Middle East conflict

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  • Israel
  • Gaza Strip and West Bank
  • Arab states that were involved in a war against Israel
  • other members of the Arab League
  • The Middle East conflict is the name given to the conflict over the Palestine region that arose there between Jews and Arabs at the beginning of the 20th century . It led to eight wars between the State of Israel, founded on May 14, 1948, and some of its neighboring states (Israeli-Arab conflict), as well as numerous armed clashes between Israelis and Palestinians ( Israeli-Palestinian conflict ). The international conflict in the region continues to this day.

    Origin and course

    Prehistory (until 1919)

    The geographical designation " Middle East " in the broadest sense encompasses all of the non-European possessions of the Ottoman Empire and Iran . In the narrower sense, however, it is only used for its Arab provinces. From the 16th century until 1917, Palestine consisted of administrative districts of Greater Syria , which belonged to the Ottoman Empire . The southern part belonged to the Jerusalem administrative region , the northern part to the Beirut administrative region , and the Transjordan part to the Syria administrative region .

    Ottoman Empire around 1900

    Beginning of the division of the Ottoman Empire

    During the Crimean War (1853–1856) Great Britain and France prevented Ottoman Turkey from succumbing to the Russian Empire's expansionist efforts towards the Mediterranean. In the Berlin Treaty of 1878 , the European states once again committed themselves not to interfere in the internal affairs of the Ottoman Empire . These included the countries of the Middle East and the Maghreb .

    Historical meaning of "Middle East": areas of the Ottoman Empire outside Europe

    Nationalist movements led to the establishment of Bulgaria and Romania in 1908 . After wars with the Balkans, the Ottoman Empire lost most of its European territories in the peace of Bucharest and Constantinople . At first, the remaining Ottoman Empire appeared to its Muslim inhabitants as a guarantor of the political independence of a Muslim world. But it was long in debt. After a national bankruptcy in 1875, the Ottoman debt administration had to accept it. With this office, which controlled a large part of the tax revenue, European states had also taken de facto control of all government decisions that had financial implications. Even Tunisia was deeply in debt. It was occupied by French troops in 1881. Egypt's cotton and the Suez Canal , opened in 1869, were profitable for European investors, while the indebted Egyptian state came under European financial control. When the Urabi movement took on nationalist lines, Great Britain acted: in 1882 British troops occupied Egypt. With Tunisia and Egypt, the European powers had begun to define their spheres of interest in the Ottoman Empire before its end. Spain and France shared Morocco . Finally Italy took part and occupied Tripoli in 1911 . The race for Africa had produced initial results.

    Until the end of the Ottoman Empire, the local Arab population hardly developed its own national identity . Only in a few large cities in the Middle East did parts of the Arab educated class form an opposition to Ottoman rule from around 1860, from which pan-Arabism emerged from 1914 .

    Zionist immigration to Palestine

    In the last third of the 19th century, Zionism emerged as a Jewish national movement that claimed the status of a separate nation for Jews as well as for European peoples with the right to their own national territory . In his program Der Judenstaat of 1896, Theodor Herzl , the founder of political Zionism, touched on the possibility of a Jewish state formation in Argentina , but then concentrated on Palestine. In 1897, on his initiative, the Zionist Organization was founded in Basel , which has been called the World Zionist Organization (WZO) since 1960 . At the first Zionist Congress , around 200 delegates from 17 countries declared the creation of a “national home” for the Jewish people in Palestine to be the goal of Zionism (Basel Declaration).

    In 1882, nationwide pogroms against Jews in Russia triggered the first wave of emigration ( aliyah ) of Russian Jews to Palestine. Only after the establishment of a Palestine Office in Jaffa was decided at the 8th Zionist Congress in The Hague in 1907 , the systematic Jewish settlement began, with the aim of creating a future Jewish state in the region. For this, the second aliyah (1904 to 1914) was funded by the WZO. Only a small part of the first Jewish immigration lived in agricultural settlements. Jerusalem was a major target, and as early as 1896 Jews formed the ethnic majority there. The settlement in Jerusalem and the extensive land purchase led to attacks and protests by Arab residents of Jerusalem and the Arab landed nobility at the Ottoman authorities. In 1909, for their protection, Jewish settlers founded the paramilitary HaSchomer , which in Israel is regarded as the forerunner of the Haganah and thus of the Israeli army . In 1914 there were about 600,000 Arabs and about 85,000 Jews in Palestine. Their number decreased to about 56,000 in World War I, so that Jews made up less than ten percent of the population of Palestine in 1918.

    First World War

    During World War I , Great Britain supported Arab nationalism for its colonial interests in order to weaken the Ottoman Empire, allied with the German Empire and Austria-Hungary . In the so-called Hussein-McMahon correspondence of 1915/1916, the British High Commissioner in Egypt , Henry McMahon , therefore promised the Grand Sherif of Mecca , Hussein ibn Ali , that Great Britain would recognize the independence of the Arabs in return for help in the fight against the To move the Turks, who were seen by the Arabs as an unloved occupying power anyway . In addition, Lawrence of Arabia supported the British forced Arab revolt 1916–1918 against the Ottoman Empire.

    With the Balfour Declaration in 1917, the government also promised the World Zionist Organization (WZO) support for the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people in Palestine”. In doing so, the civil and religious rights of the non-Jewish population living there should be preserved. A Jewish state, on the other hand, was not explicitly mentioned, but this was partly understood differently and later both by the Arabs, who were granted their own nation-state by McMahon, and by parts of the Jewish population who consented to a Jewish state saw, viewed as a breach of trust. After British troops conquered Palestine in 1918, the British government promised to promote Palestine's independence. The Jewish Legion , consisting of five battalions of Jewish volunteers, fought against the Ottoman Empire in the First World War, also on the side of the British Army .

    In the background, Great Britain had already agreed a partition plan with France in the secret Sykes-Picot Agreement , in which the independence of both an Arab and a Jewish state was in no way really considered. A smoldering conflict was slowly brewing here: On the one hand, in the Hussein-McMahon correspondence , the Arabs had been promised their own Arab nation-state if they supported the British in the fight against their occupiers, the Ottomans. On the other hand, many Jews also read from the Balfour Declaration the right to their own state, or at least the right to colonize the Palestine region. Behind the scenes, however, Britain and France had already divided the area between themselves. This eventually led to a growing rivalry between Arabs and Jews in the region, as well as increasing resistance against the great Western powers, which had largely failed to keep their promises to both parties.

    Mandate period and World War II (1920 to 1948)

    British mandate period

    British and Arabs conquered in World War I, the Ottoman Syria . The Ottoman province, on whose territory Iraq was later founded, was also occupied by the British. Emir Faisal formed a provisional Arab government in Damascus. In 1919 he was recognized by the 1st All-Syrian Congress as King of a Kingdom of Syria , which also included Palestine and Lebanon . The Arab national movement demanded their promised independence from the British.

