventually dominating the state and overthrowing the Jewish culture.

Pictured above is the state of Israel and the two major territories of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank

Important People relating to the conflict
The nation of Israel, which obtains the two territories of Gaza and the West Bank, has become a country of separation and tension. Prior to the 2006 Palestinian legislative election Fatah had full control and leadership concerning the Palestinian groups of Israel. [1] However, once the two groups held an election the Hamas gained power. Thus this new recognition caused tensions and violence within their respected borders. The Fatah killed the Hamas people living in the West Bank, while the followers of Hamas killed the Fatah citizens living in Gaza. Thus, the two territories of the Gaza Strip and West Bank were established and leadership was made.

Hamas Leaders
Sheikh Yassin
Yassin was the leader of the Hamas and the founder of the group’s original authority and recognition. However due to his assignation in 2004, new leaders and organizations were established within the territory.

Abdel Aziz Rantisi

After the honorable Sheikh Yassin was assignation in March of 2004, Rantisi was chosen to head the Hamas organization. Rantisi took part in establishing the terrorist policy of the organization and also served as its main spokesperson. Rantisi was one of the six founders of Hamas in 1987, along with the late Yassin. His leadership role increased has his activism increased within the territory. He was imprisoned from 1988-90 and again in 1991. Due to his strong hatred for the Israel nation and prison, he fled to the Gaza strip and found leadership within the territory. However in April of 2004 he was killed and Hamas established a new security policy in which their leader would not be announced publicly. [2]

Potential Hamas Leaders
Ismail Haniyeh
Haniyeh was the first Hamas candidate on the list in the recent January 25th election in which Hamas was victorious. He is expected to be the new leader of the PA (Palestine) government. Currently Haniyeh heads Hamas as being their prime minister, however his leadership is expected to increase. Haniyeh was very close with the late Yassin, and his strong activism has led to imprisonment and multiple assignation attempts from others.

Fatah Leaders
Yasser Arafat was the main founder of Fatah and led the group until his death in 2004.

Currently Farouk Kaddoumi is the secretary general of Fatah’s head committee, likewise due to security reasons Fatah does not release their leaders name. However Kaddoumi plays a dominate role in initiating key decisions based on the territory of Fatah.

Israeli Leaders
Shimon Peres has been the president of the state since July of 2007. First serving as the Prime Minister of Israel he is now their 9th president. He is a follower of the Israel Defense Forces in which Israel continues to protect their borders against the Hamas and Fatah.


Key wars and battles
Before the commencement of World War I the Middle East was under control of the Ottoman Empire. The Jewish and Arab people of the Middle East supported the allied powers during WWI, which led to the creation of Arab nationalism. However at the close of the war the British controlled Palestine which caused increased Jewish immigration. With this increased immigration came tension between those of Arab descent and those of Jewish descent. Thus the Arab Revolt in Palestine occurred from 1936-1939. Later in 1928 a war broke out between the Israelis and Palestinians, known as the Arab-Israeli War. The fighting ended with the 1929 Armistice Agreement in which the Israelis won, and the Arabs experienced a disappointing failure. Likewise, in 1967 a Six-Day War occurred between Israel and the Arab nations of Jordan, Egypt, and Syria, again ending with an Israeli victory. Thus, Israel continued to take over more territories and increased their leadership. This led to the War of Attrition in 1970, which was a conflict over Egypt and Israeli territory. The war ended with no change in territory and no agreements established, ultimately according to historians serving limited purpose in Israeli history. However, hate groups did not recognize the state of Israel, peace agreements, or negations with the nation. In the present century, the 2006 Lebanon War commenced, in which Israel blocked Lebanon ending in a ceasefire and the lifting of Israel’s naval blockade on Lebanon. [3]

