~ Read Israel and Palestine Conflict forum questions from Pakistan with answers from a Jewish Israeli. Learn Palestinian Authority facts and misconceptions. ~
The Israel/Palestine conflict is plagued with misconceptions and misinformation disseminated in all parts of the world. This is especially true in Pakistan under government censorship (which includes some pages on Wikipedia and content on YouTube), deference to the attitudes of its fanatic neighbor Iran, dependency upon its supporter Saudi Arabia, and its own history of religious animosity for beliefs other than the Sunni Muslim sect. In addition, illiteracy rates in Pakistan are among the highest in the world.
What follows are questions from Pakistanis about Israel, a country their government will not allow them to visit. The questions themselves indicate the degree of erroneous information influencing Pakistani opinions about Israel, Israeli Arabs, and Arabs living under the Palestinian Authority. Hopefully, the facts presented in the following answers will help give a greater understanding of the current situation west of the Jordan River.
TABLE OF CONTENTS - Jump to Section
Creation of Israel
1948 Israel War of Independence
1956 Suez Crisis
1967 Six Day War
1973 Yom Kippur War
1979 Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty
Oslo Accords 1993
Second Intifada and Security Fence
Israeli Checkpoints and Border Crossings
Operation Protective Edge in Gaza 2014
Everyday Palestinian Life
Pakistan and the Palestinians
How Was Israel Created?
It's interesting that the Pakistani posting the question above believes that the Palestinians "gave Jews a place to live" in Israel. It is also interesting that there is a perceived ingratitude. This perception comes from classic Islam which teaches that Jews and Christians must remain subservient to Muslims. As you can read in the answer above, Palestinian Arabs had nothing to do with giving Jews the land of Israel.
Another popular misconception in Pakistan is that Israel was created because of the Holocaust during World War II. The fact is, almost one hundred years ago the British declared in 1917 its desire to create a Jewish Homeland with its issuance of the Balfour Declaration. Britain then presented its partition of the land in 1922.
Jewish Presence in the Land of Israel
Since the return from Egypt during the Exodus 3,500 years ago, there have always been members of the Twelve Tribes of Israel living in the land of Israel. The twelve sons of Israel (whose name was changed from Jacob) were the great grandchildren of the patriarch Abraham, who was given the land (originally settled by the accursed Canaanite people) 4,000 years ago by the God he worshiped. One of the Tribes of Israel was the Tribe of Judah; the term 'Jew' is a reference to those of this tribe, the tribe of Israel's royalty.
Of his eight sons, Abraham bequeathed the land of his covenant with God (Genesis 17:1-15) to his son Isaac, the only child born of his beloved wife Sarah. His other seven sons received an inheritance and moved to the east. To Isaac was born Jacob and his twin Esau. The deed to the land of Abraham's covenant was bequeathed to Jacob (whose name was changed to Israel), and Esau was given an inheritance of land in what is today southern Jordan.
Thus, the deed to the Jewish Homeland is one of the oldest in the world. When Abraham's wife Sarah died, he purchased a field and a burial site from a Hittite man and the transfer of property was witnessed by members of the non-Arab Hittite tribe. Abraham and his wife Sarah, Isaac and his wife Rebecca, Jacob and his wife Leah are buried in the family crypt in a double cave on the land Abraham purchased in Hebron, Israel. The deed is recorded in Genesis 23 (read the text in the Urdu language), predating the life of Muhammad by 27 centuries.
Hebron was named for Abraham's ancestor, Eber, the father of the Hebrew language and of the several tribes of Hebrews living in Ur of the Chaldees.
About a thousand years later, the land of the Tribes of Israel had recognized boundaries under the reign of King David. During this time, the military boundaries extended from the Nile to the Euphrates Rivers.
The land of Israel has been ruled by Ancient Egyptians, Israelites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Ancient Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Sunni Arab Caliphates, the Shia Fatimid Caliphate, Crusaders, Ayyubids, Mameluks, Mongols, Ottomans and the British.
The Balfour Declaration
"His Majesty's government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object ..."
– from The Balfour Declaration, November 2, 1917
Fast forward a few thousand years from the Biblical Kingdom of Israel to the aftermath of World War I. The lands of the Ottoman Empire were in the hands of the Allied Powers. United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour issued a declaration on November 2, 1917, which called for the establishment of a Jewish Homeland in their ancestral land, a place where 85,000 Jews were already living at that time and where more were arriving every day from Russia and Europe.
The territory was called Palestine, because that was the ancient Greek word for the area, named after the ancient Philistines who were not Arabs but of Greek origin from the Isle of Cyprus. There was never a tribe of people known as Palestinians and there was never a nation or state of Palestine.
The San Remo Conference
At the end of World War I, the Allied Powers – Great Britain, France, Italy, Japan (and the U.S. as a neutral observer) – met to distribute the land of the Ottoman Empire. They held a conference in San Remo, Italy.
There it was determined that Britain be given a mandate to establish a Jewish Homeland in the ancestral Jewish territory and the Balfour Declaration was confirmed by all parties as part of the British Mandate.
In the breakup of the Ottoman Empire in 1917, as the Allies carved up the territory, the land in the map below was put under the governorship of the British Mandate and represented about one-half-of-one-percent of the lands of the Middle East to be portioned.
These new nations were created by the victors of World War I, who carved up the Ottoman Empire into new political boundaries. These Mandates were given to the French and the British by the Allied Powers:
Israel (Jewish Homeland)
The British assumed the Ottoman role, with appointed governors, in:
After World War II, the British created these new nations from the former East India Company (part of the British Crown since 1858):
Under its Mandate for Palestine, the British divided the region into a Jewish Homeland called Palestine and a region for Arabs called Transjordan (meaning 'across the Jordan River').
Transjordan was designated for Arab residents and it was given 74 percent of the British Mandate. Although no Jews lived in Transjordan, Arabs residing in the Jewish Homeland of Palestine were allowed to remain, pending their transfer when given autonomous rule in Transjordan. The land designated for the Jewish Homeland represented one-tenth-of-one-percent of the Mandate lands of the Middle East.
This division of the land was approved by the 56 member nations of the League of Nations in 1922 – the forerunner of the United Nations – and ratified in 1923.
This is quite similar to the way India and Pakistan were created by the British Parliament with the division of the former British East India Company (assumed by British Crown rule in 1858) after World War II in 1947. Before that, there was no country called Pakistan and no tribe called Pakistani people. The separation of Pakistan from India was an attempt to provide a separate region for a population which was predominantly Muslim. However, Muslims still lived in India and people of other religions, including Hindus, lived in the new Pakistan.
According to the British representative in the area, Transjordan was:
"... intended to serve as a reserve of land for use in the resettlement of Arabs once the National Home for the Jews in Palestine, which [Britain was] pledged to support, became an accomplished fact. There was no intention at that stage of forming the territory east of the River Jordan into an independent Arab state."
Sir Alec Kirkbride, British Mandate Governor of Transjordan (1920 – 1946) and of the Jewish Homeland (1922 - 27 and in 1937- 39)
In order to permanently establish the entities of Transjordan and the Jewish Homeland, a 1936 British Royal Commission of Inquiry (known as the Palestine Royal Commission or the Peel Commission) proposed transferring all of the Arabs of Palestine to Transjordan, as was the original British intent.
Arab riots broke out. All the while, more and more Jews were entering the Jewish Homeland as they fled the growing Nazi movement in Eastern Europe and Hitler's election as Führer of Germany in 1934. In 1935, Hitler cancelled the citizenship of 500,000 German Jews.
The Jewish population in the Mandate land now numbered 450,000. During the 1936–1939 Arab revolt in the Jewish Homeland of Palestine against the British, the Arabs were brutally suppressed by the British army. The uprising left 8,864 Arabs dead and 14,760 wounded. According to Arab historian Walid Khalidi:
"Over ten percent of the adult male Palestinian Arab population between 20 and 60 was killed, wounded, imprisoned or exiled. Estimates of the number of Palestinian Jews killed range from 91 to several hundred."