    At the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 , the WCO concluded the Faisal-Weizmann Agreement with the Emir Faisal , in which the Arab delegation agreed to a Jewish state in the Palestine area as soon as the Arabs would receive the independence they had promised and provided they had sovereignty over the Islamic ones Sanctuaries retained. But in 1920 the newly founded League of Nations handed over a League of Nations mandate for Palestine to Great Britain, which provided for direct British rule over Palestine. The British government was still not bound by the Jewish-Arab agreement.

    Since 1920, Mohammed Amin al-Husseini , President of the Supreme Islamic Council and Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, won the lead in the Arab nationalism movement. He rejected further immigration of Jewish settlers from Europe to Palestine as a means for the British to consolidate their colonial rule in the Middle East.

    Even if there had been Jewish settlements in Palestine before the Zionist movement, the first conflicts with the Arabs residing there arose as a result of immigration. The mandate was marked by the strengthening of militant (Palestinian) nationalist groups. Conflicts arose, for example, from the fact that large Arab landowners sold their land to Jews, but left it to them to drive out the local Arab population, who felt they had been chased away by the Jews. The anti-Jewish influence among the Arabs increased, the unemployed masses were stirred up, incited by the envy of developments in agriculture, urban development and infrastructure. Furthermore, some of the Jewish companies that quickly emerged hired only Jews, which put the Arab population at a disadvantage, as they were not allowed to participate in the new prosperity.

    To pogroms immediately after the First World War include the Nabi Musa riots in Jerusalem in April 1920 and the Jaffa riots in May 1921. The anti-Jewish Hebron massacre of 1929 could only be stopped by the intervention of the British police and led to the complete expulsion of all Jews from Hebron. There were violent attacks by militant Jews against Arabs in Jerusalem, Haifa and Jaffa. In 1936 an Arab general strike developed into the three-year Great Arab Uprising that lasted until 1939. As a result, the paramilitary Jewish protection organization Haganah gained a large number of people. In the course of the thirties the Irgun were founded as extremist splits from the Haganah and as its offshoot the Stern group , which were regarded as terrorist organizations (see history of the Jewish armed forces in Palestine ).

    World War II and Holocaust

    The Nazi persecution of Jews that immediately after the seizure of power began Hitler and in the following years, the Holocaust increased, gave Zionism a decisive impetus. At the Évian Conference in July 1938, the representatives of 32 nations refused to accept Jewish refugees from Germany and Austria , which had been " annexed " to the German Reich a few months earlier . Some of them now went to Palestine, the traditionally promised land , and in this way were able to escape the genocide in Europe. However, they were increasingly unable to feel safe in Palestine: many Palestinians sided with the German during the Second World War; On November 28, 1941, Hitler and the Mufti of Jerusalem, Mohammed Amin al-Husseini, met in Berlin to discuss the “ Jewish question ”. The Mufti praised Hitler as "the leader admired by the entire Arab world" and called on the Nazis to attack Tel Aviv.

    United Nations partition plan of 1947

    State of Israel founded (1948–1966)

    Establishment of the State of Israel

    As a result of the Second World War, the British announced that they wanted to give up their mandate over Palestine, as they were unable and unwilling to accept the mandate in view of their difficult situation caused by the war and the ongoing, sometimes violent protests in Palestine hold. They handed over the decision on how to proceed to the UN , which on November 29, 1947 voted with a two-thirds majority in the General Assembly of the United Nations for the partition plan proposed by UNSCOP ( UN Resolution 181), of western Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state should share. Another 40 percent was to be split off from the area of ​​the National Homestead for a Jewish State.

    With the aim of actually establishing an independent Jewish state and creating a home for the survivors of the Holocaust and the Jewish diaspora , large parts of the Jewish population and the Jewish Agency , a kind of predecessor government of the State of Israel, accepted the plan. The radical nationalists like Menachem Begin ( Irgun ) or Jitzhak Shamir ( Lechi ) rejected the plan - for them it did not go far enough.

    However, the Arab leaders in particular rejected the plan. In addition to the general rejection of a Jewish state, this was done on the grounds that the plan violated the rights of the majority population in Palestine, 67 percent of whom belonged to non-Jewish religions at the time. At the end of 1946, Palestine had just under 2 million inhabitants, of which only about 603,000 were Jews. They found the plan a disaster. The amount and quality of land that was allocated to the Jews was criticized. In the period that followed, there were numerous assaults and attacks by irregular Jewish and Arab forces in the mandate area.

    Due to the civil war-like conditions, the British wanted to withdraw their troops early and resign the mandate for Palestine on May 14, 1948, a Friday, at midnight. For example, the Jewish National Council met in the house of the former Mayor Dizengoff in Tel Aviv at 4 p.m. before sunset and thus before the Sabbath began . Under a portrait of the founder of the Zionist movement, Theodor Herzl , David Ben Gurion proclaimed the establishment of the state of Israel in the Israeli declaration of independence “by virtue of the natural and historical right of the Jewish people and based on the resolution of the UN General Assembly” . Eleven minutes later, the US recognized the new state, and the Soviet Union followed on May 16. The Turkey under President Ismet Inonu recognized Israel as the first Muslim state immediately and established diplomatic relations with the State on (later a coalition partnership developed between the two countries), as this is the doing Iran under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (see relationship between Israel and Iran ). The next day the first Arab-Israeli war began .

    Palestine War 1948/49

    The civil war, which began one day after the UN partition plan was announced on November 30, 1947 and was characterized by numerous reciprocal terrorist attacks by radical Zionists and Arab nationalists, intensified on May 15, 1948, shortly after the Israeli declaration of independence for the war of Palestine (in Israel Called "War of Independence"). Five Arab states - Egypt , Iraq , Lebanon , Transjordan and Syria - advanced against Israel with their armies and two additional armies of Arab volunteers - a total of around 55,000 soldiers - without a formal declaration of war. After initial success, the attackers were repulsed by Israeli forces. Israel benefited from the fact that, with the approval of the Soviet Union, it was able to buy weapons from stocks of the emerging Eastern Bloc, despite a UN arms embargo against those involved in the war, which the United States and Great Britain complied with . After Egypt broke a UN brokered ceasefire and Jewish terrorists murdered UN mediator Folke Bernadotte , Israel captured part of the territories allocated to the Palestinians in the partition plan. Between February and July 1949, Israel and the Arab combatants signed four separate armistice agreements .


