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 Heights, inhabited by approximately 20,000 settlers. The return of the Golan Heights to Syria by Israel has proven to be a major stumbling block for a Syrian-Israeli peace treaty. See "The Golan Heights Annexed by Israel in an Abrupt Move," David Shipler, The New York Times,Dec 14, 1981. For information about the Syrian Druze community, see "In the Golan Heights, Anxious Eyes Look East," Isabel Kershner, New York Times, May 21, 2011.
(1898-1978) A Jewish Israeli political figure of Russian and American origin. Meir, a supporter of socialist Labor Zionism, immigrated to Palestine in 1921. She worked in several key Jewish Zionist organizations prior to the 1948 establishment of the State of Israel, including the Histadrut trade union and the Jewish Agency. One of the signatories of Israel's Declaration of Independence, Meir served as an official in the government of Israel in various capacities, including Minister of Labor from 1949-1956, Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1956-1966 and Prime Minister from 1969-1974. She is the only Israeli woman ever elected to the position of Prime Minister. Meir resigned in 1974 after being criticized both internally and abroad for the unpreparedness of the Israeli military prior to the 1973 War. Controversial remarks she made include suggestions that the Palestinian people did not exist, and that peace will come when Arabs love their children more than they hate Israelis, and, in reference to Israel's Black Panthers, that they're not "nice boys." See "Israel's Iron Lady unfiltered: 17 Golda Meir quotes on her 117th birthday," Judd Yadid, Haaretz, May 3, 2015.
Released on September 29, 2009, this report details the findings of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict. Commissioned by the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Mission was headed by South African Justice Richard Goldstone and also included three other members from different parts of the world. In investigating the Israeli military incursion into the Gaza Strip from December 27, 2008 to January 18, 2009 as well as the events leading up to it, the report found Israel and Hamas/other Palestinian militant groups guilty of violating international human rights and humanitarian law, including actions that amounted to war crimes. On the Israeli side, the report focused on Israel's Gaza blockade prior to the war in addition to its military's actions during the war that were "directed at the people of Gaza as a whole." In regards to Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups, the report emphasized the thousands of rockets and mortars launched into civilian areas of southern Israel before the war. The report concluded with a request that both sides conduct their own investigations into the allegations. Reactions to the report were explosive, with the Israeli government declaring the report to be factually incorrect and politically biased and others desiring to try Israel at the International Criminal Court. Israel eventually conducted an investigation about which a U.N Human Rights Council Panel said, "fell significantly short of meeting international standards" and Human Rights Watch said lacked credibility and thoroughness, while Hamas did not conduct any serious investigation. On April 10, 2011, Justice Goldstone wrote an Op-Ed in the Washington Post reconsidering some of the report's findings regarding Israel and war crimes, which some Israeli officials deemed a delayed apology while others found his Op-Ed vague and unclear. See the Goldstone Report and other related documents at "Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict," UN Human Rights Council. See also "The Goldstone Report: The Legacy of the Landmark Investigation of the Gaza Conflict," Adam Horowitz, Lizzy Ratner and Philip Weiss, Eds, Nations Books, 2011; and "Turning a Blind Eye: Impunity for Laws-of-War Violations during the Gaza War," Human Rights Watch, April 11, 2010. See also "Reconsidering the Goldstone report on Israel and war crimes," Richard Goldstone, April 1, 2011; and "Roundup on the Goldstone Controversy," Noura Erekat, Jadaliyya, April 13, 2011.
Also known as "1967 border." Refers to the 1949 Armistice Line following the 1948 War, a line that demarcated boundaries between Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Syria and Egypt. Since the 1967 War, the Green Line has denoted, according to most international opinion and United Nations resolutions, the boundary between territory recognized as part of the legitimate, sovereign State of Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. For a map that marks the Green Line, see B'Tselem's June 2011 map. For different Israeli and Palestinian perspectives on the Green Line in modern-day political dealings, see " The green line," February 24, 2003, Bitterlemons.org.
(a Hebrew acronym for "Democratic Front for Peace and Equality.") An Israeli political party that defines itself as a non-Zionist Jewish-Arab Party. Formed in 1977 to create cooperation between members of the Communist Party of Israel and non-members, Hadash supports a full Israeli withdrawal from the Occupied Palestinian Territories as well as full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel and protection of worker rights and rights of low-income populations in Israel. As of 2015, the party's leader is Ayman Odeh. See their website. See also "Hadash," Ynet News, February 4, 2008.
(Hebrew for "defense") A Zionist paramilitary group formed in 1920 with the expressed goal of defending the growing Jewish population in British mandate Palestine against attacks by Arab residents. The group later became part of the Jewish resistance against the British presence. In addition to its paramilitary activities, the Haganah actively established new Jewish settlements in and supported illegal Jewish immigration to Palestine. Upon the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, the Haganah formed the core of the Israeli army. See Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001, Benny Morris, Vintage Books, 2001; and One Palestine, Complete: Jews and Arabs Under the British Mandate, Tom Segev, Henry Holt and Company, 2000. See also "The Army Called 'Haganah,'" Sam Pope Brewer, the New York Times, Feb 29, 1948; and the official Haganah website.
Arabic for "zeal" and an acronym for "Harakat al-Muqawamah al-Islamiyya" or "Islamic Resistance Movement.") A Palestinian political party and Islamist national movement. Founded in 1987 and ideologically and organizationally modeled after the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt, Hamas is comprised of a militant wing responsible for armed operations, a political bureau, and a social services branch that helped it gain much support. In 2006, Hamas's victory in the Palestinian legislative elections resulted in the end of Fatah's long-standing political dominance, but their victory was dismissed by the Middle East Quartet and Fatah. A bloody Hamas-Fatah conflict followed. There is much controversy around whether Hamas is seeking to end the Israeli occupation of territories conquered in the 1967 War, or whether they are seeking to replace Israel with an Islamist state. Though Hamas's charter, which calls for the destruction of Israel, has not been changed, more recent statements and documents (including Hamas's 2006 legislative program) indicate a willingness towards moderation on the question of Israel's existence. Members of the international community, including Israel, the United States and the European Union, designate Hamas as a terrorist organization for its use of tactics that target Israeli civilians, such as suicide bombings and rocket attacks from Gaza, and do not recognize it as a legitimate government. Hamas signed multiple unity agreements with Fatah, the most recent being in April 2014, though as of May 2015, it had yet to be meaningfully implemented. See "Hamas and Civil Society in Gaza: Engaging the Islamist Social Sector," Sara Roy, Princeton University Press, 2012; and Backgrounders, Hamas, Zachary Laub, Council on Foreign Relations. See also "Hamas drops call for destruction of Israel from manifesto," Chris McGreal, The Guardian, January 11, 2006.
Also known as the Palestinian Civil War and as the Wakseh (Arabic for "self-inflicted ruin" or "humiliation"). The conflict between Hamas and Fatah began in January 2006 and has continued to greater and lesser extents until today (as of 2015), though internecine killings ended in 2009. Tensions rose in November 2004 when the death of Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat left a political vacuum in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Hamas' dramatic win in Palestinian legislative elections in January 2006 challenged Fatah's longtime dominance of the political scene. Members of the international community, including Israel and the United States, rejected the election results, and implemented sanctions on the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority (PA). Fatah refused to join Hamas in a coalition, and the U.S. provided arms and training to Fatah. 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 wrested control of the Gaza Strip, pre-empting a U.S.-backed Fatah coup against it, and PA President Mahmoud Abbas dissolved the unity government, calling for a state of emergency in the Fatah-dominated West Bank. Sporadic clashes between the two parties continued, but declined significantly after June 2007. After Egypt's regime fell in February 2011, Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank took to the streets calling for national unity, which led to the Cairo agreement brokered by Egypt in April 2011, paving the way for ongoing talks and negotiations between the two parties. Though a Fatah-dominated government remains in control of the West Bank and Hamas continues to control the Gaza Strip, both parties signed a new unity agreement in April 2014, the implementation of which has been delayed due to that summer's Gaza War (also known as Operation Protective Edge) and its aftermath. See "The Gaza Bombshell," David Rose, Vanity Fair, April 2008. See also "Text Of The (2011) Agreement Between Fatah And Hamas," Palestine Monitor, May 3, 2011; and "Ramifications of the Palestinian reconciliation agreement," May 2, 2011; and "Text of (2014) Fatah-Hamas Agrement," Jerusalem Post, Sept 24, 2014.
(1946- ) A Palestinian politician, academic and spokeswoman. In 1973, she established the English Department at Bir Zeit University and, as of 2015, still occasionally teaches there. Ashrawi was a member of/spokesperson for the Palestinian negotiation team at the 1991 Madrid Conference and during the Oslo Process. She has served on the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) several times and in 2005, switched party membership from Fatah to the Palestinian National Initiative (Mubadara).In addition to serving on the advisory boards of several international organizations, including the World Bank Middle East and United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, in 1988 she founded MIFTAH, the Palestinian Initiative for the promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy. In 2003, Ashrawi was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize. See "Geneva Conference Biographies," June 7-8, 2004.
(Palestinian citizen of Israel, political figure) Zoabi serves in the Israeli Knesset as a member of the Balad party. She is the first Palestinian woman to serve in the Knesset as part of an Arab party's list. Zoabi has spoken strongly against racism in Israel, including the very concept of a Jewish state, and she has spoken out in support of a one-state solution, in which Israelis and Palestinians would enjoy equal rights. Zoabi participated in the 2010 Gaza flotilla, and was arrested briefly after her boat was boarded by Israeli commandos who killed nine of the activists aboard. The day after, during a speech she made at the Knesset, she was interrupted, called a traitor, and shouted down multiple times. She received death threats after the speech. There have been numerous attempts to strip Zoabi of her parliamentary immunity and of her Israeli citizenship, under the claim that her participation in the flotilla amounted to treason. Three of her parliamentary privileges were stripped. Israel's Central Elections Committee voted to disqualify Zoabi in both the 2013 and 2015 elections, a decision which was overturned both times by the Israeli High Court. Zoabi was suspended from parliamentary debates for six months following comments she made about the June 2014 kidnappings of three Israeli youth, who were subsequently discovered to have been murdered. See "The Knesset v. Zoabi: Israeli Arab MK's politics put on trial," Mairav Zonszein, +972mag, Dec 9, 2014; and "Arab-Israeli politician Haneen Zoabi disqualified from re-election," Harriet Sherwood, The Guardian, Dec 19, 2012.
Also known as Ultra-Orthodox, though the community itself considers this derogatory. It is the most traditional sect of Orthodox Judaism and requires a strict adherence to the religious practices and moral precepts outlined in the Torah and Talmud; this strict adherence can also include separation from others that don't follow the same practices and a rejection of modern, secular culture. Haredi Jews largely opposed the establishment of the State of Israel, have traditionally been non-Zionist and, have not participated in national celebrations or events. Some Haredi Jews, however, participate in Israel's political process for reasons of pragmatism. Mizrahi Haredi Jews (many of whom are represented by the political party Shas) are more likely to support the State of Israel than Ashkenazi Haredi Jews. The vast majority of Haredi Jews have historically been exempted from service in the Israeli army, though a law passed in March 2014 (called the Equal Services Law, which the Haredi community resisted fiercely) is paving the way for that to change. See "Israel passes law to conscript ultra-Orthodox Jews into military," The Guardian, March 12, 2014.
(1960 - ) A Lebanese Shi'a cleric, paramilitary leader and politician. He is the current Secretary-General of Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shi'a political party with a militant wing. Born in 1960 in Southern Beirut, Nasrallah studied the Qur'an and politics in Iraq before the Saddam Hussein regime expelled him and other Shi'a clerics in 1978. Nasrallah ascended the ranks of Hezbollah after its inception in 1982, and became its leader in 1992 after the Israeli military killed Abbas Moussawi. Nasrallah is credited with the dramatic rise to power of Hezbollah in Lebanon's political and social life in recent years. See "Profile: Hassan Nasrallah," Eben Kaplan, Council on Foreign Relations, August 11 2010.
(al-Khalil in Arabic and Hevron in Hebrew) A Palestinian city in the southern West Bank, located 30 km south of Jerusalem. Est. population in 2007: 163,146. In the Old City of Hebron, there are over 500 Jewish settlers and a comparable Israeli military presence. Tension between the settler and local Palestinian population is high, with the Israeli army and settler population severely limiting the movement and security of Palestinian residents, through evictions, checkpoints, closures, and violent attacks at the hands of settlers, leading thousands of Palestinians from the Old City of Hebron to flee. The Temporary International Presence in the City of Hebron (TIPH) has been present in the city since 1997, after requests by both Israeli and Palestinian authorities to observe and report breaches of human rights law and regional agreements. The city is home to the Tomb of the Patriarchs, known in Islam as the Ibrahimi Mosque, thought to be the burial site of the biblical patriarchs and matriarchs, a site sacred to both Muslims and Jews, and the site of the 1994 Goldstein massacre. See TIPH's website and the website of Youth Against Settlements.
(Arabic for "Party of God") A Lebanese Shi'a Muslim political group with a military wing. Founded by Shi'a clerics in the aftermath of the 1982 (First) Lebanon War as a guerilla organization with the goal of driving out Israel's invasion and occupation forces from South Lebanon. Hezbollah participated in Lebanese elections for the first time in 1992 and has since gained significant support as a political party. In May 2000, Hezbollah's military wing declared partial victory as Israeli troops withdrew unilaterally from South Lebanon after two decades of occupation. Between 2000 and 2006, Hezbollah was the de-facto ruler in South Lebanon, as well as in parts of southern Beirut. Though United Nations Resolution 1559 called for the disbanding and disarming of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias in 2004, Hezbollah remains militarized, and is considered a terrorist group by the United States and the European Union. It is a proponent of the Palestinian cause, and continues to demand Israeli withdrawal from the Sheba'a Farms, a small stretch of disputed land between Israel, Lebanon and Syria. In July 2006, Hezbollah and Israel engaged in hostilities after Hezbollah kidnapped two and killed three Israeli soldiers. The 2006 (Second) Lebanon War lasted 34 days. See "Backgrounder: Hezbollah," Jonathan Masters, Zachary Laub, Council on Foreign Relations.
(Hebrew for "General Federation of Labor") A trade union founded in 1920 to organize the economic activities of Jewish workers in Palestine. Established as a non-partisan, non-political organization, the Histadrut claimed to serve 75% of the Jewish labor force in Palestine by 1927 and exists today in Israel as both a provider and defender of full employment. See "The Labor Movement in Israel Ideology and Political Economy 1," Michael Shalev, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
(a Greek word meaning "sacrifice by fire.") Also known as the "Shoah" in Hebrew. The Nazi-led persecution and murder of eleven million Europeans, including six million Jews, which were approximately one-third of the worldwide Jewish population. Rising to power in Germany in 1933, the Nazis believed that Germans were "racially superior" and that groups such as the Jews, the Roma, the physically disabled and homosexuals were "inferior" and thus did not deserve to live. The Nazis constructed the "Final Solution to the Jewish Question," which included the annihilation of the Jews. During the time of the Holocaust, the Nazis also persecuted Communists, Socialists, Jehovah's Witnesses and others. The Holocaust officially ended with the end of World War II in 1945. See the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum website.
According to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD), 27,000 Palestinian structures have been demolished in the Occupied Palestinian Territories since the 1967 War, not including the destruction during the Gaza wars. A "structure" may be one family's house, an apartment building that is home to multiple families, a factory, livestock pen, etc. Nearly half of those demolitions have taken place since the beginning of the Second Intifada in 2000. The Israeli army and government cite security and the lack of building permits as their justification for demolishing homes. On the security front, the Israeli Army claims that it has demolished Palestinian houses (also factories and shops) either to prevent their use by Palestinians in attacks against Israelis, or as a punitive/deterrent measure against families from which a member is suspected of planning or carrying out attacks against Israelis. Israel abandoned the practice of punitive home demolition in 2005, but re-instituted it in 2014. In Rafah, Gaza Strip, 2,500 homes were destroyed in the border area with Egypt between 2000-2004. Israel says that the houses were concealing openings to smuggling tunnels, however, in the Human Rights Watch 2004 report "Razing Rafah," a pattern is described of razing entire blocks of homes in order to create a "buffer zone." Amnesty International called these home demolitions a form of collective punishment. Most of the Palestinian homes destroyed in East Jerusalem, certain parts of the West Bank and in Palestinian cities and towns within Israel are destroyed because they lack a building permit from the Israeli authorities. Building permits, however, are extremely difficult and at times impossible for Palestinians to obtain. The Israeli Army has on occasion also demolished structures constructed by Jewish Israeli settlers who did not obtain building permits, though these instances are much less frequent. See "Separate and Unequal," Human Rights Watch, December 19, 2010; and "Razing Rafah," Human Rights Watch, October 18, 2004. See also ICAHD's website. See also the infographic "A Police of Displacement: Home Demolitions in the West Bank and Gaza," Visualizing Palestine.
An acronym for Israel Defense Forces, commonly known in Israel by its Hebrew acronym Tzahal. The IDF is the State of Israel's military, including ground forces, air force and navy. Israeli Law requires that all Israeli citizens and permanent residents begin serving in the Israeli army at the age of 18. Men are required to serve three years and women to serve 20-21 months. All non-Jewish women, Arab men (except Druze) and (until the 2014 Equal Services Law) Haredi Jews are automatically exempt from service, although volunteers from these groups are occasionally admitted and the Israeli state encourages some Bedouins to join. Reserve service is required until the age of 51 in the case of men, and 24 in the case of women. There are different categories of "refuseniks:" Israelis who refuse to join the army, or refuse to continue serving in the reserves, many for reasons of conscientious objection due to the occupation. See "As an ex-soldier in the Israeli Defense Forces, I've seen how shockingly we treat Palestinians," Avner Gvaryahu, the Independent, July 15, 2015.See also the website for Breaking the Silence.
(Hebrew for "organization") Also known as Etzel, which is the Hebrew acronym for "Irgun Tzvai-Leum" or "National Military Organization." The Irgun was an underground Zionist paramilitary group active during the British mandate of Palestine. Considered a terrorist entity by the British administration and a radical rival by the dominant Labor Zionist movement, the Irgun undertook armed operations against both Arab communities and the British. In 1946, Irgun members bombed the King David Hotel, which served as a British command post. On April 9, 1948, members of the Irgun were identified as participating in the attack on the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin. By September 1948, the Irgun was completely dismantled and subsumed into the nascent Israeli army. One of the Irgun's main commanders was Menachem Begin, who later became Prime Minister of Israel. See One Palestine, Complete: Jews and Arabs Under the British Mandate, Tom Segev, Henry Holt and Company, 2000; and Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001, Benny Morris, Vintage Books, 2001. See also "Irgun Zvai Leumi," Encyclopedia Britannica.
