The seemingly growing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has been going on for decades with the latest violence steering up another war. But why are they fighting? Who are Hamas, and why are they launching rockets to destroy Israel? This article will try to answer some of your basic questions and help you understand what’s really going on in Israel.
Common words and their meanings
1. Hamas : The Hamas in Gaza are like the Eastern Security Network (ESN) in Nigeria however, the Hamas is a Palestinian Sunni-Islamic fundamentalist organization. They are pragmatic and also operate both military and social service Wing called Izzy ad-Din al-Assad Brigades and Dawah, respectively.
2. Gaza Strip : This is a Palestinian city which was formerly occupied or controlled by Egypt but now belong to the Hamas even though Israel controls its water supply, electricity and other infrastructures.
3. West Bank: This is also a territory owned by Palestinians. Claims the Jews are trying to take it away from them.
History of the conflict
During the World War 1, Britain seized control of Palestinian territory after the ruler of that part of the Middle East, Ottoman Empire was conquered.
The land became inhabited by many Arabs and Jewish minority however, the tensions between the two groups heated up after Britain tried to establish a “national home” for all Jewish people.
The Jews claim it was their ancestral home while the Arabs claimed all the land and rejected the decision of creating the national home for Jewish people in Palestine.
Years passed and the population of the Jews increased due to inflow of Jewish people who were being persecuted in Europe around the 1920s and 40s during the Second world war. Violence between Jews and Arabs, and against British rule, also grew.
Following much conflict and controversy, the United Nations decided that Palestine be separated into two territories, one belonging to the Arab states and the other for Jewish states, while Jerusalem becomes an international city.
This decision was welcomed by the Jewish authorities but was detested by the Arab, and it was never implemented.
The Creation of Israel
The state of Israel was declared and established by Jewish rulers in 1948, after the British rulers left the region; Leaving behind a huge chaos between the Arabs and Jews.
The quest for power and territory eventually lead to a deadly war between Israel and Palestinians who joint forces with several other Arab countries to invade Israel. At the end of the war, Israel controlled most of the territory and many Palestinians were forced to flee and abandoned their homes. Fleeing into Gaza and other neighboring countries like Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.
The West Bank area was occupied by Jordan while Gaza was controlled by Egypt. Another war broke out in 1967 and Israel seized control of the West Bank, Gaza, Syrian Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula.
Many Palestinians who were affected by the war live in the Gaza and West Bank regions and have been denied access to go back to their homes by the Israeli government. According to Israel, the Arabs will overwhelm the country and pose a threat to the existence of the country as a Jewish nation.
Presently, Israel has pulled out of Gaza (the city of Palestinians) where Hamas is now in control and have launch rockets targeted at Israel.
The current conflict and it’s causes.
Palestinians in the region of Gaza and the West Bank have claimed to be in a state of suffering caused by Israel’s restrictions on their territory.
Note: Even though Israel has withdrawn from Gaza, they still secure the borders which make traveling in and out of the city very difficult. Israel claims they are only protecting itself and preventing the incoming of weapons to Hamas militants.
Since the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, we have continued to see violent clashes between the Palestinians and the Israeli Police.
Things escalated following another previous clash of the police and protesters around the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex. The threatened eviction of some Palestinian families in East Jerusalem has also caused rising anger.
What are the major problems?
1. Both Palestinians and Israel claim Jerusalem as it’s capital and even though the holy city is recognized international as the capital of Israel, conflict has been going on between the two states.
2. The one-state solution: this proposes that Israel and Palestine be merged into one country, but the Israeli government rejects this idea.
3. The two-state solution : this proposes that both Israel and Palestine exist as separate states, but the issue of which country will own Jerusalem posed a threat to the solution.
4. Hamas also demands Israel to lift the barricade on Gaza and allow Palestinians to return to their acclaimed land.
There are numerous issues surrounding this conflict and peace-talks have been going on for more than 20 years. The future is quite unpredictable for the people of Israel and Palestine.