    Around 750,000 Palestinian Arabs and 850,000 Arab Jews became refugees as a result of the civil war in 1947 and the subsequent intervention by the Arab states in the conflict. These refugee flows have multiple causal reasons, some of which are still controversial to this day.

    The majority of Palestinian Arab refugees fled out of fear of the fighting as well as fear of the Israeli armed forces. In addition, a minority were displaced by Israeli troops in the course of mutual fighting. Furthermore, in several cases civilians were asked by irregular or regular Arab troops to leave their homes in order to facilitate the deployment of the Arab troops. Until 1966, martial law applied to Arabs in Israel, with the associated restrictions on the freedoms granted to Jewish Israelis. The collapse of Arab-Palestinian society entered Arabic usage as a nakba (catastrophe) and is an important part of Palestinian identity.

    During and after the war there was a wave of pogroms in the Islamic world against the Jewish minorities living there. Violent riots broke out in Aden , Aleppo , Peshawar , Isfahan , Bahrain , Cairo , Beirut , Tripoli and Oujda , among others . This was followed by a wave of state repression in Egypt and Iraq. The civil rights of the Jewish residents were curtailed step by step, there were mass arrests of thousands of people because of their religious affiliation. As a result, around 500,000–600,000 Jews from Muslim countries fled to Israel during and after the war. In addition, there were also refugee movements of Jews from Arabic-speaking countries to Europe and the United States. However, while the Israelis tried to integrate the Jewish newcomers as citizens, the majority of Arab states refused to integrate Palestinian Arabs into their societies. These remained for decades, sometimes until today, in refugee camps as stateless persons. The majority of them found accommodation in refugee camps in Lebanon, the West Bank and Jordan, Egypt and the Gaza Strip . The remaining residents live there to this day, sometimes under inhumane and slum-like conditions.

    In June 1948, Israel's government initially decided to prevent the refugees from returning. The UN resolution 194 of 11 December 1948 asked her to compensate the return of peace willing to allow Palestinians and not returning refugees ready. Israel then agreed to negotiate and offered to take in 200,000 to 300,000 refugees. Arab states rejected this.

    The Palestinians who were displaced and fled at the time now have around four million offspring because of high birth rates. Their political organizations claim that they all have the right to return to their former residential areas. Israel rejects this in order to maintain itself as a predominantly Jewish state. It sees the refugee problem as the result of a war of aggression and therefore does not want to confirm Palestinian legal claims.

    For decades, Israeli history books portrayed this development as a result of voluntary emigration: The Arab states had promised the refugees a speedy return after the victory over Israel and thus attracted them. In contrast, some younger Israeli historians point to violent evictions between 1947 and 1948 that were not the result of the war. Israel was only able to assert itself as a Jewish state in this way (see Israeli Historians' Dispute ).

    A threatening speech by high Islamic clergymen at al-Azhar University immediately after the UN partition plan in 1947 triggered pogroms and acts of violence against Jewish communities in many Arab and Islamic states. From 1947 to 1976, over 856,000 Jews previously resident in Arab states were forcibly expelled from there. About 550,000 of them came to Israel to help build the new state and were integrated into Israeli democracy. Their former property was expropriated without compensation. They do not claim the right to return to their Arab countries of origin, as their safety is not guaranteed there. The Israeli state regards them as refugees and regards their right to their property in their countries of origin as effective.

    International status of Israel
    Green: diplomatic relations
    Yellow: none
    Orange: canceled
    Red: none and Israel not recognized
    Brown: only trade
    Gray: no information

    Suez crisis 1956

    In 1956, the conflict between Egypt and Israel came to a head, increasingly subject to attacks by fedayeen from Egyptian territory and from the Egyptian-occupied Gaza Strip. Egypt, led by President Gamal Abdel Nasser, blocked the Gulf of Aqaba to close the Suez Canal to Israeli ships. On October 29, 1956, the Suez Crisis began with the invasion of Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula by Israel, whose forces quickly advanced towards the Suez Canal. At the same time, after diplomacy had been prepared, the Egyptian ambassador was asked by the British and French Foreign Ministers to retreat ten miles behind the Channel and evacuate the Sinai Peninsula.

    President Nasser rejected the demands, whereupon Great Britain and France began to gain control of the Canal militarily with the aim of overthrowing Nasser's regime. On October 31, Great Britain and France began bombing Egyptian airports in violation of international law; as a result, together with Israeli soldiers, they managed to occupy the canal.

    The British-French intervention was condemned by the United States, who wanted to avoid conflict with the USSR, and the United Nations. In November 1956, the two countries were forced to an armistice and retreat. The Israeli armed forces also had to withdraw. After the withdrawal, the United Nations deployed the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF).

    As a result of the defeat of the British, the other British and French colonies also sought independence. In addition, the USSR intervened in the Middle East conflict and supported Egypt militarily and economically. On the Egyptian side, the crisis massively strengthened Nasser's position and his pan-Arabism in the Arab world, despite the military defeat .

    Arab League policy until 1967

    After the end of World War II, Egypt, Iraq, what was then Transjordan , Yemen, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Syria founded the Arab League . What was initially conceived as a purely consultative and non-aggression pact was expanded into a comprehensive defense pact after the lost war against Israel in 1950. As the lead nation soared in the wake of Egypt , whose President Gamal Abdel Nasser representatives of pan-Arabism was who had an association of Arab cultural group to a large contiguous Islamic-socialist nation to the goal. The Ba'athists followed a similar policy in Iraq.

    In 1958, Egypt and Syria united to form the United Arab Republic , from which Syria, shaken by military coups, left three years later due to Nasser's hegemonic and dictatorial claims. Despite in some cases irreconcilable differences among one another, Nasser managed to inspire the Arab world in general and Syria and Jordan in particular for another war against Israel.

    Wars (1967–1986)

    Six Day War 1967 and its aftermath

    Israel after the Six Day War

    In 1967, several Arab states under the leadership of Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser prepared an attack on Israel. There were massive troop marches in Sinai and on the Golan Heights. The Egyptian fleet built an internationally wrongful blockade of the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping and urged UN - troops on the borders of Israel on, to leave the country.

    In a preventive attack by the Israeli army , the Arab armies were defeated. The Egyptian air force was devastated in the first hours of the war, the Egyptian army lost over 80 percent of its military material. Israeli troops occupied the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip, which was under Egyptian administration, and took up positions on the east bank of the Suez Canal .

    After a ceasefire agreement with Egypt, the strategically important Syrian Golan Heights were quickly conquered on the Syrian front . Jordan, which invaded Israel believing in an easy victory, was pushed far back and lost the eastern part of Jerusalem and the West Bank .

    The Resolution 242 of the UN Security Council declared the acquisition of territory by war is inadmissible that part of international law since the end of World War II, and called on Israel to withdraw from occupied territories.

