Also known as the Western Wall Disturbances, these were the first large-scale occurrences of fighting among Arabs, Jews, and the British mandatory administration of Palestine. Though the deeper causes can be linked to growing tensions over increasing Jewish immigration, the fighting began over Jewish access to the Western Wall, known as Al-Buraq Wall in Arabic or HaKotel in Hebrew, an important holy site to people of both faiths. Rumors of a Jewish plot to seize control of the holy site began to spread in the late 1920s, and violence erupted in August 1929 when a group of Jews organized a demonstration at the Western Wall, raising the Zionist flag and singing the Zionist anthem. A week later, some Palestinians murdered a group of Jews in Jerusalem's Haredi neighborhood of Meah She'arim. The riots spread and religious Jewish communities (particularly in Hebron and Safed) were violently attacked, with retaliatory Jewish riots taking place as well. 133 Jews and 116 Palestinians were killed (some from Jewish rioters, but most from British troops/police). The British set up a commission of inquiry known as the Shaw Commission, which found that the fundamental cause of the riots was "the Arab feeling of animosity and hostility towards the Jews consequent upon the disappointment of their political and national aspirations and fear for their economic future. ... The feeling as it exists today is based on the twofold fear of the Arabs that by Jewish immigration and land purchases they may be deprived of their livelihood and in time pass under the political domination of the Jews." See "Ad hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question, Communication from the United Kingdom Delegation to the United Nations," United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine, October 2, 1947.
This was the longest sustained nationalist rebellion to British mandatory control of Palestine. The Arab Revolt was instigated by a massive influx of Jewish immigration, partly due to the rise of Nazism in pre-war Germany. Following increased tensions and a number of violent incidents perpetrated by both Palestinians and Jews, Palestinian rioting erupted on April 19, 1936 in Jaffa and Tel Aviv, quickly spreading throughout Palestine, resulting in the killing of 16 Jews and five Palestinians. An extensive general strike was declared and other forms of political protest (such as non-payment of taxes), led by an Arab Higher Committee, presided over by Jerusalem mufti Hajj Amin al-Hussein. In addition to the political protest, Jewish-farmed orchards were destroyed, and Jewish civilians murdered. The goals of the revolt were to shift British policy by limiting or ending large-scale Jewish immigration, to ban further land sales to Jews, and to enable Palestinians to establish their own national government. Britain established the Peel Commission to investigate the rebellion, which recommended the partition of Palestine into two states (one Arab and one Jewish) with a retained British mandate in Bethlehem, Nazareth and Jerusalem, and a corridor from Jerusalem to the sea. The Commission's recommendation of partition (though not the boundaries proposed) was accepted at the 20th Zionist Congress (in part because it called for population transfer of Palestinians from the designated Jewish state to the designated Arab state, which many leading Zionists advocated) but it was rejected by the Arab Higher Committee, leading to a resumption of the revolt, which now targeted British forces militarily. The riots were ultimately suppressed by harsh British measures, including the exiling of many Palestinian leaders, disbanding the Arab Higher Committee, and the establishment of military courts. See U.S. Library of Congress Country Study. See also Yale Law School's Avalon Project: Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy and "From Law and Order to Pacification: Britain's Suppression of the Arab Revolt in Palestine, 1936-39," Matthew Hughes, Journal of Palestine Studies/University of California Press, 2010.
Known to Israelis as the War of Independence or War of Liberation and to Palestinians as Al-Nakba (Arabic for "the catastrophe"). Fighting between Arab and Jewish populations in British Mandate Palestine began on November 30,1947 in response to the UN Partition Plan. Israel declared its independence on May 14,1948 and troops from Egypt, Transjordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq attacked the next day in support of the Palestinians. Israel (whose army was comprised of numerous pre-state Zionist militia groups, such as the Haganah and the Irgun) was overwhelmingly successful against the Arab countries' armies and greatly expanded beyond the territory it would have received under the Partition Plan, taking control of nearly 60% of what had been earmarked for an Arab state. The war displaced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians (most estimates fall in the 700,000-800,000 range), who either were expelled by pre-state militias/Israeli forces, or fled (intending to come back after the end of hostilities). Most of them went to neighboring countries, the West Bank or the Gaza Strip. In January 1949, armistice agreements with four Arab states ended the hostilities, with the nascent state of Israel controlling the vast majority of British Mandate Palestine, Jordan controlling the West Bank, and Egypt controlling Gaza. No Palestinian state was created. See "A Country Study: Israel," U.S. Library of Congress,1988; and "The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited," Benny Morris, Cambridge University Press, 2004.
Also known as the Sinai Campaign and the Suez Crisis. A brief military campaign in October and November of 1956, during which Israel, France and Britain colluded in an attack on Egypt. Israel was determined to punish Egypt for raids against its communities from the Gaza Strip, while France and Britain were responding to Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser's nationalization of the Suez Canal, which had been operated and owned by a private Anglo-French company. As arranged by the three countries beforehand, Israel entered the Sinai Peninsula on October 29, 1956 and swiftly conquered it, reaching the Suez Canal itself. This was followed by British air raids of military targets near Cairo and the Suez Canal on October 31, and a British and French paratrooper drop just north of the Suez Canal on November 5. On November 6, Britain and France agreed to a United Nations (UN) sponsored cease-fire demanded by the United States and the three countries were forced to withdraw entirely following enormous pressure from the US and Soviet Union. Britain and France withdrew in December 1956 and Israel withdrew in March 1957. The war resulted in a sweeping political success for Nasser and a significant loss of remaining British and French influence in the Arab world. The UN established a peacekeeping presence to protect the passage of Israeli ships through the Straits of Tiran, leading to the growth of Eilat, an Israeli port city on the Red Sea, and trade with the Far East. See "The 1956 Suez War," Al Jazeera English, Feb 29, 2008.
Commonly referred to by Palestinians as the June War or Al-Naksa (Arabic for "the setback"), and by Israelis as the Six-Day War. Tensions, which had been escalating for months, sharpened on May 13, 1967, when the Soviet Union gave false intelligence reports to Syria (who told Egypt) that Israel was planning an attack on Syria for their support of Palestinian guerillas and was amassing troops on the Syrian border. Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser deployed Egyptian troops to the Sinai Peninsula and demanded the removal of the United Nations troops there, who obliged and left. On May 22, Nasser closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli ships. The war began in the early morning of June 5, 1967, when the Israeli air force preemptively attacked and destroyed most of the Egyptian air force while still on the ground, launching a simultaneous ground invasion in Gaza and into the Sinai Peninsula. Jordan and Syria began attacking that day, but were quickly rebuffed. The war lasted six days, during which Israel captured the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the Golan Heights from Syria and the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) from Jordan. Israel annexed the Golan Heights and eventually returned the Sinai Peninsula in a peace deal with Egypt. The war resulted in hundreds of thousands of new Palestinian refugees, and the start of Israel's military occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, which continues until today. See "Six Day War," Encyclopedia Britannica. See also "Six days of war, 40 years of failure," Ian Black, The Guardian, June 4, 2007.
Also referred to as the October War, Ramadan War, or Yom Kippur War. A coalition of Egyptian and Syrian forces launched a surprise attack on Israeli forces on October 6, 1973, crossing the Suez Canal into the Sinai Peninsula and attacking the Golan Heights. The Sinai Peninsula and Golan Heights had both been captured by Israel during the 1967 War. While Israel suffered severe military setbacks, particularly at the beginning of the campaign, the Egyptian and Syrian attacks were ultimately repelled and Israeli troops crossed to the west side of the Suez Canal before United Nations Resolution 338 halted the fighting. The ability of the Egyptian troops to breach the Israeli Bar Lev line east of the Suez Canal at the beginning of the war served as a major victory for Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, paving the way for his historic trip to Jerusalem in 1977 and the Camp David Accords of 1978. See "Legacy of 1973 Arab-Israeli war reverberates 40 years on," Kevin Connolly, BBC, Oct 5, 2013; and "Remembering the war in October," Hussein Elrazzaz, Al Jazeera English, Oct 7, 2013.
Also known as the Lebanon Invasion (to Arabs) and the First Lebanon War, or Operation Peace in the Galilee (to Israelis). In June 1982, Israel invaded South Lebanon in the midst of the Lebanese Civil War, purportedly in retaliation for the attempted assassination of the Israeli Ambassador to England. Though the would-be assassins were sworn enemies of the Arafat-led Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon had been seeking a pretext to eliminate the PLO from Lebanon (where they had been based since being expelled from Jordan). Despite original statements that Israeli troops would only advance 40 km, Israeli forces quickly reached Beirut, where they laid siege to the Lebanese capital, with the goals of expelling the PLO and installing a pro-Israel Maronite Christian government. International forces led by the United States facilitated the departure of the PLO from Lebanon to Tunisia. Israel encouraged the election of Bashir Gemayel (a Maronite Christian) as Lebanon's new President in August 1982, but Gemayel was soon assassinated by a member of the Syrian Socialist Nationalist Party, after which a Maronite-aligned militia massacred hundreds of Palestinian men, women and children in the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps, which the Israeli army had granted the militia access to. Israeli forces remained to occupy much of southern Lebanon and engaged in a low-level guerilla war with Lebanese Shi'a groups such as Hezbollah, which formed to fight the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon. The war (and especially the Sabra and Shatilla massacre) inspired protests in Israel and empowered the Israeli peace movement, eventually leading to Prime Minister Menachem Begin's retirement and withdrawal from politics. In 1985, Israel withdrew to a 12 km security zone in southern Lebanon, where it remained until 2000. See " Lebanon Invasion," BBC, May 6, 2008; and "Arabs are 'losing faith' in America: lessons from Lebanon 1982," Ian Black, The Guardian, Jan 4, 2013.
Military action by a United States-led coalition of 32 states to expel Iraqi forces from Kuwait. Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait on August 2, 1990, and claimed it as an Iraqi province. On January 18, 1991, two days after the American air campaign against Iraq began, Iraqi scud missiles were fired into Israel. In total, Iraq launched approximately 40 scuds against Israel in the month that followed. The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), unlike most Arab states, supported Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. As a result, the PLO lost diplomatic and financial support from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States. Kuwait also expelled most of the large Palestinian community in Kuwait, many of whom had lived there for decades, accusing them of supporting the Iraqi invasion. See "The Gulf War: Chronology," PBS, August 24, 2011; and "Arafat's Costly Gulf War Choice," Al Jazeera English, Aug 22, 2009.