The Arabs also attacked Jews and often vandalized their farms and businesses. Arab volunteers from neighboring Syria, Mandate Transjordan and Iraq flooded the Mandate Jewish Homeland and assisted in attacking the British forces. More and more foreign Arabs entered the Jewish Homeland and became de facto immigrants.
The Arabs demanded a further partitioning of the Mandate Jewish Homeland and objected to the proposed population exchange. Additionally, the Arabs demanded that Jewish immigration be halted. After three years of rioting, the British formulated a new policy for the mandate which was known as The White Paper of 1939.
The White Paper of 1939
The British policy paper severely limited Jewish immigration to the Mandate lands, just when Eastern European Jews needed a new homeland the most. At this point, most Jewish immigration became clandestine under a newly developed Jewish underground movement in the Jewish Homeland.
The White Paper forbade the sale of Arab owned properties to Jews, a practice that had been ongoing since the 1880s. To appease the rioting Arabs, the British formulated a new policy against transferring Arabs from the Jewish Homeland to Transjordan.
The paper evaluated the possibility of further dividing the Jewish Homeland with a region exclusively for Arabs, but concluded that a small Arab conclave could not be self-supporting as most Arabs in the Jewish Homeland were employed by Jewish businesses and had little independent economy. Therefore, the paper concluded that the land west of the Jordan River should not be further divided.
The League of Nations unanimously voted against approving the White Paper, but offered no plan of its own for the final independence of the Jewish Homeland and Transjordan. With the outbrake of World War II in 1939, discussions were halted.
With no approved decision on transferring Arabs from the Jewish Homeland, Britain made the surprise move to grant Transjordan, with a total population of 400,000, complete independence. On April 18, 1946, the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan was recognized by the League of Nations and the British Mandate for Transjordan ended on May 25, 1946.
The British further limited Jewish immigration to the Mandate Jewish Homeland and established yearly maximum quotas. On the Island of Cyprus, the British imprisoned 50,000 Jews in internment camps for attempting to illegally immigrate to the Jewish Homeland. Pressure was mounting against the British from U.S. President Harry S. Truman to allow more Jews to immigrate.
A major news story of 1947 involved the Exodus 1947, a ship transporting 4,515 Holocaust survivors from France to the Mandate Jewish Homeland. As the ship neared Haifa port in the Mandate, the British Royal Navy intercepted it. The British sent the Jews to Germany where the passengers were forcibly removed to displaced persons camps.
Out of frustration in reaching a consensus on increasing quotas of Jewish immigration and about the Arabs living in the Mandate Jewish Homeland, the British referred the matter to the United Nations in November, 1947. The U.N. drafted its own plan, Resolution 181(II), recommending a further division of the Palestine Jewish Homeland into separate areas for Arabs and Jews, with each receiving approximately 50 percent of the Mandate; the area in and around Jerusalem was recommended to be governed by an international regime. The resolution, however, allowed Jews to live in Arab areas and Arabs to live in Jewish areas, with each side responsible for the protection of minority rights in their respective areas.
While the plan was being considered by the Jewish residents, the Arabs rejected it completely and refused further discussions to negotiate. In November, 1947, Arabs began attacking Jewish buses. Violence escalated and Jews organized defense militias and mandatory subscription for military training for all Jewish men and women. Over the next four months, it is estimated that 2,000 – 4,000 Jews and Arabs died from violence under the watchful eyes of British soldiers. Amid continuing violence, more than 100,000 middle class Arabs sold their properties and permanently left the country.
Claiming to represent all Arabs in the Mandate Jewish Homeland, the Arab Higher Committee (a group banned by the British) announced to the Secretary General of the U.N. on February 6, 1948, that it would not accept any partition plan nor would it accept a Jewish state.
"The Palestinian Arabs consider any attempt by Jewish people or by whatever power or group of power to establish a Jewish state in an Arab territory to be an act of aggression that will be resisted by force ...
"The prestige of the United Nations would be better served by abandoning this plan and by not imposing such an injustice ... The Palestinian Arabs make a grave declaration before the U.N., before God and before history that they will never submit to any power that comes to Palestine to impose a partition. The only way to establish a partition is to get rid of them [Jews] all: men, women, and children."
– Haj Amin al-Husseini, Grand Mufti (Sunni Muslim cleric) of Jerusalem
This was the state of affairs when the British announced they were leaving the country and that the British Mandate would end on May 14, 1948. No provisions were made for governorship or leadership after the British withdrawal. Further, the British did nothing to assure that the outnumbered Jewish population would survive their withdrawal and a wholesale slaughter of Jews seemed inevitable. The Jews were left to their own devises.
In contrast, the Arabs in the area were surrounded by well-equipped Arab armies preparing to assist them on the announced date of the British withdrawal. It is a well-known fact that the British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin and a number of British military officers predicted an Arab military victory.
The British washed their hands of the fate of the Jews they were entrusted to protect under the British Mandate.
Israel Independence and 1948 Arab-Israel War
The borders of Egypt were established at the end of the Ottoman rule in 1922 and the borders of the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan were finalized in 1946. Both were independent nations with internationally recognized and accepted borders.
As the last British troops sailed away from the Jewish Homeland of the British Mandate, the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel was proclaimed on May 14, 1948, by Head of the Jewish Agency David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first Prime Minister.
The State of Israel was immediately recognized by Czechoslovakia, Guatemala, Iceland, Iran, Ireland, Nicaragua, Poland, Romania, South Africa, Soviet Union, United States, Uruguay, and Yugoslavia.
Upon declaring statehood, Israel was attacked on all fronts by well-equipped armies from Lebanon, Transjordan, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, and troops and/or pilots from Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Sudan, Morocco and Pakistan. It was also attacked from within by the tens of thousands of Arabs living in Israel.
Israel had only three underground militias and 18,900 mobilized and armed men and women.
Israel had no tanks, military aircraft, heavy machine guns, artillery, armored vehicles, anti-tank or anti-aircraft weapons. It had no assistance from the U.S. and the entire region was under a U.S. arms embargo and had been for some time.
Azzam Pasha, Secretary-General of the Arab League predicted:
"It will be a war of annihilation. It will be a momentous massacre in history that will be talked about like the massacres of the Mongols or the Crusades."
Pasha vocalized the Arab intent of the war: the total annihilation of the Jewish population. To the Arabs in the Levant, it was never a question of where Jews would live and where Arabs would live. The attack by Arab nations was their decision that Jews should not be allowed to live at all, and this has been the underlying cause of the Israel/Palestine conflict to this day and the reason today's Arab Palestinians refuse to negotiate.
Pasha's prophecies were proved wrong.
Israel won its War of Independence. Egypt and Jordan, however, occupied parts of the Jewish Homeland when a ceasefire was called. A new map was drawn under the Armistice lines of January, 1949. The areas controlled by Egypt and Jordan were not final border lines, but temporarily held under cessation of hostility agreements and were government by military rule.
Compare this to the Partition of India. In the Partition of India, the estimates are that 200,000 to 500,000 were killed in military conflicts between India and the new Pakistan, which has been described as 'retributive genocide.' The warfare created 10 million refugees who fled their homes for one side of the partition or the other. No compensation was ever paid to them for what they left behind. Today, there are still Hindus living in Pakistan and Muslims living in India.
Under the Armistice map, no provision was made for Arabs living within Israel or for Arabs living in areas then occupied by Egypt and Transjordan, and none of the parties even considered the creation of a separate conclave for them. There was only Israel, Jordan and Egypt.
When the war ended, one-half of Jerusalem was held by Israel and one-half was occupied by Transjordan.
All Jews were expelled from the part of the Mandate Jewish Homeland now occupied by Transjordan and from the Gaza Strip now occupied by Egypt.