    Since the English wording of Resolution 242 only speaks of "occupied territories" and not of "the occupied territories", Israel regards resolution 242 as fulfilled since the return of the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt. To this day, however, the Arab states take the position that Israel must withdraw from all territories that were occupied in 1967, because since 1945 it has no longer been legal under international law to acquire territory even in the context of a defensive war without the consent of the ceding state.

    Resolution 242 continued to call for the political independence of every state in the region and the right to live free from threats or acts of violence within safe and recognized borders. Israel began to systematically colonize these '67 areas and thus today's Palestine, with around 250,000 people being displaced from their residential areas.

    PLO terrorist attacks after 1967

    After the Six Day War, Fatah carried out a series of attacks against Israel that led to the 1968 Battle of Karame on Jordanian territory. King Hussein of Jordan got more and more into conflict with the Palestinian groups because he saw the provocations against the neighboring state and in Marxist-Leninist groups ( PFLP , DPFLP) as a serious threat to his rule. The Palestinians in Jordan threatened to become a state within a state. The situation escalated in September 1970 after the PFLP hijacked three planes in Jordan. At the same time, the PLO was responsible for some of the hijackings of Western planes, with Jewish passengers being selected and murdered. The often used slogan of Arab organizations, "to drive the Jews into the sea", maintained Israel's great distrust of the Arabs. During the hostage-taking of Munich at the 1972 Olympic Games , members of the Palestinian terrorist organization Black September kidnapped and killed eleven Israeli athletes. As a result, the PLO and various armed Palestinian resistance movements had to relocate their bases in Lebanon and Syria.

    War of Attrition and Khartoum Resolution

    In 1968 Egypt started the war of attrition and tried for three years to recapture Sinai from Israel. The war ended with a 1970 armistice; neither party has gained territory.

    The Khartoum resolution of September 1, 1967, was passed after a meeting of the leaders of eight Arab states after the Six Day War in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum . It determined the basis of the foreign policy of these states up to the Yom Kippur War in 1973. In its third paragraph it contained provisions which became known as the "three no's":

    • No peace with Israel
    • No recognition of Israel
    • No negotiations with Israel

    In the 1970s there was little willingness in Israel to recognize a Palestinian nation; this only changed with the international recognition of Yasser Arafat . The Arab states and organizations began to fight each other at various sources of fire. After the PLO tried to assassinate King Hussein in 1970, the Jordanian army drove them out of the country after heavy fighting. Syria had supported the PLO and sent tanks to Jordan, but they were repulsed. The PLO withdrew to neighboring Lebanon. In the multi-ethnic country, the Lebanese civil war, which had been smoldering for decades, ensued .

    Yom Kippur War 1973

    In the 1973 Yom Kippur War (or October War), Egypt and Syria achieved initial successes against Israel through a surprise attack on Yom Kippur , the highest Jewish holiday. Parts of the Sinai were occupied by Egyptian troops. However, after a few days, Israel managed to repel the Egyptian troops. On October 16, the Egyptian army was surrounded and the Israelis stood across the Suez Canal, only 120 km from Cairo. The war was ended by massive pressure from the USA.

    The Yom Kippur War is seen by the Arab states as a partial success, since the myth of the invincibility of the Israeli army has been damaged. Others see it as a tangible defeat that Egypt was spared this time around. An oil embargo imposed by the Arab oil-producing states on Israel-friendly western states founded the oil crisis and, with rising oil prices , made the industrialized nations aware of their dependence on oil for the first time in a terrifying way. This gave the Egyptians additional room to negotiate.

    Camp David Peace Agreement 1978

    In 1973, under American mediation, the Geneva Middle East Conference took place, which was followed by a number of interim agreements between Israel , Egypt and Syria aimed at stabilizing the ceasefire. In 1975, Jordan and Syria agreed to end their hostilities in order to form a new alliance. The agreement failed in 1978 because King Hussein refused to allow Syria a dominant position in the joint alliance.

    In 1978 Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar as-Sadat signed a peace agreement in the American Camp David that had been negotiated by US President Jimmy Carter . For these efforts, Begin and Sadat received the Nobel Peace Prize. Both sides pledged to renounce violence, Israel to withdraw from the Sinai Peninsula and to demolish all Jewish settlements in this area. In return, Egypt diplomatically recognized the State of Israel. The Israeli annexation of the Gaza Strip rejected Egypt. Israeli ships were given free passage through the Gulf of Suez and the Suez Canal .

    Six months later, on March 26, 1979, the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty followed . Sadat was shot dead by Islamists two and a half years later during a military parade on October 6, 1981.

    Following Sadat's visit to Israel in 1978, 348 reserve officers of the Israeli army drafted a petition to Menachem Begin urging him to continue the peace process. This led to the founding of Shalom Achshaw , a grassroots democratic movement that seeks support for the peace process.

    The Jerusalem Law of 1980 designates the full and unified Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. In fact, this meant the annexation of East Jerusalem . This law and the annexation of the Golan Heights from 1981 are not recognized by most of the states under international law.

    Various attempts and talks between Israel and Syria on an analogous peace settlement as with Egypt and Jordan have always failed in the beginning. In contrast to Egypt, Syria has since understood itself more as the Arab mouthpiece of the Palestinian cause, especially since Israel has invaded the Golan Heights in violation of international law and thereby in principle ruled out any change in it due to the domestic political hurdles set up in the same way as land concessions in the sense of “land against peace” . Although Syria sees itself as the mouthpiece of the Palestinian cause, it still refuses to recognize the Palestinian refugees in the country as citizens. They have a Palestinian passport so they don't have to give up their nationality.

    First Lebanon War 1982

    After Israel in 1978 in response to the Coastal Road Massacre , the Operation Litani in southern Lebanon had started and withdrawn in the meantime, it attacked on June 7, 1982 under the name "Operation Peace for Galilee " ( Lebanon campaign ) military in the Civil War in Lebanon (1975–1990) and occupied the capital Beirut . The PLO , which had established its headquarters there after “ Black September ” (1970), developed its own state structures in the south of Lebanon . As a result, they withdrew with their military units to Tunisia after the American side promised that they would work to find a solution to the refugee problem.

    In September 1982, phalangist militiamen committed massacres of civilians in the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila in front of the Israeli army ; later estimates vary between 460 and 2500 victims. Attacks by the Shiite Muslims' Amal militia on the Palestinian camps followed . A total of around 20,000 Palestinians were killed between June and September 1982. The Lebanese civil war cost between 90,000 and 110,000 lives.

    In 1985, Israel occupied a strip in the south of the country and did not return this region to Lebanon until May 25, 2000 when the army withdrew. On July 24, the UN announced that the Israeli army had withdrawn beyond the 1940s ceasefire lines. The status of the narrow border strip of the Shebaa farms under international law has not yet been clarified .

