Causes of Israel Palestine Conflict

The causes of the Israel Palestine conflict are complex. In fact the very question is a bit of an oxymoron. Consider that before Israel existed the entire area was known as Palestine, not a state, not a nation, but a region of the former Ottoman Empire under the administration of the British authorities by mandate of the now defunct League of Nations.

One of the best ways to learn about these issues is to take an Alternative Tour of Israel and the West Bank and examine the situation on the ground.

During the Ottoman Era the region was not even known as Palestine by the governing authorities, but was divided into administrative regions known as ‘Vilayets’, then subdivided into smaller administrative units known as ‘Sanjaks’. The term Palestine was used loosely by the inhabitants, Jews, Christians and Muslims to describe their affinity for the region. during the first world war the European powers conquered the region and assumed control. The region designated for British Administration was termed ‘Palestine’ and all inhabitants, regardless of religion were issued identity cards labeling their nationality as Palestinians.

It was during this period that conflict arose between Palestinian Arabs and the Zionist settlers who were arriving from Eastern Europe and Russia. Israel had not yet been created but the desire of the European settlers to create exclusive Jewish communities gave rise to conflict with Palestinian Arabs. In addition European Zionist funds were used to purchase land from absentee landowners and the Arab residents of the land were often evicted by the new owners. This process exasperated the conflict with often violent results.

During 1947 and 1948 when the state of Israel was formed, hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs were evicted or fled from their homes in the land that became Israel and never allowed to return. These people and their descendants became the Palestinian Refugees of today and their plight is the root and cause of the Israel Palestine conflict.

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