During the first two weeks of December 1992, six members of the Israeli armed forces were killed by Palestinian militants. On December 16, the Israeli government ordered deportation for up to two years of "inciters, those inhabitants of the area who endanger human lives by their activities, or those who incite others to such actions." Though the pretext for the deportation was the killing of the six soldiers, Israel never tried to claim that those being deported were responsible for the killings. Without being given any prior notification, 415 Palestinians from the Occupied Palestinian Territories (most of whom were members of Hamas or Islamic Jihad) were handcuffed, blindfolded, put on buses and driven north towards Lebanon. The Israeli military tried to censor news of the deportation, but word leaked out, and several human rights organizations immediately filed petitions with Israel's High Court of Justice, which issued a temporary injunction against the deportation. The court held a hearing on the deportation which lasted 14 hours, during which the deportees remained on the buses blindfolded and handcuffed. Though no specific deportee was discussed, the High Court allowed the deportation to continue in a five to two decision. The deportees were left in no-man's land on a hilltop area in Southern Lebanon, as the Lebanese army prevented the deportees from continuing any deeper into Lebanon. In ensuing weeks, it was announced by the Israeli military that 16 of the deportees had been deported by mistake and would be allowed to return to the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Five more were allowed to return for health reasons. In February 1993, Israel made an agreement with the United States to let the deportees return early. Hamas's political strength was increased due to the incident, and several of its future leaders (including Ismail Haniyeh and Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi) rose to political prominence while in deportation. The mass deportation was condemned by prominent human rights groups as a flagrant violation of human rights, collective punishment, and a violation of Israeli and international law. See "The Mass Deportation of 1992," B'tselem, Jan 1, 2011; and "Hamas win sparks soul-searching," Jim Muir, BBC News, Jan 28, 2006.
Known in Lebanon as the July War and in Israel as the Second Lebanon War. This military conflict began on July 12, 2006 when Hezbollah militants ambushed an Israeli army border patrol in a cross border raid, kidnapping two Israeli soldiers and killing three others. Context to the attack includes the ongoing conflict related to Sheba'a Farms, a small stretch of land bordering Israel, Syria and Lebanon, which Israel controls but Hezbollah claims is Lebanese. Hezbollah spokespersons described the kidnapping as a strategy to secure the release of Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Five more Israeli soldiers died in an operation to rescue the abducted soldiers. During the 34-day war that followed, Israel's military actions targeted Lebanese infrastructure and Hezbollah bases and also widely damaged civilian areas, killing at least 1,109 Lebanese (the vast majority civilians) and displacing an estimated one million. 119 Israeli soldiers were killed during the fighting. Israel also implemented a blockade of the entire Lebanese coast. Concurrently, Hezbollah launched hundreds of missiles into northern Israel, killing 43 Israeli civilians and causing 300,000-500,000 Israelis to flee from the north of the country. A United Nations-brokered ceasefire went into effect on August 14, 2006, though the Israeli naval blockade of Lebanon lasted until September 8. Hezbollah remained largely intact after the war, despite Israel's stated goal of neutralizing the party. An Israeli government panel, called the Winograd Committee, concluded that the war had been a "big and serious failure" for Israel, in part because it undermined Israel's military deterrence. See "Civilians under Assault: Hezbollah's Rocket Attacks on Israel in the 2006 War" Human Rights Watch, August 2007; and "Why They Died: Civilian Casualties in Lebanon during the 2006 War," Human Rights Watch, September 2007.
(1947-2004) A Palestinian political figure. In 1987, Rantisi co-founded the Palestinian movement Hamas. He was part of organizing early protests in Gaza that sparked the First Intifada. Rantisi was arrested/detained by Israel 4 times between 1988-1991, and was expelled by the Israeli government in the 1992 Mass Deportation to no-man's land in south Lebanon. Rantisi emerged as the spokesperson for the deportees and returned to the Gaza Strip in early 1993. He was instrumental in organizing Hamas's welfare network. By 1999, Rantisi was the effective political head of Hamas. He was appointed as the leader of Hamas after Sheikh Ahmad Yassin was assassinated by an Israeli missile strike in March 2004. Rantisi was a proponent of armed resistance against Israel, had strongly opposed the Oslo Accords, and frequently called for the liberation of all of historic Palestine. In later years, however, Rantisi's tone became more moderate, and in 2004, he offered a 10-year truce with Israel in exchange for withdrawal and a Palestinian state. The Israeli Airforce assassinated Rantisi in April 2004. See Dr. Abdel Aziz Rantisi Obituary, The Independent, April 19, 2004.
The practice employed by the Israeli military of detaining people indefinitely based on an administrative order, without charges brought against them and without standing trial. Administrative detention is predominantly used against Palestinians from the Occupied Territories. Israel has placed thousands of Palestinians under administrative detention over the years, many for prolonged periods of time. During the First Intifada, Israel held its highest number of Palestinians in administrative detention; nearly 1,800. The numbers of administrative detainees shrank dramatically during the 90's (there were 12 administrative detainees in December 2000), but rose again sharply to over 1,000 during the April 2002 Israeli Military Invasion. As of July 2014, 446 Palestinians were being held by Israel in administrative detention. Israeli citizens (including settlers) can also be held in administrative detention, but this occurs rarely and the detentions are short in duration. Though some forms of administrative detention are permitted under international law, under very strict circumstances, human rights groups have decried Israel's widespread use of administrative detention as a violation of human rights and of the protections of due process enshrined in both Israeli and international law. See "Administrative Detention," Addameer; and "Israel: The injustice and secrecy surrounding administrative detention," Amnesty International, June 6, 2012. See also infographic "A Guide To Administrative Detention," Visualizing Palestine.
(1937- ) Also known as Abu Ala'. A Palestinian political figure. A long-time member of Fatah and numerous Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) bodies, Qurei formerly served as the speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council from 1996-2003 and was one of the leading Palestinian negotiators in the secret talks that led to the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993. Qurei has also held various positions in the Palestinian Authority, including Minister of Economy and Trade, Minister of Industry and Prime Minister from September 2003-February 2006. As of 2015, serves as the head of the PLO Department for Jerusalem Affairs and is a member of the PLO Executive Committee. Controversy erupted in 2004 when it was alleged that Qurei's family's cement company profited from the building of the Separation Barrier, an accusation Qurei denied. See "Biography - Ahmed Qurei," MidEast Web. See also "Palestinian cement sold to Israel for barrier, probe finds," Charles Radin, Boston Globe, July 28, 2004; and "Qurei calls for reconsidering one-state solution," Khaled Abu Toameh, Jerusalem Post, March 17, 2012.
The militant wing of Fatah that began in Balata refugee camp near Nablus in the northern West Bank shortly after the start of the Second Intifada. Though the group was not openly associated with Fatah early in its existence, in 2004 Fatah acknowledged them as its armed wing. The Al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigade has been responsible for multiple attacks and attempted attacks against Israeli soldiers, settlers and civilians, most of them taking place between 2001-2005. The United States, the European Union and several other governments consider the group a terrorist organization. In July 2007, the Israeli government made a deal with the Palestinian Authority (PA), under which 178 members of the Al-Aqsa Brigade were granted amnesty on condition they surrendered their arms to the PA, renounced future attacks against Israel, and were absorbed into the Palestinian security services. The number of gunmen granted amnesty increased later in 2007 and in 2008 pursuant to further agreements. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade had been relatively quiet for a number of years until it claimed responsibility in July 2014 for opening fire on Israeli soldiers at Qalandia checkpoint, separating Ramallah from Jerusalem. See " Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade," Holly Fletcher, Council on Foreign Relations Backgrounder, April 2, 2008; see also "Al-Aqsa Brigades opens fire on Qalandia, injuring Israeli soldiers," Ma'an News Agency, July 26, 2014.
On October 8, 1990 an extremist Jewish group called the Temple Mount Faithful attempted to place a cornerstone for the Third Temple at Haram Al-Sharif/Temple Mount, sparking riots in which between 19-23 Palestinians were killed with live ammunition and 150 more wounded, an event known to Palestinians as the "Al-Aqsa Massacre" and to Israelis as the "Temple Mount Riots." See MIDEAST TENSIONS; U.S. Presses the U.N. to Condemn Israel, Paul Lewis, The New York Times, October 10, 1990.
(Arabic for "the Farthest Mosque") A mosque located in the Old City of Jerusalem, adjacent to the Dome of the Rock on the area known to Muslims as Haram Al-Sharif (Arabic for "the Noble Sanctuary"). Al-Aqsa Mosque, a name which is used both to refer to all of Haram Al-Sharif, or the actual mosque itself, is the third holiest site in Islam. The mosque was completed in the 7th century, destroyed by an earthquake in the 8th century, and restored to its current structure in the 11th century. The mosque is currently under the supervision and authority of the Waqf (Islamic Endowment). Haram Al-Sharif is known by Jews as the Har Ha-Moriah (Hebrew for the Temple Mount and is the holiest place in Judaism. Due to its religious and symbolic significance, Al-Aqsa Mosque and Haram Al-Sharif/Temple Mount have frequently been at the epicenter of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Some examples include the Al-Aqsa Massacre and the provocative visit to Haram Al-Sharif/Temple Mount on September 28, 2000 by then-opposition leader Ariel Sharon igniting the Second Intifada, which is sometimes called the Al-Aqsa Intifada. See the Haram Al-Sharif website and Al-Aqsa Intifada Timeline, BBC.
(Arabic for "the catastrophe.") Refers to the uprooting, expulsion and displacement of 700,000-800,000 Palestinians (approximately 80% of the population at that time) concurrently with and in the years following the 1948 War and the establishment of the State of Israel. During and after the 1948 War, many Palestinian villages and properties were seized or destroyed by Israeli forces and the remaining territories (the West Bank, Gaza, and the Golan Heights) were seized by Jordanian, Egyptian and Syrian forces respectively. The vast majority of Palestinians displaced from what was now Israel became refugees in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. Israel considers these same events to be its War of Independence and, especially in its first three decades, maintained that Palestinians were not expelled, but fled of their own free will, or at the instructions of Arab leaders. Starting in the late 1970's more critical narratives began to emerge from Israeli soldiers who had participated in the events of 1948, as well as from academics and journalists. Some official Israeli government agencies, including the Ministry of Education and Israeli National Archive, have published accounts that are more inclusive than the traditional Zionist narrative, though the Zionist narrative remains dominant among most Israelis. Al-Nakba Day is commemorated annually by Palestinians and supporters on the 15th of May. The Israeli Knesset passed the controversial Nakba Law, criminalizing commemoration of al-Nakba. See "The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited," Benny Morris, Cambridge University Press, 2004; "The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine," Ilan Pappe, Oneworld Publications, 2006; "All That Remains: The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948," Walid Khalidi, Institute for Palestine Studies, 2006; and Institute for Middle East Understanding's FAQ on the Nabka.
(1945- ) A Jewish Israeli military, intelligence and political figure. Ayalon was a career naval officer, holding the position of Commander of the Israeli Navy from 1992-1996. Following Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's assassination in 1995, he became the head of Shin Bet, Israel's internal security agency, retiring in 2000. In 2002, he launched the People's Voice Initiative with Sari Nusseibeh, a civilian initiative meant to demonstrate Israeli and Palestinian popular support as a member of the Labor party in 2006 and served until he lost his seat in the 2009 elections. As of May 2015, he is the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the University of Haifa. See "Ami Ayalon appointed Chairman of the Executive Committee," University of Haifa, January 19, 2011. See also the Oscar-nominated 2012 documentary, "The Gatekeepers."