    After the Israeli troops, contrary to their own expectations, were initially often welcomed by the Lebanese population as a beacon of hope for an end to the civil war, approval of the occupation quickly waned. Sometimes ruthless military actions on the part of Israel and one-sided partisanship for individual Lebanese currents led to the impression in the population that Israel was not interested in stabilizing Lebanon , but only in fighting the PLO and other groups threatening the State of Israel as effectively as possible. With every further perceived injustice on the part of Israel, the approval of the Lebanese people for Hezbollah , which is increasingly perceived as the only organization that offers resistance against Israel, grew .

    The Intifadas (1987-2005)

    First Intifada 1987

    The conflict has escalated violently since the outbreak of the first Intifada in 1987, an uprising by the Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied territories. In the so-called "War of the Stones", which lasted until 1991, there were repeated clashes between the Israeli army and rebellious Palestinians.

    Iraqi attacks on Israel in 1991

    In the Gulf War of 1990 , the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein attacked neighboring Kuwait and also attacked Saudi Arabia and Israel. A massive turning point was the expulsion of the Palestinians from Kuwait in 1991 immediately afterwards. The side of the PLO leader Yasser Arafat for Saddam Hussein's invasion had triggered the event. The approximately 450,000 Palestinians living in Kuwait , who were considered to be comparatively wealthy, were driven out of the country to a few thousand within two weeks . In addition, the support of the Gulf States for the PLO came to a standstill. The internal Arab conflict led to a deep rift between the Arab states in the 1990s.

    Since the beginning of the new millennium, Iran has increasingly tried to establish itself as a hegemonic power and to make itself a pioneer in the fight against Israel, but has a very tense relationship with moderate states due to its Islamist orientation and good relations with Hamas.

    Oslo process 1993

    There have been and are many attempts to settle the conflict peacefully, such as the Madrid Conference in 1991. The Oslo Agreement (Oslo I), concluded in 1993, raised high hopes for the withdrawal of the Israeli army from the West Bank and Gaza Strip as well as Palestinian self-government in these Areas provided. After a transition period, a permanent status of the areas should be negotiated. Conflicting points such as the Jerusalem question or the refugee problem were postponed. However, after the Gaza-Jericho Agreement and Oslo II , the Oslo peace process stalled. It was seen as a final failure after no agreement could be reached in Camp David at the Camp David II meeting between PLO leader Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Barak in July 2000. At that time, Ehud Barak Yasser Arafat offered around ninety percent of the West Bank, the entire Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem as the capital of a new Palestinian state. In addition, a new international fund should be set up to compensate the Palestinians for the land. This offer did not go far enough for Arafat. He insisted that all refugees should be allowed to return to the land that had belonged to them before 1967. Israel did not want to accept this demand.

    On July 26, 1994, King Hussein of Jordan , Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin and US President Bill Clinton signed the Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty in Washington .

    Second Intifada 2000

    As a result, violence increased again, especially since the beginning of the second Palestinian uprising, the al-Aqsa Intifada in 2000. In contrast to the first Intifada, this Second Intifada was an armed uprising from the outset with numerous suicide bombings on Israeli civilians. In the wake of the following retaliatory strikes by the Israeli army, large parts of the infrastructure in the Palestinian territories were destroyed.

    In recent years, Islamist organizations like Hamas have found increasing support among the Palestinian population. They oppose what they consider to be too moderate and unsuccessful policies of the Palestinian Authority . This development is characterized by a large number of suicide attacks by Islamist organizations on Israeli civil institutions. In May 2003, Israeli troops invaded the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The strategy of "destroying the terrorist infrastructure" announced there by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon resulted in the destruction of the facilities of the Palestinian National Authority and parts of the civilian Palestinian infrastructure. Thousands of Palestinians were left homeless after their homes were destroyed.

    In 2003 the Israeli government began to erect a barrier , mostly an electronically secured fence, about six percent (about 30 km) a concrete wall up to eight meters high, about three quarters of its length east of the green line (armistice line from 1948 ) runs on Palestinian territory. It attached a large part of the Jewish settlements to the Israeli heartland. Certain Palestinian settlements like Kalkilya are enclosed on three sides and farmers are partially separated from their fields, so that the Palestinian economy in this border area is severely impaired. Individual Jewish settlement blocks such as Maale Adumim and Ariel push themselves up to approx. 20 km deep into the Palestinian heartland, making transports and a possibly future coherent Palestinian state more difficult. According to the Israeli perspective, the barrier is intended to prevent suicide bombers from entering Israeli territory. The Palestinians fear that Israel will unilaterally determine its external border along the barrier. The more than 500 roadblocks and checkpoints of the Israeli army in the West Bank make things even more difficult for transport and the economy .

    On March 22, 2004, the spiritual leader and founder of the Hamas militant movement, Sheikh Ahmad Yasin , was killed by a targeted Israeli helicopter attack in Gaza City . The measure is part of a policy of targeted killing of enemies of the State of Israel.

    Another leader of the radical Palestinian movement, Abd al-Aziz ar-Rantisi , called on the Islamic world to wage war against Israel after the attack. On April 17, 2004, in the immediate vicinity of Yasin's grave, ar-Rantisi was also killed by a targeted attack by the Israeli army on his car. Hamas immediately swore revenge.

    On August 31, 2004, in a bomb attack in Beersheba on two buses, the two assassins killed 18 people and injured at least 35 others. The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigade of Hamas claimed responsibility for the attacks. From September 30 to October 15, 2004, the Israeli Army conducted Operation Days of Repentance in the Gaza Strip.

    The death of Yasser Arafat on November 11, 2004 heralded the end of an era. It ended a period of stagnation because, after the failure of the peace talks and the ongoing suicide bombings, the Israeli government had seen no interlocutor in Arafat. The people of the autonomous regions also hope that the severe corruption caused by the "Arafat system" will decrease.

    On February 8, 2005, the new President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmud Abbas, and Ariel Sharon met in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, for the first summit since the beginning of the Intifada and agreed a ceasefire. This day is considered to be the end of the second intifada. The destruction of the homes of terrorist suspects as well as the targeted killings were stopped.

    Separation plan and decoupling (since 2005)

    Course of the barrier (as of July 2006)

    Clearance of Gaza in 2005

    In August 2005, the month-long evacuation of all 21 Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip ( Gush Katif ) and four others in the West Bank began by the Israeli army. This led to violent clashes between settlers and members of the army. Around 8,000 people were relocated during this action. At the same time, however, Israel continues to partially build settlements in the West Bank.