Also known as the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, or PIJ. A Palestinian Islamist militant group founded in 1981 by Palestinian students in Egypt who had split from the Muslim Brotherhood. The founders were ideologically influenced and inspired by the Islamic revolution in Iran as well as the radicalization of Egyptian Islamic student organizations. Deemed a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, Israel and other countries, Islamic Jihadbelieves that Israel will only be defeated through armed struggle, and has perpetrated numerous armed and suicide attacks against Israelis, both soldiers and civilians. Islamic Jihaddoes not engage in political processes or diplomacy. See "Palestinian Islamic Jihad," Holly Flecther, Council on Foreign Relations, April 10, 2008.
[1963-] Palestinian political figure. Haniyeh, who is from the Gaza Strip, is a senior leader of Hamas. He became politically active during his university days and was jailed several times during the First Intifada. Haniyeh was one of the 415 Palestinians deported to South Lebanon during the 1992 Mass Deportation. In 1997, he headed the office of the newly released Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. His prominence grew during the Second Intifada, due partly to his close relationship with Yassin, and partly to Israel's attempts to assassinate him. In December 2005, Haniyeh was elected to head the Hamas list, which was victorious in the January 2006 legislative elections, ushering in his term as Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority. In 2007, during the Hamas-Fatah conflict, Mahmoud Abbas dismissed Haniyeh from his post, appointing Salam Fayyad in his place, a move that has been disputed as being illegal. Hamas continued to govern Gaza, however, with Haniyeh as the Prime Minister. Haniyeh is thought to have considerable wealth, much of it allegedly coming from taxes imposed upon the Gaza Tunnels. Considered a pragmatist, Haniyeh has indicated openness to negotiating with Israel, if and when Israel recognizes the rights of Palestinians. See "Rebel without a state: Evgeny Lebedev meets Ismail Haniyeh, Prime Minister of Gaza," The Independent, Jan 7, 2012.
Known officially as the "State of Israel," the country was established on May 15, 1948, in the midst of the 1948 War and immediately after the end of the British Mandate. Its establishment as a Jewish homeland was the fruition of the goal of the Zionist movement, which had begun in the late 19th Century. Israel is located in the Middle East, with Egypt bordering on the South, Lebanon and Syria on the North, and Jordan to the East. Israel's internationally recognized borders are its 1948 borders (which are considerably larger than the borders drawn in the 1947 U.N. Partition Plan); however, since the 1967 war, Israel has also occupied the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip and there are hundreds of thousands of Israeli settlers in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Many of the settlers and their supporters advocate for a "Greater Israel" where a large amount of the land conquered in 1967 would be annexed to Israel. (Israel also conquered the Golan Heights in the 1967 war, and it was annexed shortly thereafter. The Sinai Peninsula, also conquered in that war, was returned to Egypt as part of the first Camp David Accords. In Israel's 1992 Basic Law, it defines itself as a Jewish and Democratic state. The tension between these two terms functioning in a multi-ethno-religious state such as Israel, where approximately 80% of Israeli citizens are Jewish, and most of the remaining 20% are Palestinian Citizens of Israel, has led to a great deal of debate. See "Zionists Proclaim New State of Israel," Gene Currivan, The New York Times, May 15, 1948. See also "The Myth of the U.N. Creation of Israel," Jeremy Hammond, Foreign Policy Journal, Oct 26, 2010; and "Jewish and Democratic? A Rejoinder to the 'Ethnic Democracy' Debate," Ruth Gavison, Israel Studies, 1999 4 (1).
A term used to refer to citizens of Israel who attained Israeli citizenship by birth or by naturalization. Demographically, Israel's population is predominantly Jewish, but also includes a sizable Arab population, comprised of Palestinians, Druze and Bedouin. In 2009, Israel's demographic breakdown per the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics was: 5,703,700 Jews; 1,535,600 Arabs; and 312,700 others. Included in the "Jews" category are Jewish Israelis living in Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Per Israel's Law of Return, Jews anywhere in the world can immigrate to Israel and become citizens. Israeli citizenship is relatively simple to define-whoever holds an Israeli passport is an Israeli citizen. Identification as an Israeli is far more complex, as many Palestinian citizens of Israel hold an Israeli passport, but identify as Palestinian, and do not identify as Israeli. See "Israel's dilemma: Who can be an Israeli?", Daniel Sokatch and David Myers, L.A. Times, Jan 14, 2014; and "Who Is an Israeli?" Leonard Fein, the Jewish Daily Forward, July 8, 2009. See also "Why Sayed Kashua is leaving Jerusalem and never coming back," Sayed Kashua, Ha'aretz, July 4, 2014.
("Mishmar Hagvul" in Hebrew) Also known by the Hebrew abbreviation "Magav." A police unit that is under the authority of the Israeli army general chief of staff. This unit often works in the West Bank and Jerusalem. See "Israeli Border Police or Magav in East Jerusalem," +972mag.
Known in Hebrew as Yom Ha'Atzmaut, it is celebrated on the 5th day of the Jewish calendar's month of Iyar, and marks the date that Israel declared itself an independent state, which was May 14, 1948 on the Gregorian calendar. Many Israelis and Jews worldwide celebrate it as a day marking the beginning of a Jewish nation-state and of ending centuries of Jewish exile and persecution. Palestinians view this day as part of Al-Nakba (Arabic for "the catastrophe"), which refers to the events in the lead up to, during, and the aftermath of the 1948 War, in which 700,000-800,000 Palestinians were expelled or fled from their homes, most of whom were never allowed to return. For the text of Israel's Declaration of Establishment, see the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. See also the iNakba app, developed by the organization Zochrot.
Signed in 1994 by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Jordanian King Hussein, the treaty normalized relations and also settled on the Jordan River as the border between the two countries. Other issues, such Palestinian refugees (who comprise 60% of Jordan's population), were left for future negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The Egyptian government welcomed the agreement, while Syria ignored it, and the Lebanese Hezbollah militia responded by firing rockets into northern Israel on the day of the treaty's signing. An Israeli-Jordanian trade agreement followed in 1996. Over twenty years later, the peace treaty is precarious. See "Why peace with Israel was good for Jordan," Sharif Nashashibi, Al Jazeera, Oct 26, 2014. See also "Jordanian envoy says peace treaty imperiled by settlements," Raphael Aren, The Times of Israel, October 27, 2014. See the text of the treaty here.
(1882-1935) A Palestinian religious and resistance figure. Born in Syria, Qassam was a key figure in the 1921 Syrian revolt against the French rule of Greater Syria after World War I and fled to the city of Haifa in British mandate Palestine after the French besieged parts of Syria. In Palestine, he preached among the Palestinian lower classes, gathering a large following among landless ex-tenant farmers who had lost their livelihoods due to purchases of agricultural land by the Jewish National Fund as well as exclusionary labor policies. He became a leading resistance figure against the British and Jews, forming the Black Hand (al-Kaff al-Aswad) in 1930, which was an anti-Zionist and anti-British militant organization, and launched multiple attacks which resulted in the killing of Jewish civilians and sabotaging British rail lines. In 1935, Qassam was killed by the British in a manhunt and gun battle that turned him into a popular hero and an ongoing symbol of resistance. The Izz-Id-Din Al-Qassam Brigades (the military wing of Hamas) is named after Qassam. See "The Life and Thought of 'Izz-Id-Din Al-Qassam'," Salaam.
Also known as Battle of Jenin. On April 3, 2002, Israeli forces attacked the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank as part of what it named Operation Defensive Shield, which was the largest military mobilization in the West Bank since the 1967 War. The Israeli military framed the invasion of the camp as a defensive measure against suspected militants, a response to six suicide bombings inside Israel in the two prior weeks that claimed 56 lives and injured hundreds. Allegations of a massacre in Jenin spread immediately after the operation. International media sources estimated casualties in the first days approaching the hundreds, and the final casualty numbers remain in dispute, hovering between 48 to 56 Palestinians, including civilians, and 23 to 33 Israeli soldiers. A large section of Jenin refugee camp was razed to the ground. Amnesty International reported that the Israeli military blocked humanitarian assistance to the camp and denied the Palestinian wounded medical assistance, and that the operation left 3,000 Palestinians homeless. Human Rights Watch criticized the Israeli military for destroying over 35 percent of the refugee camp. For Palestinians, the attack on the Jenin refugee camp quickly became an important symbol of Israel's oppression and of heroic Palestinian resistance, while Israelis cite it as an example of baseless massacre allegations. See "Israel and the Occupied Territories Shielded from Scrutiny: IDF violations in Jenin and Nablus," Amnesty International, November 4, 2002; and "Jenin: IDF Military Operations," Human Rights Watch, May 2002. For a documentary film that follows several children from Jenin camp who became fighters during the invasion, see "Arna's Children," by Juliano Mer-Khamis.
Known as Al-Quds ("The Holy") in Arabic and Yerushalayim in Hebrew. A city located in the center of both Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, both geographically and in significance. In 2009, Jerusalem was home to approximately 769,400 Muslims, Christians and Jews, as well as to sacred sites from all three faiths within the ancient walled Old City, including the Western Wall, the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.The Green Line (the 1949 cease-fire line demarcating the boundary between Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories) divides Jerusalem. Between 1948-1967, Israel controlled Jerusalem on one side of the Green Line (which is known as West Jerusalem, and was declared the capital of Israel in 1948) and Jordan controlled Jerusalem on the other side of the Green Line (which is known as East Jerusalem). Following the 1967 War, Israel conquered East Jerusalem along with the rest of the West Bank and (according to the United Nations) annexed it, including the Old City and the holy shrines. The municipal borders were left undefined, and, in fact, expanded. Most countries do not recognize Israeli sovereignty over East Jerusalem, an opinion codified in United Nations Security Council Resolution 478. Rather, they regard Jerusalem's status as undetermined, pending final status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. In 1980, Israel codified in its "Jerusalem Law" that an undivided Jerusalem was the capital of Israel. The Palestinian Authority, however, considers East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state, and passed a law in 2000 designating it as such. Israeli communities have been built throughout East Jerusalem since 1967. According to international law, these communities are settlements. In recent years, Jewish Israelis 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. Jerusalem Palestinians have a status that is different from that of either Palestinians in the West Bank or of 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 East Jerusalem are able to travel freely throughout the West Bank and Israel, which is prohibited to Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. 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 residents of Jerusalem 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. See the infographic created on May 17, 2015 by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel "East Jerusalem by the numbers," and read the accompanying report "East Jerusalem 2015: Facts and Figures."; see also "East Jerusalem," B'tselem. To read the text of the 1980 Basic Law regarding Jerusalem, see "Basic Law-Jerusalem-Capital of Israel," Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. For more about the takeover of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem and the protest movement that developed in response, see the short Just Vision films, "My Neighborhood" and Homefront. For additional resources and background, see the discussion guide for "My Neighborhood."
Established by the World Zionist Organization (WZO) in 1929 in accordance with the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine (1922) that called for "a Jewish agency" to assist in the "establishment of the Jewish National Home . . . in Palestine." Prior to the establishment of Israel in 1948, the Jewish Agency facilitated the settlement of Jews in Palestine and focused on building strong economic, social and military foundations for the Jewish population. Once Israel became a state, the Agency has been the primary organization encouraging Aliyah to Israel and offering absorption programs. Today, the organization operates in close to 80 countries, and is the main link between Jewish communities in those countries and Israel. Through programs such as Taglit-Birthright Israel, the Jewish Agency fosters a Zionist narrative, which privileges and supports a Jewish connection to Israel, while marginalizing or ignoring Palestinian connection to and existence in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. See the Jewish Agency's website.
[In Hebrew: Bait Yehudi] The Jewish Home party, led by Naftali Bennett, was formed in 2008 and is the successor to the National Religious Party, a Zionist religious party in the Israeli Knesset. The nationalist right-wing party primarily represents Modern Orthodox Jews, but has appealed to secular right-wing Israelis as well. The party is pro-settlements, and Bennett has spoken openly of opposition to a Palestinian state, and has called for annexation of Area C of the West Bank. See, "Israel's new political star Naftali Bennett's Jewish Home party determined to stop Palestinian state," Nick Meo, The Telegraph, Jan 19, 2013.
Established in 1901 to buy and develop land in Palestine for Jewish settlement and to create a Jewish homeland. After its first 50 years of purchasing land in Palestine, the Jewish National Fund )(JNF) spent the following 50 years developing the land (including the land of depopulated and destroyed Palestinian villages) by planting over 220 million trees, building neighborhood infrastructure, and settling Jewish immigrants. Critics have said that many JNF forests were planted with the intention of covering up/hiding destroyed Palestinian villages. The JNF is currently focusing its efforts on developing the Negev Desert (which is 55% of Israel's land mass and includes the majority of Israel's Bedouin citizens) for increased Jewish settlement and economic development. JNF's forestation attempts have led to the destruction of the Bedouin village of Al-Araqib 70 times. See "Jewish National Fund resumes forestation project in al-Arakib," Mairav Zonszein, +972mag, May 7, 2012.
The definition of Jihad is derived from the Arabic root meaning "to strive," "to struggle" or "to make an effort." It holds a wide range of meanings within Islam, from an internal spiritual struggle to perfect one's faith to an overt and, at times, violent struggle to promote justice and Islamic legal and social codes. Jihad is closely identified with the injunction in the Qur'an to "command the right and forbid the wrong." Modern Islamist groups, especially fundamentalist ones, have used jihad as a means of "preserving the sanctity of Islam" through actively resisting and often combating those they consider as a threat to the religion. This struggle may be against both individuals and regimes deemed "un-Islamic." See "Jihad," Sohail Hashmi, CQ Press in Context.
An unprecedented alliance or bloc of four predominantly Arab political parties within Israel: Hadash, Balad, the United Arab List, and Ta'al. The four parties banded together in response to the new election law put forth by Avigdor Liberman that raised the election threshold to receive 3.25% of the vote (in order to get a seat in the Israeli Knesset. The four parties formed the Joint List in January 2015 in the lead up to the March 2015 elections. The List, headed by Hadash leader Ayman Odeh, became the 3rd biggest party in the Knesset, winning 13 seats. For the first time, political parties made up predominantly of Palestinian citizens of Israel played a significant role in Israeli media and elections. The Joint List is comprised of parties and members with vast ideological differences; include Islamists, secularists, nationalists, and communists. In spite of, or perhaps because of this, the List's creation and success in the March 2015 elections was a source of hope and inspiration for many Palestinian citizens of Israel and Jewish Israelis who struggle for equality and pluralism. See "Israel's Joint List faces challenging road ahead," Lena Odgaard, Al Jazeera English, March 29, 2015; and "Arab parties announce joint slate for upcoming election," Mairav Zonszein, +972mag, Jan 23, 2015.
A river that runs 251 km from the Hula Valley in northern Israel, through the Jordan Valley in the West Bank and into the Dead Sea. The West Bank derives its name from being the western bank of the Jordan River. The distribution of its waters is hotly disputed by Syrian, Jordanian, Palestinian and Israeli authorities. See "Jordan River Basin," UN-ESCWA and BGR, Inventory of Shared Water Resources in Western Asia.
A large valley (125 km long and 15 km across) that forms the border between Israel and Jordan in the north and the West Bank and Jordan in the south, running from Lake Tiberias to the Dead Sea. The Jordan Valleycomprises approximately 30% of the West Bank and is an important source of water. Most of the Jordan Valleyis considered Area C (under Israeli military and civil control) and has recently been a contentious issue in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Palestinians insist that Israel remove its military and settlements, as the Jordan Valleyis part of the Occupied Palestinian Territories and would constitute their future state's border with Jordan. Israel insists that a permanent military presence in the Jordan Valleyis necessary for security reasons, though this was not a core demand in earlier negotiations. Some in Netanyahu's government want to annex the Jordan Valleyoutright. There are 26 settlements in the Jordan Valley, with stark differences in distribution of water and other resources between the settlements and the chiefly Bedouin communities in the Jordan Valley. There has also been, in recent years, a sharp increase in home demolitions in the Bedouin communities. See ""Background on the Jordan Valley," B'tselem, May 18, 2011. See also "Strategic Corridor in West Bank Remains a Stumbling Block in Mideast Talks," Isabel Kershner, The New York Times, Jan 4, 2014; and "Israel demolishes Palestinian houses in vital Jordan Valley," Ruth Eglash, The Washington Post, March 8, 2014.
[Hebrew for "Forward."] An Israeli political party started in 2005 by Ariel Sharon, who broke from the right-wing Likud party, and was joined by its more centrist members, soon thereafter to be joined by centrist members of the Labor party as well, chiefly in order to support Sharon's Gaza Disengagement plan. The party believes that, while the Israeli nation has the right to all the Occupied Palestinian Territories, it must pragmatically concede some territory to Palestinians in order to maintain Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. When Sharon suffered an incapacitating stroke shortly after the party's founding, Ehud Olmert took over as head of Kadima. Though commanding a large number of seats in the Knesset during the first few elections after its founding, Kadima won only two seats in the 2013 elections. The party did not run in the 2015 elections. See "Adviser reveals PM planned split months ago," Ronny Sofer, Ynet, Nov 24, 2005.
Kafr Qasem is a Palestinian town in central Israel bordering the West Bank. On October 29, 1956, at the start of the 1956 War, Kafr Qasem was the site of a massacre in which 48 Palestinian citizens of Israel were killed by Israeli border police. Those killed included children and women, one of whom was pregnant. Israel fearing that Jordan might attack, had placed Palestinian villages near the Jordanian-controlled West Bank under a curfew. Border police officers were reportedly ordered to shoot on sight any villagers violating the curfew. However, many Kafr Qasem residents were working in fields or in other locations outside of the village when the curfew was first declared and Israeli police fired on them when they returned past the curfew hour. An Israeli court later convicted the Israeli border policemen of murder, but all were released from prison within a year. See "50 years after massacre, Kafr Qasem wants answers," Yoav Stern, Haaretz, October 30 2006; and "48 human beings were massacred-and we have forgotten them," Shirley Racah and Abed Kannaneh, +972mag, Nov 3, 2013.