Population of Israel in 1949
Population of Jordan in 1949
(includes Jordan's occupied territories in the Jewish Homeland)
Under Transjordan's occupation of half of Jerusalem, a barbed wire fence divided the city and Jews were no longer allowed access to the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism since the patriarch Abraham first entered the land 4,000 years ago. All Jews were expelled from East Jerusalem and their properties were confiscated, 34 synagogues were destroyed and Jewish cemeteries were desecrated.
On April 24, 1950, Transjordan formally annexed the territories it occupied in the Jewish Homeland, though this was only recognized by Britain (except for Jerusalem), Iraq and Pakistan. Arabs in this territory were given the option of Jordanian citizenship, which most of them accepted.
Egypt did not annex the Gaza Strip and continued to occupy under military rule.
Arabs living within Israel were immediately given full citizenship, voting rights, freedom of the press, freedom of movement and assembly, and freedom of worship. Two Arabs served in the First Knesset (Parliament) and Arabs have served in every Knesset since, winning 13 seats in the last elections on March 17, 2015.
At the encouragement of the attacking Arab armies, 700,000 Arabs fled to other countries during the war, primarily to Syria, Lebanon, and to land either in or occupied by Transjordan and Egypt. Most of these refugees are no longer alive, and their second, third and fourth generation descendants still live in the Arab nations where their parents, grandparents or great-grandparents fled.
Most refugees who fled to Jordan have been granted citizenship. All Christian refugees and about 60,000 of the Shiite Muslims who fled to Lebanon have also been given citizenship. Refugees without citizenship in their host countries provide a cheap source of labor, without having any rights or access to services.
“The Arab states do not want to solve the refugee problem. They want to keep it as an open sore, as an affront to the UN, and as a weapon against Israel. Arab leaders do not give a damn whether Arab refugees live or die.”
– former Director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Jordan
The refugee host countries have no incentive to grant citizenship to these residents and continue to profit from maintaining their refugee status, generation after generation.
Since 1948, the other Arab countries also keep these descendants in perpetual refugee status because this generates funds from the United Nations for their maintenance. It also tugs at the heart of world sympathies for 'refugees', even though – after 67 years – few of those original refugees exist. This is the only group in the world which has ever been given a hereditary refugee status.
"600,000 Jews in Israel absorbed almost one million Jewish refugees forced to leave their homes in Arab countries when Israel statehood was proclaimed in 1948. While 200 million Arabs who had incited the Arabs of Palestine to reject 181 [U.N. Resolution] and go to war, and who have all the oil fields of the Middle East, instead to absorb a less number of Arab brothers and sisters who fled Palestine, put them in miserable camps, without granting them citizenship, treating them like leprous dogs, and using them as cannon fodder against Israel."
– Azmi Bishara, PhD, is an Arab who was born in Nazareth, Israel, in 1956. He founded and led the Arab Student Union at Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1976, is a former member of the Israel Knesset (Parliament), a former professor at the Arab Bir Zeit University near Ramallah, and now heads the Doha Institute in Qatar.
And, many of the 1948 refugees were not originally born in Mandate Palestine, but had arrived from other countries in search of temporary employment by Jews. To receive funds under UNRWA (the U.N. agency which provides assistance solely to Palestinian refugees), one must only show that he lived for a minimum of only two years in the land.
Compensation for Palestinian refugees from all UN agencies has amounted to billions of dollars over the years. Money has been paid to four generations of the original 700,000 refugees and now covers five million Palestinians every year – 40 percent of the funding is paid by the U.S. government, which has encouraged the 'perpetual refugee' status.
Refugee assistance and funding is also paid for adopted children throughout these generations, no matter who their parents were. (Former PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat 'adopted' 60 'orphans', but they never lived in his household and were not included in his will when he died.)
After 1948, 851,000 Jews were forced to flee from these Arab nations where they had lived for thousands of years (well before the era of Islam) because of anti-Jewish hatred and violence after Israel's victory in the 1948 War of Independence:
Aden, Algeria, Afghanistan, Bahrain, East Bengal (modern Bangladesh), Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, and Yemen
Additionally, 33,000 Jews immigrated to Israel from India.
In Pakistan, all that is left today of the vibrant Jewish community which once lived there is the Jewish cemetery which is part of the Mewa Shah graveyard in the Lyari River neighborhood of old Karachi.
The total value of property these Jewish refugees left behind is valued at more than $300 billion today. The land they owned comprised of more than 38,610 square miles (100,000 sq km), which is four times the size of modern Israel.
Most of these Jews immigrated to Israel because no other country would allow them entrance, which reaffirmed the need for a Jewish Homeland.
Riots broke out, property was burned and many Jews were killed in the predominantly Muslim countries. In Pakistan, an angry mob stormed Karachi's Magane Shalom synagogue, burning the Torah scrolls (Hebrew Bible) and destroying the building. Most of the refugee Jews lost their homes, synagogues, businesses, financial assets, and they left with little more than the clothing on their backs.
These Jewish refugees have never received compensation from the Arab countries which evicted them. Unlike Palestinians, they have never received funding from U.N. refugee agencies.
At the same time, tens of thousands of Jewish survivors of the Holocaust were arriving on the shores of Israel.
Israel's Jewish population more than doubled between 1948 – 1951. The newly arriving refugees were housed in tents and aid for their absorption was collected from Jewish communities throughout the world. It was a massive undertaking by the new country to provide shelter, food, clothing, medical care, Hebrew language lessons, schools for children and employment.
By 1951, a quarter of a million Jewish immigrants were living in tents in Israel and 80 percent of these were refugees from Islamic countries.
More than 2,000,000 Jewish immigrants would arrive in Israel over the next 20 years. Although the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNRWA) was established in 1950, no assistance for the care of Jewish refugees was ever provided by the United Nations.
1956 Suez Crisis
Even though Armistice lines were drawn and substantial portions of the Mandate Jewish Homeland were now under the control of Egypt and Transjordan due to military invasion, peace was elusive. During the Egyptian Revolution in 1952, Gamal Abdel Nasser overthrew the monarchy in Egypt and took over power. Prior to this, Egypt had been occupied by the British for 74 years with the cooperation of the corrupt monarch, King Farouk I of Egypt.
Nasser made clear his desire to secure leadership of the Arab world in place of other contenders. To this end, he led a campaign to remove all foreign influence, especially the British. He organized Palestinian fedayeen (one of whom was the Egyptian Yasser Arafat) to commit terrorist attacks against Israel from bases he established for them in Egypt (the Sinai Peninsula), the Gaza Strip, Jordan and Syria.
Nasser took control of the Suez Canal, which was supervised by the British military and built by The Suez Canal Company, owned primarily by French stockholders. The Suez Canal is a man-made waterway which connects the Mediterranean to the Red Sea. It extends 101 miles along the border between Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula, shortening the trading route between east and west by thousands of nautical miles. At the time, fully two-thirds of Europe's oil imports came through the canal.
When the Suez Canal Company was nationalized by Nasser on July 30, 1956, he closed the canal to Israeli ships. Earlier, in 1953, he blockaded Israel's access to the Red Sea from the Israeli port of Eliat.
Nasser then attacked Israel from the Gaza Strip, injuring 1300 Israeli civilians. Nasser was defeated by Israel forces under the command of future Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. But, a greater campaign against Egypt was inevitable. Nasser was arming his country to the teeth with advanced Soviet weapons in his bid to be the military leader of the Arab world.
In a coalition of France, Britain and Israel, Egypt was attacked on October 29, 1956, in order to regain control of the Suez Canal, Gaza and parts of the Sinai Peninsula. Israel had another objective: to regain its access to the Red Sea from the Straits of Tiran.
As fighting ensued, Israel gained control of the Gaza Strip by November 3, 1956, and then over the entire Sinai Peninsula.
On November 5, Egypt surrendered to the coalition forces.
There was an immediate reaction in Pakistan to this news: 300,000 people assembled in a public protest of the attack on Egypt and vigilantes burned down the British High Commission in Karachi. The Syrian military blew up an Iraqi oil supply pipeline in protest to Iraq's support for the attack on Egypt. Saudi Arabia sanctioned oil embargoes against Britain and France.