    After the situation in the Palestinian Autonomous Territories has worsened in a manner similar to a civil war since Hamas was elected (January 2006), the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert launched his initially unilateral convergence plan , which is based on the unilateral disengagement plan by Ariel Sharon, which was largely rejected by the Israeli population , converted to a negotiation offer. In it the Palestinians are offered their own state, albeit against a. the approval of territorial losses, which were further reinforced by the controversial course of the barriers built by Israel.

    Notwithstanding the dismantling of the Jewish settlements fired extremist Palestinians since 2006 several times from the Gaza Strip, especially from Beit Lahia , Qassam rockets into Israeli territory from. The destinations were mostly Sderot , Ashkelon and the surrounding kibbutzim . Abbas called on Palestinian militant groups in June 2006 to respect the ceasefire with Israel. Anyone who continues to fire rockets towards Israel will be held responsible for the destruction and casualties as a result of an imminent Israeli attack.

    The Operation Summer Rains of the Israeli army in the Palestinian Gaza Strip lasted from 25 June to 28 August 2006. From the Israeli side, the invasion was in response to the kidnapping of the soldier Gilad Shalit represented, with many in Gaza building and the central power plant from the Destroyed or damaged by air and artillery; and by November 3, 2006, over 280 Palestinians, including many civilians of all ages, had been killed by the Israeli army. In addition to the speaker of parliament, numerous other ministers and MPs were arrested in the West Bank for membership of Hamas.

    Since February 2006, the Israeli access restrictions for Palestinians to the Jordan Valley mean that only Israelis can effectively cultivate around a third of the West Bank.

    Second Lebanon War 2006

    Despite Israel's voluntary withdrawal in 2000, there were repeated attacks by Hezbollah , which rocketed Israel from southern Lebanon. The UN had called on the Lebanese government several times to enforce its state violence against the Hezbollah militias and to disarm them in order to stop the attacks. Tensions were further heightened by the admission of Hezbollah representatives to the Lebanese government and, in May 2006, by the penetration of Israeli fighter planes into Lebanese airspace. The UN expressed concern and urged both sides to exercise restraint. At the end of May 2006, the Israeli air force attacked two bases of militant Palestinians in Lebanon.

    The trigger for the Second Lebanon War was a Hezbollah attack on an Israeli border post on July 12, 2006, during which two Israeli soldiers were kidnapped by Hezbollah to exchange prisoners held in Israeli prisons ( Samir Kuntar ), as well as Hezbollah's rocket fire on northern Israel . In an attempt to free the two soldiers, Israeli soldiers invaded Lebanese territory. Several soldiers were killed in the process.

    On July 13, Israeli fighter planes bombed Beirut International Airport. Another 150 targets in Lebanon were attacked, including Beirut suburbs and several villages in southern Lebanon, which, according to the Israeli military, are Hezbollah strongholds, but mostly hit civilians. In addition, other infrastructure facilities such as docks, bridges, roads, airports, facilities of the Lebanese army , television stations and telecommunications systems were destroyed by Israel . Prime Minister Siniora put the damage done after just a week of intense bombing at over a billion dollars. For its part, Hezbollah continuously fired rockets at northern Israel, some of which had an unexpected range.

    By mid-August 2006, 43 civilians were killed in the fighting on the Israeli side and 1,183 on the Lebanese side, while thousands were injured and hundreds of thousands of refugees on both sides.

    The adoption of Resolution 1701 in the UN Security Council , in which the parties were invited to the fighting took place under certain conditions, on 12 August 2006. The ceasefire took effect on August 14, 2006 at 7:00 pm EDT in force and thereafter largely adhered to on the ground. In the air, on the other hand, there were constant violations of Lebanese airspace by Israeli military aircraft. Israel questioned the effectiveness of the protection force and feared a renewed arming of extremist forces. The complete disarmament of Hezbollah and other armed groups by the UN security forces, as called for in the resolution, has not yet taken place.

    Unresolved remains the removal of minefields and used by Israel unexploded cluster bombs ( cluster bombs ) in southern Lebanon. These left a large number of unexploded projectiles, which repeatedly killed and injured civilians. If Lebanon and Israel do not work together to find and destroy such duds , more victims are expected. Israel also continues to occupy the northern part of the village of Ghajar , which clearly belongs to Lebanon , while the southern part of Ghajar is part of the Golan Heights .

    Inner Palestinian Conflicts 2006

    The PLO, which for decades had successfully made an absolute claim to represent Palestinian interests, began to gradually lose power and influence after the turn of the millennium. The radical Islamic Hamas , which emerged from the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and which externally committed itself to the unconditional fight against Israel and internally achieved recognition within the Palestinian population with a series of social projects, developed into the most successful opposition . Hamas benefited from the fact that the Fatah- controlled Palestinian Authority and its security forces were increasingly hated by particularly impoverished sections of the population due to massive corruption and arbitrary arrests and torture. The death of the Palestinian figure of identification and of the long-time PLO leader Yasser Arafat in 2004 and the defeat of Fatah in the elections to the Palestinian Legislative Council in 2006 were further cornerstones of the PLO's loss of power. The conflict between Fatah and Hamas supporters became particular after 2006 increasingly violent. Fighting between rival militias took on civil war-like features , especially in June 2007 . Hamas succeeded in taking military control of the Gaza Strip , which led to a de facto partition of the Palestinian Territories. Despite various attempts at mediation from the Arab world, the inner-Palestinian conflict continues to smolder today. Above all, the goals regarding a future Palestinian state seem incompatible. While Fatah seeks coexistence with Israel and a secular state, Hamas categorically rejects Israel's right to exist and aims to establish an Islamic state of God.

    In February 2007, Hamas and Fatah agreed to form a unity government. Hamas continues to refuse to recognize Israel, although Iran has strengthened its position. The agreement to form a unity government, however, includes a commitment by Hamas to respect the agreements concluded between Israel and the PLO. However, the implicit recognition of Israel contained in this commitment is not enough for the Israeli government. Negotiations to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which were broken off in January 2001, remained on hold until 2008. Until 2008, contacts between Israel and the Palestinian President Abbas of Fatah were limited to technical issues.

    War in Gaza in 2008

    In response to Hamas rocket strikes on Israeli territory, the Israeli army launched Operation Cast Lead with an air strike in the Gaza Strip on December 27, 2008 . The operation ended on January 18, 2009 with a unilateral Israeli ceasefire declaration.

    Resumption of the peace talks in 2010

    After an almost two-year hiatus, the Israelis and Palestinians resumed their direct peace talks in Washington on September 2, 2010 . Shortly before the meeting that US President Barack Obama brokered, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his chief negotiator Saeb Erekat made it clear again that they expected a complete freeze on settlements in the West Bank.

