Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Israel, Palestine, Gaza - Some Facts

It probably doesn't make a lot of difference, because many people really don't think it applies to present problems, nor do most people engage in Socratic decision making, nevertheless, I believe the time has come to review a bit of recent Middle East history.  Let's go:

A.  Israel-Palestine

1.  1923 - Palestine, after hundreds of years under Turkish rule, becomes a British mandate - Palestine, at the time, includes what is now all of the West Bank and Gaza.
2.  1947 - The United Nations, under Resolution 181 divides Palestine into two states - one Arab and one Jewish (the term "Palestine" is not used to describe the Arab state).  The Jewish settlement  accepts the terms, the Arabs reject them.  Jordan (then known as Trans-Jordan) annexes the West Bank and it becomes a part of Jordan.
3.  1948 - In May the British mandate officially ends and the British leave Palestine.  On May 14, the Jewish settlement's leader, David Ben-Gurion proclaims the founding of the State Of Israel.  Arab armies attack the new state - eventually losing the war.  An armistice is declared.   A "Green Line" is demarcated, creating an Arab portion including the West Bank (Jordan), Gaza (Egypt), and Golan (Syria).  Jordan resettles its Palestinian refugee population, Syria and Egypt do not.
4.   1949 - Israel is admitted to the United Nations.
5.   1967 - Arab armies mass on Israel's borders starting The Six Day War.  Israel wins and now occupies the West Bank, Gaza, Sinai peninsula and Golan.
6.   1967 - Resolution 242 is passed by the United Nations, resolving that Israel withdraw from "the territories," specifically and intentionally not using the term "all the territories."  Arthur Goldberg, US representative to the UN commented:

“The notable omissions in language used to refer to withdrawal are the words the, all, and the June 5, 1967 lines. I refer to the English text of the resolution. The French and Soviet texts differ from the English in this respect, but the English text was voted on by the Security Council, and thus it is determinative. In other words, there is lacking a declaration requiring Israel to withdraw from the (or all the) territories occupied by it on and after June 5, 1967. Instead, the resolution stipulates withdrawal from occupied territories without defining the extent of withdrawal. And it can be inferred from the incorporation of the words secure and recognized boundaries that the territorial adjustments to be made by the parties in their peace settlements could encompass less than a complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from occupied territories.”

The following statements are issued by the Arabs:

"We intend to open a general assault against Israel.  This will be total war.  Our basic aim will be to destroy Israel."  .......Gamal Abdel-Nasser, President of Egypt
"The sole method we shall apply against Israel is total war, which will result in the extermination of Zionist existence."......Egyptian Radio 'Voice of the Arabs
"I, as a military man, believe that the time has come to enter into a battle of annihilation."
...............Hafez al-Assad, Defense Minister of Syria
"The existence of Israel is an error which must be rectified....Our goal is clear - to wipe Israel off the map.".....Abdur Rahman Aref, President of Iraq

7.   1973 - Yom Kippur War following attacks by Egypt and Syria.  Israel wins resulting in 1975 Sinai Agreement between Israel and Egypt.  (Syria refuses to attend the agreement discussions in Geneva)  Israel withdraws from a large portion of the captured Sinai peninsula. 
8.   1978 - The Camp David Accords result in Israel gradually withdrawing from the entire Sinai peninsula.  Egypt recognizes the State of Israel.  Skirmishes with Syria continue and Israel eventually annexes a portion of the Golan.  Israel continues to "occupy" portions of the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan, eventually annexing a portion of Golan (as per Resolution 242), eventually totally withdrawing from Gaza. (see below)
9.   1993 - Oslo Accords divides the West Bank into Areas A, B, C which includes Palestinian control (together with Israeli control) of Area B.  Israel continues settlements in A and C.
10.  2010 - UN grants Palestine "observer status" (similar to the Vatican)

B.  Gaza

1.  1923 - Gaza becomes part of the British Mandate.
2.  1948 - Occupied by Egypt and becomes an "All-Palestinian" government.
3.  1949 - Following the Israel-Egypt armistice it continues as an "All-Palestinian government.
4.  1959 - Egypt occupies Gaza.
5.  1967 - Following the Israeli victory in the 1967 war, Israel occupies Gaza.
6.  1994 - Oslo accords grant Gaza to the Palestine Liberation Organization and Yasir Arafat establishes the headquarters of the PLO in Gaza City.  Israel retains some military forces in Gaza.  Some Israeli settlements are established.  Israel is granted control of airspace and control of sea access to Gaza.
7.  2000 - Palestinian Intafada results in increased Israeli control, including construction of a wall and limited access at Israel-Gaza crossings.
8.  2005 - Israel unilaterally leaves Gaza - both military and civilian.  
9.  2006 - Warring factions established in Gaza between al Fatah and Hamas (declared a terrorist organization by the United States and United Nations) which Hamas wins (at least 600 Palestinians are killed).  Israel closes the borders.
10.  2007 - present - Hamas in Gaza begins arming and firing missiles into Israel.
11.   2014 -  Hamas joins the Palestinian government in the West Bank and increases missile firings into Israel with missiles now reaching points in northern Israel.  Israel institutes military strikes in Gaza.

 Those are the facts.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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