(1918-1981) Third President of Egypt from 1970-1981. Sadat succeeded Gamal Abdul Nasser upon Nasser's death on September 28, 1970, and was elected president in a plebiscite on October 15. He guided the country through economic liberalization as well as gradual political liberalization, and increased ties with the West. In 1973, Sadat co-led an Egyptian and Syrian coalition, backed by Jordan and Iraq, and attacked Israel in an attempt to regain land lost in the 1967 War. Despite not regaining the Sinai Peninsula, some saw the war as a political victory for Sadat. By 1978, after years of negotiations with the Israelis (including an unprecedented official visit to Israel where he spoke to the Israeli Knesset, an act that greatly impressed many Israelis), Sadat secured the return of the Sinai Peninsula in exchange for bilateral peace with Israel. This agreement, signed at Camp David and implemented in 1979, won Sadat the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize alongside Israeli Prime Minister Menachim Begin and Shimon Peres. Sadat lost support in Egypt, due to opposition to the treaty, political repression, and economic crisis. On October 6, 1981, Sadat was assassinated in Cairo by extremist Islamist officers in the army who were thought to be members of Egyptian Islamic Jihad. See "Sadat Assassinated at Army Parade as Men Amid Ranks Fire Into Stands; Vice President 'Affirms all Treaties,'" William E. Farrell, New York Times, October 7, 1981.
A large-scale Israeli military incursion into the West Bank from March 29-April 21, 2002. Named Operation Defensive Shield by the Israeli military, it was the largest military operation in the West Bank since the 1967 War and included invasions of the cities of Ramallah, Nablus, Tulkarem, Qalqilia, Bethlehem and Jenin, and included the Battle of Jenin. The incursion was launched after a series of bombings inside Israel perpetrated by Palestinian militants, and was immediately preceded by a suicide bombing that killed 30 people at a Passover seder in a hotel in the city of Netanya. According to the United Nations, 497 Palestinians were killed during the fighting, and 30 Israeli soldiers. 7,000 Palestinians were detained, and wide-scale destruction of property and infrastructure occurred. According to multiple human rights organizations, the Israeli army employed several tactics during the incursion that are illegal under international humanitarian law, and that constituted war crimes. See " Operation Defensive Shield: Soldiers' Testimonies", B'tselem, September 2, 2004; and "Israel and the Occupied Territories: Shielded from Scrutiny: IDF Violations in Jenin and Nablus," Amnesty International, November 4, 2002.
Also known as the League of Arab States. Founded in 1945, the Arab League consists of 22 member-states, including Palestine. It is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt. According to Article II of the Arab League Charter, its purpose is to strengthen "the relations between the member-states, the coordination of their policies in order to achieve co-operation between them and to safeguard their independence and sovereignty; and a general concern with the affairs and interests of the Arab countries." See the League of Arab States website.
Also referred to as the Saudi Peace Plan and Abdullah Plan. On March 27, 2002, participants of the Arab League summit in Beirut adopted the Saudi-proposed Arab Peace Initiative, calling for "full Israeli withdrawal from all the Arab territories occupied since June 1967, in implementation of [United Nations (UN)] Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 and Israel's acceptance of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, in return for the establishment of normal relations in the context of a comprehensive peace with Israel." The plan also called for a "just settlement" of the Palestinian refugee issue based on UN General Assembly Resolution 194. The Israeli government rejected the initiative immediately, calling it a "non-starter," though the Quartet on the Middle East endorsed the Initiative in 2003. The Arab League voted to renew its commitment to the plan in 2007, and Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas from Fatah endorsed it enthusiastically, though Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh from Hamas abstained. This time, the Israeli government reaction was mixed, with some political leaders expressing reserved support for certain aspects of the plan, and others continuing with a rejectionist line. Israeli Prime Minster Ehud Olmert expressed readiness to negotiate on many of the plan's points, but stressed Israel's refusal to negotiate on the refugee issue. U.S. President Barak Obama officially supported the plan in 2008. Arab states began revising elements of the peace plan in 2009, in order to make it more palatable to Israel, including the provisions dealing with the right of return for Palestinian refugees, and possible land swaps. See "The Arab Peace Initiative for Peace," Alia Al-Kadi, The Atkins Paper Series, June 2010; and "Israel shows new openness to Saudi Peace Plan," Ilene Prusher, Christian Science Monitor, May 16, 2007.
Administrative divisions of the Occupied Palestinian Territories as outlined in the 1995 Oslo II Accords between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization. Area A, according to the Accords, consists of land under full civilian and security control by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and constitutes approximately 3% of the West Bank, including major population centers such as Ramallah, Nablus, Jenin, Tulkarem, Qalqilya, Bethlehem and Jericho. Area B was to be under Palestinian civil control, and joint Israeli-Palestinian security control, and comprises approximately 24% of the West Bank. There are approximately 440 Palestinian villages and their surrounding lands in Area B. Area C is under full Israeli civil and security control, and comprises approximately 73% of the West Bank. Most of the West Bank's natural resources and open spaces are in Area C, as well as all Israeli settlements. It was stipulated in the Accords that much of Area C was gradually to be transferred to Palestinian jurisdiction, though with the breakdown of the peace process, this did not happen. Israeli security forces control borders between Areas A, B and C, and, though Area A is supposedly under PA security control, there are frequent Israeli incursions into Area A cities. Hebron, which is the only major population center inside of which there are Israeli settlements, is a category unto itself. 80% of Hebron considered H1 (under Palestinian control) and 20%--including most of the Old City of Hebron, which used to be the city's commercial center-is considered H2, and under Israeli military control. There are checkpoints/turnstiles controlled by the Israeli military between those areas, greatly constricting and limiting movement of Palestinians who reside in H2. See Btselem website for a map delineating Areas A, B, and C in the West Bank. See also, "Humanitarian Update: The Closure of Hebron's Old City," United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, July 2005.
(1928-2014) A Jewish Israeli political and military figure. Sharon served as a commander and officer in the Israeli army from1948 (when the State of Israel was established) until 1973. Upon his retirement from the army, he helped found the Likud party and went on to serve in many ministerial positions within the Israeli government. Sharon was the Minister of Defense during the 1982 War in Lebanon, resigning from the post after a government commission found him indirectly responsible for the September 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacre. Sharon was considered one of the settlement movement's greatest champions. While Minister of Construction and Housing (1990-1992), he oversaw the most comprehensive expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip since Israel's occupation of the Palestinian Territories in the 1967 War. On September 28 2000, then head of the opposition Likud party, Sharon visited Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount flanked by over 1,000 Israeli police, and declared that the complex would remain under permanent Israeli control. This sparked protests that escalated into the Second Intifada. Sharon was elected Prime Minister of Israel from 2001-2006, and initiated and oversaw the Gaza Disengagement. In November 2005, he quit the Likud Party and formed Kadima. In early January 2006, Sharon suffered a massive stroke, dying in 2014. See "Israel's Ariel Sharon Dies at 85," Al Jazeera English, Jan 11, 2014.
(1958 - ) Jewish Israeli political figure. Lieberman founded and is the leader of the secular, right-wing, nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu party, whose constituents are, like Lieberman is himself, immigrants from the former Soviet Union who support a hard line vis-a-vis negotiations with Palestinians. Lieberman became Israel's Minister of Foreign Affairs starting in 2009, and held the post until the 2015 elections, with a brief period of resignation due to charges of fraud in which he was ultimately acquitted. Lieberman lives in a settlement, and has proposed a "Populated-Area Exchange Plan," in which Palestinian towns inside Israel which are close to the Green Line would be transferred to the Palestinian Authority and large Settlement blocs would be included within Israel. In 2009, Lieberman stated that he supports the creation of a Palestinian state, but reiterated in 2014 that such a state must include this population exchange. He has also advocated a "loyalty oath" which is meant to disenfranchise those citizens of Israel (particularly Palestinian citizens of Israel) who are not prepared to sign an oath of loyalty to the state of Israel. In 2009, his party's election campaign included the slogan, "No loyalty, no citizenship." He is adamantly opposed to the Right of Return for any and all Palestinian refugees. See "Lieberman: Several Israeli Arab towns must be made part of Palestine under peace deal," Barak Ravid, Haaretz, Jan 5, 2014; and "Liberman: Citizenship annulment is a condition for peace," Dahlia Scheindlin, +972mag, Jan 9, 2014.
(1975- ) A Palestinian citizen of Israel political figure. As of 2015, Odeh leads the political party Hadash, which is part of the historic union of Arab political parties in Israel known as The Joint List. Odeh, a lawyer from Haifa, is head of the Joint List. Odeh became the Secretary General of Hadash in 2006, and became the party's leader ahead of the 2015 elections, in which he became a member of the Israeli Knesset, with the Joint List being the third largest bloc. In his political career, Odeh has focused on issues of social justice and equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel, including advocating on behalf of unrecognized villages in the Negev/Naqab desert. See "Q&A: Ayman Odeh, head of the Joint List," Dalia Hatuqa, Al Jazeera English, March 16, 2015; and "Arab Alliance Rises as Force in Israeli Election," Diaa Hadid, The New York Times, March 15, 2015.
(1956- ) A Palestinian citizen of Israel and political and intellectual figure. Prior to his entry into political life, Bishara taught for ten years at Birzeit University in the West Bank, including heading the Philosophy and Cultural Studies Department from 1994-1996. A founder and member of the National Democratic Assembly party, known as Balad, Bishara was elected to the Israeli Knesset in 1996. Balad and Bishara called for Israel to be "a state for all its citizens," infuriating right-wing Jewish Israelis, who unsuccessfully sought to get Balad kicked out of the Knesset, on grounds that this slogan violated a law that upheld Israel's status as a state for the Jewish people. Bishara resigned from parliament in 2007 and, as of 2015, is in self-exile after Israel opened a criminal investigation against him, claiming that he offered information to Hezbollah during Israel's 2006 Lebanon War; Bishara has denied these accusations. In 2011, the Israeli parliament stripped him of his pension and other Parliamentary benefits after passing a law related to revoking citizenship that has been nicknamed "the Bishara Bill." He currently resides in Qatar and serves as the General Director of the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies. See "A lawmaker vanishes," The Economist, April 19, 2007; and "Knesset passes law revoking citizenship for treason," Jerusalem Post, Rebecca Ann Stoil, March 28, 2011.