The U.N. called for all forces to withdraw troops. In Tel Aviv, 100,000 angry Israelis marched in protest of U.N. demands for Israel to leave the Gaza Strip, the Sinai, and evacuate its military positions on the Gulf entrance to the Red Sea in the Sinai. After enduring eight years of border raids from Egypt, Israel would not abandon its hold on these regions without assurances that Egypt would not again attack.
On November 7, 1956, the U.N. created the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) to defend access to the Suez Canal, Israel's access to the Red Sea, and to prevent attacks on Israel from the Sinai and from Gaza. By April, 1957, the Suez Canal was reopened for shipping, the U.N. peacekeeping forces were in place, and Israel relinquished the Gaza Strip and the Sinai to Egyptian control.
But Egypt refused to declare peace with Israel, which led to the full-scale war ten years later.
Yasser Arafat and the fadayeen were removed from the Gaza Strip and the Sinai. They reorganized themselves in Kuwait where they adopted the name Fatah, meaning 'conquest.' (This is the name under which the PLO still operates today.)
The 1967 Six Day War
The areas of Judea and Samaria (often referred to as the West Bank of Jordan or the West Bank of the Jordan River) were occupied by Transjordan (now called the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan or Jordan) and the Gaza Strip was once again occupied by Egypt until the Six Day War in 1967. Then, the map was redrawn.
The Palestine Liberation Organization
At the first Arab League Summit in Cairo, Egypt, in 1964, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was created by Egyptian President Nasser to "liberate Palestine" from Jewish control through armed battle. In 1964, using the word 'Palestine' meant the sovereign nation of Israel – not the portion of land already occupied by Egypt and Jordan. Creation of another separate territory for Mandate Palestine's Arabs was never the goal. About 40 percent of Israel's land under the Mandate Jewish Homeland was already under Arab control by Egypt and Jordan.
The stated goal under the PLO Charter was to free all of the land under the former British Mandate and to:
"prohibit ... the existence and activity of Zionism."
The Plan of the PLO was annihilation of the Jews in Israel and of the State of Israel. The creation of the PLO by the Arab League was the precursor of the Six Day War of 1967.
In May, 1967, Syria and Egypt mobilized their armies on Israel's borders and prepared to invade. Egypt evacuated the U.N. (UNEF) peace-keeping forces from the Sinai Peninsula. The PLO carried out guerrilla and terrorist attacks against Israel from positions in Jordan. On May 26, when the war was in the planning stages by Egypt, Syria and Jordan, Egyptian President Nasser declared:
"Our basic objective will be to destroy Israel."
When Egypt once again blocked Israel's access to the Red Sea at the Straits of Tiran – violating the ceasefire agreement brokered by the U.N. in 1956 – war was declared.
One June 5, 1967, Israel launched a preemptive strike on Egypt and destroyed most of the Egyptian air force within an hour. With inexplicable skill, less than 200 Israeli pilots destroyed the largest air force in the Arab world.
The armies of Egypt and Syria – which had been planning the war for months – were quickly joined by Jordan and Iraq, supported by troops and/or pilots from Algeria, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia and the PLO.
Prisoners of War
On June 10, the war ended with Israel victorious. A ceasefire agreement was signed the next day. Like the Biblical week, for six days there was war and on the seventh day there was a Sabbath rest.
"Our airmen, who struck the enemies' planes so accurately that no one in the world understands how it was done and people seek technological explanations or secret weapons; our armored troops who beat the enemy even when their equipment was inferior to his; our soldiers in all other branches ... who overcame our enemies everywhere, despite the latter's superior numbers and fortifications – all these revealed not only coolness and courage in the battle but ... an understanding that only their personal stand against the greatest dangers would achieve victory for their country and for their families, and that if victory was not theirs the alternative was annihilation."
– Yitzhak Rabin, Israel Prime Minister 1974-77 and 1991-95, speaking three weeks after the end of the Six Day War
Unlike the days of Israel's War of Independence, most people in the United States and other western countries watched newsreels of this war every day on their television sets. For many American Christians, their view of Jews, Judaism and Israel were forever changed, for they saw the hand of God in Israel's victory and, more importantly, the fulfillment of ancient Bible prophecies.
On the eve of the Six Day War, PLO founder Ahmad al-Shukeiri famously boasted that the war would "throw the Jews into the sea." On the June 23, 1967, cover of Life Magazine, a young, victorious Israeli solder was featured happily swimming in the waters of the Suez Canal, which was once again in Israeli hands.
At the end of the Six Day War, the map of Israel was redrawn. Jerusalem was reunited and Jordan was pushed back across the Jordan River to its original boundaries under the British Mandate and its Declaration of Independence in 1946. Egypt was forced out of Gaza, the Sinai Peninsula, and was pushed back to a position on the Egyptian side of the Suez Canal.
Syria was pushed off of the Golan Heights, which it had used for years to launch indiscriminate attacks which killed 140 Israeli civilians and wounded hundreds of others in the valley below.
War of Attrition
In humiliation from Egypt's defeat, President Nasser publicly resigned from his office on June 9. After considerable persuasion, he returned to the presidency the next day, bitter with avowed revenge against Israel for his disgracing defeat in the war.
On June 15, 1967, he rallied with Jordan and the PLO (with its bases in Syria and Jordan) to launch a three year long War of Attrition against Israel.
On September 1, 1967, the Arab League Summit met in Sudan. In attendance were the leaders of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Algeria, Kuwait, and Sudan. The conference agreed to grant financial assistance to Egypt and Jordan for their losses in the war. The countries also agreed to end the oil embargo which Arab nations had imposed on the first day of the Six Day War. Ending the embargo was due to severe loss of their own incomes and not for any sympathies with countries dependent upon their oil exports.
Further, the leaders passed the Khartoum Resolution and agreed "to ensure the withdrawal of the aggressive Israeli forces from the Arab lands which have been occupied since the aggression of June 5." The 'Arab Lands' referred to were the lands occupied by Egypt and Jordan since their aggression in 1948, and held by them for only 19 years.
They sought to do this while promising to maintain a state of hostility against Israel. The third paragraph of the Khartoum Resolution contained what has come to be known as the 'Three No's:
"Our basic aim is to liberate the land from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River."
– Yasser Arafat, 1970
Clearly, peace talks were not on the table.
In 1968, Yasser Arafat's Fatah fedaydeen terrorists carried out attacks against Israeli civilians from bases inside Egypt, Jordan and Syria, which made international headlines. In a meeting in Cairo on February 4, 1969, the Egyptian born Arafat was elected Chairman of the PLO.
The War of Attrition escalated when Egypt began an all-out military assault on the Israeli positions in the Sinai in 1969.
1,424 soldiers and 127 civilians.
1,828 and 2,500 captured
The Soviets moved 4,000 of its military troops and 100 – 150 pilots into Egypt to assist its regional ally. The Soviets also brought advanced anti-aircraft missiles and other artillery to Egypt. Military forces were also sent to Egypt from Kuwait and from Cuba.
The War of Attrition ended abruptly on September 28, 1970, when Egyptian President Nasser died of a heart attack.
With the death of Nasser, Arafat's PLO lost its main supporter. Arafat also lost his main controller. A PLO offshoot, the PFLP (Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine), began an international rampage with the hijacking of five passenger jetliners. Three were diverted to the PLO base in Jordan. All were blown up in front of television cameras.
From its base in Amman, Jordan, the PLO began extracting taxes from Palestinians to fund its terrorists (the most highly-paid of all militants) and ran a mafia-type system of tolls and extortion within Jordan. It set up its own checkpoints and issued its own vehicle license plates.
It even issued its own flag: an exact duplicate of the Jordanian flag without the seven-pointed star which represented the hills of Amman.
In the years 1968 – 1969, there were more than 500 armed conflicts between PLO militants and Jordanian security forces. There were more than 3,000 PLO attacks on Israel from its Jordanian base, which resulted in Israeli reprisal attacks.