(1935-1988) Also known as Abu Jihad. A Palestinian political and military figure. He helped found Fatah in 1959, set up the movement's first office in Algeria, and conducted military training for Fatah fighters. He was also a high-ranking member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), serving as its Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Palestinian forces. He planned multiple attacks that targeted both Israeli soldiers and civilians. Wazir is well-known for developing underground militant cells in the West Bank and Gaza and for organizing the PLO's defense in Jordan during Black September and against Israel's invasion of Beirut in the 1982 War. Wazir helped create youth committees in the West Bank and Gaza in the early 1980's, which eventually became the backbone of the First Intifada. In 1988, Israeli agents assassinated Wazir in Tunis. See "Khalil al-Wazir (Abu Jihad): The 17th Palestine National Council," Journal of Palestine Studies, University of California Press, 1985. See also "Abu Jihad Killing: Israeli censor releases commando's account," BBC, November 1, 2012.
A community in Israel established by and for Jews (the majority were established by members of Zionist Youth Movements) and based on socialist ideals. Members have no private property, but share the work and the profits of collective enterprise, historically agricultural and, in recent decades, also industrial. The first Kibbutz was founded on the banks of the Sea of Galilee in 1910. The Kibbutz movement has been in decline in the last few decades, and many Kibbutzim (plural for Kibbutz) any have become privatized. See "Kibbutzim Site."
(1935-1999) King of Jordan from 1952-1999. He expelled the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) from Jordan in 1970 in a civil war known as Black September. He was also a major player in various Middle Eastern peace initiatives, including the drafting of United Nations Resolution 242 following the 1967 War and the Madrid Conference in 1991. In 1994, King Hussein signed a peace treaty with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, effectively normalizing diplomatic and economic relations between Jordan and Israel. See "King Hussein I," The Government of Jordan. See also, "Palestinians Love and Loathe King Hussein," Marjorie Miller, Los Angeles Times, Feb 7, 1999.
The legislature/parliament of the State of Israel, located in Jerusalem, and consisting of 120 members. Members of Knesset are known as "MKs." The Government of the State of Israel must be approved by a majority vote of the Knesset. See the Knesset website.
(Mifleget Havodah in Hebrew) An Israeli political party, first named Mapai, which emerged out of the Labor Zionist movement of the 1930s, and was based on socialist ideas. The party's leaders included many of the principal founders of the State of Israel, including the first Israeli Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion. Labor, which considers itself a social democratic and Zionist party, dominated the Israeli government until 1977, when the rival Likud Party came into power. Labor came to power again in the 1990s, emerging as the leading Israeli political party favoring territorial compromise for peace and the party that first officially recognized the Palestine Liberation Organization. However, settlement expansion and other entrenched elements of occupation continued under Labor-led governments as much as (and in some instances even more than) the center-right Likud-led governments. After the collapse of the Oslo Process and the onset of the Second Intifada, Labor lost control of the Prime Ministership. In 2006, several key Labor Partymembers joined with Likud Party members to form the Kadima party, and in 2011, Labor Chairman Ehud Barak broke away with four other Labor Party lawmakers to form the Independence party. See "Labor," YNet News, February 1, 2008; "Israel's Labor Party splits; Ehud Barak forms new faction," Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times, January 17, 2011; and "Israel's New Labor Leader Faces a Party in Decline," Isabel Kershner, The New York Times, September 22, 2011.
Founded in the early 1900s, Labor Zionism was influenced by socialist principles, specifically that a Jewish homeland could only be created through and based on the collective efforts of the Jewish working class. The current Labor party emerged from this form of Zionism. See "Labor Zionism," Helen Chapin Metz, U.S. Library of Congress, "Israel: A Country Study," 1988.
(Yom Al-Ard in Arabic, Yom Ha-Adamah in Hebrew)\r\nObserved annually on March 30, Land Day marks the first large-scale political protest organized by Palestinian citizens of Israel since the establishment of the State of Israel. In March 1976, Israel published its plan to confiscate approximately 1,500 acres of land from Palestinian villages in the Galilee region, in order to establish military bases and new Jewish settlements. A General Strike and marches were called for March 30, 1976 to protest this land expropriation The demonstrations resulted in violent clashes in which six unarmed Palestinians citizens were killed by the Israeli police and army, and hundreds more were wounded and arrested. An unknown number of Israeli police and military were also wounded. The day is commemorated both by Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians within the Occupied Palestinian Territories to honor Palestinians who have died in the struggle to hold onto their lands and identity. See "Palestinian Land Day: Frequently Asked Questions," March 29, 2004, MIFTAH; and "This Week in History: the 1976 Land Day protests," Michael Omer-Man, The Jerusalem Post, March 25, 2012.
(A Hebrew acronym for "Lohamei Herut Yisrael" or "Fighters for the Freedom of Israel") Also known as the Stern Gang, after Lehi's founder Avraham Stern. In 1940, this militant faction broke away from the Irgun, an underground Jewish paramilitary group. Lehi undertook paramilitary operations against both Palestinian communities and the British throughout British mandate Palestine. The group was responsible for the assassination of the British Minister of State for the Colonies, Lord Moyn, as well as the UN Swedish mediator Folke Bernadotte. On April 9, 1948, members of Lehi and the Irgun attacked the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin, where approximately 100 Palestinians were killed, many of them women and children. The group was disbanded and became part of the Israeli army in September 1948. Yitzhak Shamir (later to become Prime Minister of Israel) was one of Lehi's leaders. See "Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001," Benny Morris, Vintage Books, 2001; and "Eliahu Amikam, Leader of the Jewish Underground, Dies," Associated Press, Aug 14, 1995.
(Hebrew for "union") An Israeli center-right political party that emerged out of the Revisionist Zionist movement, which focused on immediate Jewish settlement in the entire area of British mandate Palestine. Throughout most of its history, Likud has been ideologically opposed to any territorial compromise with the Palestinians, has objected to a sovereign Palestinian state, and has been a proponent of the settler movement and the Greater Israel concept. Its first electoral victory for a majority in the Israeli parliament came in 1977. In 1978, Likud Prime Minster Menachem Begin signed a peace treaty with Egypt, which involved Israeli military and civilian withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula. Begin soon after launched the 1982 War in Lebanon. In 1991, Likud Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir headed the Israeli negotiation team at the Madrid Conference. More recent Likud leaders, such as Benjamin Netanyahu, have led neo-liberalist economic measures. Dispute over Israel's unilateral Gaza Disengagement in August 2005 led Likud Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to leave the party and establish the Kadima party, which rivaled the Likud and won in the 2006 elections. Likud came into power again in 2009. See the Knesset website: "Likud," and "Likud," YNet News, February 1, 2008.
Also known as the Madrid Peace Talks or Madrid Summit. Refers to the international peace conference held in Madrid, Spain in 1991, following the 1991 Gulf War. Co-sponsored by the United States and the Soviet Union, it was the first time that representatives from Israel, Palestinians and representatives from Arab countries that had not yet formally recognized Israel came together to discuss the prospects for peace in direct negotiations. US President George H.W. Bush saw it as redemption of pledges he had made to Arab leaders in setting up the anti-Saddam Hussein coalition during the 1991 Gulf War. Israel was incensed by the inclusion of Palestine Liberation Organization representatives, albeit as part of the Jordanian delegation. The talks were based on United Nations Resolutions 242 and 338 as well as the Camp David Accords of 1978, accepting the "land-for-peace" formula for resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict. It set up a system of multi- and bilateral committees, which met with few results until overtaken by the revelation of the Oslo Process between Israel and Palestinian representatives in August 1993. The Madrid Conference is generally seen as a precursor to Oslo, though formally unrelated. See "The Madrid Conference, 1991," Office of the Historian, U.S. Department of State.
(1935- ) A Palestinian political figure, also known as Abu Mazen. Abbas has been a leading figure in Fatah which he co-founded along with Yasser Arafat and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) since its inception. Throughout his career, Abbas has been involved in negotiations between West Banks and the Israeli government, most notably as the leading West Bank negotiator of the Oslo Accords and as the PLO signatory of the Oslo Accords' Declaration of Principles in September 1993. He served as the first Prime Minister of the West Bank Authority (PA) from March to October 2003, when he resigned after an internal West Bank power struggle. Following the death of Arafat in 2004, the PLO executive committee appointed Abbas as Chairman of the PLO. In January 2005, he was elected to a four-year term as President of the PA. He unilaterally extended his term for another year due to the Hamas-Fatah conflict and, though that second deadline expired in 2008, as of May 2015, he continues to hold both positions, as presidential and legislative elections continued to be delayed. Due to the Hamas-Fatah conflict, Abbas's authority has extended only over the West Bank since 2007. Abbas is viewed by some as a moderate and pragmatic politician who calls for negotiation rather than armed struggle, and is credited for helping improve the economy of the West Bank. However, he is also perceived by many as primarily appeasing Israel and the United States rather than advocating for the rights of his people. See "How Long Can Mahmoud Abbas Hold On?" Dalia Hatuqa, Foreign Policy, Jan 16, 2015.
(1942-2008) A Palestinian writer and political figure. Best-known for his poetry, Darwish is considered the Palestinian national poet. He was also active in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and was a journalist and editor for many years. Darwish broke with the PLO in 1993 in protest of the Oslo Process, which he deemed as detrimental to Palestinian rights and statehood. See the Mahmoud Darwish website.
(a Hebrew acronym for "Mifleget Poalei Eretz Yisrael" or "Worker's Party of the Land of Israel") A workers' party that was founded in 1930 and grew out of Labor Zionism, which was based on socialist principles. Mapai was the dominant party in Israeli politics prior to its establishment of the Labor party in 1968. Israel's first prime minister David Ben-Gurion was the head of Mapai. See "Workers Party of Eretz Israel (Mapai)," Knesset.
(1959- ) A Palestinian political and military figure. A longtime member of Fatah, Barghouti was a leading member of the movement's "Young Guard," which came to prominence in the 1980's, when Fatah's establishment figures were in exile in Lebanon and then Tunisia. Barghouti, who lived in the West Bank, was a key leader during the First Intifada, for which he was deported by Israel to Jordan. Following the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1994, he returned to the West Bank and was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council in 1996. He launched a campaign against corruption and human rights abuses by Arafat's officials and security forces. Originally a supporter of the Oslo Process with several close contacts in the Israeli peace camp, Barghouti became disenchanted with the peace process, especially after the failure of the "final status" Camp David II talks. During the Second Intifada, he was the head of Fatah's Tanzim militia. In a 2002 Washington Post op-ed, Barghouti asserted the right of Palestinians to use armed resistance for self defense and to fight for their freedom in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, though also asserted opposition to armed attacks against Israeli civilians within Israel-proper. Israel arrested Barghouti in April 2002 under allegations that he had founded the Palestinian militant group al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade (a charge which he denied, though later the Brigade named him as their leader.) As of 2015, Barghouti is serving five consecutive life-sentences in Israeli prison, after being convicted in an Israeli court for five counts of murder as well as membership in what Israel regards a terrorist organization. Barghouti refused to legitimize the Israeli court system by mounting a defense, instead using his trial as a platform to put the Israeli occupation itself on trial. In 2009, while still in prison, he was elected to Fatah's Central Committee. See "Palestinians renew calls to free 'leader-in-waiting' Marwan Barghouti," Peter Beaumont, The Guardian, March 26, 2014; and "Want Security? End the Occupation," Marwan Barghouti, originally published in the Washington Post on Jan 15, 2002.
(1932-1990) A Jewish Israeli Orthodox rabbi and political figure of American origin. Kahane founded the militant Jewish Defense League in Brooklyn in 1968, immigrated to Israel in 1971 and immediately founded the Kach party, which called for the expulsion of Palestinians from Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories as well as the revocation of Israeli citizenship from non-Jews. Arrested tens of times, Kahane spent six months in jail in 1980 for allegedly planning to kill Palestinians in response to the murders of Jewish Israeli settlers. Kach finally gained enough votes for one Knesset seat in 1984, which Kahane took. He was not able to run again in 1988 as Kach was banned from the Israeli Knesset in 1985 for being racist and undemocratic. The party was later banned from Israel altogether after the Goldstein massacre of February 25, 1994. Kahane was assassinated in New York City in November 1990. See "Meir Kahane, 58, Israeli Militant and Founder of the Jewish Defense League," John Kifner, The New York Times, November 6, 1990.
(1913-1992) A Jewish Israeli political and military figure. Of Russian and Polish origin, Begin immigrated to Palestine via enlistment in the Polish army in 1942. He was a primary political leader of the Revisionist Zionist movement and assumed command of the Irgun, an underground Jewish paramilitary group that operated in resistance to the British mandate government prior to Israel's establishment. Begin and others founded the Herut party (the precursor to the Likud party after Israel's establishment in 1948 and he officially entered politics as a member of the Israeli Knesset beginning with the first elections. In 1977, as head of the Likud party, Begin was elected Prime Minister of Israel and held the position until 1982. While in office, he negotiated a peace treaty with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat at Camp David that led to Israel's withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula in exchange for Egypt's recognition of Israel, and was co-recipient of the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize with Sadat. During his tenure as prime minister, Begin authorized the Israeli Air Force to bomb the Osirak nuclear reactor in Iraq, and launched the 1982 War in Lebanon. He is known as well for advancing the Jewish Israeli settlement movement in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. See "The Nobel Peace Prize 1978: Menachem Begin," Nobelprize.org, September 2, 2011.
(Hebrew for "vitality") An Israeli political party. Formed in 1992 with the merger of the Shinui, Mapam and Ratz parties and officially registered in 1996. Meretz is considered a left-wing social democratic party that continues to call for a negotiated end to Israel's occupation of the Palestinian Territories, human rights for all of Israel's citizens as well as freedom from religion. As of 2014, Meretz, has six seats in the Israeli Knesset. See "Meretz," YNet News, February 4, 2008.
(Hebrew for "Eastern".) The term is used to refer to Jews of Middle-Eastern and North African origin, who are sometimes known as "Arab Jews." The term is often used synonymously with "Sephardic Jews," though Sephardic connotes religious practice and Mizrahi connotes place of origin. Arabic was/is the mother tongue of most Mizrahi Jews at the time of their immigration to Israel in the early 1950's, and other native languages include Persian, Marathi, Tajik and others. Approximately 700,000 Mizrahi Jews were expelled from their country of origin in the years after the 1948 War and many immigrated to Israel; others left of their own will, due to encouragement by Israel, and/or because of deteriorating conditions in their native countries after the founding of the State of Israel. There are several incidents in which Zionist agents committed acts of sabotage in order to hasten the flight/explusion of Mizrahi Jews to Israel. Mizrahi Jews faced marginalization upon their immigration to Israel at the hands of the politically and culturally dominant Ashkenazi Jews. Jews coming from Arab and Muslim countries were usually settled in under-serviced development towns far from Israel's major population centers, endured systemic discrimination, and were treated as culturally inferior. Though social integration has improved in Israeli society, there are still wide disparities educationally and economically between Mizrahi and Ashkenazi Jews. In recent years, a debate has begun about whether the plight of Mizrahi Israelis who were expelled from their country of origin should be part of peace negotiations, and whether their plight is parallel to that of Palestinian refugees. See the website for "Mizrahi Democratic Rainbow." See also "Danny Ayalon and the Jewish refugee fallacy," Daniel Haboucha, The Times of Israel, October 1, 2012.
(1961- ) A Palestinian political and security figure, and a longtime member of Fatah. After the signing of the Oslo Accords, Dahlan was the head of the Preventive Security Forces in the Gaza Strip, later becoming the National Security Advisor, and served on the Palestinian Legislative Council. Dahlan was part of the Palestinian delegation to the 2000 Camp David (II) Summit. Dahlan was viewed with suspicion by many Palestinians because of his good relations with the U.S. and Israel, which led some to think of him as an agent, and, though he vocally called for reforms in the Palestinian Authority, PA) he was also accused of large-scale corruption. While heading the Palestinian National Security Council from 2006-2007, Dahlan was a key part of escalating the Hamas-Fatah conflict in Gaza. In June 2007, he led what some have called a failed U.S.-backed coup of the democratically elected Hamas government. After Hamas's subsequent counter-coup and takeover of Gaza, PA President Mahmoud Abbas dissolved the National Security Council and Dahlan was expelled from Gaza, going to the West Bank. Dahlan was elected to Fatah's Central Committee in 2009 and then expelled from Fatah in early 2011 due to (unsubstantiated) allegations that he was involved in poisoning Yasser Arafat. As of 2015, Dahlan resided in Abu Dhabi, with a bitter split persisting between himself and Abbas. See "Exiled in Abu Dhabi, Mohammed Dahlan Dreams of Gaza," Dan Ephron, Newsweek, March 2, 2015; and "The Gaza Bombshell," David Rose, Vanity Fair, April 2008.
(Hebrew for "The Institute," formerly known as "Institute for Espionage and Special Tasks") Israel's external intelligence agency, Mossad is the Israeli equivalent of the CIA or the British MI6. As such, the Mossad is responsible for many covert operations outside the borders of Israel, as well as providing the Israeli Prime Minister with intelligence and strategic assessments. Its counterpart, working inside Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, is the Shin Bet Agency, or Shabak. See "Shadowy and deadly-the long arm of the Mossad," Ian Black, The Guardian, Feb 16, 2010.
Palestinian political party. Founded in 2002 and led by Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, Mubadara's leadership consists of secular intellectuals (including the late Edward Said) and Palestinians with deep roots in civil society, and seeks to democratize and unify Palestinian policies and leadership. The party's platform calls for the creation of a Palestinian state on all the territory occupied by Israel in 1967. See their website.
(1943- ) A prominent Palestinian-American advocate for nonviolent resistance to the Israeli occupation. Awad was a leader of nonviolent civil disobedience during the First Intifada, was arrested by Israel many times, and was deported by the Israeli government in 1988. He was the founder of the Jerusalem-based Palestinian Center for the Study of Nonviolence in 1983, and the DC-based Nonviolence International in 1989. As of 2015, he is an Adjunct Professor of International Peace and Conflict Resolution at The American University in Washington, D.C. See "A Quiet Revolution: The First Palestinian Intifada and Nonviolent Resistance," Mary Elizabeth King, Nation Books, 2007; and "Mubarak Awad," American University, July 21, 2011.
(1988-2000) A twelve-year-old Palestinian boy who was caught with his father in the crossfire during an exchange of fire between the Israeli army and Palestinian militants at Netzarim junction in the Gaza Strip on September 30, 2000, at the beginning of the Second Intifada. Footage of Muhammad's father trying to shield his son during the gun battle, followed by footage of Muhammad, who appeared to have been killed, was filmed by a Palestinian cameraman and first aired by a French television station. The footage was soon publicized extensively, with the image of the frightened child huddled against his father becoming an iconic image of the Second Intifada. Within Palestinian society, Muhammad al-Dura was deemed a shaheed (martyr) and became an international symbol for all Palestinian children killed by Israeli forces. Israel initially took responsibility for the killing, but later retracted and said Muhammad had been killed by Palestinian fire. In 2013, Israel announced the findings of a special internal Ministry of Defense investigative committee that the boy had not actually been killed, and that the scene had been staged. Journalist Doha Shams visited the al-Dura family in Gaza 2012, and interviewed multiple family members who spoke about their martyred son/brother and their experiences the day Muhammad was killed. Controversy over the footage and the incident continues. See "Media analyst convicted over France-2 Palestinian boy footage," The Guardian, June 26, 2013; and "Muhammad Al-Dura: The boy who wasn't really killed,", Ben Caspit, The Jerusalem Post, May 12, 2013; and "Seeking Justice for Muhammad al-Durrah," Doha Shams, Al-Akhbar, May 2, 2012.