British colonialism in Palestine
British colonialism in Palestine started with the establishment of the Balfour Declaration of 1917. It declared that the holy land of Palestine was a national homeland for those of Jewish descent. Furthermore, during WWI the British Mandate of Palestine was created, which helped to split the power that the Ottoman Empire had over the Middle East, thus leaving the British with official control of the territory. With this new control came increased immigration from the Jews, due to permission to purchase land and employment in factories and businesses. However, as the nation of Palestine continued to become overpowered and overpopulated the Arab citizens revolted. Taking part in the Hebron Massacre in which there were mass murders on Jews. In response the British established the White Papers of 1939, which revoked the British Mandate of Palestine. Instead Arabs and Jews now controlled the government, and leadership depended upon population and citizenship. However, this “agreement” only remained in place until the commencement of the Holocaust, prior to WWII, in 1944. The Jewish peoples struggled for identity and acceptance and their lack of assimilation back into everyday caused the British to acquire aid from the United Nations. Thus the committee UNSCOP was appointed, which established both Arab and Jewish territories in Israel.[4]




Zionism is the belief that Israel is the land for the Jewish faith. Originating in 1200 BC, the idea has turned into a political movement that supports the reestablishment of the homeland for the Jewish people. Originally the movement was secular pertaining to only certain sections in the nation of Israel; however throughout the years Zionism has spread ultimately leading to the Jewish faith dominating the state of Israel. In response strong contempt from both the Hamas and Fatah have originated due to the lifelong belief that the Jewish people captured the Palestine’s land. [6] Furthermore, specific symbols that represent the belief of Zionism throughout Israel are the flag with blue stripes suggesting a prayer shawl, the national coat of arms with the menorah, and the seven-branches of the candelabra.

B. Maps

C. Israeli and Palestinian Political Groups

Israeli 3 Party System
Labour- is the center-left party in Israel. It believes in Zionism and socialism. Their leader is Ehud Barak.
Likud- Considered the central-right political party in Israel. Their leader is Benjamin Netanyahu.
Kadima- largest of the Israeli party in the Knesset after the election held in 2006. Tzipi Livni is their leader.


Fatah- Arabs who live in the West Bank. These individuals are more open to agreements with the Israelis than the Hamas.
Hamas- Arabs living in the Gaza Strip. They are very violent


D. Current Issues
1. Religion
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In Israel there is no separation of church and state. Herzel desired Israel to separate religion and politics. He made his beliefs evident when he wrote in 1896 “We shall keep our priests within the confines of their temples.”[7] When David Ben-Gurion proclaimed Israel a state, the rabbis gained power of the state. Currently Israelis only have a valid married when their nuptial is led by a rabbi. Some individuals go to a neighboring country to be united in marriage, and it is common for them to visit Cyprus for wedding ceremonies.
Rabbis control many aspects of the inhabitants of life in Israel. They take care of food that is distributed in restaurants and hotels who claim to be Kosher. Even the government and military hasKosher food in the cafeteria. Although Jews are a minority in Israel they have great power. Often fights between different religious groups break out. Then there are conflicts between the religious and non-religious about what defines a “good Jew”. Since there are so many religion based conflicts, Israel has not been able to create a constitution for almost sixty years. Some Israelis desire to live like the Westerners, which becomes a problem for the conservative Jews. The day of rest for the Jews is called the Shabatin Israel is also known as the Sabbath. On the Shabbat the religious close buildings and do not allow traffic to pass on certain roads; however, the non-religious Israelis have restaurants opened and they have their roads open. Towns are separated by the Sabbath and people do not have buses running on this day. Some Israelis are defined by their religion and they feel that their identity would be lost without their faith.

2. Land
Israel is divided up into three sections. There is the Gaza Strip and West Bank which are considered Palestinian Region. Hamas lives within the confines of Gaza Strip and the Fatah lives in the West Bank. The Israelis believe by Zionism that they deserved the land in the Palestinian Region and had the right to declare the region to be the country of Israel. Israel is located between Egypt and Lebanon. There is only 15.45% of land in Israel that is farmable. This country suffers from desertification and has a very small amount of available water. A fence made of metal divides Israel and the Hamas. Palestinians often fire at the wall. In 2005 Israelis wanted control of Gaza Strip in a hope to control crimes and traffic in all of Israel. The Israelis use surveillance to see who crosses the Rafah border into Egypt but had to refrain from violence. Now the Gaza Strip is unable to import, but still exports good. Often since Gaza cannot import there are shortages for humanitarian needs.