At this point, the PLO threatened the throne of King Hussein and carried out three assassination attempts. In September, 1970, an all-out Civil War began for the rule of Jordan. The war is referred to as Black September.
The Jordanian army attacked the PLO headquarters on September 16 and war broke out. A Syrian armored division entered northern Jordan in an effort to aid Arafat and to establish Jordan as part of its vision of 'Greater Syria.' The Syrians were buzzed by the Israel Air Force and retreated back to Syrian soil.
Pakistani General Zia ul Haq (future President of Pakistan) took command of one Jordanian Division and led the slaughter of Palestinians.
The bloody conflict ended with 25,000 Palestinians dead and 100,000 homeless. The PLO was routed and set up new headquarters in Lebanon. Yasser Arafat was never allowed to set foot on Jordanian soil again.
From his new base in Lebanon, Arafat orchestrated the killing of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany.
Sadat and Assad
On October 15, 1970, Muhammad Anwar El-Sadat became Egypt's president.
Upon assuming office, he immediately arrested his political opponents and ordered the Soviet force of 25,000 to leave Egypt.
A career military officer, Sadat was quick to formulate his own plan to attack Israel, secure sovereign control of the Suez Canal and regain the Sinai Peninsula.
In Syria, head of the military Hafez al-Assad overthrew the government in 1970 and appointed himself as Syria's Prime Minister.
Together, these two new leaders planned the 1973 Yom Kippur War against Israel.
No, Egypt did not regain the Sinai during the 1973 war. Egypt tried, but it miserably failed.
No, Israel in fact eventually did give the Sinai to Egypt, but that was at a much later date.
The 1973 Yom Kippur War
Yom Kippur is the holiest day in Judaism, a day of fasting and prayer, judgment and repentance, forgiveness and atonement. In Israel, all businesses and restaurants are closed and the streets are absent of traffic. For 25 hours, the most pious do not even drink water. On Yom Kippur 1973, the day was also the Sabbath – marking the holiest juncture of time on the Jewish calendar.
This is why the day was chosen by Syria and Egypt, together with a coalition of forces from other Arab nations, to simultaneously invade Israel in a surprise attack.
But there was another reason that particular date was chosen to attack Israel: the Islamic commemoration of Muhammad's Battle of Badr and his expulsion of Jewish tribes from Medina in 624 CE.
"This people, small as it is, surrounded as it is by enemies, has decided to live.
"And if we have to pay the price for living, we have to pay it. "
– Golda Meir, Prime Minister of Israel 1969 – 1974
All reserve Israeli forces were deployed, virtually the entire male population over the age of 18.
On the third day of battle, at 10:00 pm, Israel's 75-year-old Prime Minister Golda Meir ordered the activation of nuclear bombs.
Israel's situation was desperate. Soviet resupply shipments arrived for the aggressors on the second day of the war. None arrived for Israel.
On the fourth day of relentless battle, a miracle occurred on the northern front. Syrian tanks were pushed back across the 1967 Armistice lines by an Israeli brigade with only 20 tanks still operational.
This was the turning point of the war in Israel's favor.
On the southern front, future Israel prime minister and then retired Major General Ariel Sharon led his forces in the second largest tank battle in world military history.
At the end of 17 days of fighting, Israel was minutes away from occupying both Damascus and Cairo. Israel had captured 45,000 Egyptian troops of the Third Army and had them surrounded in the desert without a food or water supply.
Soviet Union leader Leonid Brezhnev informed Washington that it would land troops and invade Israel. The Soviets had nuclear submarines already in position in Egyptian waters. America put its nuclear forces on high alert. U.S. nuclear missiles were readied in their silos and two aircraft carriers with nuclear strike forces were ordered to the Eastern Mediterranean.
At this point the defeated aggressors, pitifully claiming 'Israeli aggression', petitioned the U.N. for a ceasefire. Under U.S. pressure, Israel reluctantly accepted the ceasefire.
Total Troops Deployed
Prisoners of War
After the war, as more of the Israeli soldiers succumbed to their wounds, the Israel Defense Ministry now declares its number of fallen soldiers from this war is 2,688.
Eleven Little-Known Facts about the Yom Kippur War:
1. Every deployed Israeli tank was hit at least once in battle. Half were hit twice or more.
2. The enemy tanks had advanced infrared night-fighting capabilities; the Israeli tanks did not. Israelis fought with older tanks with commanders exposed in open turrets.
3. There was not one Israeli civilian casualty.
4. Arabs received Russian resupply of weapons, at times landing every ten minutes during the war. The Russians gave them full information gathered from its satellites.
5. The U.S. sent Israel no resupplies until the eleventh day of battle, when Israel's victory was assured. No European country except Portugal would allow the U.S. planes carrying these vital shipments to land for refueling en route. The U.S. never supplied Israel with information from surveillance satellites.
6. The British refused to send Israel spare parts for the British-made Centurion tanks used by Israeli forces and France refused to send parts for the French-made aircraft used by the Israeli air force.
7. France and Britain imposed an arms embargo, refused to send military equipment Israel had already paid for, and their embargo included medical equipment. The embargo was not lifted until 1994.
8. During the war, England continued to ship new tanks to the Persian Gulf States and France continued shipments of tanks to Saudi Arabia and fighter aircraft to Egypt.
9. The Saudis and Persian Gulf states raised the price of oil by 70 percent and stopped shipments to the U.S. and the Netherlands. (Western Europe was purchasing 80 percent of its oil from the Middle East and the U.S. was purchasing 11 percent.)
10. As a result of the Yom Kippur War, the PLO began to send its officers for military training in Pakistan.
11. There were rumors of reports from Syrian soldiers that legions of heavenly beings were seen in the skies over Israel and some Syrian witnesses say that is the reason Syria turned and retreated from the Golan Heights.
"They were coming, thousands and thousands, shouting 'Allahu Akbar! (God is great!) Let us attack them for the Arabs, let us offer a holocaust to Mohammad!', and they were slaughtering everyone in their path, men, women and children."
– Christian Maronite priest Father Mansour Labaky, survivor of the Darmour Massacre
The 1979 Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty
In Lebanon, a Civil War broke out in 1975. From his headquarters now In Lebanon, Arafat took the side of the Lebanese National Movement (LNM). On January 9, 1976, Arafat and the LNM – with terrorist forces from Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Libya – attacked the Christian town of Darmour, killing and dismembering 684 Christian civilians.
In 1976, Syria invaded Lebanon and took control of the country for 29 years. Thus, Syria became the address for the PLO terrorist group in its continuing attacks upon Israel. It is important to note that then Syrian President Hafez al-Assad considered himself to be the only legitimate representative of Palestinian Arabs, not Yasser Arafat. He always maintained that Lebanon, Jordan and Israel were parts of 'Greater Syria.'
In Egypt, President Sadat charted a different course. Egypt was beset with economic problems after its military losses in the Yom Kippur War. A failing economy led to hundreds of thousands rioting in the streets of Cairo in January, 1977, over the cost of bread. In an effort to improve domestic conditions in Egypt, President Sadat sought increased ties to the west and an end to his military alliance with Syria.
In an effort to regain control of the Sinai Peninsula, he initiated dialogue with Israel through U.S. diplomats. When his overtures were favorably received in Jerusalem, he made the historic decision to visit Israel.
The 1978 Camp David Accords
On November 20, 1977, Sadat became the first leader of an Arab country to formally recognize the State of Israel and the first to visit. He gave a speech before the Israel Knesset (Parliament) which led the way to formal agreements between Egypt and Israel.
This led to final negotiations between Egypt and Israel which took place with U.S. President Jimmy Carter in Camp David, Maryland. The talks began on September 5, 1978, and lasted for 13 days. The main points the parties agreed to were:
~that Israel would begin a phased withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula but would retain the Gaza Strip;
~that only a limited, monitored Egyptian military presence would be placed in the Sinai;
~that the Suez Canal would be open to Israeli ships;
~that the Straits of Tiran would be open for international shipping;
~that the two nations would cease hostilities;
~and that full diplomatic ties between the nations would be established.