A Hebrew acronym for National Democratic Assembly. Political party in the Israeli Knesset describing itself as a "democratic progressive national party for the Palestinian citizens of Israel." Balad, which was founded in 1995 by Azmi Bishara and other young, intellectual Palestinian citizens of Israel, seeks to transform the state of Israel into a democracy for all its citizens, regardless of religion, ethnic or national identity. Balad advocates for the recognition of Palestinians in Israel as a national minority entitled to group rights, including the right of cultural and educational autonomy. There have been numerous attempts from political factions in Israel (some successful, some not) to ban the party and several of its prominent members (such as Azmi Bishara and Haneen Zoabi) from parliamentary activity. See "Balad: A country of all its citizens, cultural autonomy for Arabs," Haaretz, Dec 23, 2002; and "Arab-Israeli politician Haneen Zoabi disqualified from re-election," Harriet Sherwood, The Guardian, December 19 2012.
A diplomatic declaration in the form of a letter, dated November 2, 1917, from British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Baron Rothschild, a leader of Britain's Jewish community. The letter expressed the British Government's support for "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people." The Declaration was at odds with British territorial commitments to the Arabs as laid out in the McMahon-Hussein correspondence, which seemed to pledge post-World War I Arab sovereignty over much of the region including Palestine. The Declaration was also at odds with the secret and concurrent Sykes-Picot Agreement between Britain, France, and Russia, which carved the Middle East into spheres of British and French influence and/or control. The Declaration was disapproved of by Palestinian Arabs who also had hopes for national independence. See the full text of the letter at "The Balfour Declaration," UNISPAL.
A Jewish Israeli of American origin. Goldstein was a follower of the late Jewish Israeli political figure Meir Kahane, whose Kach party was outlawed by the Israeli government. On February 25, 1994, Goldstein opened fire on Palestinian Muslims during Friday prayers in the Ibrahimi Mosque/Tomb of the Patriarchs. Located in the Old City of Hebron in the southern West Bank, this site is holy for both Muslims and Jews. In the incident known as the Goldstein Massacre, or the Hebron massacre, Goldstein killed 29 people before being subdued and killed by the worshipers themselves. See "1994: Jewish settler kills 30 at holy site," BBC's On This Day.
A set of laws adopted by the Israeli Knesset that were initially drafted in order to be part of an eventual constitution, which was never completed. These laws, which have been adopted over six decades, have often been legally regarded as a substitute for the non-existing constitution, and cover various subjects such as Jerusalem, ownership of land, the army, the state economy, the judiciary, human dignity and liberty and other essential legal matters. According to the Israeli parliament's website: "After all the basic laws will be enacted, they will constitute together, with an appropriate introduction and several general rulings, the constitution of the State of Israel." See "Basic Laws: Introduction," The Knesset, July 15, 2008.
Derived from the Arabic term "badawi" (Arabic for "desert-dweller"), Bedouin is a general name for Arab nomadic groups. There are Bedouin communities on both sides of the Green Line; predominantly in the Naqab/Negev desert, the South Hebron Hills, and the Jordan Valley. Once characterized by a nomadic and rural lifestyle, the Bedouins in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) have largely become sedentary as a result of Israeli government policies, which aimed to settle the Bedouin population in planned communities since the 1960's. Two major disputes between the Bedouin communities and the State of Israel persist: land ownership-many Bedouin do not have ownership papers for the land on which they have traditionally lived-and unrecognized villages, which Israel does not consider legal and therefore does not provide infrastructure or services. Israel's Bedouins are among the most impoverished and marginalized of Israeli citizens, and Bedouins both inside Israel and in the OPT face regularly face displacement and destruction of their villages. See "In Israel's Desert, A Fight for Land," Ben Lynfield, The Christian Science Monitor, February 20, 2003; and "Negev Bedouins - Info Sheet," The Association for Civil Rights in Israel, February 5, 2009; and "From Al-Araqib to Susiya: Adalah Releases New Film for Nakba Day" by Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, 2013.
(1949- ) A Jewish Israeli political figure. A long-time member of the Likud party, and considered one of Israel's most right-wing leaders. Netanyahu has served in numerous governmental positions, including Ambassador to the United Nations from 1984-1988, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1988-1991, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's cabinet from 1990-1991, Minister of Finance from 2003-2005 and Prime Minister from 1996-1999 and 2009 to the present, as of June 2015. During his long political career, he has participated in several peace processes with the Palestinians and Arab states, such as the 1991 Madrid Conference the signing of the 1998 Wye River Memorandum - part of the Oslo Process- with Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat in 1998, and more recent rounds of peace talks hosted by the United States; however, through most of this time he has rejected the principle of "land for peace." Only in June 2009 did Netanyahu first express support for the idea of a Palestinian state, on conditions that it be demilitarized, and formally recognize Israel as a Jewish state. He resigned from his position as Finance Minister to protest the 2005 Gaza Disengagement and has often vowed to continue building and expanding Israeli settlements located in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. See "There is no reason to trust Benjamin Netanyahu," Edo Konrad, +972Mag, March 19, 2015.
A civil war in Jordan from September 1970-July 1971, which began after several failed assassination attempts on the Jordanian king and the hijacking of three airplanes. The conflict centered on whether Jordan would be controlled by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) or the Hashemite monarchy. The Palestinian population in Jordan at that time comprised 60% of the entire populace. Thousands (predominantly Palestinians) were killed. King Hussein and the Jordanian Armed Forces were backed by the United States and Israel against the PLO, while Hussein's attacks on Palestinian fighters and civilians were seen as traitorous in the Arab world. The PLO leadership and thousands of Palestinian fighters were expelled from Jordan to Lebanon. The Black September Group, known best for its role in the murder of Israeli athletes during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, took its name from this event. See "1970: Civil war breaks out in Jordan," BBC "On This Day," September 17, 1970.
In 2005, Palestinian civil society called for a global campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions that would continue until Israel ends its military occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Palestinian refugees have the right of return and Palestinian citizens of Israel are accorded full equality with Jewish citizens of Israel. Boycott may include the boycott of goods, services, institutions, businesses and venues. The academic boycott targets professors speaking on behalf of Israeli academic institutions, while the cultural boycott includes the refusal of artists to perform in Israel and may also include the boycott of Israeli artists who are perceived as collaborating with the Israeli government in a campaign to whitewash the occupation. Divestment targets the shares held by pension plans and investment portfolios in Israeli and international corporations profiting from the Israeli occupation. Sanctions refer to economic sanctions against Israel as a state. Within the global movement, some groups only focus on targeting goods produced in Israeli settlements or divesting from companies that contribute to settlement construction or military operations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. For a full explanation of the movement from one of its founders, see "BDS: Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights," Omar Barghouti, Haymarket Books, 2011; and see the BDS Movement website. For a perspective on Academic and Cultural Boycott, see also the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel website. For a perspective that endorses boycotting only settlement products and that is against sanctions, see "APN Weighs in on BDS, Criticism of Israel," Ori Nir, Americans for Peace Now, April 23, 2010.
The administrative, diplomatic and military mandate by Britain over Palestine between 1923 and 1947. Following World War I and the defeat of the Ottoman Empire, France and Britain set out to delineate spheres of influence/control in the Middle East. The mandate for Palestine was one of a number of mandates in the Middle East designed to formalize British and French administration in the newly formed countries of Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Transjordan and Palestine. The British Mandate over Palestine was approved by the League of Nations Council on July 24, 1922, and declared official as of September 29, 1923. The mandate continued until 1947, when Britain sought the aid of the United Nations in determining the fate of the territory, which at that time was hotly disputed by both Zionist and Palestinian nationalists, evidenced by protests and rising militancy on both sides. British de facto rule in Palestine lasted from December 1917 to June 1948. See "The Avalon Project," Yale Law School; and A Country Study: Israel, Library of Congress, June 19, 2011.
A Palestinian village in the central West Bank located 31 km northwest of the city of Ramallah and just east of the Green Line. Est. population in 2007: 1,399. Starting in 2003, Budrus held weekly protests against the construction of Israel's Separation Barrier whose original path designated it to cut through the village; after ten months of nonviolent demonstrations, the Barrier was re-routed. Budrus is also the name of a Just Vision film, telling the story of the village's struggle.
Refers to roads in the West Bank that connect Jewish Israeli settlements to each other and to Israel and are reserved for use of Israeli citizens or residents. These roads either had been Palestinian roads that connected major Palestinian cities or are newly-built roads that bypass Palestinian areas. See "Forbidden Roads: Israel's Discriminatory Road Regime in the West Bank," B'Tselem, August 2004. See also infographic "Segregated Road System," Visualizing Palestine.
An American presidential getaway in Maryland, U.S. In the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict, two significant events took place at Camp David, often referred to as Camp David I and Camp David II. At Camp David I (September 1978), Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin reached a bilateral agreement, with assistance and pressure from American President Jimmy Carter. The agreement stipulated that Israel would return the Sinai Peninsula in exchange for recognition from and peace with Egypt, thereby establishing a precedent for "land-for-peace" negotiations. In addition, the agreement called for talks between Israel, Jordan, Egypt and Palestinian representatives to create a framework for negotiations regarding the status of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. This element of the agreement was never implemented. Camp David II refers to meetings between Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and American President Bill Clinton in the summer of 2000 over "final status" issues of the Oslo Process, such as the settlements, Jerusalem, Palestinian statehood, the rights of Palestinian refugees, water, and final borders. Negotiations broke down and no agreement was reached. The collapse of the talks is commonly seen as being a major factor in the outbreak of the Second Intifada, which occurred soon thereafter. For more on Camp David I, see "Carter's Greatest Legacy: The Camp David Negotiations," Betty Glad, PBS. For more on Camp David II, see "Camp David: The Tragedy of Errors," Robert Malley and Hussein Agha, New York Review of Books, Aug 9 2001.
Roadblocks or military installations used by military forces to control and restrict pedestrian movement and vehicle traffic. The Israeli army makes widespread use of checkpoints in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) in order to control the movement of Palestinians between Palestinian cities within the OPT the and between the OPT and Israel. Checkpoints can be large, semi-permanent structures resembling border crossings, such as the Qalandia checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem or the Hawara checkpoint, formerly between Nablus and Ramallah, or smaller barriers on roadways or at the entrance of Palestinian villages. There are also temporary checkpoints, often referred to as "flying" checkpoints. There have been (or currently still are) checkpoints at the entry and exit points of most large Palestinian populated areas in the West Bank, on every major road within the West Bank, and at every crossing point between Israel and the OPT, in addition to many smaller checkpoints within the West Bank. The Israeli military forces at a checkpoint exercise total control over movement through the checkpoint, including the authority to check the identity papers of every driver, passenger and/or pedestrian who wishes to pass through. At certain checkpoints, soldiers refuse passage to all who have not obtained Israeli-issued permits. Palestinians and Israeli observers cite frequent incidences of delay and harassment of Palestinian civilians at checkpoints, regardless of the status of their papers. According to the Israeli Army, a checkpoint is a "security mechanism to prevent the passage of terrorists from Palestinian Authority (PA) territory into Israel while maintaining both Israeli and Palestinian daily routine," used to "facilitate rapid passage of Palestinians while providing maximal security to Israeli citizens." Palestinians consider the checkpoints a major obstacle to daily life as the checkpoints prevent freedom of movement in their territory. For facts, figures and maps, see Machsom Watch's website and "West Bank Movement and Access," UNOCHA, June 2010. See also infographic "Born at Qalandia Checkpoint," Visualizing Palestine.