    The US announced on December 8, 2010 that it would no longer require Israel to stop settling in the West Bank for 90 days. Before that, the US had called for a settlement building moratorium. The New York Times and Jerusalem Post reported that talks on the matter have finally been abandoned. Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak criticized the stalling peace process: "The negotiations are currently totally blocked [...] The Americans are far too busy with North Korea and the WikiLeaks revelations ".

    War in Gaza in 2012

    On November 14, 2012, the Israeli army launched Operation Pillar of Clouds on military targets in the Gaza Strip. This was done according to information from the Israeli army u. a. in response to rocket attacks from Gaza with the aim of stopping them and reducing the capabilities of the local military organization.

    On June 12, 2014 , the three Talmud students Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Fraenkel were kidnapped and then murdered at an intersection in Allon Schewut , a stopping point for hitchhikers . This was followed by a wave of violence that lasted until the end of the year, with several attacks, especially in Jerusalem.

    War in Gaza in 2014

    The Israel Defense Forces began the Protective Edge military operation on July 8, 2014 after Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups fired rockets at Israel from the Gaza Strip . It ended on August 26, 2014 with an indefinite ceasefire . This was broken when Israel was again hit with rockets on September 16, 2014.

    After the American President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on December 6, 2017 and announced the relocation of the embassy, ​​there was a new wave of violence and an intensification of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.

    From March 30, 2018 to May 15, 2018, peaceful protests took place at the barrier around the Gaza Strip . Violent participants rolled burning tires towards the fence to block the view of the Israeli border guards. They then threw stones and Molotov cocktails at the Israeli troops, tried to damage the border fence, set up explosives and entered Israeli territory. The soldiers responded with tear gas and sharp shots. The report of the UN Commission on Human Rights gives 189 fatalities and 6,106 injuries on the Palestinian side.

    Trump Plan 2020

    Main article: Trump plan

    On January 28, 2020, American President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented his peace plan to resolve the Middle East conflict. The government of the Palestinian Territories rejected the proposal in advance.

    Main points of conflict

    State borders

    The area of ​​a future Palestinian state and its border with Israel are unclear and also controversial among the Palestinians themselves. Since the Arabs had rejected the UN partition plan of 1947 (Resolution 181) and Israel annexed a large part of the Palestinian territories provided for in it in the Palestinian War, the area originally intended for a Palestinian state was reduced enormously.

    From 1960 to around 1989, according to internal and official documents, the PLO sought a Palestinian state that would include the areas of Jordan, Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The PLO abandoned the demand for a state on Israel's territory in the 1993 Oslo Agreement and officially recognized Israel's right to exist in 1998. Today it is striving for a state on the territory of the entire West Bank and in Gaza with East Jerusalem as its capital.

    Parts of Fatah as well as the Islamist organizations Hamas and Islamic Jihad, however, continue to demand the "liberation of all Palestine" including the area of ​​Israel, ie its elimination.

    Right of return

    Particularly controversial among the parties is the right of return for the Palestinian refugees who left their homeland in the course of the establishment of the state of Israel, lost their property and were no longer allowed to return. The Palestinians are demanding the right of return for all refugees at that time (around 700,000) as well as the Palestinians who are now refugees (around 6 million, according to Palestinian figures 8.5 million). Israel refuses to do so, referring to the Israeli law of return for Jews from all over the world as well as to the Jews expelled from the Arab countries during the establishment of the state: a right of return for both Jews and Palestinians would result in the dissolution of the state of Israel in its current conception as Jewish lead a dominated state, a right of return or compensation for the Arab Palestinians is also unthinkable.

    The majority of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank , despite their membership of the Palestinian Autonomous Territories, are still listed as refugees by UNRWA and most of them are de facto stateless. The same applies to the Palestinians, who still live in refugee camps in Lebanon and Syria . Despite the difficult living conditions in the refugee camps and in the areas occupied by Israel, the population is growing steadily, especially in the latter. From 1967 to 2002 the number of Palestinians in the territories rose from 450,000 to 3.3 million. The birth rate in the Gaza Strip has been among the highest in the world for years. Around half of all residents of the occupied territories and refugee camps are under 15 years of age. The sociologist Gunnar Heinsohn sees this as a classic case of the Youth Bulges and one of the main problems of the Middle East conflict in the new millennium. The high unemployment and lack of prospects among Palestinian young men lead to an increased willingness to use violence and a susceptibility to extremist ideologies, which, in Heinsohn's opinion, an independent Palestinian state would not change anything for the time being. The Palestinian and Arab leaders have absolutely no interest in ending their hostility to Israel, as they feared that the young men who are ready for violence and subversion would turn against them. The Palestinian leaders also have no qualms about using the young men as “weapons”. The social scientist Samuel Salzborn sees in a realization of the right of return a "destruction of Israel", which is also intended with this demand. The fact that refugee status can be inherited, which is unusual in international comparison, increases the number of those entitled to return and thus their property claims.

    Jewish settlements in the West Bank

    The third point of contention is the continued existence of the Jewish settlements established by Israel in the occupied territories since 1967 , in which around 600,000 Israeli Jews now live. Internationally, these settlements are generally considered to be contrary to international law .

    As a result of the 1995 Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the West Bank was divided into three zones (A: 18%, B: 20% and C: 62% of the area behind the Green Line), in which the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli military each have different powers. In the C area in particular, Jewish settlers established numerous Israeli settlements after the occupation , for which some Palestinian land was confiscated. In 1972 there were around 1,200 Jewish-Israeli settlers in today's C area, in 1993 there were 110,000 and in 2010 already 310,000, who were settled in 124 settlements and around 100 outposts through Israeli settlement policy. About 150,000 Palestinians live in the C areas. Israel controls the entire infrastructure here. This settlement policy is vehemently criticized by the Palestinians and the international community. The hope of the Israelis that the dissolution of various settlement areas, such as the complete eviction of Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip in 2005, would decisively advance the peace process ( land for peace ), was not fulfilled. Rather, the Gaza Strip became the power center of the Islamist Hamas , just as the Israeli withdrawal from the south of Lebanon at the end of the 1980s did not result in peace but rather a strengthening of the radical Islamic Hezbollah .

    At the end of January 2009, the Israeli daily Haaretz came across a secret database of settlements that was withheld by Defense Minister Ehud Barak because of its political explosiveness. The database shows that in 75% of all settlements in the West Bank, developments, some of them considerable, were carried out without a permit or even against Israeli regulations. In over 30 settlements, buildings and infrastructure (roads, schools, synagogues, yeshivot and also police stations) were built on the private property of Palestinians.