The final Israel/Egypt Peace Treaty was signed in Washington D.C. on March 26, 1979. Israel relinquished the lucrative oil fields it had developed in the Sinai and evacuated all Israeli civilians and military personnel. Egypt refused to take control of the Gaza Strip, so it remained with Israel.
On December 10, 1979, Sadat and Begin were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway. In his acceptance speech, Sadat said:
"Let us put an end to wars, let us reshape life on the solid basis of equity and truth. And it is this call, which reflected the will of the Egyptian people, of the great majority of the Arab and Israeli peoples, and indeed of millions of men, women, and children around the world that you are today honoring. And these hundreds of millions will judge to what extent every responsible leader in the Middle East has responded to the hopes of mankind."
The Arab world ostracized Egypt for recognizing Israel, negotiating with Israel and making peace with Israel – violating the Three No's of the Khartoum Agreement of 1967. In 1979, the Arab League suspended Egypt's membership and moved its headquarters from Cairo to Tunis, Tunisia.
On October 6, 1981, during a parade celebrating Egypt's crossing of the Suez Canal during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Sadat was assassinated by an Islamic jihadist who opposed Egypt's peace treaty with Israel.
Other events in the Middle East deflected attention from Palestinian issues. On January 16, 1978, the Shah of Iran (a U.S. ally) was evicted and the radical Ayatollah Khomeini came back to Iran to take his place. The Iranian Revolution ensued and culminated on April 1, 1979, with the declaration of the Islamic Republic of Iran. On November 4, 1979, the U.S. Embassy in Iran was seized and 60 American diplomats were taken hostage. (This is when U.S. sanctions on Iran began.) The Israeli embassy in Tehran was handed over to Yasser Arafat's PLO.
According to Asharq Al-Awsat, London's Arabic international newspaper, the revolution resulted in more than six million Iranian's fleeing the country and thousands murdered.
On December 24, 1979, the Soviets invaded Afghanistan and toppled the government, beginning a nine-year siege.
On June 7, 1981, Israel took a preemptive move and bombed the nuclear reactor being built near Baghdad in Iraq.
“Israel’s citizens, together with Jews and Arabs, American, and other coalition soldiers who fought in the Gulf War may owe their lives to Israel’s courage, skill, and foresight in June 1981. Had it not been for the brilliant raid at Osiraq, Saddam’s forces might have been equipped with atomic warheads in 1991. Ironically, the Saudis, too, are in Jerusalem’s debt. Had it not been for Prime Minister Begin’s resolve to protect the Israeli people in 1981, Iraq’s SCUDs falling on Saudi Arabia might have spawned immense casualties and lethal irradiation.”
– Louis René Beres, professor of Political Science at Purdue University, writing for Temple International and Comparitive Law Journal 9(2), 1995
In July of 1979, Saddam Hussein became president of Iraq during a power struggle in which he killed hundreds in opposition to him. On September 22, 1980, he invaded Iran, which led to an eight year war between the two countries and took the lives of over 1,000,000 people. Arafat sided with Iraq and lost his financial support from Iran in the process.
Yasser Arafat felt very much sidelined. Not only had he lost all support from Egypt and Iran, but now he lost the attention of the Arab world which was focused on Iran and Iraq. In the wake of the Iranian Islamic Revolution, other Arab countries ruled by monarchies were much more concerned about their own futures than the so-called 'plight' of Palestinians.
1982 Lebanon War
From his PLO base in Beirut, Lebanon, and aided by Syria, Arafat stepped up attacks on Israel's northern border. PLO forces were given military training by Pakistan, and Pakistan sent actual troops to the PLO in Lebanon.
Israel invaded his stronghold in southern Lebanon and Arafat was forced to leave the country and move his headquarters to Tunisia. In a hastily cobbled together agreement with Israel, the U.S. provided Arafat a safe passage out of Lebanon with an escort of 800 U.S. Marines. The U.S. also coordinated the release of 50 Pakistani prisoners of war captured by Israeli forces.
"Our struggle will end only when this entity [Israel] is obliterated. We recognize no treaty with it, no ceasefire, and no peace agreements."
– from the Hezbollah Manifesto
"There is no solution to the conflict in this region except with the disappearance of Israel."
– Hassan Nasrallah, Secretary-General of Hezbollah
Most of Arafat's followers, however, remained in Lebanon. Amongst them arose a new group: Hezbollah. Hezbollah, founded in 1985, is a Shia terrorist group funded by Iran and dedicated to the Islamic Revolution.
When Arafat was forced to leave Lebanon, Hezbollah took over terrorist attacks in Lebanon against Israel, against U.S. forces in Lebanon, and against Lebanon's newly elected Maronite Christian president, Bachir Gemayel.
Gemayel, as head of the Christian Phalange party, had a bloody history dealing with the PLO. Battles between his group, the Lebanese Christian Forces, and the PLO killed thousands between 1976 and 1982.
It was Gemayel's desire to drive all of the PLO operatives from Lebanon and to remove Syrian troops and influence. A month after his election as president, on September 14, 1982, he was assassinated by Syrian agents.
First Intifada 1987 Begins
The First Intifada (the word means tremor or uprising) began when riots broke out in Jabalya in the Northern Gaza Strip on December 9, 1987. It is often said that the uprising began because of a traffic accident on December 8, in which an Israeli semi-truck lost control and plowed into two vans carrying Palestinian workers, killing four of them. Rumors circulated among some Palestinians that the crash was a deliberate retaliation for the fatal stabbing in the back of the neck of Jewish businessman Shlomo Takal in Gaza City on December 6. As unfortunate as these kinds of events are, they are not all that uncommon in Israel and when events like these occur in other parts of the world, they don't start a six-year spree of terror.
The real seeds of the First Intifada began in the autumn of 1987 and far away from the Middle East. In preparation for the upcoming visit of Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev to the United States to meet with President Ronald Reagan to begin nuclear disarmament talks, U.S. Jews and civil rights leaders called for linkage, demanding that two million Soviet Jews be given free and unrestricted rights of emigration. A massive rally was planned for Gorbachev's arrival on December 7 in Washington D.C. The rally was to take place on the National Mall between the Washington Monument and the United States Capitol.
On Sunday morning, December 7, 1987, it was 33°F (1°C) in Washington D.C. when buses began to arrive carrying Jews from all 50 U.S. states and Canada. Also in attendance were leaders of the National Council of Churches, the United Council of Catholic Bishops, dozens of U.S. Senators and Members of the House of Representatives, U.S. Presidential candidates (including Vice President George H.W. Bush), U.S. governors, mayors and world civil rights leaders.
When the rally began at 2:00 PM, there were 250,000 thousand people standing in the bitter cold for the two-hour ceremony.
Founding of Hamas
The prospect of two million Soviet Jews being free to immigrate to Israel was anathema to the enemies of a Jewish Homeland in the Middle East, who immediately devised a deadly plan of action. The plan comprised:
1) starting the First Intifada
2) and creating the Hamas (The Islamic Resistance Movement) terrorist organization to direct it.
The short-term goal of Hamas was to dissuade Jewish immigration, especially of freed Soviet Jews. The long-term goal of Hamas was the destruction of Israel and the imposition of Islamic Sharia law from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.
Hamas was founded by Sheikh Ahmed Ismail Hassan Yassin who lived in the Northern Gaza Strip about five minutes away from the scene of the first Intifada riot in Jabalya. Together with other operatives in Syria, Qatar and Egypt, Sheikh Yassin issued a Charter in 1988.
Excerpts from the Hamas Charter:
~ "For our struggle against the Jews is extremely wide-ranging and grave, so much so that it will need all the loyal efforts we can wield, to be followed by further steps and reinforced by successive battalions from the multifarious Arab and Islamic world, until the enemies are defeated and Allah’s victory prevails."
~ "The Islamic Resistance Movement is a distinct Palestinian Movement which owes its loyalty to Allah, derives from Islam its way of life and strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine."