Located in the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem's Old City, the site is believed to mark the hill of crucifixion and the tomb of Jesus' burial. The present church dates from the time of Crusader rule, re-consecrated in 1149 CE, and is a major pilgrimage center for Christians around the world. See the church's official website.
Located in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, the church is considered by many to mark the birthplace of Jesus and is a primary Christian pilgrimage destination. This building is the oldest standing church in the Holy Land, and oldest Christian church in daily use. On April 2, 2002, Israeli forces entered Bethlehem as part of "Operation Defensive Shield." As fighting erupted between Palestinian gunmen and the Israeli army, a group of civilians and militants, including 13 who Israel considered to be on their most-wanted list, took refuge in the Church of the Nativity. The Israeli Army laid siege to the church, surrounding it and engaging in occasional skirmishes with militants inside the church compound. The standoff, which lasted 39 days, ended with 13 militants sent into exile, 26 gunmen taken to Gaza, and 85 policemen, local civilians and international peace activists released. In 2012, the church became UNESCO's first World Heritage Site to be listed under the name Palestine and is also on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Danger. See "Church siege ending after 39 days," The Guardian, May 10, 2002; and see information about The Freedom Theatre's 2015 play "The Siege." See also UNESCO's website; and "UNESCO: Nativity Church heritage site in "Palestine" Tovah Lazaroff, The Jerusalem Post, June 29, 2012.
Established by Israel in 1981 by military order as a part of the Israeli Defense Ministry, the Civil Administration currently oversees all civil matters for Jewish Israeli settlers and Palestinian residents in Area C of the West Bank, as well as some administrative matters for Palestinians living in other areas of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Before the Oslo Accords, the Civil Administration was the governing body in all the Occupied Palestinian Territories; since 1994, most of its functions have been transferred to the Palestinian Authority for civil matters in Areas A and B. Today, the Civil Administration primarily is responsible for issuing travel permits from the West Bank and Gaza to Israel and within the West Bank, work permits for Palestinians entering Israel to work, in addition to any kind of construction permits or demolitions in Israeli settlements and on Palestinian land in Area C. For more on the Civil Administration's construction permit and house demolition practices, see "Israel: Halt Home Demolitions," Human Rights Watch, June 23, 2011.
An area of land in the West Bank that the Israeli military declares off-limits to anyone but the Israeli military and those they allow to remain in the area, or those with permits issued by the Israeli authorities. These zones often encompass or are located near the Separation Barrier, Jewish Israeli settlements and/or Israeli military outposts. The Israeli military can also declare an area to be a Closed Military Zone for a short period of time, which often happens in villages/cities/areas where Palestinian protests are taking place, at Israeli military checkpoints and in areas where altercations have happened between Jewish Israeli settlers and Palestinians. See "Access Denied: Israeli measure to deny Palestinians access to land around settlements," B'Tselem, September 2008. For examples of temporary closed military zones, see "Hebron declared a closed military zone," Efrat Weiss, Ynet News, January 17, 2006; and "IDF declares West Bank protest villages a 'closed military zone'," Amira Hass, Haaretz, March 15, 2010.
Closures are imposed by the Israeli army by and large on Palestinians in order to restrict movement in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.These restrictions include physical structures such as military checkpoints, and Israeli-enforced orders such as closed military zones and curfews. Israel says that closures are necessary to prevent attacks against Israeli citizens, while Palestinians point to the illegality and discrimination of such closures and their damaging effect on normal life and movement. See "West Bank Closure count and analysis, occupied Palestinian territory," United Nations Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Sept 2006.
Frequently used to describe Palestinians who work for Israeli intelligence agencies in gathering information about other Palestinians. Israel often provides these Palestinians with financial compensation, travel privileges and/or protection. The reasons motivating Palestinian collaboration with Israel differ, but many Palestinians have become collaborators as a result of blackmail tactics and other forms of pressure by Israeli operatives. In several cases, Palestinian militant groups have killed Palestinians suspected of being collaborators. Many collaborators have moved to live inside Israel because of fear for their lives. See "The Phenomenon of Collaborators in Palestine." PASSIA, August 22, 2011.
(Maki is a Hebrew Acronym for "HaMiflega HaKomunistit HaYisraelit" or "Communist Party of Israel"). Founded in 1948, this Israeli political party developed from the remnants of the Communist Party of pre-1948 Palestine. It has both Jewish and Palestinian membership, although the latter more than the former. It was one of the first Israeli groups to establish contact abroad with individuals active in the Palestinian resistance and to actively recruit Palestinian citizens of Israel as members. The Communist Party of Israel held seats in the Israeli Knesset until 1974 when the party split, leading to the formation of the New Communist List (Rakah). Rakah became the leading faction within the coalition of Hadash (the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality), which has held seats in the parliament since 1974. In 1989, Rakah changed its name to Maki, thus taking back the name of the original Communist Party of Israel. See the party's website.
(Maki is a Hebrew Acronym for "HaMiflega HaKomunistit HaYisraelit" or "Communist Party of Israel"). Founded in 1948, this Israeli political party developed from the remnants of the Communist Party of pre-1948 Palestine. It has both Jewish and Palestinian membership, although the latter more than the former. It was one of the first Israeli groups to establish contact abroad with individuals active in the Palestinian resistance and to actively recruit Palestinian citizens of Israel as members. The Communist Party of Israel held seats in the Israeli Knesset until 1974 when the party split, leading to the formation of the New Communist List (Rakah). Rakah became the leading faction within the coalition of Hadash (the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality), which has held seats in the parliament since 1974. In 1989, Rakah changed its name to Maki, thus taking back the name of the original Communist Party of Israel. See the party's website.
(1886-1973) A Jewish Israeli political figure. Of Polish origin, Ben-Gurion immigrated to Palestine in 1906. Known as "Israel's founding father," Ben-Gurion was a key figure in the establishment of the State of Israel. Prior to Israel's establishment, Ben-Gurion was the head of the World Zionist Organization, secretary-general of the Jewish trade union Histadrut, and chairman of the Jewish Agency, making him the de-facto leader of the Jewish population in Palestine. It was Ben-Gurion who proclaimed Israel's independence on May 14 1948, and he became Israel's first and longest serving Prime Minister (1948-1953 and 1955-1963) as a member of the Mapai party, which later became the Labor party. Ben-Gurion was largely responsible for breaking up the different Jewish militia groups and merging them into one unified army. Ben-Gurion spearheaded an active campaign to bring Diaspora Jews to Israel, greatly increasing Israel's Jewish population in the first five years of its existence. Ben-Gurion's policies during the 1948 War were also responsible for much of the depopulation and destruction of Palestinian villages. Ben-Gurion led Israel, alongside France and the UK, to the 1956 War with Egypt. Documents released in 2015 have revealed overtly racist statements from Ben-Gurion, both towards Arabs and Mizrahi Jews. See "Newly released documents show a darker side of Ben-Gurion," Gidi Weitz, Ha'aretz, April 24, 2015. See also "What Israeli Historians Say about the 1948 Ethnic Cleansing," Charley Reese, the Orlando Sentinel, September 1999.
A salt lake that borders Jordan, Israel and the West Bank, known for its high salt and mineral content. The lake is a popular tourist and spa destination. The Dead Sea's shores are the lowest point on the surface of the earth on dry land, and the sea itself is rapidly shrinking, primarily due to the diversion of incoming water from the Jordan River, a phenomenon that has concerned Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian authorities. The mud and mineral-based compounds from the Dead Sea are used in beauty products of the Israeli company Ahava, who manufactures the products in an Israeli settlement on the coast of the Dead Sea, expropriating resources from the Occupied Palestinian Territories in violation of international law. As Ahava products are manufactured in a settlement, there have been calls to boycott them, led by group Code Pink, and others. South African activists have also led calls to remove misleading labels on Ahava products as being from Israel, as opposed to the labeling making it clear that Ahava is produced in occupied territory. See "Dead Sea neighbours agree to pipeline to pump water from Red Sea," Harriet Sherwood, The Guardian, December 9, 2013.
Formerly a Palestinian village of approximately 600-700 people outside of Jerusalem, which was the site of a massacre that occurred during the 1948 War. In the pre-dawn hours of April 9, 120 Jewish paramilitary fighters from the Irgun and Stern/Lehi Gang attacked the village during an operation meant to open the main road connecting Jerusalem to Tel Aviv. The attack was unexpectedly resisted by the villagers, leading to a fierce gun battle. Ultimately, approximately 100 villagers were killed, a great many of them unarmed, among them women and children. Five Jewish fighters were also killed. The nature of the killings remains a source of controversy. Many Israelis maintain that those killed were fighters or were killed as a result of house-to-house combat, and that the paramilitary groups issued warnings to the civilians in the village to flee. However, multiple sources (including survivors from Deir Yassin and eyewitnesses from the Jewish forces) state that while some the villagers were killed during the fighting (many by hand grenades thrown/automatic gunfire sprayed into houses before fighters entered, and from houses being dynamited with people still inside) many others were killed execution-style after the fighting had ended. There are reports that some villagers may have been killed after they were taken prisoner and paraded through West Jerusalem. Though these accounts differ, stories of bodies being dumped in the nearby quarry have been part of numerous first-person accounts. Widespread looting of the village took place after the fighting ended, and there are reports (some by international observers who entered the village or interviewed survivors in the days following the attacks) that mutilations and sexual assaults had occurred. Rumors of the massacre and the related atrocities created terror among Palestinian villagers, and were a central catalyst of the flight of many Palestinians. In addition to contributing to the Palestinian refugee crisis, the massacre led to a full-scale invasion from surrounding Arab countries. The village was entirely depopulated and in 1949, the Israeli neighborhood of Givat Sha'ul Bet was built on the remains of Deir Yassin. For many Palestinians, the Deir Yassin massacre has come to symbolize the Nakba. The only remaining buildings of the original Deir Yassin are now the Kfar Shaul Mental Health Center. See "The Historiography of Deir Yassin," Benny Morris, Journal of Israeli History: Politics, Society, Culture, Volume 24 Issue 1, 2005. See also "A massacre of Arabs masked by a state of national amnesia," Catrina Stewart, The Independent, May 10, 2010; and "In Pictures: Remembering Deir Yassin," Rich Wiles, Al Jazeera English, April 16, 2014.
