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Palestine-Israel Conflict Historical


Title: Palestine-Israel Conflict: Historical and Geopolitical Perspective Last modified by: Doris Lois B. Rifareal Created Date: 1/1/1601 12:00:00 AM – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Palestine-Israel Conflict Historical

Palestine-Israel Conflict Historical
Geopolitical Perspective
  • 25 November 2010
  • by Rey Claro Casambre
  • and the
  • Study Commission on Peace

  • This paper aims to provide a brief historical
    background and geopolitical perspective on the
    decades-long conflict between the Palestinians
    and the Israelis, and the role of the US in this

The history of the Palestine-Israel conflict may
be discussed in four periods
  • From ancient times to the end of World War I
  • The British Mandate of Palestine 1917-1948
  • The establishment of the state of Israel and the
    Israel-Arab Wars (1948-1982)
  • Peace talks, the 1st and 2nd Intefada, to the

Ancient Times to the End of World War I
  • 1250 BC - Israelites conquer Canaan King
    David, Solomon (965-928)and other Hebrew rulers
  • 586BC -    Jews driven out by Assyrian conqueror
  • Succession of Assyrian, Persian (539BC), Greek
    (333BC), Egyptian, Syrian, Roman Byzantine (63
    BC), and Arab rulers from Damascus (661-750),
    Iraq (750-1258), and Cairo (969-1099, 1187-1516),
    and the Crusaders (1099-1187) .
  • Palestine incorporated into the Ottoman Empire
    from 1516-1917
  • Zionism the movement to establish a separate
    Jewish state in Palestine was born in the end
    of the 19th century

The Middle East in 1917
  • Middle East in 1917

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The British Mandate (1917-48)
  • The Balfour Declaration of 1917 pledged Britains
    support for the establishment in Palestine of a
    national home for the Jewish people and paid lip
    service to safeguarding the civil and political
    rights of the non-Jewish communities in Palestine
  • Successive waves of migrations increased Jewish
    population in Palestine from less than 6 in 1903
    to 31 in 1945

  • 29 Nov 1947 - UN Resolution 181 partitioning
    Palestine into a Jewish state (56.5 of
    Palestine) and a Palestinian state (43)
    rejected by the Palestinians and Arab states.
  • 14 May 1948 - State of Israel proclaimed in Tel
    Aviv at 400 P.M. , recognized by US President
  • 15 May 1948 - British Mandate ends. Declaration
    of State of Israel comes into effect.

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The Arab-Israeli Wars
  • 1949 First Arab-Israeli War
  • 1956 Suez Campaign (Oct 29-Nov 5)
  • 1967 - Six-Day War (June 5-10)
  • 1973 - October War (Yom Kippur)
  • 1982 - Israeli invasion of Lebanon

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  • Six-Day War
  • 1967
  • June 5-10

  • October 1973 War
  • (Yom Kippur)

Peace Talks and the Intefada
  •          1978 Camp David Accords between Israel
    and Egypt Israel turns over Sinai to Egypt in
    exchange for recognition of right to exist
  •          1987 - the outbreak of the first
    Palestinian intefada in December 1987 triggered
    by death of Palestinian youths run over by
    Israeli lorry (military personnel carrier)
  •          1988 - Yasser Arafat's condemnation of
    terrorism and recognition of the state of Israel
    in December 1988.
  •          1991 October - The Madrid peace

  • 1992 - secret Israeli-Palestinian talks in Oslo,
  • 1993 Declaration of Principles (DoP), signed by
    Yasser Arafat and Israeli PM Yitzhak
    Rabin o        set up the Palestinian Authority,
  • o        failed to resolve the issues of
             return of Palestinian refugees
             the status of Jerusalem
             Israeli settlements
             final Palestine-Israel borders
  • 1994 Arafat returned to Gaza Strip and West
    bank to head the Palestinian Authority

However, Israel wielded full authority and
control by frequently sealing off the
Palestinian-governed areas from the rest of the
Occupied Territories and from Israel.
Some highlights in recent history of Palestine
  • 1974 - The Arab Summit in Rabat recognized the
    PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the
    Palestinian people.
  • 1987 - Relations between Israel and the
    Palestinians entered a new phase with the
    intifada, a series of uprisings in the occupie
  • d territories that included demonstrations,
    strikes, and rock-throwing attacks on Israeli
  • 1988 - The Palestinian National Conference
    meeting in Algiers declared the State of
    Palestine as outlined in the UN Partition Plan
  • 1993 Israeli PM Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser
    Arafat signed an historic peace agreement wherein
    Israel agreed to allow for Palestinian self-rule
    (Palestinian National Authority), first in the
    Gaza Strip and the West Bank town of Jericho, and
    later in other areas of the West Bank. But failed
    to resolve the issues of return of Palestinians
    to Palestine, Jewish settlements, Jerusalem and
    final Israel-Palestine borders.
  • 1994 Jan - PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat elected
    President of the PNA.

Camp David Summit, 11 July 2000
  • Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, US President
    Bill Clinton and Palestinian President Yasser
    Arafat failed to reach an agreement on resolving
    the Israel-Palestine conflict.

September 2000 Opposition Likud Party candidate
Ariel Sharons visit to Jerusalem sparks 2nd
Intifada, which lasts throughout 2001.
March 2002 - Saudi Peace Initiative
  • Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia proposed a
    Saudi peace initiative in March 2002 that
    formally changed the Arab world?s position on
  • The proposal, endorsed by the Arab League, asked
    Israel to withdraw to the 1949 borders and
    establish an independent and sovereign state of
    Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital. It
    stipulated that displaced refugees should either
    be allowed to return to their homes or be
    compensated for their loss of property.
  • In return, the Arab states would consider the
    Arab-Israeli conflict over, sign comprehensive
    peace treaties with Israel, and normalize
  • The proposal was received with skepticism by
    Israel and had little practical effect.

13 March 2002 - U.N. Resolution 1397
  • The U.S. pushes through the passage of U.N.
    Resolution 1397 by the Security Council,
    demanding an "immediate cessation of all acts of
    violence" and "affirming a vision of a region
    where two states, Israel and Palestine, live side
    by side within secure and recognized borders".

25 November 2010
March 2002 - Israeli forces attack Palestinian
  • Operation Defensive Shield, Israel's largest
    military operation in the West Bank since the
    1967 Six-Day War. Its goals was launched
  • to enter cities and villages which have become
    havens for terrorists
  • to catch and arrest terrorists and, primarily,
    their dispatchers and those who finance and
    support them
  • to confiscate weapons intended to be used
    against Israeli citizens
  • to expose and destroy terrorist facilities and
    explosives, laboratories, weapons production
    factories and secret installations.

Attack on Arafats HQ at Ramallah (14 March 2002)
12 April 2002 Massacre at Jenin Refugee Camp
  • IDF used heavy armored bulldozers to flatten
    apartment buildings in Jenin, burying trapped
    occupants alive. Foreign media was prevented from
    entering the camps for two weeks after the

IDF troops occupy Bethlehem and attack the Church
of the Nativity, where 200 Palestinians sought
refuge for 39 days
June 2002 Israel starts construction of the
West Bank Apartheid Wall
The Wall will run over 650 km deep inside West
Bank, will de facto annex nearly 50 of it.
The Wall takes on a variety of forms, but always
with watchtowers, concertina wire, and bulldozed
buffer zones.
The Wall is a blatant violation of
international law, particularly on the annexation
of occupied land (United Nations Charter, art.
The Wall has devastated every aspect of
Palestinian life, and has incited strong protest
not only by the Palestinians but by the
international community as well.
US, European Union, Russia and the UN propose a
Road Map to Peace
  • called for an independent Palestinian state
    peacefully coexisting with Israel
  • requires the PNA to undertake democratic reforms
    and abandon the use of terrorism.
  • Israel must support and accept the emergence of a
    reformed Palestinian government and end
    settlement activity of the Gaza Strip and West
    Bank as the Palestinian threat is removed.

June 2003 Arab Summit
  • Arab leaders hold a two-day summit in Egypt,
    announce their support for the US-EU-Russia-UN
    Road Map and promised to work on cutting off
    funding to terrorist groups.

21 Aug 2003 Israel assassinates Ismael Abu
Sinaub, 3rd most senior Hamas leader
  • Five Israeli missiles incinerated Ismail Abu
    Shanab in Gaza City, killing one of the most
    powerful voices for peace in Hamas and destroying
    a seven-week ceasefire. Hamas declared an
    immediate end to the truce and vowed a bloody
    revenge for the death of Abu Shanab, who was
    married with 11 children. He had advocated the
    existence of a Palestinian state alongside
    Israel, not replacing it.

US role in the conflict
  • 1948 - Israel wins the first war against its Arab
    neighbors leading to the establishment of the
    state of Israel. The US lobbied for Israel and
    was the first country to recognize Israel in the
    United Nations.
  • 1956 Suez Crisis - Israel, France, and Britain
    attack Egypt in October of 1956 after the Suez
    crisis but the US comes out against the war
    forcing UN intervention and an end to

  • 1967 Six-Day War - US backs Israel in its third
    war in the region against the armies of Egypt,
    Jordan and Syria. Israel gains control of the
    Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, Syria's Golan
    Heights, and Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.
  • 1973 -October/Yom Kippur War - Egypt and Syria
    attack Israel in October of 1973 in an attempt to
    reclaim lands lost in the Six-Day War. Israel
    initially suffers major losses until the United
    States arranged a massive airlift of weapons
    which helped Israel in its counteroffensive.

  • 1978 Camp David Accords - US President Jimmy
    Carter mediates negotiations between Egypt's
    Anwar Sadat and Israel's Menachem Begin leading
    to the Camp David Accords, the prerequisite to
    the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty.
  • 1982 War of Lebanon -- Israel gets explicitly
    involved in the Lebanese Civil War, attacking
    Syrian and Palestine Liberation Organization
    (PLO) forces. The US mediates an agreement with
    the PLO to withdrawal which leads to American
    troop deployment in Lebanon.
  • 1991-Current - Peace Process -- The US has
    played a mediating role between Israel and its
    neighboring Arab countries, leading to the Madrid
    Conference (1991), Oslo Process/Accords (1993),
    the Israeli-Jordanian Peace Treaty (1994), and
    most recently the Roadmap For Peace.
  • 2006 War with Lebanon - Israel attacks Lebanon
    in retaliation for the Hezbollah kidnapping of
    Israeli soldiers. Questions arose about whether
    or not Israel used American supplied weapons
    during the conflict.

Israel largest recipient of military aid from
1976-2004 since then 2nd only to Iraq
  • US stockpiles war materials in Israel that it
    ccan use in any part of the world, while Israel
    can and also has used these its military
    offensives such as the 2006 war in Lebanon.
    From USD 800 M worth in 2007, the stockpile will
    be increased to USD 1 billion in 2011
  • Since 1985, Israel received nearly USD 3 B in
    military aid with preferential terms (early
    delivery, can be used for RDto buy military
    hardware , eg warplanes from the US)

Straight from the US State Departments mouth
  • U.S. assistance will help ensure that Israel
    maintains its qualitative military edge over
    potential threats, and prevent a shift in the
    security balance of the region. U.S. assistance
    is also aimed at ensuring for Israel the security
    it requires to make concessions necessary for
    comprehensive regional peace.  (in justifying
    FY2011 Foreign Operations budget)

Pipeline Geopolitics and Israel
  • Israel is part of the Anglo-American military
    axis, which serves the interests of the Western
    oil giants in the Middle East and Central Asia.
    Not surprisingly, Israel has military cooperation
    agreements with Georgia and Azerbaijan.
  • Oil and natural gas are also factors in Israels
    insistence in maintaining control of occupied
    territories in the West Bank and Gaza strip.

The Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan (BTC) Pipeline
  • While the official reports state that the BTC
    pipeline will "channel oil to Western markets",
    what is rarely acknowledged is that part of the
    oil from the Caspian sea would be directly
    channeled towards Israel. In this regard, an
    underwater Israeli-Turkish pipeline project has
    been envisaged which would link Ceyhan to the
    Israeli port of Ashkelon and from there through
    Israel's main pipeline system, to the Red Sea.

  • The objective of Israel is not only to acquire
    Caspian sea oil for its own consumption needs but
    also to play a key role in re-exporting Caspian
    sea oil back to the Asian markets through the Red
    Sea port of Eilat. The strategic implications of
    this re-routing of Caspian sea oil are
  • What is envisaged is to link the BTC pipeline to
    the Trans-Israel Eilat-Ashkelon pipeline, also
    known as Israel's Tipline, from Ceyhan to the
    Israeli port of Ashkelon.

US-Israel targetting Iran
  • US has stepped up its political and economic
    offensive against Iran as part of the axis of
    evil and threatens to invade and occupy it
    unless it dismantles its nuclear weapons program
  • Israel has been pushing the US to take more
    aggressive military actions against Iran, which
    it accuses of preparing a nuclear attack on
  • Iran remains the main obstacle to the
    consolidation of US hegemony and control of the
    Middle East and its resources