~ Initiatives, the so-called peaceful solutions, and the international conferences to resolve the Palestinian problem, are all contrary to the beliefs of the Islamic Resistance Movement.
~ "There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by Jihad. The initiatives, proposals and International Conferences are but a waste of time, an exercise in futility."
~ "The liberation of that land is an individual duty binding on all Muslims everywhere."
~ "We must imprint on the minds of generations of Muslims that the Palestinian problem is a religious one, to be dealt with on this premise."
~ "The members of other religions must desist from struggling against Islam over sovereignty in this region."
Not to be outdone, the PLO entered the Intifada and began its own series of attacks on Israeli civilians and military personnel, directed by Arafat from his base in Tunisia. Stone-throwing riots were planned in advance with notices given to the press that these would be photo ops.
Before the Intifada, fully 40 percent of the Palestinian work force was employed in Israel. As attacks increased against Israelis, many Palestinians lost their jobs and unemployment in their communities soared.
Jordan Gives West Bank Back to Israel
On July 31, 1988, Jordan's King Hussein relinquished any claim to the territories he invaded in 1948 and annexed to Jordan, all of which had already reverted back to Israeli control after the Six Day War in 1967. Hussein retained his custodianship of some Islamic sites in Jerusalem to protect them from Arab militants.
King Hussein revoked Jordanian citizenship for Arabs in these territories, except for Jerusalem residents living on the eastern side of the old 1948 line which divided Jerusalem until 1967.
Arafat, still exiled to Tunisia, was never consulted about Jordan's decision. King Hussein had four objectives in this announcement:
1) to remove the possibility of a final conclusion that 'Jordan is Palestine', which many Israelis supported and which used to be the opinion of the Kingdom of Jordan;
2) to deny Arabs in the West Bank the right to live in Jordan;
3) to divorce himself from Palestinian terrorism against Israel;
4) and to pave the way to his own peace treaty with Israel, following Egypt's lead.
In 1989, the Intifada became increasingly more deadly when, after more than 100 years of extreme ethnic and religious persecution, Mikhail Gorbachev finally allowed Jews to leave the Soviet Union without restrictions.
In that same year, the U.S. denied these Soviet Jews refugee status to enter the U.S. For many, going to Israel – the Jewish Homeland – was their only option.
From 1989 – 2013, more than 1,000,000 Jews immigrated to Israel from the former Soviet Union.
Iraq Invades Kuwait
On August 2, 1990, the Middle East was rocked by a surprise event: Iraq invaded Kuwait and took control of the country. As in the Iran/Iraq War of 1980 – 1988, Yasser Arafat sided with Iraq and immediately lost his financial support from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
On January 17, 1991, a U.S. coalition of 34 nations attacked Iraq in the First Gulf War. More than 50 percent of the $60 billion cost to free Kuwait was funded by Saudi Arabia. In an attempt to draw Israel into the war and breakup the U.S. coalition of Arab nations against Iraq, Saddam Hussein launched 39 SCUD missile attacks against Israel.
Because Iraq threatened to use chemical weapons in its SCUD attacks on Israel, every air raid siren forced Israelis – Jews and Arabs – to don gas masks and enter sealed rooms.
By the end of February, 1991, Iraq was eradicated from Kuwait and Kuwait evicted 400,000 Palestinian workers from its country because of Arafat's support of the Iraqi invasion. Palestinians represented 40 percent of Kuwait's population at the time. When this labor force was removed, Arafat's PLO lost substantial funding from a mandatory five percent 'tithe' to the PLO which had been withheld from every Palestinian worker's paycheck in Kuwait. This was part of Arafat's punishment for supporting Iraq.
The Madrid Conference
The PLO was collapsing financially. Sensing its vulnerable state as an opportunity, the U.S. and the Soviet Union sponsored a peace conference in Madrid, Spain, on October 30, 1991. In attendance were Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Israel and Palestinian representatives. The conference led to later bilateral negotiations between Israel and Arafat, representing the Palestinians, and between Israel and Jordan.
On December 26, 1991, the Soviet Union dissolved into 15 separate states, which ended the Cold War with the U.S. and diminished Russian support for the PLO.
By 1993, the six-year First Intifada (which began in December, 1987) was drawing to a close, as a result of the bilateral talks underway since the Madrid Conference.
The six years of Palestinian rage was the first time Arab children were brought into violent clashes and taught to throw stones, Molotov cocktails, and to burn tires and trash cans to block roadways. Schools were set up to actually teach children to be terrorists. The first death in the Intifada was a seventeen-year-old who attacked Israeli troops with a Molotov cocktail.
One of the last acts of terrorism in the First Intifada was the first suicide bombing on April 16, 1993 – a new level of depravity in the long history of Palestinian terrorism. The attack occurred at a rest area on a major highway and killed two people: the bomber and a Palestinian bystander who was working at a snack bar. Nine others were lightly injured: one Arab and eight Jews.
When this Intifada ended, there were 160 Israeli casualties and 2,162 Palestinians. Over 1,000 of the Palestinians were accused of being disloyal to the PLO or to Hamas and were killed by other Palestinians.
Signing the Oslo Accords
The PLO was financially bankrupt and backed into a corner. Since supporting Saddam Hussein, it had lost about $8 billion in funding, according to PLO spokesman Mohammad Milhem.
With the promise of billions of dollars in aid, primarily from the U.S., Arafat agreed to an interim agreement with Israel which would grant the PLO control over some local affairs in the Gaza Strip, the city of Jericho and most towns in Judea and Samaria with Arab residents.
Based on the Madrid Conference, talks had been ongoing in Oslo, Norway. These resulted in the first agreement between the PLO and Israel. On September 13, 1993, a formal agreement was signed in a public ceremony in Washington, D.C., by Mahmoud Abbas representing the PLO and Israel Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, U.S. President Bill Clinton, and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat in attendance.
Further negotiations resulted in another agreement between the parties known as Oslo II or the Taba Agreement, which was signed in Taba, Egypt, on September 28, 1995.
Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty 1994
After the first Oslo Accords were signed, Jordan's King Hussein I was free to enter into a final peace treaty with Israel, something he had wanted to do since 1987.
The Oslo Accords called for:
~ the PLO to recognize the nation of Israel;
~ Israel to recognize the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people;
~ the PLO to renounce all violence and terrorism;
~ Israeli and Palestinian educational systems to contribute to the peace between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples and to peace in the entire region;
~ the PLO to amend the PLO Charter to comply with these agreements;
~ the creation of the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) to supervise elections for a Palestinian Council which would permanently replace the P.A. after the elections;
~ the Palestinian Council to supervise local affairs and internal security in designated regions;
~ and continued discussions and negotiations directly between the parties over a five-year period to determine final status agreements and resolve outstanding disagreements.
The Egyptian-born Arafat was allowed to move to Gaza City and then to Ramallah, just north of Jerusalem, making him probably the only foreign Arab ever allowed to immigrate to Israel.
Under the terms of the Accords, some intermediary (temporary) authority was given to the PLO/ P.A. for these designated areas:
The Arab Population in Judea and Samaria in 2015 is approximately 2.1 million people.
55% live in Area A
41% live in Area B
4% live Area C
Since the first official census under the Ottoman Empire in 1875, Jews have represented the largest ethnic group in the city of Jerusalem. By 1905, Jews represented 75 percent of the population of Jerusalem. In 2014, the Arab population of Jerusalem was 36 percent.
Synonyms for Areas A, B, and C
Judea and Samaria
Over the Green Line
Yehuda and Shomron
Notice how the width of the State of Israel would shrink at one point to an indefensible 9 miles wide (15 km) if this were actually a map of a future, final agreement. There are three areas in the map above, known as A, B, and C. Arabs living in Areas A and B are now fully or partially governed by the Palestinian Authority.