    Drinking water

    Some of Israel's borders are already recognizable in the satellite image due to the optimized water supply

    As an arid region, the Middle East consists of 95% desert areas and has little freshwater resources. Few rivers carry water all year round, the number of underground groundwater resources and aquifers is limited. Overall, the Greater Middle East region has only 1% of the world's freshwater resources (around 5% of the world's population) available, which corresponds to a per capita availability of 761 cubic meters / year (for comparison: the average worldwide availability is 6895 cubic meters per capita per year).

    Based on estimates of the population of Israel and the occupied territories, the amount of fresh water here is just over 200 cubic meters per capita and year. The situation of the Gaza Strip is particularly critical because of the high population growth. Viewed in isolation, this results in a water supply of only 27–38 cubic meters per capita and year.

    The Jewish National Fund is trying to counteract the consumption of water from the Sea of Galilee by building freshwater reservoirs . In Israel, Michael Evenari , among others, carried out considerable research to improve the water supply and optimize artificial irrigation. Evenari assumed that the contemporary Bedouins, in contrast to the Nabataeans , were not sons , but fathers of the desert through suboptimal land use, thereby worsening the local water crisis .

    Access to freshwater harbors potential for conflict throughout the Middle East. Likewise, possible cooperative solutions are an important basis for the development of the entire region. The fundamental conflict, the Jordan water issue , was in fact resolved as early as 1953 within the framework of the Johnston Plan, a UN compromise proposal to which the neighboring countries, especially Israel, also adhere. The agreement was never officially ratified at the instigation of the Arab League, as any contractual agreement was viewed as recognition of Israel. On water issues, there was also an unofficial and intensively continued bilateral dialogue between Jordan and Israel very early on. In contrast, the Syrian intention to use the water of the Jordan by diverting the source rivers Banyas and Hasbani, which are not on Israeli territory , is seen as a trigger for the Six Day War .

    Jerusalem question

    Another unsolved problem is the future status of Jerusalem , which both sides claim as the capital but is annexed to the State of Israel.

    For many people involved on both sides and certainly for some observers, the Middle East conflict has a strong religious component. Jerusalem is a holy city for Jews, Muslims and Christians.

    The Temple Mount , on which the Jerusalem Temple stood until AD 70 , and its western outer wall - the so-called Wailing Wall , which is the most important shrine of Judaism today - do not want to give up numerous Jewish Israelis for religious reasons. With the return to the Holy Land and the conquest of Jerusalem in 1967, they connect the promises of the Torah and the waiting for the Messiah. The settlement of holy places like Hebron in the West Bank would not have been possible to this extent without religious motivation.

    There are Torah or Bible-believing Jews and Christians who see the events in the Middle East as a fulfillment of divine prophecies. The Christian Hänssler Verlag quotes the biblical author Zechariah (about 500 BC): "I want to make Jerusalem a tumbler for all the peoples around" (Zechariah 12: 1). In addition, reference is made to an older text by Ezekiel , which speaks of the return of the Jews to their land "from all peoples" (Ezekiel 34). Only the Christians cite another passage from the Bible, as it is a quotation from the New Testament that is not part of the Holy Scriptures for the Jews : Paul speaks in Romans 11 of God's grace for Israel. Arab Christians and anti-Zionist Jews do not share this view.

    The Dome of the Rock , which is located in East Jerusalem, is a special sanctuary for Muslims. For radical Muslims, the very existence of Israel is a problem, because an area that once belonged to the sphere of influence of Islam cannot be left to "unbelievers".

    The most important concern of the Muslim Palestinians is Jerusalem as the capital of its own state with the Temple Mount as its center. They rely on the early Mayad tradition that, according to the story, in Sura 17, verses 1-2 of the Koran, the meeting of Muhammad with Allah accompanied by the Archangel Gabriel and the ascension of Muhammad at the location of today's Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount should have taken place.

    The Urushalim mentioned in the Amarna letters already had a Jebusite (Canaanite) main temple centuries before it was taken over by the Israelites. Even then it was not only a political but also a religious center.

    In the conflict area, therefore, the conflict and its possible solutions are presented differently depending on the application of the principles of the right to self-determination of the population resident there today, solely on the basis of demographic conditions or using historical or historical-religious considerations. Since both sides do not even agree on the decisive criteria to be applied, or since each side postulates the principles that are most useful in the argumentation as decisive, the long-lasting and tough conflict can be explained. It is fueled even further by continuously creating new facts on site. The establishment of new Israeli settlements in the West Bank is often cited as an example. In contrast, fears are expressed by the Israeli side that the overall significantly higher birth rate of Arabs would change the existing demographic situation in the long term and lead to an Arab preponderance. However, this is often countered by the equally high birth rate in the Jewish settlements in the West Bank. These and other arguments make a consensus solution about the establishment of two equal states side by side difficult.

    Security question

    There are other concerns on the Israeli side as to whether a future Palestinian government can guarantee the security of the Jewish state and its citizens. In the past there have been repeated attacks from the Gaza Strip, in which rockets were fired that hit Israeli territory. In addition, there were numerous deaths on the Israeli side as a result of suicide attacks prepared in Palestinian territory.

    Cultural identity

    According to one hypothesis, a loss of identity on both sides with the threat of peace stands in the way of an early solution. In addition to the religious and territorial aspects, both population groups need each other's enemy image to form their own identity.

    possible solutions

    One-state solution

    The one-state solution (or binational solution) provides that the current areas of Israel, West Bank and Gaza Strip will be formed into a unified, democratic and secular state in which Jews and Arabs have citizenship and the same rights and obligations. The various concepts of a one-state solution range from a unitary state , a federal state to a loose confederation .

    Two-state solution

    The two-state solution provides that two states are created for two peoples and corresponds to the UN partition plan for Palestine from 1947. An independent state of Palestine is founded next to the state of Israel west of the Jordan . The border between the two states would have to be determined in negotiations.

    Three-state solution

    The three-state solution provides for the transfer of control of part of the West Bank to Jordan and that of the Gaza Strip to Egypt .

    Attempted solutions

    There have been numerous attempts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict. In addition to the actors directly involved, the countries and organizations of the Middle East Quartet , namely the USA , Russia , the EU and the UN , were particularly involved . However, these negotiations have so far not been able to achieve more than a few concessions among the conflicting parties - so peace in the region is still not in sight.

    The most important peace negotiations and treaties were the Camp David Agreement , the so-called Oslo Peace Processes , the Israeli-Egyptian Peace Treaty , Camp David II , the Declaration of Principles on Temporary Self-Government , the Israeli-Jordan Peace Treaty , the Gaza-Jericho Agreement , the Convergence Plan and the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip . Important framework conditions for peace in the region were also laid down in the roadmap .

    See also


    Web links

    Wiktionary: Middle East conflict  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

    Individual evidence

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