The term Diaspora refers to communities of peoples living outside of their homeland. It was most commonly used to refer to the Jewish community in exile, particularly referring to the dispersion of Jews from Biblical Israel beginning in 586 BCE with the destruction of the First Temple. It is more recently used to refer to any large community in exile or in dispersion. Palestinians in exile (who were dispersed/exiled in waves which include Palestinian Christians leaving Ottoman-controlled Palestine, the 1948 War, and the 1967 War) are often called "diaspora" though there are some who feel that use of the word obscures Palestinians' status as refugees and their right to return to Palestine. See "A Shared Blessing for a Far-Flung People: 'At Home in Exile,' on the Jewish Diaspora, by Alan Wolfe," Michael Roth, The New York Times, Oct 26, 2014. See also "Rethinking the Palestinians Abroad as a Diaspora: The Relationships between the Diaspora and the Palestinian Territories," Sari Hanafi, The Palestinian Refugee and Diaspora Center, 2003; and "The Role of the Palestinian Diaspora," by Nadia Hijab, Khalil Hindi, Aziz Khalidi, Jaber Suleiman, and Antoine Zahlan. Al-Shabaka, 2010; and Palestinian Diaspora in Transnational Worlds: Intergenerational Differences in Negotiating Identity, Belonging and Home by Ismat Zaidan, Birzeit University, 2012.
Also known as District Coordination and Liaison Office (DCL), DCOs are Israeli-Palestinian military coordination offices established as part of the 1994 Gaza-Jericho Agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. DCOs were established in each district of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with the Israeli military office on one side of each DCO compound and the Palestinian security forces on the other. The offices aim to coordinate and monitor the movement of Palestinians in and out of, and within, the West Bank and Gaza. Since the Gaza-Jericho Agreement, the Palestinian civilian population has been required to apply at their local DCO, working in tandem with the Israeli Civil Administration, for permits to enter Israel, or to move between Areas A, B and C in the West Bank. The Gaza-Jericho Agreement also mandated high levels of communication between the DCOs of each side. See Israeli military webpage showing where the DCOs are located.
A mosque/shrine located on the Haram Al-Sharif (The Noble Sanctuary) in the Old City of Jerusalem and adjacent to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Western Wall. Its significance stems from the Prophet Muhammad's night journey and ascension into heaven from the rock over which the Dome of Rock was built, commemorated in Surah 17 verse 1 of the Qur'an. A mosque was first built on the site by Umar Bin Al Khattab, the second caliph of Islam, in the year 638 CE, and another was built in its place in 691 CE. See The Noble Sanctuary Online Guide.
A distinct ethno-religious group that resides primarily in Syria and Lebanon, with smaller communities in northern Israel and Jordan. The Druze population's religion stems from an eleventh century offshoot of Shi'a Islam, and originated in Cairo. Considered by the Druze to be a new interpretation of the three main monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) as well as incorporating elements from Gnosticism, Neoplatonism, and Pythagoreanism, the Druze religion is secret, closed to converts, and includes the notion of reincarnation. The Druze population in Israel in 2009 was 124,300. Unlike most other Arabic-speaking citizens of Israel, Druze citizens are required by Israeli law to serve in the army. The Druze population in Israel maintains that they are discriminated against with regard to welfare services, development assistance and appointment to senior official positions. However, the vast majority of the Druze community in the Golan Heights, which was captured from Syria by Israel in the 1967 war, considers themselves Syrians (less than 10% have accepted Israeli citizenship) and are not drafted into the Israeli army. See "In the Golan Heights, Anxious Eyes Look East," Isabel Kershner, The New York Times, May 21, 2011.
A measure of land dating from and still used in much of the former Ottoman Empire, including Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). The measurement varies from place to place, but in Israel and the OPT, a dunam is equivalent to roughly 1,000 square meters. See definition on Middle East About website.
In 2006, excavations by the Israeli Antiquities Authority near the Al-Aqsa mosque sparked protests by Palestinians, as well as Muslims worldwide. Israeli officials said the digging near the mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem was necessary to rebuild and strengthen an access ramp to Mughrabi Gate, while certain Islamic authorities charged that Israel was undermining the foundations of the Al-Aqsa mosque. Though the excavations were under the access ramp of the Mughrabi Gate which leads to Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount, the name Dung Gate Excavations was given due to its proximity to the Dung Gate entrance to the Old City. See "Olmert: Muslim opposition won't deter Jerusalem excavation," Gideon Alon, Jonathan Lis, Yoav Stern and Jack Khoury, Haaretz, February 13, 2007; and "Work starts near Jerusalem shrine," BBC, February 6, 2007.
Derived from "East 1" and also known as Mevaseret Adumim. An area within Ma'aleh Adumim, the largest Jewish Israeli settlement in the central West Bank. Located just east of the Jerusalem municipal boundary and bordering the Palestinian towns of Anata, Abu Dis, Azariya and Zayim, E1 covers approximately 12 sq. km and includes enclaves of private, Palestinian-owned land. In 2004, non-government-sanctioned construction began in E1 , which was later halted by pressure from the United States and the international community. Despite objections that building in E1 violated both international law and the terms of the 2003 Road Map to peace, Israel drew up plans in 2005 for over 3,000 residential buildings in E1 and later moved the West Bank (Judea & Samaria in official Israeli parlance) Police Headquarters to the area. The E1 building plans do not mention the Palestinian land enclaves and Israel has already built several roads within those enclaves. Supporters of E1 construction often site the natural growth needs of Ma'aleh Adumim as well as the need to create a contiguous and undivided Jerusalem area, while critics decry the construction as pushing out Palestinians and taking East Jerusalem off the negotiating table as a future Palestinian capital by creating "facts on the ground." Following Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's November 30, 2012 announcement to construct settlement expansion in Maale Adumim and in E1 , Palestinians and international activists created Bab al-Shams (a Palestinian encampment on E1 land) in January 2013 as a form of nonviolent protest, creating their own "facts on the ground." The Jahalin Bedouin tribe, originally refugees from the Negev/Naqab, also live in E1 , and have had their homes demolished by the Israeli army, in preparation for the settlement expansion. See "The Hidden Agenda: The Establishment and Expansion Plans of Ma'ale Adummim and their Human Rights Ramifications," Nir Shalev, B'Tselem and Bimkom, December 2009. See also "When Palestinians Use Settler Tactics: A Beleaguered Netanyahu Responds," Karl Vick, Time Magazine, Jan 14, 2013; and the Jahalin Association website.
East Jerusalem is a term used to signify the part of Jerusalem that came under Israeli occupation after the 1967 war, as opposed to the part of Jerusalem that has been under Israeli control since the 1948 war, which is often referred to as "West Jerusalem." The Green Line separates East and West Jerusalem. The terms "East" and "West" Jerusalem can be problematic both geographically and politically. They are geographically confusing as some of the Jerusalem neighborhoods that are considered East Jerusalem, such as Shu'afat and Beit Hanina, are actually in the northern part of the city; whereas others, such as Beit Safafa, are in the south of Jerusalem. The term can also be problematic politically, as "East" Jerusalem is in the minds of many synonymous with Palestinian/ Jerusalem and "West" Jerusalem with Israeli or Jewish Jerusalem, whereas in reality there are many neighborhoods in "West" Jerusalem that had been Palestinian neighborhoods or villages before the Nakba, which Palestinians still profess the right to return to. However, referring to the city as Jerusalem, without specifying which side of the Green Line, could be taken to support Israel's claim that Jerusalem will be its eternal, undivided capital. Most of the residents of the city refer to their city simply as "Jerusalem." In this glossary as well as in other materials, Just Vision uses the term "East Jerusalem" in order to specify the areas of Jerusalem occupied and annexed after the 1967 war, and in order to highlight the situation facing Palestinian residents of those areas. Jerusalem Palestinians have a status that is different from Palestinians in the West Bank or Gaza and Palestinian citizens of Israel. They pay Jerusalem municipal taxes, receive municipal services and Israeli health insurance, and carry a blue (Israeli) ID (as opposed to Palestinians in the rest of the West Bank who carry a green ID card) but they are not Israeli citizens. Palestinian residents of Jerusalem are able to travel freely throughout the West Bank and Israel, which is prohibited to Palestinians living in other parts of the Occupied Palestinian Territories. There has been much documentation about systemic discrimination faced by Palestinian residents of Jerusalem, who comprise 37% of the city's population yet receive only 10% of the municipal budget. Numerous restrictions are placed on Palestinian Jerusalemites that do not apply to Israeli citizens or Jewish permanent residents, include losing residency status if living abroad (or in the West Bank) for longer than seven years, or if unable to prove that the center of their life is in Jerusalem. Between 1967 and 2009, the Israeli government revoked Jerusalem residency from 13,115 Palestinians. Jewish Israeli communities have been built throughout East Jerusalem since 1967. According to international law, these communities are settlements. In recent years, religious Jewish Israeli settlers have been taking over Palestinian homes in several areas of East Jerusalem (such as Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan), displacing the residents. This encroachment has typically been backed by the Israeli military/police forces and court system. For more information about discrimination in Jerusalem, including the denial of building permits and home demolitions, see "Jerusalem by the numbers: Poverty, segregation and discrimination," Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man, +972Mag, May 28, 2014, and "East Jerusalem," B'tselem. For more about the takeover of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem and the protest movement that developed in response, see Just Vision's short film, "My Neighborhood."
(1935-2003) A leading intellectual figure in the Palestinian Diaspora/refugee community and in the international discourse about Israel/Palestine. Said was a prominent literary critic and professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University in New York. A prolific author, he is known for his anti-colonialist and anti-Orientalist writings. He also commonly wrote and spoke out about the Palestinian cause, the abuses caused by Israeli occupation, his opposition to the Oslo Process and his criticism of the governance of Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat. See "Obituary: Edward Said," Malise Ruthven, The Guardian, September 26, 2003.
(1942- ) A Jewish Israeli military and political figure. Barak joined the Israeli army in 1959, reaching the position of Chief of Staff - Israel's top military leader - in 1991. As Chief of Staff, he was involved in finalizing the Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty in 1994 as well as implementing the 1994 Gaza-Jericho agreement as part of the Oslo Accords. A member of the Labor party, Barak entered politics in 1995 and first served as Minister of the Interior and then Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1995-1996. He was elected Prime Minister of Israel in 1999 and participated in the Camp David II Talks with the Palestinian Authority in the summer of 2000, the failure of which ultimately led (according to many analysts) to the outbreak of the Second Intifada. Barak left politics for four years after the Likud party's Ariel Sharon defeated him in special prime ministerial elections in February 2001. In June 2007, he was elected to head the Labor party and was appointed Minister of Defense. Barak broke away from the Labor party in 2011, along with four other Labor party ministers, to form the Independence party. Barak announced his departure from electoral politics in November 2012. See "Ehud Barak quits Israel's Labour to form new party," BBC, January 17, 2011.
