IsraelThe conflict between Israel and Palestine has been going on for such a long time that many people don’t even remember what it is all about – unless you happen to be Israeli or Palestinian of course. So what is it all about?

Up until 1948 the name “Palestine” was generally used to describe the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, controlled historically by many different nations including the Romans, Byzantines, Babylonian, Ottoman, Assyrian – lots of different nations took control of Palestinian throughout history. Palestine was administered after WWI under a mandate by the UK from the League of Nations in 1922, it was when that mandate was terminated that the conflict between Israel and Palestine began and has been ongoing to this day.

The plan to partition Palestine in 1948 was heavily rejected by Arab leaders which threatened to take military action in order to prevent it from happening and safeguard the rights of the Arab population in Palestine. Israel declared independence the day before it went through with them declaring war on the state of Israel.

The basic problem when the British declared that Palestine was a Jewish homeland was that, although there was quite a large Christian population the majority of the inhabitants were Muslim Palestinians. Not surprisingly tensions escalated out of control.

Since the six day war of 1967 Israel occupied the Gaza Strip and West Bank building settlements for a population of around 250,000. Palestine have demanded that these people leave any land which was conquered during 1967 and evacuate all of the settlers, Israel, however, have refused to do any such thing and continue to expand the settlement. Although Israel did offer to return a large portion of this land on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 1993 the Palestinians rejected the offer.

A new era began in the history of the Israeli and Palestinian Affairs in 2004 upon the death of Yasser Arafat. The newly elected president Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) vowed that he would fight to put an end to the conflict once and for all and negotiate a peaceful settlement to the affairs. This proposal was based on the Israelis withdrawing from all of the West Bank and Gaza Strip lands and Jerusalem becoming a Palestinian capital.

To this day the conflicts and subsequent conditions that the people of Palestine have to live in every day are deplorable.  Whilst the Arab nations continue to support Palestinian groups the United States provide support to Israel. Although a number of solutions have been suggested over the years since the conflict began, nobody has come up with anything which proves to be satisfactory on all sides.

Of the many proposals for peace the most popular (at present) seems to be the Geneva Accord which states that Israel should return to the Palestinians any territories which are outside the current security fence as well as parts of Jerusalem for the Palestinians whereupon any Palestinian refugees should return not to Israel but to the Palestinian state.