History of Palestine is a complex and contentious topic that spans thousands of years. Here is a brief summary based on the web search results:
1. Palestine is a region in the Middle East that has been inhabited by various peoples and cultures since ancient times. It is considered a holy land by Jews, Christians and Muslims, who trace their religious origins to Abraham, a patriarch who lived in the area.
2. Gaza is a coastal strip of land that borders the Mediterranean Sea, Egypt and Israel. It is part of the larger territory of Palestine, which also includes the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Gaza has been a strategic location for trade, commerce and warfare throughout history.
3. The modern history of Palestine and Gaza began in the late 19th century, when Zionism, a movement that advocated for the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, emerged in Europe. This led to an influx of Jewish immigrants to the region, which was then under the rule of the Ottoman Empire.
4. After World War I, the Ottoman Empire collapsed and Palestine came under the British Mandate, which was supposed to prepare the region for self-rule and facilitate Jewish immigration. However, this also sparked resistance and violence from the Arab population, who opposed the Zionist project and demanded national independence.
5. In 1947, the United Nations proposed a partition plan that would divide Palestine into two states: one for Jews and one for Arabs. The plan was accepted by the Jewish leadership but rejected by the Arab side, who considered it unfair and unjust. This led to a civil war between the two communities, which escalated into a regional conflict when Israel declared its independence in 1948 and was attacked by neighboring Arab countries.
The 1948 Arab-Israeli War resulted in Israel capturing more than half of the territory allocated to the Arab state by the UN plan, including West Jerusalem. The remaining areas were occupied by Egypt (Gaza) and Jordan (West Bank and East Jerusalem). More than 700,000 Palestinians became refugees and fled or were expelled from their homes in Israel.
6. In 1967, another war broke out between Israel and its Arab neighbors, known as the Six-Day War. Israel seized control of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, as well as the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt and the Golan Heights from Syria. This marked the beginning of Israel’s military occupation of these territories, which continues to this day.
In 1987, a popular uprising against Israeli occupation, known as the First Intifada (or “shaking off”), erupted in Gaza and the West Bank. It lasted until 1993, when Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the main representative of the Palestinian people, signed the Oslo Accords, which aimed to achieve a peaceful resolution of the conflict based on a two-state solution.
7. The Oslo Accords established the Palestinian Authority (PA), a self-governing body that would administer parts of Gaza and the West Bank under interim arrangements until a final status agreement was reached. However, the peace process stalled due to various issues, such as Israeli settlement expansion, Palestinian violence and political divisions.
8. In 2000, a second uprising, known as the Second Intifada (or “Al-Aqsa Intifada”), erupted after a controversial visit by then Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem, a site revered by both Muslims and Jews. The violence lasted until 2005, when Israel unilaterally withdrew its troops and settlers from Gaza.
9. The current situation in Gaza (started 7 October 2023) is very dire and tragic, as the Israeli military continues to bombard the besieged Palestinian enclave with air strikes, artillery shells and ground troops. The war with Hamas, the armed group that controls Gaza, has entered its 13th day, with no sign of a ceasefire or a diplomatic solution.
10. According to the Palestinian health ministry in Gaza, at least 3,478 people have been killed and over 12,065 injured since the war began on October 7, when Hamas launched a massive rocket attack on Israel, killing 1,400 people. Among the dead in Gaza are more than 100 women and children³. Israel says it has killed at least 225 militants and destroyed hundreds of rocket launchers, tunnels and command centers¹.
11. The humanitarian situation in Gaza is worsening by the day, as the Israeli siege has cut off the enclave from essential supplies of food, water, fuel, electricity and medicine. More than half a million people have fled their homes in northern Gaza for the south, following an Israeli evacuation notice on Friday². Many of them have sought refuge in hospitals and UN schools, but these places have also been targeted by Israeli strikes. On Tuesday night, an Israeli air raid on al-Ahli Arab Hospital in central Gaza killed at least 471 people².
12. The international community has expressed alarm and outrage over the escalating violence and the civilian casualties in Gaza. The UN Security Council has held several emergency meetings to discuss the crisis, but has failed to issue a joint statement or a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire. The US, Israel’s main ally and arms supplier, has blocked several attempts by other council members to condemn Israel’s actions or demand a halt to the hostilities⁴.
13. Meanwhile, diplomatic efforts to end the war are intensifying, with Egypt playing a key role as a mediator between Israel and Hamas. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has also visited the region and met with leaders of Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Qatar to urge them to work towards a peaceful resolution. Blinken said he was hopeful that a ceasefire could be reached soon, but also reiterated US support for Israel’s right to self-defense¹.
14. The war in Gaza is the latest episode in the long-standing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, who have been living under Israeli occupation and oppression for decades. The root causes of the conflict include the dispossession and displacement of millions of Palestinians since 1948, when Israel was created on their land; the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem; the denial of Palestinian rights and statehood; and the lack of justice and accountability for Israeli violations of international law⁵.