3. Israeli Settlements
Israel is divided into three sections: Gaza Strip, West Bank, and common Israel. The Arabs live in both the Gaza Strip and West Bank. Hamas reside in the Gaza Strip whereas the Fatah are found in West Bank. Israelis currently enter the Arab’s land and bulldozing houses and businesses. The Israelites ignore peace treaties and are creating wars with the Arabs.

4. Palestinian Nationhood
The people of Palestine have lived in the region between Lebanon and Egypt for thousands of years. They are of Abraham’s descent and believe that they have a right to live in the Palestine Region; however, the Jews in this region believe that God had given them the right to live in this section. Now the Jews have claimed that the region is Israel and forced the Arabs into two sections known as the Gaza Strip and West Bank. Arabs believe that the region is their land and that the Jews have stolen from them, whereas the Jews think that the land is their rightful property.

5. Gaza and West Bank
Gaza Strip is the region in which the Hamas reside and the Fatah live in the West Bank. Currently the Hamas and Fatah desire to have their Palestinian region as their own and the rest of “Israel” to belong to them. West Bank has one hundred communities with Israelites. One hundred eighty-seven thousand Israelites are in West Bank. The Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement allows the Fatah to occupy the West Band and the Hamas to live in the Gaza Strip. A barrier is built between parts of West Bank.

6. Security:
The Apartheid Wall that the Israelis built, cuts off Palestinians from their lands and other towns. When the wall was built, it destroyed the Palestinaian houses and the olive groves that they have. The Apartheid Wall includes seven percent of the West Bank territroy on the Israeli border. Since the wall was built, it decreased Israeli casulaties decreased. Besides the wall, the Palestinaians build tunnels to go under the wall and try to get into Israel. And they have been firing rockets into Israeli territory.
7. Israel's Right to Exist
A majority of the Palestinians, especially the radical and extremists Hammas group, believe that Israel does not have the right to exist. Only the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) recognizes Israel's right to exist. The Hammas officials say that they do recognize Israel's right to exist. but do not recognize them as a Jewish state and is not planning on making peace with Israel anytime soon.

8. Terrorism:
Palestinian Terrorism:
Almost all Palestinian groups around the Israeli region use violent and radical methods and aim at destroying Israel by these methods. These groups are regauraded by Israeli's as terrorists. The Extremeist Palestinian groups that rejected the peace methods and proposals from Israel began a series of suicide bombings against Israel. Since September, Palestinians have killed over a thousand Israeli's in terror or suicide bombings. In retrospect, Israeli's have killed over 3,500 in (what they call) "defense" operations. Included in those killed, many of the people have been civilians.

Israel "Defense Missions":
After September 2000, Israelis repression against the Palestinians "terror", Israelis became more drastically severe. In more severe, there were numerous assassinations of wanted terrorists that Palestininan officials refused to arrest. After a series of suicide bombings in March 2002, Israel launched operation Defense Wall in the West Bank. The Defense Wall, also known as the Aparheid Wall, Israeli casulaties have drastically gone down.The IDF (Israel Defense Force) has killed over 3,500 Palestinians and has caused severe damage of thousands of houses. Israeli extremist settelers have harassed Palestinians, destroyed their property and killed Palestinians with doubtful motives behind their killing.

9. International Geopolitics
Egyptian Views of the Conflict:
The closest anyone has ever gotten to gaining peace in the Middle East has been Jimmy Carter with Egypt and Israel in 1977. The president of Egypt met with the Israeli prime minister. In some stragetic moves, Egypt regained control of the Sinai. In return, Egypt recognized Israel's right to exist and guarenteed forces within 50 miles of Israel's border. The impact of this accord was immediate and the Prime Ministher of Israel was assassinated. However these moves towards peace, laid the groundwork for years of tyring to come.

10. Opposing Viewpoints
In 1948, over 726,000 Palestinians fled their homes, after a war over the creation of Israel. Today, there are currently over 4 million refugees. Many of them live in crowded refugee camps in very poor conditions along the West Bank. Palestinian officials demand that the refugees have the right to return to their homeland. Israelis oppose the return of the refugees because that would create an Arab-Palestinian majority, and put an end to Israel being a Jewish State.

E. Peace Accords
1979 - Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel (historyguy.com)
Follow the link to view a slideshow of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Follow the link to view a timeline of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

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