Located in the Palestinian city of Ramallah in the central West Bank, the Muqataa is a compound housing the Palestinian Authority (PA)'s government offices. During the April 2002 Israeli military incursion, the Israeli army raided the compound, shelled and bulldozed a large section of it, and placed it under siege in an attempt to isolate PA President Yasser Arafat. The siege was a response to the Second Intifada amid Israeli claims that Arafat and others in the PA were supporting terrorism. Arafat was held under house arrest at the compound from April 2002-October 2004, after which he was flown to Paris, France for medical treatment, where he died on November 11, the cause of which remains controversial. The Muqataa is also now the site of Arafat's tomb. See "Inside Arafat's compound of rubble," BBC, September 22, 2002; and "Arafat mausoleum opened by Abbas," BBC, November 10, 2007.
(1954- ) A Palestinian doctor, political figure, democracy and human rights activist who calls for popular nonviolent resistance to the occupation. Barghouti has been active in establishing health programs throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees. Politically, he was a longtime figure in the Palestine People's Party (formerly the Communist Party) and participated in the Madrid Conference in 1991. In 2002, he co-founded the Palestinian National Initiative (Mubadara) and currently sits as the party's Secretary General. Barghouti served as the Minister of Information in the short-lived Palestinian national unity government from March-June 2007. Since then, he has played a key role in facilitating internal political negotiations surrounding Fatah-Hamas unity agreements. He has been arrested by Israeli police on multiple occasions. As of 2015, he sits on the Palestinian Legislative Council and is a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization Central Council. Barghouti was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010. See "An Insider's view of the Palestinian unity deal", Tom Kutsh, Foreign Policy, May 6, 2011; and "Nobel Peace Prize and Dr. Mustafa Barghouti" U.K. Parliament.
An Israeli political figure. In 2012, Bennett became the leader of the Jewish Home party, a right-wing, religious Zionist party. Formerly a software entrepreneur, Bennett entered politics in 2006 and is considered a strong future contender for Prime Minister. He initially served as Netanyahu's chief of staff, and then co-founded (with Ayelet Shaked a settlement-championing group called "My Israel." In 2014, Bennett published an op-ed in the New York Times in which he stated that there should be no Palestinian state and that 60% of West Bank land should be annexed to Israel. In 2015, Bennett was appointed Minister of Education. See "A newly hatched hawk flies high," The Economist, Jan 5, 2013; and "Naftali Bennett West Bank annexation plan a wake up call for the West," John V. Whitbeck, Ma'an News Agency, November 8, 2014.
The Budget Foundations Law, commonly known as the Nakba Law, passed in March 2011. This law penalizes actions that are seen as "rejecting the existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state" or "commemorating Independence Day or the day of the establishment of the state as a day of mourning." In essence, the law (which was introduced by the Yisrael Beiteinu party) seeks to target Palestinian citizens of Israel who commemorate al-Nakba, which is Arabic for "the catastrophe" and refers to the uprooting and displacement of up to 800,000 Palestinians during and following the 1948 War. An earlier draft of the law made Nakba commemoration a felony, punishable by a prison sentence, but the version that eventually passed holds instead a financial penalty on government-funded bodies. The law is one of many discriminatory laws that have passed the Knesset or are in different stages of consideration in recent years. See Israel passes controversial funding law," Bethany Bell, BBC, March 23, 2011; and "High Court ruling on Nakba Law Reveals its waning power," Fady Khoury, Jan 7, 2012. See also "Discriminatory Laws," Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel.
Also known by the Hebrew acronym Mafdal, or in English, by its initials NRP. An Israeli political party formed in 1956. It represents the religious Zionist movement. Mafdal promotes Jewish law in public spheres (education, marriage, etc.) rather than the separation of religion and state. Mafdal is strongly associated with the settler movement, and believes that Israel's borders should be from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. The party opposes a Palestinian state and refuses to recognize the Palestinian Authority. In 2008, the party merged with the National Unity and two other parties to create the Jewish Home party, which, after other coalition partners dropped out, essentially turned into a re-named Mafdal. See "As NRP folds to create united front, signs of dissent emerge," Matthew Wagner, The Jerusalem Post, Nov 19, 2008.
Founded in 1999 as a right wing, nationalist Israeli coalition party. It calls for the voluntary expulsion of Palestinians from East Jerusalem the West Bank and Gaza Strip to other Arab countries. In 2008, it merged with Mafdal to form the Jewish Home, but most of its members since left Jewish Home. In recent years, National Union party MKs have expressed support for Israelis who execute vigilante "price tag" attacks, and gave information to right wing extremists about Israeli army activity in the West Bank. See "Second Israeli MK admits to having given settlers information on IDF movements," Jonathan Lis, Haaretz, Jan 8, 2012.
(Negev in Hebrew; Naqab in Arabic.) A desert comprising the southern half of Israel. The biggest city is Beersheva, and there are several Kibbutzim and development towns, which were built in the 1950's to settle the influx of primarily Mizrachi Jewish immigrants coming from Arab countries. There are also a number of Israeli military bases. Approximately 70% of the Negev's current residents are Jewish, while 30% are Bedouin, half of whom live in 45 unrecognized villages and half who live in seven impoverished and over-crowded government-planned towns, which taken together comprise 2% of the land of the Negev/Naqab. See "One last appeal before a Bedouin village in the Negev is demolished and a Jewish town is built in its place," Allison Deger, Mondoweiss, June 1, 2015. See also "Bedouin's plight: 'We want to maintain our traditions. But it's a dream here,'" Harriet Sherwood, The Guardian, Nov 3 2011.
(Hebrew and Arabic for "Oasis of Peace") A village/community in central Israel, located between the cities of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, which was intentionally created by Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel. Est. population in 2010: 60 families. Established in 1969 with the goal of engaging in "educational work for peace, equality and understanding between the two peoples." The "School for Peace" which conducts workshops and seminars for Jewish and Palestinian youth and adults operates out of Neve Shalom/Wahat Al-Salam. See the village's website.
Can refer to the process of creating 'normal' diplomatic and economic relations between the State of Israel and its Arab neighbors. Can also refer (critically) to Palestinians and Israelis (both individuals and groups) who are willing to work with or talk to each other "as if things are normal," and thereby reinforcing the status quo of the occupation. Normalization prior to the creation of a Palestinian state and the end of the occupation is viewed by many Palestinians and their supporters as a betrayal of the Palestinian struggle for self-determination. In the context of diplomatic/economic relations, Egypt was the first to normalize relations in 1979 and was expelled from the Arab League for a time; Jordan followed suit in 1994. The 2002 Arab Peace Initiative is the most comprehensive offer of normalization by the Arab world, under the condition of Palestinian statehood and a full end to occupation. See "Arab normalization gestures to Israel," Akram Baker, Bitterlemons-international.org, July 23, 2009. See also "What is normal about normalization," Aziz Abu Sarah, +972mag, Dec 26, 2011; and "Co-existence vs. Co-resistance: A case against normalization," Omar H. Rahman, +972mag, Jan 3, 2012.
The term "Occupation" is used to refer to Israel's military control of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip since the 1967 War. It may also refer to Israel's occupation of the Syrian Golan Heights. Israel annexed the Golan Heights in 1981; however, international legal bodies do not recognize the annexation. For more about the legal apparatus that Israel use to uphold the occupation, see the 2011 documentary film "The Law in These Parts" or read "How the Occupation Became Legal," Eyal Press, The New York Review of Books, Jan 2011.
Also known as the Territories, "East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza Strip," or, by those who want to emphasize a Biblical Jewish connection to the land, often for political reasons, "Judea and Samaria." The term generally refers to two non-contiguous territories captured by Israel following the 1967 War and whose Palestinian residents live under military occupation, but does not usually include the Golan Heights (which Israel annexed in 1981, though the annexation is not recognized by international legal bodies) or the Sinai Peninsula (which Israel returned to Egypt in 1979.) The occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza is recognized by the international community and the territories are treated as such by international legal instruments. The OPT, or some part of, are slated to be the basis for an independent Palestinian slate. Certain factions in Israel consider the OPT an integral part of biblical Israel and thus modern political Israel. See "Occupied Palestinian Territory," United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Following the outbreak of the Second Intifada on September 28, 2000, Palestinian citizens of Israel demonstrated in a number of villages and cities, expressing solidarity with Palestinians in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as protesting against inequality and neglect within Israel. Israeli police used rubber bullets, snipers and live ammunition in many of the demonstrations, killing 12 Palestinian citizens of Israel (including a 17-year old boy) and one Palestinian from Gaza who was inside Israel. The clashes were investigated by a special committee of inquiry - the Or Commission - headed by an Israeli Supreme Court Justice. The commission found that police used excessive force in quelling the demonstrations and exhibited prejudice against the Palestinian minority and recommended an internal police investigation. The commission also found that three Arab political/religious leaders bore responsibility for incitement. The Israeli Attorney General closed the case in 2008 without there being accountability for the police officers. The events highlighted and deepened the rift between Palestinian and Jewish citizens of Israel and the alienation of Palestinian citizens of Israel from the Israeli state. See "The Accused-Part II: Failures and Omissions by the Attorney General in Investigating the October 2000 Events," Adalah, January, 2011; and "Israeli Bullet Ends a Life In Two Worlds," Lee Hockstader, The Washington Post, Oct 5, 2000.
An Israeli commission headed by Justice Theodor Or that investigated the October 2000 events in which 12 Palestinian citizens of Israel (and one Palestinian from Gaza Strip) were killed by Israeli forces during demonstrations in Palestinian villages and towns inside Israel at the start of the Second Intifada. The commission found that Israeli police used excessive force (including snipers and live ammunition) in quelling the demonstrations and exhibited prejudice against the Palestinian minority. It reprimanded eight police officers (two of whom were released from their posts) and recommended an internal police investigation. The report also condemned two politicians who are Palestinian citizens of Israel, as well as the head of the Islamic Movement in Israel, for incitement. Additionally, the commission found the Israeli government acted with neglect and discrimination with regard to its treatment of Palestinian citizens. This was the first official Israeli acknowledgment of inequality between the Arab and Jewish sectors in Israel. See "Adalah comments on the Or Commission of Inquiry Report," Adalah, The Electronic Intifada, September 2003; and "October 2000: Law & Politics before the Or Commission of Inquiry," Marwan Dalal, Adalah, July 2003.
Owned by the al-Husseini family, the Orient Houseserved as the headquarters for the Palestine Liberation Organization in East Jerusalem. During the Oslo Process, the Israeli government accused the Palestinian Authority of functioning out of the Orient Housein an attempt to expand Palestinian institutions in Jerusalem. In August 2001, Israel closed the Orient House, seizing files and computers, including personal books and documents of Faisal al-Husseini. See the Orient House's website.
Also referred to as the Oslo Agreements, or, simply, "Oslo." The Oslo Accords are a series of agreements that launched the Oslo Process, aimed at achieving a comprehensive peace treaty between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The Oslo Process was unveiled with the signing of the Declaration of Principles (DOP) by PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on the White House lawn on September 13, 1993, and was the first peace agreement signed by Israelis and Palestinians. It was preceded by a series of backchannel meetings begun by academics under the aegis of the Norwegian government, which, over a period of months, became official, though still secret. Israel recognized the PLO as the sole legitimate representative body of the Palestinian people and the PLO recognized Israel's right to exist in peace and security. The DOP called for a phased peace process that would lead to a permanent settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on United Nation Resolutions 242 and United Nations Resolution 338. The agreement did not directly address the key "permanent status" issues of water, refugees, Jerusalem, settlements and borders, but set up a structure for them to be negotiated at a later stage of the process, once trust was built. It also led to the creation of the Palestinian Authority (PA) as part of the 1995 Oslo Interim Agreement. The Oslo Process was set back with the assassination of Rabin in November 1995, and by a wave of Palestinian suicide bombings as well as an Israeli attack on Lebanon in 1996. The election of Benjamin Netanyahu (who opposed the Oslo Accords) as Israeli Prime Minister in May 1996 made continuing the Process more difficult. Additionally, Israel expanded settlements and erected more checkpoints after the start of the Oslo Process, causing many Palestinians (even ones who has supported the Process initially) to feel the occupation was becoming even more entrenched under Oslo. After the failure of the Camp David (II) Summit in 2000 and the subsequent outbreak of the Second Intifada, the Oslo Process collapsed. In retrospect, majorities of both sides tend to see the Process as a mistake, with each side convinced the other had no real intention of making peace. There are many criticisms of the Accords themselves, including that the text never mentioned nor promised an independent Palestinian state. See "The Morning After," Edward Said, London Review of Books, October 21, 1993; and "Arafat's Camel," Avi Shlaim, London Review of Books, October 21, 2003. See also "It's now clear: the Oslo peace accords were wrecked by Netanyahu's bad faith,"; Avi Shlaim, The Guardian, Sept 12, 2013; and "The Oslo Accords, 20 Years Later," Institute for Middle East Understanding, Sept 11, 2013.
Small Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (specifically the West Bank) that were established without authorization from the Israeli government. Though Israel considers these outposts to be illegal, a 2005 Israeli governmental report uncovered that most of the then 100+ outposts received financial and material support from various Israeli ministries, and are often protected by the Israeli military. In 2012, the Israeli government set up an "outpost committee" which issued the "Levy Report," recommending that the outposts be authorized. See "Settlement Outposts," Foundation for Middle East Peace.\r\nSee also "At least 70 outposts are located on private Palestinian land," Hagit Ofran and Lara Friedman, Peace Now, March 2, 2011; and "Validate Settlements, Israeli Panel Suggests," Isabel Kershner, The New York Times, July 9, 2012.
A territorial/national entity that was historically comprised of present-day Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Palestine was among the several former Ottoman Empire territories that the League of Nations placed under the administration of Great Britain after World War I. In 1947, United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181 proposed the partitioning of Palestine into two independent states: one Palestinian and the other Jewish. This proposal was not realized as Arab leaders, and other nations who rejected the plan, regarded it as invalid. The State of Israel declared independence in 1948 on part of Palestine. The subsequent 1948 War led to most of Palestine's territory being captured and annexed by Israel and the remaining parts (Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem) falling under Egyptian and Jordanian control respectively. (These territories were subsequently captured by Israel during the 1967 War, and have been occupied by Israel since then.) A sovereign state of Palestine does not exist today, and whether and under what conditions it will exist has been at the center of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and multiple rounds of peace negotiations. The term "Palestine" is used to refer alternatively to the currently Occupied Palestinian Territories, to a future independent Palestinian state in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, or to the entire historic territory of British mandate Palestine. In recent years, Palestine as a state has gained international recognition, both in the United Nations, and among several European governments. See A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples, Ilan Pappe, Cambridge University Press, 2004. See also "Spanish MPs call for recognising Palestine," Al Jazeera, Nov 18, 2014.
Founded in 1964, the PLO is an umbrella political organization and the embodiment of the Palestinian national movement. It was established in order to centralize the different Palestinian resistance groups that came into being after 1948. In 1969, Yasser Arafat, representing the Fatah movement, became chair of the organization, a position he held until his death in 2004. Some of the other groups within the PLO are the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP). From the early 1970s through the early 1990s, the PLO operated politically and militarily from bases in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Tunisia. The PLO first gained international legitimacy when Arafat addressed the United Nations General Assembly in November 1974 and the organization was granted observer status to the United Nations. In the 1993 Oslo Accords, the PLO both received recognition from Israel as the representative of the Palestinian people and recognized Israel's right to exist. Since Oslo, the PLO has seen its leadership absorbed into the Palestinian Authority. Though Hamas was not part of the PLO, there have been in recent years unity agreements between Fatah and Hamas, and a unity government deal was reached in June 2014. See "Palestine Liberation Organization," Permanent Observer Mission of the State of Palestine to the United Nations.
A cache of more than 1,600 confidential documents from negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) between 1999 and 2010. Leaked by employees in the Palestinian Negotiations Support Unit, the documents were published by Al-Jazeera in January 2011. The documents revealed (among other things) details about 1) the PA's concessions regarding Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees' right of return; 2) the PA's joint security work with Israel; and 3) the possibility that the PA knew about the Gaza War prior to Israel's military offensive in late December 2008. Al-Jazeera's publication of the Palestine Papers was extremely controversial within Palestinian society. Some Palestinians saw the Papers as confirmation that the PA was unfit to lead and had made too many compromises with Israel. Other Palestinians, including the PA, believed the publication of the Papers to be a ploy to overthrow the Fatah dominated PA and that many of the details of the PA's dealings with Israel were taken out of context. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman stated the Papers proved that even a left-wing government in Israel could not find agreement with the Palestinians and therefore a plan that defined provisional borders for the West Bank would be best. In February 2011, the Palestine Liberation Organization's chief negotiator Saeb Erekat resigned from his post and the Palestinian Negotiation Support Unit was dissolved. See "The Palestine Papers," Al Jazeera; "Palestinians attack al-Jazeera 'distorted' talks leaks," BBC News, 24 January 2011; and "Lieberman: Leaked Palestinian papers prove interim deal is only option," Haaretz, January 24, 2011.
The term Palestinian refers to those tracing heritage to historic Palestine, which comprises present-day Israel, the West Bank, (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip.The vast majority of those who currently identify as Palestinian are Arab (93% Muslim and 6% Christian). There are also Palestinian Jews whose family heritage in Israel/the Occupied Palestinian Territories pre-dates Zionism. Though the majority of Palestinian Jews now identify as Israeli, there are some who consider themselves Palestinian, as does the Palestinian National Charter. In 2007, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) reported an estimated 3.76 million Palestinians living in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, with the Israeli CBS reporting approximately 1.52 million Palestinians citizens of Israel in 2009. In addition, as of 2010 there were approximately 4.3 million Palestinian refugees living in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. There is also a sizable Palestinian Diaspora. See "Are All Palestinians Muslim?", Samih K. Farsoun, Institute for Middle Eastern Understanding, Dec 5, 2005.
Also known as the Palestinian National Authority (PNA). The Palestinian Authority (PA) was established in 1994 to serve as a five-year interim governing body in the Occupied Palestinian Territories as part of the Oslo Process, until the Final Status issues were settled. The peace process collapsed during the onset of the Second Intifada and the "interim" governing body still exists twenty years after it was formed. As leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Yasser Arafat became the PA Chairman in 1994 and held the position until his death in 2004. Fatah was historically the dominant party in both the PLO and the PA. The PA's authority was significantly limited by the agreements signed with Israel during the Oslo Process, giving it full jurisdiction over only a small portion of the West Bank known as Area A. The PA was granted observer status in the United Nations in 1974. In 2012, the status was upgraded to non-member observer state, despite opposition from the U.S. and Israel. After Hamas won a majority in the 2006 PA legislative elections, a unity government was formed that included Hamas and Fatah. In 2007, however, Hamas pre-empted an American-backed Fatah coup in the Gaza Strip, resulting in the Hamas-Fatah conflict, Hamas controlling Gaza and PA President Mahmoud Abbas's establishment of a new Fatah-dominated government in the ". After years of failed unity talks, Hamas and Fatah signed a unity agreement in April 2014, but the 2014 Gaza war and events since have delayed its implementation. Critics claim that the PA is corrupt, and functions as a subcontractor of the Israeli occupation, focusing on self-enrichment/consolidation of power and Israeli security rather than Palestinian freedom. See "Permanent Observer Mission of The State of Palestine to the United Nations." See also "A Palestinian Authority steeped in paralysis and corruption," Hasan Abu Nimah, The Electronic Intifada, June 28, 2015; and "A Decade After Arafat's Death, Palestinians Reflect on the Leadership that Followed Him," Alice Speri, Vice News, Nov 11, 2014.
Also known as Palestinian-Israelis, 1948 Palestinians, or Arab-Israelis. Refers to those Palestinians and their descendants who remained in the area that became the State of Israel in 1948. This includes most of the Bedouin within Israel and some Druze, though not all Druze identify as Palestinian. In 2009, Palestinian citizens of Israel numbered 1.52 million, approximately 18-19% of the Israeli population. They participate in government and hold Israeli citizenship, but most do not serve in the military. (Druze men and some Bedouin do typically serve.) Palestinian citizens of Israel were subjected to military rule until 1966, which restricted their movement and other civil rights. There have been three notorious incidents in which groups of unarmed Palestinian citizens of Israel were killed by Israeli forces; the first was in 1956 in Kafr Kassem, the second was in demonstrations in 1976 in the Galilee known as Land Day, and most recently the October 2000 events at the beginning of the Second Intifada. Palestinian citizens of Israel continue to experience discrimination, racism and inequality in multiple aspects of life, including civil rights, income/poverty, employment, land access, social services, education and health care. Discrimination against the Arab sector was first officially acknowledged by the Israeli government in the 2002 Or Commission Report, investigating the October 2000 Events. According to Adalah, The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, there are more than 50 Israeli laws that discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel. See "The Inequality Report: The Palestinian Arab Minority in Israel," Adalah, March 2011, and " Adalah. See also "Arab Minority Rights," Discriminatory Laws in Israel," The Association for Civil Rights in Israel.
On November 15, 1988, the Palestinian National Council, the legislative body of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), met in Algeria to adopt a declaration of independence and proclaimed an independent State of Palestine in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The declaration, which did not mention Israel but according to some was a tacit recognition of an Israeli state alongside a Palestinian state, led to on-again, off-again American talks with the PLO. See "Palestinian Declaration of Independence," Ami Isseroff, MidEast Web, 2002.
Also known as the Palestinian Parliament. The PLC is the Palestinian Authority (PA)'s legislative body and was created by the Oslo Accords. There are 132 members of the PLC from the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Its authority is restricted to internal security only in Area A and to civil issues, and its work is subject to review by Israel. It was inaugurated in 1996, but has not convened since the 2007 Hamas-Fatah conflict, and parliamentary elections have not taken place since 2006. Even before 2007, there were major obstacles to the functioning of the PLC, including Israeli control over whether its members received travel permits to attend the sessions, and the arrest by Israel of many PLC members, or those who might have become PLC members. The PLC buildings themselves (both in the West Bank and in Gaza) have been targeted in Israeli attacks. The Ramallah building was damaged in 2002, and the Gaza building was destroyed during the 2008/9 Gaza War. See "Israeli Security Forces Prevent Palestinian Legislative Council Members from Travelling to Council Session in Nablus," Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, June 12, 1996; and "25% of Palestinian MPs detained by Israel," Conal Urquhart, The Guardian, August 21, 2006.
Also known as Palestinian National Covenant. Adopted on May 28 1964, this is the charter of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and addresses the organization's goals. The charter has been controversial due to its position that historic Palestine (with borders from the time of the British Mandate) is the indivisible homeland of the Palestinian people,that the establishment of the state of Israel was entirely illegal, and that Zionism must be eliminated from the Middle East. Though later statements and declarations from PLO leaders (including Yasser Arafat) acknowledged Israel's right to exist in peace and security, Israeli leaders dismissed those statements, pointing to the charter, which had not been amended. In April 1996, following both the signing of the Oslo Accords' Declaration of Principles, and an exchange of letters of mutual recognition between Israel and the PLO, the Palestinian National Council voted to amend the charter to cancel any articles that contradicted the letters of mutual recognition. The new draft of the charter with those amendments made was never completed; however, in 1998, Yasser Arafat wrote letters to President Clinton and Prime Minister Blair which stated that the charter's articles denying Israel's right to exist had been nullified. This was reiterated in the Wye River Memorandum. In recent years, focus has shifted away from the Palestinian National Charter and onto Hamas's charter. See "Palestinian National Charter of 1964," State of Palestine Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations; and "Letter From President Yasser Arafat to President Clinton," Miftah: The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue & Democracy, Jan 13, 1998.
A Palestinian political party with communist roots; a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Founded in 1982 as the Palestinian Communist Party, the PPP draws on the work and ideology of previous communist factions dating to 1919. In 1991, after the Soviet Union fell, the party re-evaluated its Leninist past and changed its name to the Palestinian People's Party. The party was supportive yet critical of the Oslo Accords. Long-time member and then General-Secretary Mustafa Barghouti left the PPP in 2002 to form al-Mubadara. See "Palestinian People's Party," MidEastWeb.
Refers to Palestinian prisoners from the Occupied Palestinian Territories who are tried by Israel, usually in military courts, where the conviction rate is over 99%. While Israel maintains that those in detention are "security prisoners," engaged in criminal acts or posing a threat to Israel's security, Palestinian rights groups maintain that a majority are political prisoners (including political leaders, as well as hundreds who have organized unarmed demonstrations), or are held for acts such as stone-throwing, and consider them prisoners of war. In 1999, Israel's Supreme Court outlawed torture in its interrogation methods of detainees and in 2000, Israel publicly admitted that it had used torture during interrogations of detainees in the First Intifada. According to the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, some forms of torture continue to be employed during detainee interrogations. Between 1967 and 2013, Israel arrested and detained over 750,000 Palestinians; roughly 40% of the male population. As of October 2014, 5,447 Palestinians were held in Israeli detention centers, including 163 children. Included in that number are 457 Palestinians held in administrative detention without charge or trial, which is the highest number since 2009. These numbers were much higher during both the First and the Second Intifada. Palestinian prisoners have found ways to resist their own conditions of imprisonment (as well as policies such as administrative detention) via hunger strikes, some of which lasted close to 80 days. Prisoners have organized within the prisons' highly intricate systems of education and self-governance. Palestinian prisoners are at the emotional heart of the conflict for Palestinians; nearly every Palestinian has either been in prison, or has an imprisoned relative. Prisoner swaps are common in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. See "Detainees and Prisoners," B'Tselem; and "Palestinian prisoners: Why they count," The Economist, Aug 17, 2013. See also "Joint NGO Submission on Israeli Suppression of Palestinian Human Rights Activism against the Wall," Addameer, Stop the Wall, National Lawyers Guild, Feb 4, 2010; and "The Hour of Sunlight: One Palestinian's Journey from Prisoner to Peacemaker," Sami Al Jundi and Jen Marlowe, Nation Books, 2011. For a documentary film about the history of the military court system, see "The Law in these Parts," Ra'anan Alexandrowicz, 2012. See also infographic "History Repeats Itself: Hunger Strikes in 1989 South African and 2012 Palestine," Visualizing Palestine.
Refers to Palestinians who were expelled or fled from their villages/towns as a result of the 1948 War or the 1967 War. The recorded number of first-generation Palestinian refugees depends on the source: 520,000 according to Israel; 726,000 according to the United Nations; and over 800,000 according to Arab sources. Including descendants, Palestinian refugees registered with the UN in 2010 numbered more than 4.3 million, with many of these refugees living in UN-administered refugee camps in Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. Israel initially maintained that Palestinians fled of their own free will, or at the instructions of Arab leaders. Starting in the late 1970's, however, more critical narratives began to emerge from some former Israeli soldiers, academics and journalists, including an admission of Israeli-perpetrated mass expulsions. The rights of and future solutions for Palestinian refugees have been a sticking point in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, with Israel stating refugees must relinquish claims to their pre-1948 and 1967 homes and Palestinians demanding a right of return for these refugees and/or formal acknowledgement from Israel that the Israeli state bears responsibility for the refugee crisis. UN Resolution 194 stipulated that refugees be allowed to return to their homes and lands and that the responsible governments should compensate all refugees for any destroyed property or for properties the refugees choose not to return to; Israel has rejected this resolution. See "Obstacles to Arab-Israeli peace: Palestinian refugees," Martin Asser, BBC, September 2, 2010.
(A Hebrew acronym for "Plugot Ma_atz" or "strike force") Founded in 1941, the Palmach was an elite operational force of the Haganah (a Jewish paramilitary group and the precursor to the Israeli army.) The Palmach primarily viewed their force as protection against potential occupation of British Mandate Palestine by the Axis power, and as protection against Arab attacks on Jewish communities. Later, the organization went underground and practiced guerilla combat against the British. In the 1948 War, the Palmach formed the backbone of the Jewish forces, with its three brigades and ancillary intelligence, air and naval forces. Israel's first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion insisted on Palmach's integration into the Israeli Army in 1948. Some of the commanders of the Palmach, such as Yigal Alon, Moshe Dayan and Yitzhak Rabin, became prominent military and political leaders. In recent years, Palmach veterans have been interviewed about war crimes that they participated in during the 1948 War. See "Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001," Benny Morris, Vintage Books, 2001. See also "Breaking the Silence-Palmach Version," Zochrot, Dec 31, 2011.
There are different kinds of permits used by Israel to control the Occupied Palestinian Territories and the Palestinians who live within them. Travel permits from Israeli authorities are required for Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip order to enter Israel, including East Jerusalem. Israeli civilians wanting to enter Areas A in the West Bank are also required to obtain Israeli-issued permits. Due to Israel's Separation Barrier and Jewish Israeli settlements, some Palestinians must obtain permits from the Israeli military to access their own land and even to live in their homes. All types of permits (including building permits for Palestinians living in Area C and East Jerusalem) can be difficult to obtain, and there are instances of Palestinians being barred from access to their land and losing their crops. Israel states the permits are necessary for maintaining security and order; however, Palestinian and Israeli civil rights NGOs have labeled the system of permits a "permit regime" in which an impossible bureaucracy intentionally discriminates against Palestinians. See "The Permit Maze: Palestinians need permits to move, to live, for everything," BADIL Resource Center, November 3, 2003; and "Security fence permits for Palestinians petition rejected," Ron Friedman, Jerusalem Post, April 4, 2011.
Formed in 1983 by Palestinians, the Committees were responsible for basic services in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, ranging from education to garbage collection as well as food distribution during Israeli-imposed closures and sieges. They required a great deal of popular mobilization, and were instrumental in the First Intifada. Popular Committees continue to function today in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and, particularly in the West Bank, have united under several coalitions in order to organize grassroots resistance against Israel's occupation. The most prominent coalitions include the Grassroots Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign founded in 2002 and the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee established in 2009. See "A Quiet Revolution: The First Palestinian Intifada and Nonviolent Resistance," by Mary Elizabeth King, Nation Books, 2007. See also the websites for the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee and the Grassroots Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign.
A Palestinian political party. Founded in 1967 by Palestinian Christian George Habash, this party combines secular Arab nationalist and Marxist-Leninist ideologies. The PFLP and its offshoot, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, historically advocated the creation of a secular democratic Palestine as a precursor to a broader revolution within the Arab world. PFLP became the second largest faction within the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), but lost influence in the late 1980s after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the rise of Islamist movements such as Hamas. The PFLP was one of a number of Palestinian parties opposed to the Oslo Process. The PFLP has used both political and militant means, notably hijackings and political assassinations, to advance its aims. Although it came to accept a two-state solution, in 2010 the vPFLP called for the PLO to end its negotiations with Israel, as it believed the negotiations would further divide Fatah and Hamas and that only a one-state solution for Palestinians and Jews was possible. See their website. See also "'Paradise Is in This Life, Not the Next': The Marxists of Gaza Are Fighting for a Secular State," Creede Newton, Vice News, Feb 25, 2015.
This non-partisan committee was formed by activists in popular committees from all over the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) in order to facilitate communication between the different committees that organize unarmed resistance against Israel's Separation Barrier, Israel's confiscation of Palestinian land and other aspects of Israel's military occupation. See the committee's website . See also Just Vision's documentary film "Budrus."
The Prawer Plan is an Israeli bill that was formulated in September 2011 and was approved by the Knesset in June 2013. If implemented, the bill would lead to the destruction of 35 "unrecognized villages" and to the forced displacement of tens of thousands of Bedouin citizens of Israel from the Negev/Naqab desert. The Israeli government claims that the bill is part of a campaign to develop the Negev/Naqab and that Bedouin communities will benefit from it; however, the bill has been rejected by the Bedouin community and allies, and large protests against the bill were held. The Prawer Plan has faced strong international opposition; the United Nations human rights chief urged Israel to reconsider the bill, The European Parliament called for its withdrawal, and other human rights/advocacy organizations inside Israel (such as Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel) has called the plan discriminatory, stating that it "entrenches the state's historic injustice against its Bedouin citizens." The plan was halted in December 2013, though it's not clear whether it has been temporarily delayed or shelved altogether. See "Bedouin's plight: "We want to maintain our traditions. But it's a dream here," Harriet Sherwood, The Guardian, November 3, 2011. See also "Resource: Full text of Prawer-Begin plan for Negev Bedouin," 972mag.com; and "Prawer Plan to Displace Bedouin," 972mag.
Though settler violence towards Palestinian communities is not new, in recent years such acts have often been labeled "Price Tag Attacks." The slogan is meant to convey the idea that the violence is the price extracted from Palestinians or from the Israeli military for actions that are perceived as harming settlers or the settlement enterprise. Price Tag Attacks include vandalism of property, arson, uprooting of olive trees, and physical violence towards people, and are often accompanied by Hebrew graffiti with the words: "Price tag." See "Settler violence: Lack of accountability," B'Tselem. See also "Mosque Set on Fire in Northern Israel," Isabel Kershner, New York Times, Oct 3, 2011; and "UN: attacks on West Bank Palestinians on rise," Al Jazeera English, Jan 17, 2014.
A large Israeli military checkpoint that separates Ramallah from East Jerusalem. The checkpoint, which until the early 2000s consisted of a concrete block in the middle of the road staffed by a few soldiers, is now a large military installation that functions as a quasi-border terminal. The checkpoint underwent numerous expansions beginning in 2001, in conjunction with the building of the Separation Barrier. starting It bears the same name as the Qalandia refugee camp and town that is located just north of the checkpoint. Only Palestinians with Israeli-issued permits or Jerusalem IDs can pass through the checkpoint to the Jerusalem side. The Israeli Separation Barrier runs through the town and checkpoint, and Qalandia has been the site of frequent clashes between Palestinian youth and Israeli forces since the start of the Second Intifada, including the largest protest in decades when thousands of Palestinians marched from Ramallah to the checkpoint in protest of the 2014 Gaza War. Palestinians passing the checkpoint into Jerusalem must go through a series of cage-like passages of metal bars and turnstiles, with soldiers behind bullet-proof glass giving instructions through a loud speaker and checking IDs and permits. See "Checkpoint misery epitomizes a Mideast divide: Daily chronicles travails of Palestinians crossing from West Bank to Israel," Ben Hubbard, NBC News, Feb 21, 2010; " Qalandiya Checkpoint, March 2014: An obstacle to normal life," Amer Aruri, B'tselem, March 19, 2014; and "The largest West Bank protest in decades," +972mag, July 25, 2014.
Also known as the Madrid Quartet and the Middle East Quartet. Made up of the United States, European Union, United Nations and Russia. The Quartet came into being following a meeting in Madrid, Spain in April 2002. Representatives of each Quartet member met to discuss concerns over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and issued a joint-statement calling for a cease-fire. According to the April 10, 2002 statement, the Quartet "agreed on the need to keep the situation in the Middle East under review...at the principal's level through regular consultations" while maintaining special envoys on the ground "to assist the parties in reaching an end to confrontation and resumption of political negotiations." Read the Quartet joint statement on the UNISPAL website, April 10, 2002.
(1865-1935) A Jewish rabbi of Russian origin. Kook immigrated to Palestine in 1904. He was involved in efforts to secure the Balfour Declaration, which declared British support of a future homeland for the Jews in Palestine. Kook believed God's plan for the Jewish people and the messianic era of peace in the world would come through the Zionist movement to establish a Jewish state. In 1921, he was appointed the Ashkenazi Rabbi of Jerusalem and soon after became the first Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel. As part of his theological beliefs surrounding Jewish settlement of the biblical land of Israel, he tried to build channels of communication between secular Zionists, religious Jewish Zionists and non-Zionist Haredi Jews. See Rabbi Kook's teachings in English, translated by David Shulman.
On October 12, 2002, at the onset of the Second Intifada, two Israeli army reservists were captured by Palestinian police in the West Bank city of Ramallah and brought to a Palestinian police station where they were killed and mutilated by a civilian mob. Footage of the event was broadcast by Israeli and international TV and was, for Israelis, one of the enduring images of the Second Intifada, particularly a photo of one of the men who participated in the killing triumphantly holding his blood stained hands out of the police station window. See "Lynch mob's brutal attack," Martin Asser, BBC, October 13, 2000.
The term "refusenik" in Israel applies to conscientious objectors - Israeli soldiers or reservists who refuse to serve in the Occupied Palestinian Territories in the Israeli army altogether. For an Israeli to legally avoid military service based on the grounds of conscience or refusal, one must be granted Conscientious Objector status, which is extremely difficult to obtain. The Refusenik movement gained strength during the Second Intifada, when a group of Israeli reserve combat officers and soldiers drafted the Combatants' Letter in January 2002, outlining their decision to refuse to serve in any capacity that would uphold Israel's "illegal and thus immoral" occupation, founding Courage to Refuse. 623 Israelis signed onto the letter. Similar statements followed, including a September 2003 letter by Israeli Air Force Pilots, a December 2003 letter by an elite commando unit, and, in September 2014, a highly publicized letter by 43 military intelligence officers. Israeli high school seniors who collectively declare their refusal to serve call themselves "Shministim" ("12th graders") after an earlier group of high school seniors in 1970 who, calling themselves the same name, sent a letter to then prime-minister Golda Meir, expressing concern about the newly occupied territories. Israel has court martialed hundreds for the refusal to serve and many refuseniks serve time in prison. See 2002 Combatants' Letter; the website of the Refuser Solidarity Network; and "Who are the Shministim?" December18.org. See also "Why I Won't Serve Israel," Moriel Rothman-Zecher, The New York Times, Jan 11, 2015.
The two main principles of Revisionist Zionism, established by Ze'ev Jabotinksy in 1925 as a more militaristic Zionist approach, were the territorial integrity of a Jewish homeland over all of British mandate Palestine and the immediate declaration of the Jewish right to political sovereignty. It was the major ideological competitor to the dominant Labor Zionism and is the ideological precursor to the current Israeli Likud party. See "Revisionist Zionism," U.S. Library of Congress, 1988.
Within the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Right of Return has two connotations: For the 700,000-800,000 Palestinians who became refugees as a consequence of al-Nakba or the 1967 War, and for their descendants, the Right of Return refers to the refugees' right to return to their pre-1948 and/or pre-1967 homes and lands, or to receive compensation if they freely choose not to return. United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194 affirms this right, as does Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but it has yet to be implemented. The Right of Return for Palestinians remains one of the central issues to be resolved in a political solution between Israel and the Palestinians. By contrast, under the Israeli Law of Return, the Right of Return refers to the right of all Jews worldwide to make Aliyah (immigration) to Israel and receive immediate Israeli citizenship. The Law of Return, which was passed in 1950, was meant to facilitate the ingathering of all Jews worldwide and to bolster the Zionist vision of a Jewish state. See "Israel, Palestine and the Occupied Territories: The Right of Return of Palestinian Refugees," Global Policy Forum.
Refers to a peace process proposed by the Middle East Quartet aimed at a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by 2005: "A performance-based and goal-driven roadmap, with clear phases, time lines, target dates, and benchmarks aiming at progress through reciprocal steps by the two parties in the political, security, economic, humanitarian, and institution-building fields, under the auspices of the Quartet [the United States, European Union, United Nations, and Russia" target="_blank">." The document was signed by the Quartet on April 30, 2003. Its goals have yet to be achieved, although it is still considered by some as a working paradigm. See "The roadmap: Full text," BBC, April 30, 2003.
Rocket attacks began in the Gaza Strip in 2001, with the advent of Qassam rockets (crude projectiles lacking any guidance system that take their name from the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas.) Initially, the rockets (and also mortars) were launched primarily at Israeli settlements and military installations by Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and other militant groups. Rockets and mortars targeting communities inside Israel grew over time, especially in and around the town of Sderot, located near the border with Gaza. Rocket fire increased sharply after Israel's unilateral Gaza Disengagement. (Between 2002-2005, 702 rockets were launched into Israel, killing 14 and injuring 221. In 2006, 1,247 rockets were fired into Israel, killing four and wounding 18.) Some analysts point to this being evidence that Palestinians don't want peace, as the withdrawal was greeted with increased rocket fire and the election of Hamas. Other analysts have argued that, had the settlement withdrawal been negotiated with the Palestinian Authority, this may have increased support for negotiations; instead, the unilateral disengagement created the impression that armed resistance had driven the Israelis out of Gaza, a perception which may have contributed to the increased rocket fire and Hamas's victory. In 2007, Katyusha rockets began to be fired from Gaza, which had formerly been formerly fired only from Lebanon by Hezbollah. Rockets primarily have landed in towns and cities in southern Israel, but in recent years, rockets began to expand their reach, and during the 2012 and 2014 Gaza Wars, rockets landed near Jerusalem, in Tel Aviv, at the Ben Gurion airport, and as far north as Hadera, though they had very small payloads. Israel frequently responds to rocket fire with bombing in the Gaza Strip, which has led to numerous casualties and fatalities. Stopping rocket fire has been the reason Israel gave for all three Gaza Wars, though many analysts maintain that stopping rocket fire was a pretext for the wars rather than the reason. Rocket fire has often increased after Israeli violations of ceasefire agreements or other transgressions. Though the rockets are crude and the number of Israeli casualties and fatalities are relatively low given the number of projectiles fired, human rights organizations condemn rocket attacks as an indiscriminate targeting of Israeli civilians and label such attacks as war crimes. See "Rocket and mortar fire into Israel," B'Tselem, July 24, 2014.
Located in Jerusalem, and originally an Ottoman cavalry parade ground, the compound was constructed from 1860-1864 and includes a Russian Orthodox church, former hospices for pilgrims, courtyards, and was an historic destination for Russian Christian pilgrims. During the British Mandate period, it also housed British police headquarters and a prison where Jews and Arabs were both imprisoned. Now, among other functions, the compound serves as an Israeli police headquarters and a detention and Shabak interrogation center, known to Palestinians as "Al-Musqubiya." See "Detention Centers," No Legal Frontiers, 2011.
On September 16, 1982, the fighters of the Phalange (a Maronite Christian militia group in Lebanon allied at that time with Israel) entered Sabra (a neighborhood in south Beirut housing Palestinian refugees) and Shatila (a Palestinian refugee camp near Sabra) to seek revenge for the assassination of their leader Bashir Gemayel two days prior. Both Sabra and Shatila were guarded at that time by the Israeli army, who was briefly occupying Beirut during its 1982 War, and who permitted the Phalange militiamen to enter the camps. A slaughter of the civilians in Sabra and Shatila ensued until September 18, with fatality estimates ranging from 700-3,500 people. Eyewitness reports include evidence of mass rape and mutilations. When news of the massacres became public, an estimated 400,000 Israelis demonstrated in Tel Aviv, demanding an official inquiry. The Israeli government established the Kahan Commission, which found several Israeli officials indirectly responsible for the killings, including Ariel Sharon, the Israeli Defense Minister, who was forced to resign as a result. See "Flashback: Sabra and Shatila massacres," BBC, January 24, 2002.
(1955-) Palestinian political figure. Erekat, a member of the Palestinian party Fatah, has been the chief Palestinian negotiator since 1995, aside from periods of resignation from the post. He was a delegate in the Madrid Conference and played an instrumental role in negotiating the Oslo Accords with Israel. In 1996, he was elected to represent Jericho in the Palestinian Legislative Council. Erekat, Faisal Husseini and Yasser Arafat had appealed to Ariel Sharon not to visit Haram al-Sharif in September 2000, an event that is credited with sparking the Second Intifada. Erekat resigned in 2011 over the Palestine Papers, which were leaked from his office, though he continued functioning as lead negotiator. See "Erekat quits over Palestine Papers" Al Jazeera English, Feb 13, 2011.
(1952- ) A Palestinian political figure. Fayyad worked at the World Bank from 1987-1995 and then served as the International Monetary Fund's representative to Palestine until 2001. As a member of Fatah, he served as Finance Minister for the Palestinian Authority (PA) from 2002-2005. Fayyad resigned from Fatah in 2005 to help found the Third Way party, which won two seats in the January 2006 legislative elections. Appointed Finance Minister in March 2007 as part of the unity government between Fatah and Hamas, he served in that post until the June 2007 Hamas-Fatah conflict. Fayyad was then appointed as Prime Minister of the Fatah-dominated PA, a post he held until April 2013. In the absence of successful political negotiations, Fayyad focused on developing the institutions of a Palestinian state. See "Are Palestinians Building a State?" Nathan Brown, The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, July 1, 2010; and "Palestinian Prime Minister Resigns, Adding Uncertainty to Government," Isabel Kershner and Jodi Rudoren, The New York Times, April 13, 2013.
A distinct religious and ethnic community who believes in an ancient Israelite religion that is distinct from Judaism. While, like Jews, Samaritans consider the Five Books of Moses to be the word of God and their sacred scripture, they reject the remainder of Judaic scripture. The Samaritans consider Mt. Gerizim, located just outside the West Bank city of Nablus, their holiest site. As of May 2014, there were 760 Samaritans in Israel and the West Bank-about half living on Mt. Gerizim and the other half in the town of Holon in central Israel. Samaritans typically speak both Hebrew and Arabic, and are considered in various ways part of both Israeli and Palestinian society. See The Samaritan Update.
(1949- ) A Palestinian political and intellectual figure. Politically, Nusseibeh served in several positions within Fatah including as the Palestine Liberation Organization representative in Jerusalem. Nusseibeh is a professor at Al Quds University and served as its President until March 2014. He is considered a leading Palestinian moderate and has been deeply involved in several peace initiatives, such as the People's Voice Initiative, co-authored with former Israeli Shin Bet head Ami Ayalon 2002. In 2010, Nusseibeh publicly stated that, due to the reality of settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, he believed a two-state solution to be almost impossible. See Sari Nusseibeh's website.
Also known as Lake Tiberias and Lake Kinneret. The largest fresh water lake in Israel, located in the north of the country. It supplies about 30% of Israel's water. According to the New Testament of the Bible, much of the ministry of Jesus occurred in communities on the shore of the lake. Many Christians believe that several of the miracles performed by Jesus, as described in the gospels, also took place on the lake, such as walking on water. The Jordan River flows through the Sea of Galilee and it is therefore part of ongoing conflict between Israel and its neighboring states around the control of water resources. See "Resort in Galilee Rises Where Jesus May Have Taught," Isabel Kershner, New York Times, May 13, 2014.
Area in the West Bank that is located between the Green Line and the Separation Barrier. Though populated largely by Israeli settlers, 150 Palestinian communities have land in the Seam Zone (as of 2014); these Palestinians are required to apply for Israeli-issued permits in order to access their farmland. These permits are difficult to obtain, with only a 50% rate of being granted between 2010-2014. 11,000 West Bank Palestinians live in the Seam Zone as of 2014, with an anticipated 25,000 more to be in the Seam Zone if the Barrier is completed as planned. Thousands of Palestinians with Jerusalem IDs live in the Seam Zone as well. See "10 years Since the International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion," United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, July 9, 2014.
(Arabic for "shaking off") Also known as the Al-Aqsa Intifada. It refers to the second Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation. The intifada began on September 29 2000, two months after the failure of the Oslo Process (specifically the Camp David (II) Summit) and immediately following Ariel Sharon's provocative visit (flanked by 1,000 police) to the politically and religiously charged Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem. In its first days, the intifada was characterized by large demonstrations, stone-throwing, and civil disobedience, starting in Jerusalem and quickly spreading to the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The riots were met with large-scale repression from Israeli forces, including rubber coated bullets and live ammunition, and soon thereafter, by helicopter gunships and tanks, followed later by targeted assassinations and military incursions into Area A of the Occupied Palestinian Territories. In the first five days of the Intifada, 47 Palestinians were killed and 1,885 were wounded, 80% of whom were (according to Amnesty International) posing no life-threatening danger to Israeli forces. Five Israelis were killed by Palestinians in the same period. In the first month, Israeli forces fired 1,300,000 bullets, averaging 40,000/day. Some analysts point to this overwhelming force by Israeli forces as the reason why the phase of popular protest in the Intifada ended quickly, and armed resistance took its place. Though suicide bombings characterize the Second Intifada for many Israelis, it was not until Nov 2 (more than a month after the Intifada began) before suicide bombings inside Israel began. Events/images from early in the Intifada seared in the memories of Israelis and Palestinians include (for Israelis) the Ramallah lynching of two Israeli soldiers and (for Palestinians) the killing of 12-year old Mohammad Al-Dura. Palestinian communities inside Israel also demonstrated, leading to the October 2000 Events, in which 12 Palestinian citizens of Israel were killed by Israeli forces. By the end of 2004, more than 3,000 Palestinians had been killed by Israelis, and nearly 1,000 Israelis had been killed by Palestinians. The Second Intifada also had a prominent unarmed character that was largely overlooked by mainstream media, with local Palestinian communities organizing predominantly nonviolent actions to combat the expropriation of Palestinian land by Israeli settlements and the Separation Barrier; Israeli and international civilians were also involved in many of these actions. Unlike the First Intifada, which ended at the signing of the Oslo Accords, there is no clear ending date to the Second Intifada. Some claim the uprising ended with Yasser Arafat's death in November 2004, while others say it ended as late as 2008. See "Intifada toll 2000-2005," BBC, February 8, 2005; "Al-Aqsa Intifada timeline," BBC, Sept 29, 2004; and "Broken lives-a year of intifada," Amnesty International, 2001. See also "Remembering the second intifada," Jon Elmer, Al Jazeera English, October 31, 2010; and "Nonviolent Resistance in the Second Intifada: Activism and Advocacy," Maia Carter Hallward and Julie M. Norman, eds, Palgrave Macmillian, 2011.
Also termed the Wall, the Fence, Separation Wall, Security Fence, Annexation Wall and Apartheid Wall. A long structure of connected walls and fences that separates Israel from most of the West Bank, some sections of which run along the Green Line, but most of which cuts into the West Bank. Critics and supporters of the Barrier disagree over the intent behind the structure, its route and its name. Israel began constructing the Separation Barrier in 2002, purportedly as a reaction to the violence of the Second Intifada. Still under construction as of 2014, Israel claims the Separation Barrier is needed for security, and cites decreases in suicide bombings within Israel since its construction as proof that the structure is both effective and necessary. Opponents criticize the structure as an attempt to annex Occupied Palestinian Territory and to unilaterally define future borders. They maintain that the route of the Separation Barrier is a land-grab, stealing privately-owned Palestinian land, and makes certain Palestinian villages and cities economically unviable. The Barrier has imposed new restrictions on movement for Palestinians living near its route or in the Seam Zone, as well as additional restrictions on access to farm land, medical care, education, and more. Popular Struggle Committees in villages along the route of the barrier (such as Budrus, Bil'in, Ni'ilin, and Maasara ) have been organizing unarmed demonstrations against the barrier for years, with Israeli and international allies frequently invited to join the demonstrations. Israel has modified some of the routes in response to various Israeli High Court of Justice rulings as well as in response to international pressure and Palestinian-led demonstrations, but the route is still disputed. The debate over the barrier's legality intensified after the International Court of Justice issued an advisory opinion in 2004 declaring it a breach of international law. See "Separation Barrier," B'Tselem, Jan 1, 2011; and "10 years Since the International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion," United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, July 9, 2014. See also Just Vision's documentary film, "Budrus." See also infographic "Where Law Stands on the Wall," Visualizing Palestine.
Also known as "colony." A Jewish Israeli community existing within the Occupied Palestinian Territories, outside the Green Line. Israelis who live in settlements are often referred to as "settlers." A conglomeration of Jewish Israeli settlements in the West Bank is known as a "Settlement bloc." One such example of a Settlement bloc is Gush Etzion, between Bethlehem and Hebron. The Settler movement began following the 1967 War, when Israel occupied the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights in Syria and the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. Israel annexed the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem, and withdrew its settlements from the Sinai following the Camp David Accords. Many proponents of the Settler movement claim that Settlement of the Occupied Palestinian Territories is a divine right, mandated by religious texts, and part of the Zionist imperative to settle the Land of Israel. Less ideological proponents regard settlements as a security necessity for Israel. Opponents argue that such settlements are illegal under international law (a position which is supported by the international community including the International Court of Justice, the United Nations, and the U.S. Government), that they annex Palestinian-owned land, and preclude the final status of disputed borders between the state of Israel and a future Palestinian state. By and large, settlements and settlers receive Israeli government funding and considerable subsidies, as well as military and infrastructural support. There are some Israelis who live in settlements for ideological reasons; others live in settlements (especially those considered "suburbs" of Jerusalem or Tel Aviv) to take advantage of the economic benefits. In 2005, the Israeli government initiated the Gaza Disengagement, withdrawing 8,000 settlers from Gaza and from a handful of settlements in the West Bank; however over 130 settlements remain in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), with a population of approximately 700,000 in 2014. Additionally, there are Settlement outposts, which were established by Jewish Israelis in the Occupied Palestinian Territories without seeking permission from the proper Israeli authorities; many of these later become official settlements and many more receive Israeli government support and funding, though the Israeli government has dismantled a few. Friction and violence between Israeli settlers and Palestinians occurs frequently. When settlers initiate attacks against Palestinians and their property, the Israeli army rarely intervenes. See "Land Expropriation and Settlements," B'Tselem, Jan 23, 2014; "Population of Jewish settlements in West Bank up 15,000 in a year," Harriet Sherwood, The Guardian, July 26, 2012; and "West Bank Settlement Blocs," Peace Now, May 2008. See also, "Lords of the Land: The War for Israel's Settlements in the Occupied Territories, 1967-2007" Akiva Eldar, Nation Books, 2009.
(Acronym for the Hebrew "Sherut haBitachon haKlali," which means General Security Services.) This agency conducts security intelligence work within Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, as opposed to the Mossad, which deals with intelligence gathering on the international front. The Shabak is especially involved in providing intelligence about organizations and individuals it deems to be involved in terrorist activities. Its methods of recruiting Palestinian collaborators have been controversial, and Israeli and international human rights groups labeled its interrogation methods as torture. In 1999, the Israeli High Court ruled Shabak's use of torture illegal, yet the Israeli human rights organizations B'tselem and the Public Committee Against Torture state that the agency continues to torture. See BBC's "Profile: Israel's Shin Bet Agency"; and "Israeli rights group accuses Shin Bet of using torture despite High Court ban," The Jerusalem Post, September 11, 2014. See also "Spotlight shines on Palestinian collaborators," Jonathan Cook, Al Jazeera English, Feb 17, 2014. For a documentary film based on interviews with all the surviving former heads of the Shin Bet, see "The Gatekeepers."
(Commonly used in Arabic to mean "martyr," though literally means "witness" in Qur'anic Arabic.) It is a term used in Islam for Muslims who died while fulfilling a religious commandment, including jihad. In the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the word "shahid" or "martyr" is used to refer to Palestinians or supporters of the Palestinian cause who have been killed in the conflict. It may refer to a Palestinian civilian killed by an Israeli, or a Palestinian fighter/militant, whether killed by a soldier, or in an attack on civilians, including suicide bombings. See "Martyrdom (Shahada)," David Cook, Oxford Bibliographies.
An Israeli religious political party formed in 1984 to represent Mizrahi Jews, who have historically faced social and economic discrimination in Israel. The party believes in maintaining the Jewish identity of the state, calling for a "state with a Jewish soul" in all aspects, including in its laws. Shas strongly advocates for the compensation by Arab countries of Mizrahi Jews who were forced to leave their countries of origin after the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948; this compensation is a condition for the party's consideration of a peace deal with the Palestinians. Since 2009, the party has become more supportive of Jewish Israeli settlements, particularly those surrounding historic Jewish religious sites and in the greater Jerusalem area. See "WATCH: Shas' stunning election ad is a challenge to both Right and Left," Dimi Reider, +972mag, Jan 18, 2015; and "Ultra-Orthodox Shas inks deal to join coalition," Marissa Newman, the Times of Israel, May 4, 2015.
(1948- ) A Jewish Israeli political and military figure of Iranian origin. Mofaz immigrated to Israel in 1957. He had a long career in the Israeli military, his top post being the Chief of the General Staff from 1998-2002. During the Second Intifada, Mofaz trained the Israeli military for guerilla warfare in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and increased the military's use of home demolitions and closures in Palestinian areas. Controversial military operations he directed include the Jenin Invasion destroying the Muqataa (Palestinian Authority president Yasser Arafat's compound in Ramallah), and dropping a one-ton bomb on an apartment complex in Gaza Strip City, killing 14 Palestinian civilians along with the militant whom the operation intended to assassinate. Mofaz entered politics in 2002, serving as Defense Minister until 2006 and Minister of Transportation from 2006-2009. In 2005, he switched party affiliations from Likud to the newly formed Kadima party. Starting in 2012, Mofaz served in the Israeli Knesset as a member of Kadima, and retired from politics in 2015. See "Britain refuses to grant immunity to ex-Israeli defense minister Mofaz during London visit," Barak Ravid, Haaretz, June 20, 2015.
Bordering Israel, Syria and Lebanon, the status of this 25 sq. km stretch of land, consisting of 14 farms named after a nearby village, remains controversial. Israel occupied the Sheba'a Farms after the 1967 War. Following Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000, Hezbollah and Lebanon, backed by Syria, demanded that Israel also pull out from the Sheba'a Farms. Israel, however, claimed the territory was part of Syria, and thus could only be turned over as part of negotiations with Syria. The maps of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon sided with Israel, showing that the strip of land was part of Syria at the time of the 1967 War. See "In Focus: Shebaa Farms," BBC, May 25, 2000.
(1938-2004) A Palestinian political and religious figure. Yassin was the co-founder and spiritual leader of Hamas. Due to a childhood accident, he was paralyzed and left partially blind. As a Palestinian refugee in Gaza after the 1948 War, Yassin worked as a teacher, imam and community leader. He spent many years in Israeli prison, first for being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, and later (in 1989) for ordering the killing of Palestinians accused of collaborating with the Israeli army.He was released in 1997 in exchange for the return of two Israeli Mossad agents who had been detained in Jordan. The Israeli military attempted to assassinate Yassin on several occasions, stating that he masterminded suicide attacks on Israelis. Yassin opposed the Oslo Process, was a proponent of armed resistance, and made frequent public statements in support of suicide bombings. Yassin also worked to maintain a good relationship with the Palestinian Authority, believing that internal conflict would not be in the best interests of the Palestinian people. Prior to his death, he proposed a ceasefire with Israel on condition that they withdraw to 1967 borders and cease their policy of targeted assassinations. The Israeli military assassinated Yassin by air strike on March 22, 2004. See "Sheikh Yassin: Spiritual figurehead," BBC, March 22, 2004.
(1923- ) A Jewish Israeli political figure. Peres immigrated to Palestine from Poland in 1932. He was a member of the Jewish paramilitary group Haganah (the precursor to the Israeli army and, after the establishment of Israel in 1948, held several positions in the Ministry of Defense. Throughout his political career, he has been a member of four political parties, including Labor and Kadima. He was first elected to the Israeli parliament in 1959 and has almost continually held various governmental positions, including Prime Minister from 1984-1986 and 1995-1996, Foreign Minister from 1986-1988, 1992-1995 and 2001-2002, and President from 2007-2014. Peres received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 for his role in the signing of the Oslo Accords. The prize was awarded to him along with Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. In 1996, he established the Peres Center for Peace to further the peace process through economic and social cooperation with the Palestinians, and is often considered a "dove" in Israeli political parlance, though he has vocally supported many of Israel's military operations, including the 2014 Gaza War. See "The Mixed Legacy Of Shimon Peres," Daniel Gavron, the Daily Beast, Feb 4, 2013.
(Hebrew for "twelfth graders") A movement of high school students that publicly refuse to serve in the Israeli army due to their conscientious objection to occupation and oppression by the Israeli military. They chose to go by the name "Shministim" as a reference to a group of high school seniors who wrote a letter to the late Prime Minister Golda Meir expressing their concern about the Israeli occupation on the eve of their draft into the army. Today's Shministim often serve time in prison, as do many other refuseniks. See "The Shministim Letter 2008." See also december18.org.
(1928-2014) A Jewish Israeli political figure. Aloni was first elected to the Israeli Knesset (parliament) in 1965 as a member of the Labor party. She was dropped from the Labor party election list in 1969 due to disagreements with party general-secretary Golda Meir. After officially resigning from Labor in 1973, she founded the Ratz party, which merged into the Meretz party in 1992, and was aligned with the Israeli peace movement. During the 1980's, she advocated for direct negotiations with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and participated in meetings with the PLO as a member of the International Center for Peace in the Middle East, which she established. Between 1992 and 1995, she served in the positions of Minister of Education, Minister of Communications and Minister of Science and Culture. In 1996, she retired from the Knesset and taught at various Israeli universities. She was a board member of the Israeli organization Yesh Din-Volunteers for Human Rights. Aloni repeatedly spoke publicly against Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights and called for the construction of an Israeli Bill of Rights. See "Shulamit Alon"i Naomi Chazan, Jewish Women's Archive, December 9, 2011.
A triangle-shaped peninsula in Egypt, located between the Mediterranean and Red Sea. The Suez Canal runs along the northwestern edge of the peninsula. It was a strategic location in the 1956 War, the 1967 War, and the 1973 War. Captured by Israel in 1967, Israel returned the peninsula to Egypt in 1979 in an agreement reached at Camp David, in exchange for bilateral peace between the two countries. See "Seeking a solution for Egypt's troubled Sinai Peninsula," Al Jazeera English, April 13, 2015.
Also referred to in the Arabic language and by many Islamist groups as "martyrdom operations." According to such groups, the person carrying out the operation did not commit suicide but rather died as a martyr on behalf of a sacred cause. In most cases, the term is used to refer to militant operations during which the assailant detonates a bomb nearby targeted victims, surrendering his or her own life during the attack. While Palestinian suicide bombers do target Israeli military installations, they most often strike Israeli civilian areas, often in buses and cafes. This tactic began to be widely used starting in 1994, during the tense years of the Oslo Process, employed most often by Hamas and Islamic Jihad. A second, more frequent, slew of attacks began after the start of the Second Intifada, including attacks by the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade in addition to Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Some of the suicide bombings that are particularly seared in Israeli memory include two bombings on the #18 bus line in Jerusalem in the winter/spring of 1996 which jointly killed 45 people, a 1996 bombing coinciding with Purim at the Dizengoff Center in Tel Aviv which killed 13, a bombing in the Tel Aviv Dolphinarium disco in June 2001, killing 21, and the Passover bombing at a hotel in Netanya, killing 30. Suicide attacks began to subside after 2005. Human rights and other organizations have condemned such attacks, labeling them, in most cases, crimes against humanity. See "Erased In A Moment: Suicide Bombing Attacks Against Israeli Civilians," Human Rights Watch, October 2002.
This was the secret 1916 agreement made during World War I between France and Great Britain (with Russia's agreement), to divide the Ottoman Empire-controlled Middle East into French and British spheres of control. Britain was accorded control over what is present-day Palestine/Israel, Jordan, and southern Iraq. France was accorded control over what is present-day Lebanon, Syria, northern Iraq and south-eastern Turkey. The Sykes-Picot Agreement is what led to the British Mandate of Palestine. See "Why border lines drawn with a ruler in WW1 still rock the Middle East," Tarek Osman, BBC, Dec 14, 2013.
Taba (an Egyptian Red Sea resort town in the Sinai Peninsula) was the site for a series of talks in January 2001 between Israelis and Palestinians, after the failure of the Camp David II Summit and the outbreak of the Second Intifada. Differences were considerably narrowed in the talks, but no final agreement was produced. The negotiations were a last attempt to salvage a peace settlement before Israeli elections in February, in which Ariel Sharon of the Likud party was expected to (and did) win a resounding victory, replacing Ehud Barak of the Labor party as Prime Minister. Some have considered the Taba Talks as the best model for an eventual Settlement. See "Deconstructing the Taba Talks," Foundation for Middle East Peace, March-April 2001; and "The Moratinos Non-Paper" UNISPAL, January 2001.
(Arabic for "organization") The militant wing of Fatah. Founded in 1995 by Yasser Arafat as a way of securing support from more militant elements of the Palestinian population. Its leadership structure is independent of Fatah, with Marwan Barghouti as its head. Tanzim's strategies include bombings and shootings, usually high profile, to pressure Israel into negotiations for a future Palestinian state. Most active during the Second Intifada against Israeli troops, the group calls for an independent Palestinian state but does not call for the destruction of the State of Israel. See "Fatah Tanzim," Global Security.org, November 9, 2007.
Also known as "targeted killings." A premeditated killing of an individual by a state or military actor outside of a judicial system and off the battlefield. Though the tactic was employed by Israel since the 1970s, its use of targeted assassinations of "wanted" men in the Occupied Palestinian Territories increased greatly during and since the Second Intifada. 425 Palestinians were killed in this manner between 2000-2011, including 174 civilian bystanders, amounting to 41% of those killed. The most infamous series of Israel's targeted assassinations abroad took place following the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics. More recently and more locally, Israel has dropped bombs to kill leaders of Palestinian militant organizations, including Hamas leader Ahmed Yassin in 2004, Hamas leader Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi in 2005 and Mohammed Nimnim of the Army of Islam in 2010. Palestinian militant groups have also used targeted assassinations, although far less frequently. The tactic is criticized for the level of civilian casualties it can produce and also for the lack of due process in bringing the accused to justice. See "Israel's 'targeted Killings," BBC, April 17, 2004. See also "Extra-Judicial Executions as Israeli Government Policy," Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, August 2008.
Located in the Old City of Jerusalem, the site is sacred to both Jews and Muslims. In Judaism, the Temple Mount, known as Har HaBayit in Hebrew, refers to the area where the First and Second Jewish Temples are believed to have once resided. The location is revered by Jews as the holiest site in Judaism, together with the Western Wall beside it, which is considered the last remnant of the Second Temple. For Muslims, the area of is known as the Haram al-Sharif (The Noble Sanctuary) and is what makes Jerusalem the third holiest city in Islam after Mecca and Medina. The Haram al-Sharif includes the Dome of the Rock shrine and the Al-Aqsa mosque. Sovereignty over Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount and related holy sites has become a major point of contention in negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. While Israel maintains sovereignty over the site, the Islamic Waqf runs it on a day-to-day basis. On September 28, 2000 Ariel Sharon (then Israel's opposition leader and head of the Likud party) made an inflammatory walk on the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif with 1,000 armed police, declaring permanent Israeli sovereignty over the site. This provocation is largely credited with being the spark that started the Second Intifada. In recent years, Jewish extremist groups have been on the rise, such as the Temple Mount Faithful, who seek to rebuild the Third Temple, calling for the "liberation of the Temple Mount from Arab/Islamic occupation." Due to these groups and to increased restriction of Muslim prayer at the site, Palestinians fear that that Israel intends to take over Haram al-Sharif. Tensions and clashes at the site rose again in late 2014, when the compound was closed by Israel for the first time since the start of the Second Intifada after a Palestinian murdered Yehuda Glick, an American-Israeli activist with the Temple Mount Heritage Foundation. See "The Politics of Prayer at the Temple Mount," Ruth Margalit, New York Times, Nov 5, 2014.\
Also known as the Ayalon-Nusseibeh Initiative. An Israeli-Palestinian civil initiative designed to advance peace by putting forth a particular set of principles related to contentious issues with the hope of garnering massive popular support among both Palestinians and Israelis. Co-founded and signed in July 2002 by Ami Ayalon, a former head of the Israeli Shin Bet, and Dr. Sari Nusseibeh, a Palestinian professor and political figure. The initiative was publicly launched in June 2003 with an active campaign to gain mass numbers of signatories among Israelis and Palestinians. By the end of 2008, the People's Voice reported 251,000 Israelis and 160,000 Palestinians having signed the initiative. Criticism of the initiative from Palestinian rights activists centered on the argument that the initiative upholds all of Israel's goals, while dismissing inalienable Palestinian rights. See "Statement of Principles - Signed by Ami Ayalon & Sari Nusseibeh on July 27, 2002," ReliefWeb. See also "Palestinian Rights in the Document Shredder: The Nusseibeh-Ayalon Agreement," Ali Abunimah, the Electronic Intifada, Sept 6, 2002.
(1860-1904) The founding father of Zionism. A Hungarian-born Jew, Herzl outlined his ideas in the famous 1896 pamphlet "The Jewish State: An Attempt at a Modern Solution of the Jewish Question," stating that the only solution to the Jewish problem and anti-Semitism in Europe would be the establishment of a Jewish State. He organized the First Zionist Congress in 1897 in Basel, Switzerland and served as the president of the World Zionist Organization until his death. See "Book review: 'Herzl's Vision,' Herzl and the founding of Israel, by Shlomo Avineri," Jonathan Kirsch, the Washington Post, Jan 2, 2015.
Palestinian political party. Founded in 2005 by Hanan Ashrawi and Salam Fayyad, the Third Way independent list was established in order to provide an alternative to the dominant Palestinian political parties Hamas and Fatah. Created before the 2006 Parliamentary elections, the list wanted to attract voters who were fed up with Fatah's corruption and infighting, but did not agree with Hamas's vision of an Islamist society. In the 2006 elections, the Third Way won two of the 132 seats in the Palestinian Legislative Council. See "Palestinian 'third way' rises," Ilene Prusher, Christian Science Monitor, Dec 13, 2005.
A two-state solution refers to the notion of establishing a sovereign Palestinian state alongside a sovereign Israeli state. Though the first two-state proposal was made in 1937 in the Peel Commission Report, the Two-State Solution became the most accepted framework in Palestinian-Israeli peace talks since the Oslo Process began in 1993. Key disputed issues for a two-state solution include: borders and control over them; the status of East Jerusalem; the type of economic relations between Palestine and its neighbors; Palestinian refugees seeking repatriation to Israel and/or Palestine or compensation by Israel; access to natural resources; the contiguity of land; whether or not Palestine will be de-militarized, other defense matters and air space; access to and control over Jerusalem's holy sites; Jewish Israeli settlements. Many who used to support the Two-State Solution now deem it to be impossible due to the expansion of settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and other examples of increased Israeli control of the Occupied Palestinian Territories. There is a common debate around a Two-State versus a One-State solution, and, if one state, what the nature of that state would be. There are proponents of a one-state Greater Israel, and proponents of a Palestinian and/or Islamist state on all of historic Palestine, but most of those who define themselves as "one-staters" speak of a state for all its citizens, with full equality between its Israeli and Palestinian citizens. See "Large Israeli and Palestinian Majorities Indicate Readiness for Two-State Solution Based on 1967 Borders," WorldPublicOpinion.org, Dec 9, 2002; and "One- or two-state solution? The answer is both (or neither)," Noam Sheizaf, +972mag, September 2, 2014.
(1958- ) A Jewish Israeli political figure. Livni was first elected to the Israeli Knesset as part of the Likud party in 1999. Before leaving Likud in November 2005 to help form the Kadima party, she aided in brokering Israel's controversial Gaza Disengagement. Livni served as the Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2006-2009 and Minister of Justice. After Prime Minister Ehud Olmert resigned from the Kadima chairmanship in July 2008, she was elected head of the party, and later founded the political party Hatnuah in 2012. Livni joined with Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog in 2015 to form the Zionist Union bloc, which, as of 2015, holds the second largest number of seats in Israel's Knesset. See "Tzipi Livni," Haaretz.
Also known as the 1947 UN Partition Plan. This General Assembly Resolution divided the territory of British mandate Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state, with Jerusalem as an internationalized city. It was the first instance of overt international support for a Jewish state in Palestine, although previous British documents and declarations paved the way for international recognition. The plan passed on November 29, 1947 with 33 in favor, 13 against, 10 abstentions and one absent, made possible by support of both the United States and the Soviet Union, and their cold war allies. Zionist leaders actively lobbied for the plan, which they stood to gain from as the minority population striving to build a Jewish nation-state, while the Arab League and Palestinian leaders rejected it and called for a General Strike, considering the establishment of a Jewish State to be illegitimate and an injustice to the majority Arab population. See "UN Partition Plan," BBC, Nov 29, 2011. For text of the Resolution, see "United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181," UNISPAL, Nov 29, 1947.
This General Assembly Resolution was adopted on December 11, 1948 in order to deal with the rapidly growing crisis of Palestinian refugees. The resolution states that "the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible." Israel rejected the resolution from the outset. It is considered the legal basis for the Palestinian claim to the "Right of Return." See "MidEast Web Historical Documents: UNGA 194," MidEast Web.
This Security Council Resolution, passed on November 22, 1967, calls for both the withdrawal of the Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the 1967 War, and respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, security and right to live in peace for all countries in the area (i.e. Arab states' recognition of Israel's right to exist). The text was made deliberately ambiguous in order to appease demands from conflicting parties within the UN. As such, differing interpretations of the text prevail, with disagreement on whether Resolution 242 calls for full Israeli withdrawal, or allows for minor or even considerable border adjustments. Despite these differences, the resolution has been the cornerstone of "land for peace" initiatives since 1967. See "MidEast Web Historical Documents: UNSC 242," MidEast Web.
This Security Council Resolution, passed on October 22, 1973, calls for an immediate cease-fire and an end to all hostilities between Egypt, Syria and Israel, following the 1973 War. Resolution 338 also reaffirms the importance of UN Security Council Resolution 242, and calls for its implementation. See "MidEast Web Historical Documents: UNSC 338," MidEast Web.
On September 23, 2011, Palestinian Authority (PA) President and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas submitted an application to the United Nations (UN) for the recognition of Palestine as a full member state. At the time of the application, the PLO held observer status at the UN. By applying for full membership, Abbas was seeking symbolic recognition of Palestine within the 1967 borders (Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem) and the ability to join various UN agencies and international treaties. Proponents saw this move as a strategic avenue for the Palestinians to challenge Israel's military occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories and to demonstrate widespread international support for Palestinian statehood. Opponents decried the bid as bypassing negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Palestinian opposition viewed the bid as a way for Abbas to distract from internal political divisions and issues. In response to the pursuit of the bid, the United States and Israel withheld funding to the PA. UNESCO accepted Palestine as a full member on October 31, 2011 resulting in the US pulling its funding from the UN agency. In December 2014, Palestine bought a resolution to the U.N. Security Council that called for a full end of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and Palestinian statehood by 2017. The resolution was rejected by a narrow margin, though the U.S. would have likely used its veto power had the resolution passed. In January 2015, Palestine acceded to the International Criminal Court. See "Q&A: Palestinians' upgraded UN status," BBC News, Nov 30, 2012; and "Palestinian statehood resolution fails at U.N council, U.S. votes against," Louis Charbonneau, Reuters, Dec 31, 2014. ^_^footnote^_^0^_^^_^^_^20^_^^
Bedouin communities in the Negev/Naqab desert and the Galilee that are not officially recognized by Israel; as a result, these villages do not have state support for basic services and infrastructure, such as electricity, roads and water. Of the approximate 170,000 Bedouins in Israel, half live in unrecognized villages, most of which pre-date the establishment of the state of Israel. Unrecognized villages are especially vulnerable to destruction by the Israeli military. Once such acute example of this is al-Araqib, an unrecognized village in the Negev/Naqab that was demolished in whole or in part 80 times between 2010 and 2014. Residents of al-Araqib have been involved in a protracted struggle with Israeli authorities for their village's survival, a struggle that many rights groups and activists have joined, yet, the village continues to be destroyed each time it is rebuilt. Residents have been sleeping in the cemetery, which they have been assured will not be demolished. See "In Israel's Desert, A Fight for Land," Ben Lynfield, The Christian Science Monitor, Feb 20, 2003; "Negev Bedouins - and unrecognized villages," The Association for Civil Rights in Israel; and " Israel demolishes al-Araqib village buildings for 80th time," Ma'an News Agency, Jan 14, 2015.
Acronym for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. UNRWA is a relief and human development agency serving the millions of registered Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip, West Bank (including East Jerusalem), Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. The Agency was established in 1949 in response to the refugee crisis that resulted from the 1948 War. See UNRWA's website.
(1923- ) A Jewish Israeli political figure and peace activist. Avnery was a founding member of the Israeli Council for Israeli-Palestinian Peace in 1975, and a founding member of Gush Shalom (Hebrew for "Peace Bloc"), an activist peace group founded in 1993. Avnery also served three terms as a member of the Israeli Knesset, and founded the opposition magazine "Haolam Hazeh" (Hebrew for "This World"). See "Uri Avnery - Biography," Gush Shalom, July 21, 2011.
Territory located to the west of the Jordan River (thus its being called "the West Bank") and the Dead Sea, constituting approximately 21% of historic Palestine. Israel often refers to it by its biblical name "Judea and Samaria," often with the political motive of wanting to legitimize Israeli sovereignty of the territory. The territory was part of the designated Arab State in the 1937 U.N. Partition Plan, and came under Jordanian control after the 1948 War. The West Bank (including East Jerusalem) was conquered by Israel during the 1967 War, making up the bulk of the newly Occupied Palestinian Territories, along with the Gaza Strip. In 1994, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Areas A, B and C were formed as part of the Oslo Accords. The PA was granted limited self-government in the population centers of the West Bank (as well as Gaza) for an interim five-year period, although Israel retained responsibility for security in much of the West Bank as well as for administration of the Jewish Israeli settlements in the territory, which continues until today. Est. Palestinian population in 2007 according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics: 2.3 million. According to Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics, over 300,000 Jewish Israeli settlers resided in the West Bank in 2009; this number does not include settlements with populations under 2,000 or settlers living in East Jerusalem. Israel built the Separation Barrier along the border of and jutting into the West Bank, operates military checkpoints within and along the borders of the territory, and conducts military operations on a regular basis. See "Humanitarian Factsheet on Area C of the West Bank," UNOCHA, December 2011; and "Settler population rose 4.9% in 2009," Tovah Lazaroff, Jerusalem Post, March 10, 2010.
Known as al-Buraq Wall in Arabic or HaKotel in Hebrew. Also known as The Wailing Wall in English. Located in the Old City of Jerusalem adjacent to the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif (The Noble Sanctuary). Jews have come for centuries to pray at the Wall (which is, after the Temple Mount itself, the holiest place in Judaism) and have a tradition of leaving notes with prayers written on them in the cracks of the Wall. Jewish reverence for the Western Wall stems from its being a remnant of the Second Jewish Temple, specifically, part of a retaining wall of the Temple Mount, though only part of the Wall actually dates from the Second Temple period. The Wall is also sacred in Islam, as it is believed that the Prophet Muhammed tethered his winged steed Buraq on or near the Wall during his miraculous night journey from Mecca to Jerusalem. Many Arab leaders, including in the Palestinian Authority, have denied that Jews have historic and religious connections to the Wall, or to Jerusalem. From 1948-1967, the Western Wall (and all the Old City of Jerusalem) was under Jordanian control and Jews did not have access to pray there. When Israel captured the Old City in the 1967 War and renewed access to the Wall after 19 years, many Jews received this as an emotional and historic event. The Palestinian Mughrabi Quarter of the Old City, which was adjacent to the Wall, was razed in the immediate aftermath of the 1967 War, displacing 650 people in order to build what is now the Western Wall Plaza. Haram al-Sharif/The Temple Mount and the Western Wall itself are flash points for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, due to their religious significance to both Muslims and Jews, and due to Palestinian fears that any excavations or other such work around or near those sites will damage Al-Aqsa mosque or are connected to other forms of religious, political and military control of the area. This fear has a basis; there are Jewish extremist groups whose goal is to rebuild a Jewish Temple on what is now Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. See "Western Wall Feud Heightens Israeli-Palestinian Tensions," Isabel Kershner, The New York Times, November 25, 2010; and "At the Western Wall, the sacred stones might become the stepping stone for Third Temple dreams," Anshel Pfeffer, Ha'aretz, May 15, 2013. See also "Rare photograph reveals ancient Jerusalem mosque destroyed in 1967," Nir Hasson, Haaretz, Jun 15, 1012.
Issued on June 3, 1922, the White Paper was the first official document from the British government re-asserting the Balfour Declaration within the framework of the British mandate. It also split the Mandate area at the Jordan River and established the emirate of Transjordan, which was given to the Hashemite Prince Abdullah. The White Paper stated that Britain stood by the Balfour Declaration of 1917, which promised British support for the establishment of a Jewish National Home in Palestine but also attempted to calm Palestinian Arab fears that their life or culture would be subordinated. The White Paper also denied that the British had promised the Arabs "that an independent national government should be at once established in Palestine" after World War I, referring to the Arab interpretation of the Husayn-McMahon Correspondence. See the full text of the Churchill White Paper, UNISPAL.
A British policy paper issued by the British government in May 1939, following suppression of the Arab Revolt of 1936-1939, stating the British objective of establishing an "independent Palestine State" bound to Britain and encompassing both Jews and Arabs. It also nullified the promise of the Balfour Declaration for establishment of a Jewish National Home. The Paper was largely a response to Arab pressure over increased Jewish immigration to the area. On the eve of World War II and the Holocaust, the Paper recommended a five-year plan for limited Jewish immigration of 15,000 a year, including a requirement of Arab consent to immigration after the plan expired. It also placed limits on the rights of Jews to buy land from Arabs. It represented British policy until the United Nations Partition Plan of 1947. Zionist leader David Ben Gurion vowed to "fight the White Paper as if there were not Hitler and fight Hitler as if there were no White Paper." See the full text of MacDonald White Paper, The Avalon Project of Yale Law School.
In August 2005, James Wolfensohn, UN special envoy to oversee Israel's Gaza Disengagement, arranged for the purchase and transfer of about 1,000 greenhouses from Jewish Israeli settler ownership to the Palestinian Authority. Wolfensohn, a former World Bank president, offered $500,000 of his own money for the deal, while a consortium of wealthy Americans covered the remaining $13.5 million. Though the greenhouses were expected to be a key factor in the Gaza Strip's recovery after Israel's disengagement in August 2005, up to 50% of them had been at least partly dismantled by the settlers themselves before the disengagement. Many of the remaining greenhouses were looted by Gazans immediately after the Israeli army left, leaving a number of them unusable or in need of expensive repairs. The hi-tech greenhouses, which grew spices, flowers and vegetables primarily for export, had employed approximately 3,500 Gazans during the Israeli occupation. However, border closures impacting export of produce and the lack of financial subsidies that the Israeli settlers had received from the Israeli government make it questionable whether or not the greenhouses could have been profitable for Palestinians, even had the looting not occurred. See "US Donors to Pay Departing Jews for Gaza Greenhouses," Greg Myre, The New York Times, August 13, 2005; and\r\n"Troubled Season for Gaza's Greenhouses," Joshua Mitnick, The Christian Science Monitor, October 25, 2005.
(1929-2004) Also referred to as Abu Ammar. A Palestinian political and military figure. In 1959, Arafat was one of the founders of the Palestinian Fatah movement. Arafat served as Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) from 1969 to 2004. He oversaw political and guerrilla activities of the PLO first from Jordan, then Lebanon and later Tunisia. In 1996, he became the first elected President of the Palestinian Authority, which has governing authority over certain parts of the West Bank and Gaza; Arafat held this position until his death in 2004. In a speech at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in December 1988, Arafat stated his willingness to accept Palestinian statehood based on UN Resolution 242 a resolution that recognizes the rights of all states to sovereignty. Many viewed this as the beginning of the PLO's recognition of the right of the State of Israel exist. He signed the Oslo Accords with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1993, for which he received a Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 along with Rabin and Israeli political figure Shimon Peres. Arafat became increasingly marginalized by the United States and Israel after the Second Intifada started, and was isolated completely from diplomatic relations in 2003. Arafat died on November 11, 2004 in Percy military hospital in Paris from causes that are still unverified. One controversial theory is that he was poisoned, a theory that was supported by an independent Swiss investigation, yet rejected by a Russian one. See "Yasser Arafat: 1929-2004," Kristina Nwazota, PBS Online News Hour, July 15 2011.
(Yesha is the Hebrew acronym for Judea, Samaria and Gaza Strip) An organized body founded in the 1970s representing Jewish Israeli settlers in the West Bank and, until the 2005 Gaza Disengagement, the Gaza Strip. The organization's aim is to guarantee security, offer humanitarian and municipal needs, and foster political action and public advocacy for settlers. The organization also serves as a political lobby and an organizational tool for settlement expansion. In 2010, Yesha Council co-organized a workshop training pro-settler activists on how to make sure their perspective was included on Wikipedia entries. See " The right's latest weapon: 'Zionist editing' on Wikipedia," Nir Hasson, Haaretz, Aug 18, 2010.
(Hebrew for "town" or "settlement") Refers to the Jewish communities established in the early days of the Zionist movement, but does not usually refer to settlements beyond the Green Line in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. See "The Jewish Community under the Mandate," Israel: A Country Study, U.S. Library of Congress.
(Hebrew for "Israel is Our Home") Israeli political party. Yisrael Beiteinu/no-lexicon], founded in 1999 by Avigdor Lieberman, is a right-wing, nationalist, secular party. Its ideology is described as Revisionist Zionism, and it constituency is comprised chiefly of Israelis from the former Soviet Union. Yisrael Beiteinu/no-lexicon] has championed controversial legislation such as a requirement for Israeli citizens to take a "loyalty oath" (seen as an attempt to disenfranchise Palestinian citizens of Israel), and a "Populated-Area Exchange Plan," (also known as "The Lieberman 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, Yisrael Beiteinu's election campaign included the slogan, "No loyalty, no citizenship." Yisrael Beiteinu was also a key party in passing the controversial Nakba Law, has introduced a bill to rescind the status of Arabic as an official language in Israel. The party has strongly supported Settlement expansion. See "Two months before the vote, Yisrael Beiteinu is in crisis," Barak Ravid, Ha'aretz, Jan 20, 2015.
(1922-1995) A Jewish Israeli political and military figure. Prior to Israel's establishment in 1948, Rabin served in the Palmach unit of the Jewish paramilitary group Haganah. Following many years in the military, Rabin was appointed Chief of Staff of the Israeli army in 1964 and oversaw Israeli military action during the 1967 War. A member of the Labor party, he served as Israeli Ambassador to the United States from 1968-1973. He then went on to become the first native-born Israeli Prime Minster, serving from 1974-1977 and a second term from 1992 until his assassination in 1995. Rabin was also Defense Minister from 1984-1990 during the First Intifada, which he sought to crush militarily. His strategy during that period was characterized by the order for "force, might and beatings." In 1993, in his capacity as Prime Minister, Rabin launched the Oslo Process with the Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat. The two shared the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize along with Shimon Peres. He later helped broker the 1994 Israeli-Jordanian Peace Treaty. Rabin was assassinated on November 4, 1995 by a Jewish extremist. See "Remembering Rabin, Some See His Legacy Fading," Ethan Bronner, The New York Times, Oct 28, 2010.
(1915-2012) A Jewish Israeli military and political figure. Born in current-day Belarus and educated in Poland, Shamir immigrated to Palestine in 1935. He was a member of both the militant Irgun and Stern/Lehi Gang (Jewish paramilitary groups that were subsumed into the Israeli army in 1948), and, upon the creation of the State of Israel, became an active Israeli foreign intelligence agent in Europe. Shamir joined the Herut party (the precursor to the Likud party) in 1969, and was active in politics from then on. Prime Minister of Israel from 1983-1984 and 1986-1992, his government entered the Madrid Conference talks with Palestinian representatives, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon in 1991. See "Yitzhak Shamir, Former Prime Minister, Dies at 96," Joel Brinkley, The New York Times, June 20, 2012.
(Hebrew for "Day of Remembrance.") An Israeli national holiday that takes place on the 4th day of the Jewish month of Iyar. The holiday commemorates all those who died as part of Jewish forces fighting to establish the State of Israel in 1948, as well as Israelis who have died in the Israeli military since then. Followed the next day by Israeli Independence Day, which Palestinians commemorate as the Nakba, marking Palestinian displacement and dispossession, the Occupied Palestinian Territories are typically under a closure on these two days. See "On Memorial Day, Israelis must reflect on Palestinians' collective punishment," Mairav Zonszein, +972mag, May 5, 2014.
(1948- ) A Jewish Israeli political figure. Beilin worked at the Israeli newspaper Davar from 1969-1977. He became the spokesperson of the Labor party in 1977. Entering the Israeli parliament in 1988, he served for 11 years and has held multiple ministerial and deputy ministerial positions. Beilin was instrumental in the early stages of the Oslo Process and is one of the authors of the non-governmental, non-binding Israeli-Palestinian Geneva Initiative. In 2003, he left the Labor party and joined the Meretz party in 2004, serving as its head, and serving again in the Israeli Knesset from 2006-2008. Though Beilin retired from politics in 2008, as of 2015 he is still involved with the Geneva Initiative. See "Dr. Yossi Beilin," The Geneva Initiative, June 18, 2011; and "Meretz' Beilin retiring from politics," Ynet, Attila Somfavi, October 28, 2008.
(1940- ) A Jewish Israeli political and media figure. He served as a member of the Knesset from 1974-2006, including the positions of Minister of Education and Minister of the Environment. From 1996-2003, he led the Meretz party, which emphasizes a two-state solution, human rights, and social justice. Due to Meretz's decline in power, Sarid retired from politics in 2006. Sarid now writes a weekly column for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. See "Writer Profile: Yossi Sarid," Haaretz.
(1954- ) A Jewish Israeli political figure and intellectual. Tamir began her career as a professor of political philosophy and still teaches at Tel Aviv University (as of 2015); she also helped start the Israeli Peace Now movement in 1978. As a member of the Labor party, Tamir first entered politics when appointed as Minister of Immigrant Absorption in 1999. She went on to serve in the Israeli Knesset from 2003-2010. During her time as Minister of Education from 2006-2009, Tamir approved a textbook for use in Palestinian-Israeli schools that mentioned Al-Nakba, the Palestinian term for the expulsion and dispossession of Palestinians during and after Israel's establishment. She resigned her position in parliament in 2010. See "Education minister under fire for 'nakba' textbook," Or Kashti, Haaretz, July 23, 2007; and "Peace movement has become powerless, says MK Yuli Tamir," Roi Ben-Yehuda, Haaretz, December 27, 2009.
(1880-1940) A Jewish Zionist of Russian origin. Jabotinksy came to Palestine first as a soldier with the British Jewish Legion during World War I, a legion that Jabotinsky helped construct. The founder of Revisionist Zionism in 1925, he sponsored a more militant and non-socialist approach to building the Jewish homeland in Palestine than that of Labor Zionism. He also became a supporter of militant actions against the British Mandate in Palestine in order to more quickly assert the Jewish right to political sovereignty in the area. See "The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World," Avi Shlaim, W.W. Norton & Company, 2001; and "Jabotinksy: A Life," Hillel Halkin, Yale University Press, 2014.
Jewish nationalism, based on the belief that the Jewish people should have a national homeland. Supporters of this idea are called Zionists. The name comes from the term "Zion" which was an ancient Hebrew designation for the city of Jerusalem. The Zionist Movement took shape in Europe in the late 1800s with the First Zionist Conference in Basel, Switzerland. The movement advocated a national liberation ideology of the Jewish people. Although this ideology had several strands each with different visions, the most prominent became a movement for the establishment of a Jewish state within the biblical Land of Israel. Zionism has many manifestations, from religious to secular, each defining a distinct view of which land should be settled, and how it should be done. There are also Jews (Israelis among them) who consider themselves anti-Zionists or post-Zionists. Zionism has been criticized as a form of colonialism or racism, with its opponents charging that it is politically ethno-centric, and that the realization of the Zionist project led to the displacement of and lack of rights for Palestinians. See " The perennial dilemma of liberal Zionism,"Ran Greenstein, +972mag, Sept 28, 2014. See also "Zionism, anti-Semitism and colonialism," Joseph Massad, Al Jazeera English, Dec 24, 2012.