(1945- ) A Jewish Israeli political figure. A long-time member of the Likud party he left Likud in 2006 to help form the Kadima party after Israel's Gaza Disengagement. Olmert has served in both municipal and national governmental positions, including parliament member from 1973-1993, Mayor of Jerusalem from 1993-2003 and Prime Minister from 2006-2009. During his tenure as Prime Minister, he oversaw the 2006 Lebanon War, his handling of which was sharply criticized, took part in the 2007 Annapolis Conference, and ordered the 2008 Gaza War. Olmert stepped down as Kadima party leader in July 2008 due to corruption allegations and officially left his post as Prime Minister in February 2009. He was indicted on multiple corruption charges and in 2012; he was convicted on one count of "breach of trust" and acquitted on two fraud counts. In 2014, he was convicted of bribery and sentenced to prison for six years. See "Profile: Ehud Olmert," BBC, August 20, 2009; and "Israel ex-PM Ehud Olmert jailed for six years for bribery," BBC, May 13, 2014.
(1940-2001) A Palestinian political figure, al-Husseini was active in Fatah and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as well as numerous other organizations, including the Arab Studies Society, the Higher Islamic Council, the Palestine Human Rights Information Center and the Orient House. Al-Husseini was long engaged in resisting Israeli occupation, which resulted in his receiving travel bans, house arrest, imprisonment and administrative detention by successive Israeli governments. He was willing to hold talks with Israelis when the official position of the PLO was still armed struggle, earning him praise from some quarters and criticism from others. Al-Husseini was the first prominent Palestinian to hold talks with a senior Israeli Likud party politician (Moshe Amirav) in September 1987, and was instrumental in launching the 1991 Madrid Conference. He served as the PLO representative to Jerusalem/Palestinian Authority Minister in charge of Jerusalem Affairs beginning in the mid-1990's until his death in 2001 from a heart attack. See "Faisal Husseini Obituary," The Guardian, June 1, 2001.
(Arabic for "victory" and a reverse acronym for "Harakat al-Tahrir al-Watani al-Filistani" or "Palestinian National Liberation Movement"). The largest Palestinian political party, Fatah currently governs the West Bank and is the dominant faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Yasser Arafat, among other Palestinian leaders, founded Fatah in 1959 as a secular Palestinian national liberation movement. It began paramilitary operations in 1964, and assumed the leadership of the PLO in 1968. During the Oslo Process, it became identified as the chief proponent of a negotiated, two-state solution. In 2006, the rival Hamas party's victory in the Palestinian legislative elections resulted in the end of Fatah's political dominance. The events that followed resulted in the Hamas-Fatah conflict, which led to Fatah assuming political leadership of the West Bank and Hamas in control of Gaza Strip. Fatah signed a unity agreement with Hamas (Fatah-Hamas unity agreements) in May 2011, but implementation stalled. A new agreement to establish a unity government was signed in April 2014. See Fatah's website.
Multiple Fatah-Hamas unity agreements have been attempted to unify the two Palestinian political factions, one of which (Hamas) has been governing the Gaza Strip since 2007, the other of which (Fatah) has been governing the West Bank. The Hamas-Fatah conflict, which led to the political split between the West Bank and Gaza, began when Hamas achieved an unexpected victory in Palestinian legislative elections in January 2006, challenged Fatah's longtime dominance of the political scene. Fatah was not prepared to cede power or control. In February 2007, after a long political standoff and several violent clashes, Fatah and Hamas accepted the Saudi-brokered Mecca Accords and entered a short-lived unity government. It was dissolved in June 2007 when Hamas foiled an American-backed Fatah coup against it and wrested control of the Gaza Strip. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas dismantled the unity government, calling for a state of emergency in the Fatah-dominated West Bank. For years an emergency Fatah-dominated government remained in control of the West Bank and Hamas ran its own government in the Gaza Strip. Both parties signed a unity agreement in Cairo in April 2011, but implementation stalled. In April 2014, a new reconciliation agreement was reached and an interim technocratic unity government was sworn in in June 2014. As of May 2015, progress on the unity government continues to falter, with each side accusing the other of undermining the unity deal. See "The Gaza Bombshell," David Rose, Vanity Fair, April 2008. See also "Fatah-Hamas agreement gives unity government control over Gaza," Shadi Bushra, Reuters, Sept 25, 2014.
(Arabic for "Those who are ready to sacrifice themselves for a cause.") Refers to several distinct, primarily Arab groups at different times in history, which adopted the idea of armed resistance. In the Palestinian context, used especially to describe those guerilla units operating mainly against Israel and the Israeli occupation.
("Intifada" is Arabic for "shaking off.") The term became the universal name for the Palestinian uprising that began spontaneously on December 9, 1987 in Gaza and quickly spread to the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The first mass popular uprising against Israel's occupation, the First Intifada quickly developed popular committees operating under the umbrella of a unified, central leadership and involved coordinated strikes, boycotts, demonstrations and other acts of civil disobedience. Women played a central (though under-documented) role in the First Intifada, which was largely an unarmed struggle, particularly during the first eighteen months, with stone-throwing youth becoming the symbol of the resistance. There were, however, some attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians involving weapons and Molotov cocktails. The Israeli military was unable to quell the rebellion, although they implemented a harsh "break their bones" policy under Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin, involving widespread arrests, beatings and use of live ammunition against civilians. Intra-Palestinian violence was a grim feature of the intifada, with rivalry growing between the different Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Islamic resistance factions, and many Palestinians were killed as alleged collaborators with Israel. The intifada officially ended when Israel and the PLO formally recognized each other in 1993 and co-launched the Oslo Process. See "A Quiet Revolution: The First Palestinian Intifada and Nonviolent Resistance," Mary Elizabeth King, Nation Books, 2007; and "The Intifada," MERIP, November 12, 2011. See also the 2015 documentary film, directed by Amer Shomali and Paul Cowan and presented by Just Vision, "The Wanted 18."
(1918-1970) President of Egypt from 1954-1970. Nasser came to power following the 1952 Free Officers' Coup in Egypt. As Egyptian President, he oversaw two regional wars with Israel, including the 1956 War in connection to the Suez Canal and the 1967 War, during which Israel captured the Sinai Peninsula, claiming it as a buffer zone. Nasser engaged in military action against the Israeli presence in the Sinai until his acceptance of the US-brokered Rogers Plan in 1970 that promised a return of the Sinai if Egypt ended hostilities with Israel; Israel, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and many Arab countries rejected this plan. Nasser was also well known for his socialist and pan-Arab ideas, his harsh policies toward the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and his support of the PLO. See "Gamal Abdal Nasser," International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, 2008.
Also known as the Gaza Siege. After Hamas' takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007, Israel, with cooperation from Egypt and the Palestinian Authority (PA), initiated a heightened land, air and sea blockade of the Gaza Strip, at times closing all border crossings. Israel has stated that its blockade is for security, restricting entry of goods that can also be employed for military use and thus lessening rocket attacks into southern Israel. Multiple documents and comments, however, have revealed other motivations for the blockade, including keeping Gaza near economic collapse, and using economic warfare against Hamas as a form of pressure. The Fatah-dominated PA has quietly supported the blockade as a way to weaken Hamas. The International Committee of the Red Cross, the United Nations, and multiple human rights organizations have referred to the blockade as a form of collective punishment on all Gazans, and a violation of international humanitarian law. The blockade has led to a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, with the United Nations reporting in May 2010 that 61% of Gazans are "food insecure" and 80% of Gazan households rely on some kind of food aid. The economy, education, medical care, agriculture and fishing industries have worsened, in some cases reaching near-collapse. There have been times when the blockade has eased, such as after cease-fire agreements ending hostilities in the Gaza Wars, and after the Gaza Flotilla incident (2010), but control over what gets in and out remains in Israeli hands, as does control over sea borders, airspace, and all but one land crossing. See "Farming without Land, Fishing without Water: Gaza Agriculture Sector Struggles to Survive," UNISPAL, May 2010; "The Punishment of Gaza," Gideon Levy, Verso, New York, 2010; and "Guide: Gaza under blockade," BBC, July 6, 2010. See also "Israel said would keep Gaza near collapse: WikiLeaks" Reuters, January 5, 2011; and "Israeli document: Gaza blockade isn't about security," Sheera Frenkel, McClatchy DC, June 9, 2010. See also the infographic, " Besieged: The Economic Impact of the Israeli Siege on Gaza," Visualizing Palestine.
Also known as the Pull Out, the Withdrawal, the Evacuation, and "HaHitnatkut" in Hebrew. It refers to Israel's unilateral withdrawal of all 21 Jewish Israeli settlements that were in the Gaza Strip and a removal of the Israeli army's permanent presence from Gaza (and from four settlements in a small section of the Northern West Bank) in August-September of 2005. The plan generated immense controversy in Israel, and was considered unforgivable treason by the settlement community, especially since its main proponent, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, had been a chief advocate for and implementer of settlements in the West Bank and Gaza since 1967. Many settlers engaged in passive (and some active) resistance, but an immense Israeli army presence allowed the disengagement to proceed smoothly. In total, some 8,000 settlers were evacuated from Gaza as part of the plan. Despite Palestinian offers, Israel refused to coordinate the withdrawal officially with the Palestinian Authority, though some informal coordination did take place. Israel currently maintains control over Gaza's air space, land borders (aside from the 12 kilometer border between Gaza and Egypt) and coastline. Israel points out that Palestinians are continuing attacks despite the withdrawal, while Palestinians argue that Israeli control of Gaza's borders means the disengagement cannot be considered a true withdrawal, especially given Israel's Gaza blockade. Under international law, Israel remains the occupying power. See "Israel: 'Disengagement' Will Not End Gaza Occupation," Human Rights Watch, Oct 29, 2004. For a text of the Knesset's April 2004 declaration outlining the plan, see "Disengagement Plan of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon."
Organized by an international coalition called the Free Gaza Movement, the Gaza Flotillas are groups of boats that sail to the Gaza Strip with the goal of breaking the Gaza blockade, bringing in humanitarian aid and construction materials, and raising awareness about the illegality (based on international law) and humanitarian effects of the siege. Since August 2008, nine flotillas have set out for Gaza, often carrying politicians, journalists, and celebrities alongside international activists. On May 31, 2010, Israeli naval commandos boarded four Gaza-bound flotilla boats and ensuing clashes on one boat led to the deaths of nine Turkish flotilla passengers (one of whom was also a U.S. citizen), in addition to the arrests of hundreds more. Israel stated that it had a right to stop the flotilla from entering Israeli-controlled waters and that the commandos responded violently only after being attacked by the activists. The Free Gaza Movement reproached Israel for boarding the boats in international waters and subsequent investigations by the United Nations and the Turkish government questioned Israel's proportionate use of force against the activists. The Free Gaza Movement continued to organize and send flotillas after the 2010 incident. See "Report of the international fact-finding mission to investigate violations of international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law, resulting from the Israeli attacks on the flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian assistance," United Nations Human Rights Council, September 27, and "Israeli convoy raid: What went wrong?" Paul Reynolds, BBC, June 2, 2010. See also the Free Gaza Movement's website.
A Palestinian territory located on the Mediterranean Coast and bordering the northern Egyptian Sinai Peninsula to the south and southern Israel to the north and east. Est. population in 2007 according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics: 1,415,543. The territory was under Egyptian military rule from 1948-1967, followed by Israeli occupation. In 1994, the newly formed Palestinian Authority (PA) was granted limited self-government in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli military remained in Gaza, retaining responsibility for external and internal security as well as for administration of Jewish Israeli settlements; these settlements and Israeli military facilities were evacuated by the Israeli government in 2005 in what is known as the Gaza Disengagement. Israel still maintains control over Gaza's air space, and land and sea borders, and has heightened an ongoing Gaza blockade of the enclave since 2007. Israel continues to launch military operations within Gaza, including the Gaza Wars of 2008/9, 2012, and 2014. The enclave has been effectively ruled by Hamas since the 2007 Hamas-Fatah conflict. A unity government agreement with the Fatah-dominated PA was reached in 2014, but as of May 2015, it has yet to be meaningfully implemented. See "Gaza Strip," B'tselem.
Though Palestinian-dug tunnels between Egypt's Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip have been in existence since the 1990s with the purpose of smuggling in goods and arms, tunnel activity significantly increased and became more public after Israel's Gaza blockade following the 2007 Hamas-Fatah conflict and subsequent Hamas takeover of Gaza. For many years, critical necessities, such as fuel for Gaza's power plant, could only get in via the tunnels. Passenger tunnels were also created, so that Gazans with the ability to pay a high sum of money could enter and exit the Gaza Strip, despite frequent closure of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt. Citing the prevalence of drug and weapons trading through the tunnels, both Israel and Egypt have destroyed and shut down many of the tunnels. During the Gaza War of 2014, tunnels that led into Israel were discovered. The detection and destruction of these tunnels was an official justification for the ground operation. See "Inside the Gaza tunnels," Rory McCarthy, The Guardian, February 9, 2009; "The Long History of Gaza's Tunnels," Emily Harris, NPR, July 26, 2014; and "Were Gaza tunnels built to harm Israeli civilians?" Emanuel Yelin, 972mag, August 11, 2014.
Israel has launched three large-scale military offensives in the Gaza Strip since the Gaza Disengagement; December 2008, November 2012, and July 2014 (as well as many smaller ones.) Israel's stated purpose for all three offensives was to stop rocket attacks emanating from Gaza onto Israeli towns, and maintains its right to self-defense. Many analysts have pointed to other motivations for the operations, such as weakening Hamas, collective punishment, undermining Palestinians seeking state status in the U.N. (2012 war), and trying to sabotage the Unity Government newly agreed upon by Hamas and Fatah (2014 war, also known as "Operation Protective Edge"). Israel points to the increased rocket fire since Hamas's control of Gaza Stripas a constant, intolerable threat to Israeli civilians. Palestinians point to Israel's Gaza blockade, ongoing occupation of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and multiple ceasefire violations as escalating/exacerbating rocket fire, which Hamas says is in resistance and in self-defense.\r\nIsrael called the first Gaza War "Operation Cast Lead." It began on December 27, 2008 and lasted for three weeks. The first week consisted of air attacks, whereas the next two weeks saw a massive ground invasion. According to the Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem, 1,391 Palestinians were killed during the operation, over half of them civilians and 344 of them children. Israel claims that the number of civilians killed, (versus militants) has been inflated. According to Amnesty International, more than 3,000 homes in Gaza were destroyed and 20,000 more were damaged. Hundreds of schools, clinics, mosques, factories, farms, orchards, government buildings, police stations and prisons were destroyed or damaged as well. According to Israeli authorities, 571 rockets and 205 mortar shells landed in Israel during the duration of the operation. 13 Israelis were killed, three of them civilians. Following the offensive, the United Nations sent a Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict to investigate violations of international law. The resulting Goldstone Report accused both Israel and Hamas (as well as other Palestinian militant groups) of war crimes and recommended both sides conduct investigations on the allegations.\r\nThe second Gaza War, which Israel called "Operation Pillar of Defense," began on November 14, 2012 and lasted eight days. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,168 Palestinians were killed in the Israeli airstrikes, 101 of them civilians, including 33 children. Israel was criticized by Human Rights Watch and others for targeting Palestinian media workers during the operation. Rockets fired by Hamas reached previously out of range Israeli population centers, such as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Six Israelis were killed, four of them civilians. Ceasefire terms included Israel stopping hostilities in Gaza, including targeting of individuals, Palestinian factions agreeing to stop rocket attacks and border attacks, and to open border crossings, thus easing Israel's blockade on Gaza.\r\nThe third Gaza War, which Israel called "Operation Protective Edge," had the greatest number of fatalities, the most physical destruction, and was the most protracted of the wars, lasting from July 8 until August 26, 2014, including both attacks from the air and a ground invasion. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 2,131 Palestinians were killed, 69% of whom were civilians and over 500 of whom were children. Over 18,000 homes in Gaza were demolished or severely damaged. 71 Israelis (5 of them civilians, one of those a child) and one Thai national in Israel were killed. Israel initially stated that its goal was to stop rocket fire, but after the start of the operation, tunnels leading from Gaza into Israel were discovered, and the Israel military goal became to detect and destroy the tunnels. Hamas was criticized for shooting rockets from populated areas, for killing suspected collaborators, and for storing weapons and (in two cases) firing from U.N. schools that were empty. Israel was sharply condemned for attacking (among other civilian locations) seven United Nations schools, killing at least 44 Palestinians who were seeking shelter inside the schools. Ceasefire terms were similar to those in 2012, and included the opening of Gaza's border crossings, Israel permitting humanitarian aid and construction materials into Gaza, and an extension of Gaza's fishing zone. Other demands, such as Hamas's demand for an air and seaport in Gaza, the releasing of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons and the ending of the siege, and Israel's demand for the disarming of Hamas and other militant groups were held for later negotiations.\r\nFor over-all context on the Gaza Wars, see interview with former NYT correspondent to Gaza, Taghreed El-Khodary, "Ending the siege is not a Hamas demand-it is a Palestinian one," Moriel Rothman-Zecher, 972mag, August 17, 2014. See also "No Exit in Gaza," Jen Marlowe, TomDispatch.com, Dec 7, 2014.\r\nFor more on the 2009 war, see "Fatalities during Operation Cast Lead," B'tselem; and "Israel/Gaza Operation 'Cast Lead': 22 Days of Death and Destruction," Amnesty International, July 2, 2009. \r\nFor more on the 2012 war, see "Q&A: Israel-Gaza violence," BBC, Nov 22, 2012; see also "TEXT: Ceasefire agreement between Israel and Gaza's Palestinians," Reuters, Nov 21, 2012; and "Israel/Gaza: Unlawful Israeli Attacks on Palestinian Media," Human Rights Watch, Dec 20, 2012.\r\nFor more on the 2014 war, see the OCHA Situation Report, OCHA, September 4, 2014. See also "Israel: In-Depth Look at Gaza School Attacks," Human Rights Watch, September 11, 2014; and "Hamas acknowledges its forces fired rockets from civilian areas," Haaretz & Associated Press, September 12, 2014. See also "UN: Israeli actions killed 44 Palestinians at UN shelters," Al Jazeera America & Associated Press, April 27, 2015.
Also known as the 1994 Cairo Agreement. The May 4, 1994 agreement was a follow-up treaty as part of the Oslo Process. Details of Palestinian autonomy were stipulated, and Israeli military withdrawal from much of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank town of Jericho, creating the slogan, "Gaza and Jericho first." The Palestinian Authority was created as part of the Gaza-Jericho Agreement, and Palestinian security forces were established. Economic protocols were also part of the agreement. See the full text of the agreement via UNISPAL, May 27, 1994.
Also referred to as the Geneva Accord. A nongovernmental initiative launched in Geneva, Switzerland on December 1, 2002 by Yossi Beilin from the Israeli side and Yasser Abed Rabo from the Palestinian side. The initiative outlined proposed steps and cooperation toward a final status agreement in fields ranging from economics to natural resources, as well as the resolution of issues such as settlements, the status of Jerusalem and Right of Return for Palestinian refugees. The initiative never gained official recognition, although proponents continue to press for its adoption and implementation. For a full text of the terms outlined in the Geneva Initiative, see the Geneva Initiative website.
(1926-2008) A Palestinian political and military figure. In 1967 Habash formed the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a secular Palestinian resistance movement informed by Marxist ideas. Habash was often in opposition to Yasser Arafat, the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the leader of Fatah, and increased that opposition once Arafat began negotiations with Israel through the Oslo Process in the 1990s. In 2000, Habash resigned his leadership of the vPFLP, citing health reasons. See "Obituary: George Habash," Crispin Thorold, BBC, January 27, 2008.
(1954- ) A Palestinian political and media figure. Khatib was a member of the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid Conference in 1991 and subsequent bilateral negotiations between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization. He has always been a supporter of media advocacy and Palestinian-Israeli dialogue, leading the Jerusalem. Media and Communications Centre in 2000, and soon after founding the online Bittlerlemons publications with Jewish Israeli Yossi Alpher. After serving in ministerial positions within the Palestinian Authority from 2002-2006, Khatib taught at Birzeit University. As of 2015, he is a spokesman for the Palestinian Authority, of the Palestinian Government Media Center and a member of the Palestinian People's Party. See "Ghassan Khatib," The Huffington Post, June 24 2011.
(1986- ) An Israeli soldier who was captured by Hamas on June 25, 2006 in a cross-border raid near the Kerem Shalom border crossing into Gaza Strip. The first Israeli soldier captured by Palestinians since 1994, Hamas held Shalit hostage until October 2011 (without any visitations from the International Committee for the Red Cross) when he was released in exchange for the release of over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. The two main obstacles in the previous negotiations between Hamas and Israel for Shalit's release had been: 1) Hamas' insistence on the release of Marwan Barghouti, currently serving five life sentences for murder (ultimately, he was not part of the prisoner exchange); and 2) Israel's demand that 230 Hamas-affiliated prisoners held by the Palestinian Authority be expelled from the West Bank. Those who called for Shalit's release include the United Nations as well as various international human rights and aid organizations. See "Egypt: Shalit will disappear unless Israel compromises with Hamas," Avi Issacharoff and Amos Harel, Haaretz, June 19, 2011 and "Gilad Shalit reveals details of his five years held hostage by Hamas," Phoebe Greenwood, The Telegraph, Oct 12, 2012.
A region that borders southwestern Syria, southern Lebanon, northeastern Israel and northwestern Jordan. Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria during the 1967 War and formally annexed the region in December 1981, although the annexation has not been recognized internationally. The area is an important source of water, and has strategic military implications as well. The 20,000-strong Syrian Druze community, most of whom have retained their Syrian identity/citizenship, now live under Israeli rule. There are more than 30 Jewish Israeli settlements in the Golan H