Israeli–Palestinian Conflict

The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is an ongoing dispute between Israel and Palestinians, beginning in the mid-20th century. It is one of the world’s most enduring conflicts; the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip has lasted 54 years. Because Israel lies in territory claimed by Arabs, it has faced conflict with neighboring Arab countries. Israel has also experienced violence between Jews and Arabs (known as Palestinians) living within its borders. Israel claims Jerusalem as its capital. Israelis and the Arabs of the region have long disagreed about the limits of Israel’s territory.

UN Resolution 446

United Nations Security Council resolution 446, adopted on 22 March 1979, concerned the issue of Israeli settlement in the “Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem”. This refers to the Palestinian territories of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

Geography

Why Israel wants West Bank

Israel has cited several reasons for retaining the West Bank within its ambit, a claim based on the notion of historic rights to this as a homeland as affirmed in the Balfour Declaration. The territory now known as Israel is part of a region called Palestine.

The area was the ancient homeland of the Jews. Long ago it came under the control of other rulers, though some Jewish people continued to live there. In the 600s it became part of the Muslim world. In the late 1800s Jews began a movement, called Zionism, to re-create a Jewish state. The Arabs in Palestine opposed the movement

Balfour Declaration

After the Nazi takeover of many countries in Europe, the Jews who were able to leave needed a new home. Many went to Israel.

The State of Israel was created after Israel fought six wars with its Arab neighbours and the British left Palestine in 1948.

In 1918 the British occupied Palestine. After World War II the British asked the United Nations to help settle the disagreements between the Jews and the Palestinian Arabs.

In 1947 the United Nations voted to divide the region into separate Jewish and Arab states. Arab leaders refused to accept that decision. The State of Israel declared its independence in 1948.

The Balfour Declaration was a public statement issued by the British government in 1917 during the First World War announcing support for the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine.