Friday, February 1, 2013

Prior to First World war, the Jerusalem and surrounding 

Palestine region was under the control of Ottoman Turks.

  • During the course of First world war, British army captured Jerusalem and put this Palestine region under military administration.
  • This created resentment among the Native Arabs residing in Palestine. Especially after the Jewish people started immigrating here, due to the oppression by Hitler.


  • Palestinian Arabs decided that no more Jews should arrive and that Palestine should achieve independence as an Arab state. (in 1946 there were 12 lakh Arabs and 7 lakh Jews in Palestine). There was rioting and violence everywhere, from both sides.
  • The area was still under British administration. But during this time, Britain lacked the money, political will and military force to maintain hard control over its colonies.
  • In Feb 1947, Britishers were busy negotiating independence of India. They were also eager to decrease costly military presence in Palestine.
  • So British Government decided to handover the Palestine question to United Nations.


In late 1947, The United nations General Assembly passed a resolution: This Palestine region be partitioned into an Arab State and a Jewish state, and Jerusalem will become an International centre. 

  • Arab nations opposed this resolution.
  • The Zionists welcomed the partition proposal because it recognized a Jewish state and because it allotted more than half of (west-of-Jordan) Palestine to them.
  • Soon after the UN resolution, rioting and civil war broke out in Palestine, between the native Arab and Jews. 

What happened when the BRITS left ?

  • 14th May 1948, the Last British high commissioner left Palestine.
  • Immediately, the Zionist leaders declared Israel a free Nation. Within a few hours, USA also recognized Israel as a nation.
  • In the upcoming days, the Arab nations: Syria, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt sent their armies but were defeated by Israeli forces. (this is known as First Israel-Arab War)

The problem was: What to do with Jerusalem city?

  • After The First Israel-Arab war, the Jerusalem city and surrounding was divided between Israel (West) and Jordan (East).

  • West Bank is the region on the west side of Jordan River.
  • From 1950 to 1967 it was ruled by Jordan.
  • But Israel captured it in 1967’s war (also known as 6 Days war, or Third Israel-Arab war).
Gaza Strip and refugees of Palestine
  • After Israel became an independent nation (1948), the Arabs from Tel-Aviv and other parts of Israel/Palestine region, had started migrating to this Gaza strip, to save themselves from riots and looting.
  • These are called Palestinian (Arab) refugees.

  • During the first Israel-Arab war, the Egyptian army had captured Gaza strip. But In 1967’s war, Israel re-captured Gaza Strip.
  • But The Egyptian government did not consider Gaza Strip as a part of Egypt and did not allow those refugees to become Egyptian citizens or to migrate to Egypt or to other Arab countries. (their side of border was opened in 2011)
  • On the other side, Israel did not allow these refugees to return to their former homes.
  • So these refugees are stuck from both the sides, live in poverty and food aids from United Nations.
  • Ever since, there is rioting and violent street clashes between Gaza’s Palestinians (refugees/Hamas) and occupying Israeli troops.
==================================================The Birth of PLO and Yasser Arafat 

  • Palestinian Arabs were relying on outside support (Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon), but later realized they had to get themselves organized to fight for their own cause. Thus came Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
  • Soon, Yasser Arafat became the leader of PLO.
  • PLO launched guerrilla war against Israel during the 1960s to 1980s from its camps in Jordan.
  • But later on PLO got into power-struggle with Jordanian King, and were expelled from there. So PLO shifted their base to Lebanon.
  • 1982, Israel launched military attack on Lebanon to destroy the PLO camps.
  • Ultimately Yasser Arafat concluded that military fight with Israel = useless and futile.
  • So, He decided to accept the earlier UN resolution

Who are the Fatah ? : Key facts

  •     Secular, nationalist movement with the aim of establishing a Palestinian state
  • ·   Dogged by claims of nepotism and corruption; Lacking a cohesive vision and values
  • ·   Major force within the PLO umbrella group and its interim governing body, the Palestinian Authority
  • ·   Holds 45 of 132 seats in parliament (PLC), after 2006 Hamas election victory with 74 seats

Who are the HAMAS then ?


Hamas: arakat al-Muqāwamah al-ʾIslāmiyyah, “Islamic Resistance Movement”

Hamas Founder------  Sheikh Yassin
  • Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist organization that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.
  • Since June 2007, Hamas has governed the Gaza portion of the Palestinian Territories.
  • Hamas was founded in 1987 as an offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. In 1987, several Palestinians were killed in a traffic accident involving an Israeli driver, and the events that followed – a Palestinian uprising (now known as the First Intifada) against Israel’s West Bank and Gaza occupation – led Yassin and six other Palestinians to found Hamas as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood movement.
  • Hamas was founded to liberate Palestine from Israeli occupation and to establish an Islamic state in the area that is now Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. Hamas’s highest decision-making body is its Political Bureau, which consists of 15 members and operates in exile in Damascus, Syria.
  • It is involved in many controversial civil rights cases and war crimes.

  • In 2012. Hamas is celebrating its 25th year and invited Fatah leader. This could be seen as one step towards peace building in Gaza trip.


What was the OSLO Accord ?

This was signed between Yasser Arafat's PLO and Israel Govt ..!!

1.     Israel and PLO will formally recognize eachother’s right to exist. 
2.  A new Palestine authority (PA) will be formed, it’ll have elected Arab representatives 
3.   Israel will gradually handover the administration of Gaza strip and West Bank, to this Palestine Authority (PA).

But Hamas was opposed to Oslo accords.
Peace Efforts 
  • A Peace Conference on the Middle East was convened in Madrid on 30 October 1991, with the aim of achieving a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement through direct negotiations along 2 tracks: between Israel and the Arab States, and between Israel and the Palestinians, based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) (the "land for peace" formula). 
  • A series of subsequent negotiations culminated in the mutual recognition between the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian People, and the signing by the two parties of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements in Washington on 13 September 1993, as well as the subsequent implementation agreements, which led to several other positive developments, such as the partial withdrawal of Israeli forces, the elections to the Palestinian Council and the Presidency of the Palestinian Authority, the partial release of prisoners and the establishment of a functioning administration in the areas under Palestinian self-rule.
What is the Gaza Blockade ?
  • Israel and Egypt imposed blockade on the Gaza strip in June 2007, when Hamas came to power, following historic electoral victory in Palestinian election of 2006. 
  • Having a crucial geopolitical location, the Gaza Strip has land borders with Israel and Egypt, and a sea border. 
  •  Egypt and Israel largely keep their borders with the territory sealed. 
  •  Justifying the embargo on the ground of need to protect Israel from Palestinian rocket attack from Gaza and preventing Hamas to aquire weapons, Israel has conceded to allow only limited humanitarian supplies from aid organizations into the Strip. 
  • Egypt argues that it cannot open the Rafah crossing since opening the border would represent Egyptian recognition of the Hamas control of Gaza, undermine the legitimacy of the Palestinian National Authority and consecrate the split between Gaza and the West Bank.


What is the Mavri Marmara incident ?
  • Some NGOs, Peace workers wanted to deliver food, other humanitarian aid and construction materials to Gaza refugees.

  • They came by sea using a ship named Mavi Marmara, wanted to land on Gaza strip But were intercepted by Israeli military.
  • Each side accused other one for starting trouble. Led to much uproar about human rights violation.
What was Operation Pillar of Defense ?

Operation Pillar of Defense was an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) operation in the Gaza Strip from 14 to 21 November 2012. 


Palestinians’ UN status upgrade

On 29 November 2012, the United Nations General Assembly voted to upgrade the status of the Palestinians to that of a “non-member observer state”, a step closer to being recognised as a fully independent country.
It means the Palestinian diplomatic status has been upgraded and will now be afforded certain rights. Some countries like Israel, US opposed it, most of the European countries abstained from voting, and remaining voted in favor of Palestine

What will this new status achieve?

It means Palestinians could join UN agencies – like the International Criminal Court (ICC) – with the possibility of pursuing Israel over claims of war crimes.
The UK and France have warned against this as it could ruin peace efforts.
Who backed the Palestinians?

One hundred and thirty-eight members of the UN assembly, including many EU states, Russia, China, India and Brazil voted in favour.
Israel the US and seven other states, including Canada and Panama, voted against the resolution.
Forty-one nations including the UK and Germany decided not to vote.
Why is Israel and the US against it?

Israel and its strongest ally, the US, say a Palestinian state should only come out of direct negotiations, without any UN involvement.
The Israelis believe it breeches an international diplomatic contract, called the Oslo Peace Accords, aiming for both sides to work together for peace.
The Americans fear the UN status upgrade will damage the atmosphere between Israel and the Palestinians, stopping both sides from carrying out peace talks.
The Palestinians insist this won’t happen.

Additional reading !!

Israeli Authorities released Red Line Report for Gaza Strip
  • The Israeli Authority on 18 October 2012 released documents describing the red line for minimum food needs of people at Gaza Strip to avoid, the issue of Malnutrition. 
  • A blockade was imposed by Israel in June 2006 after a militant snatched one of its soldiers and tightened it in September 2007 after seizure of the Islamists Hamas Movement and the soldiers of the Western Backed President Mahmud Abbas were sent on exile. 
  • The Red Lines file was made available to Gisha after fighting and three-and-a-half year legal battle and the documents of the file mentioned in its recommendations that a minimum of 106 food trucks per working day was to be sent in the Gaza strip, whereas sending of 67 trucks on an average remained in practice.

What is the Green LINE ?

The Green Line marks the boundary between Israel and the West Bank. It is properly referred to as the 1949 Armistice Line - the ceasefire line of 1949.

What is INTIFADA ?

It means uprising.

What was Camp David Agreement ?

1979: Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin signed a peace treaty at Camp David. As a part of the terms, Israel returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt. Arab states boycotted Egypt for negotiating a peace treaty with Israel.

The two-state solution refers to the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict currently under discussion, which calls for "two states for two peoples". The two-state solution envisages the establishment of an independent Palestinian state alongside the State of Israel in the territory of the former British Mandate of Palestine.
The main point on which the two-state solution formula differs from those for an independent Palestinian state is that it calls for direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. To achieve a two-state solution, the negotiations must address and resolve a number of core issues, including the borders of the Palestinian state, the citizenship of the new Palestinian state, the status of Palestinian refugees outside the final borders, and the status of Arab citizens of present-day Israel, besides the future of East Jerusalem.
Over the years, polls have consistently shown "respectable Israeli and Palestinian majorities in favor of a negotiated two-state settlement."In a 2007 poll, almost three quarters of the Palestinian respondents in the West Bank and Gaza Strip approved either a binational or two-state solution; 46% preferred the two-state solution, and 26% preferred the binational solution.The two-state solution also enjoys majority support in Israeli polls although there has been some erosion to its prospects over time.
Another option is the binational solution, which could either be a twin regime federalist arrangement or a unitary state, and the Allon Plan, also known as the "no-state solution."


India on Palestine ?

  • Indo-Palestinian relations have been largely influenced by the independence struggle against British colonialism. After India achieved its independence in 1947, the country has moved to support Palestinian self-determination following the partition of British India
  • In the light of a religious partition between India and Pakistan, the impetus to boost ties with Muslim states around the world was a further tie to India's support for the Palestinian cause. Though it started to waver in the late 1980s and 1990s as the recognition of Israel led to diplomatic exchanges, the ultimate support for the Palestinian cause was still an underlying concern. 
  • Beyond the recognition for Palestinian self-determination ties have been largely dependent upon socio-cultural bonds, while economic relations were neither cold nor warm.
  • However, since the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Israel, there has been increased cooperation in military and intelligence ventures.
  • The fall of the Soviet Union and the rise of Islamist anti-state activities in both countries paved the way for a strategic alliance. Since then, Indian support for Palestine has been lukewarm although India still recognises the legitimate aspirations of Palestine.
  • India recognised Palestine's statehood following its own declaration on 18 November 1988;although relations were first established in 1974
'India supports Palestine's call for UN's full membership'
India hopes UN vote will help resume Palestine, Israel talks
India gives $10 mn aid to Palestine
India Reiterates Solidarity with Palestine


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