Within the Areas are the following cities and communities containing only Jewish citizens of Israel (about 382,000 people) and these cities and citizens are governed by Israel:
Jewish Villages and Cities in the Areas
1. No Jewish towns were ever built on land owned by Arabs.
2. No new Jewish towns (or 'settlements') have been built since 1993.
3. The 'Green Line' refers to the demarcation line of the 1949 Armistice Agreement with Jordan and is not a legal boundary line.
Some of these Jewish communities were built on privately purchased land well before 1948, such as in Hebron, Kfar Etzion, Shafir, and Ein Tzurim.
According to the Israel Land Authority, "Some Jewish settlements, such as in Hebron, existed throughout the centuries of Ottoman rule, while settlements such as Neve Ya'acov, north of Jerusalem, the Gush Etzion bloc in Judea and Samaria, the communities north of the Dead Sea and Kfar Darom in the Gaza region, were established under British Mandatory administration prior to the establishment of the State of Israel [in 1948]."
This is a map of the Jewish communities (the blue circles) which were in the Gaza Strip until 2005:
Gaza is an area 25 miles long (40 km) and 10 miles wide (16 km). Almost all of the land owned by Jews in the Gaza Strip was purchased by the Jewish National Fund prior to 1948.
Egypt never wanted the Gaza Strip returned and, in fact, refused to accept it under the terms of the 1979 peace treaty with Israel. Frankly, Israel never wanted the responsibility for it, either. So, without progress toward a final agreement with the PLO under the Oslo Accords, Israel decided to unilaterally withdraw from the Gaza Strip.
In 1945 (three years before Israel statehood), there were 3,540 Jews living in the Gaza Strip under the Jewish Mandate. These Jews ran agricultural businesses and family farms. By 2005, there were 8,500 Jewish citizens of Israel living in Gaza and working the land which their families had owned for generations.
In the summer of 2005, Israel withdrew all troops and moved all Jewish citizens out of the Gaza Strip. The Jewish families did not leave voluntarily, but were forcefully evicted by the Israeli army. The families were given monetary damages by the Israeli government ranging from $150,000 to $400,000 dollars per family to buy new homes and establish businesses within Israel. Many of the agricultural businesses could not be reestablished elsewhere and people lost their livelihoods. Many of those evicted remain unemployed to this day.
There are no Jews in the Gaza Strip today and there are no Israeli forces 'occupying' any of the Gaza Strip.
|PLO/P.A. Terrorism 1993–1999||Number of Events|
End of the Oslo Accords
When the five-year term for the interim agreements expired in 1999, no final accords had been reached.
Yasser Arafat and the P.A. had failed to do most of what they agreed to in the Oslo Accords:
~ The PLO never abandoned violence and terrorism.
~ The PLO never re-edited textbooks used in schools to reflect the existence of Israel and to promote peaceful relations.
~ Arafat never transferred power from the temporary Palestinian Authority to the elected Palestinian Legislative Council and he did not allow the Council to govern.
~ Arafat never changed the PLO Charter which still calls for the destruction of Israel.
~ Arafat never accounted for the billions of dollars given to the P.A. since the signing of the Oslo Accords and as much as $3 billion went into his personal bank accounts.
The Second Intifada and the Security Fence in Israel
There is a Palestinian Authority, but there is no longer a Mandate Palestine or 'Palestine.'
In September, 2000, during negotiations between Israel Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Yasser Arafat, Israel offered to negotiate granting the P.A. an independent Gaza Strip, parts of East Jerusalem and 97 percent of Areas A, B, and C. Arafat flatly refused. He preferred to continue the 'professional refugee' status of Palestinians and the funds that status generated for his Fatah political party and for himself personally.
On September 28, 2000, future Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and other leaders of his Likud political party visited the Temple Mount in Jerusalem (the top of Mt. Moriah where the First and Second Temples were built as houses for the God worshiped by Abraham and the Tribes of Israel). The visit was during normal tourist hours and security was coordinated with the Israel Police and the P.A. Chief of Preventive Security. After they left the mountain, Palestinian rioters began an attack on Israeli policemen which left 25 policemen and three Palestinians wounded.
The next day, immediately after Islamic Friday prayers and inciting sermons, West Bank Palestinians began attacking the crowds of Jews praying just before the start of the Rosh Hashanah Jewish holy day at the Kotel (Western Wall of the Temple Mount below the top of Mt. Moriah).
From the top of the Temple Mount, just in front of the Islamic Al Aksa Mosque, Palestinians hurled stones, cinder blocks and missiles on the Jewish worshipers below. Even children were encouraged by loud speakers to throw rocks at Jews at prayer. Just like the attacks from the 'Red Mosque' in Pakistan, the Al Aksa Mosque has been used to store weapons, house terrorists and plan attacks against innocent civilians.
"There is no freedom of press under the Palestinian Authority, and no journalist can report honestly without risking is life.
"If a Palestinian child is found in the streets, throwing stones at a soldier, you have to ask yourself: 'Who sent him there? Where are the parents? Who is hiding with a gun behind him?'
"I saw that happen many times, and I am asking you: If you want to protect Palestinian children, don't let them be used as human shields by Muslim extremists! Don't keep silent! Do something, now!"
– Pierre Rehov, on French television, 5th channel, March, 2004
As the Second Intifada escalated, Palestinians attacked Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem with machine-gun fire and bombs.
In May, 2001, the Santorini fishing boat manned by Islamic terrorists sailed from Egypt destined for the Gaza Strip, in an attempt to smuggle more than $10 million in arms, rockets and weapons to the Palestinian Authority.
During the Second Intifada (2000 – 2004), there were 132 suicide bombing attacks carried out in Israel by Arabs living in areas A and B under the Palestinian Authority. And there were a multitude of the other terrorist activities and infiltrations. During that Intifada, more than 1,000 innocent Israelis (Arabs, Jews and tourists) were killed and thousands were wounded.
Between 2000 and 2006, 521 additional suicide bombing plots were thwarted by Israel Defense Forces and the Intelligence Corps.
Particularly disturbing to the civilized world was the Palestinian use of child suicide bombers. The Israel Defense Forces documented 29 suicide bombing attacks carried out by children under the age of 18, and 40 other attempted suicide bombings by children which were thwarted. One particularly disgusting case was that of a retarded Palestinian teenager, Hussam Abdo, who had eight kilos (18 lbs) of explosives attached to his chest and was disarmed at an Israeli checkpoint on March 24, 2004. Under questioning, the boy said he was given $25 and promised "sex with 72 virgins in the Garden of Eden."
Israel had already placed a security fence around Gaza, and not a single suicide bomber had entered Israel from there.
So, Israel built a security fence around Judea and Samaria (Areas A, B and C). About 96 percent of the 500-mile fence is wire construction like this, with sensors and an anti-tank ditch:
The remaining four percent of the fence (20 miles, 32km) is a concrete wall, and this passes on the other side of the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem and extends northward and southward of the city. The height of the wall has prevented most attacks (rocks, grenades and Molotov cocktail petrol-bombs) on vehicles and buses travelling down the roads, which was a critical problem before this was built.
It is interesting to note that there is a concrete wall along the borders of Iran and Pakistan which extends for over 435 miles (700 km). Iran holds the keys to the gates.
Since the fence was built in Israel, attacks by the P.A. have decreased by 90 percent and countless lives have been saved. The fence does not represent a final border. It is a temporary solution and can be dismantled or re-routed at any future time.
Lost lives can never be replaced.
Israeli Checkpoints and Border Crossings
Women and children are not separated at Israeli checkpoints. Mothers and fathers travel with their children through a border crossing or checkpoint. Everyone walks through a metal detector, has bags and packages inspected, and has their identity and travel documents inspected. It is like crossing any other national border, like from Pakistan to India or from the U.S. to Mexico. Special permits are required for non-Israeli citizens to enter Israel from the Palestinian Authority and the permits are not automatically granted. Some from the P.A. have work permits to work in Israel and some people have medical permits to receive treatment in Israel. Even so, Israel is under no obligation whatsoever to allow anyone from the P.A. to enter Israel.
From Gaza, entering Egypt is a different story. The Egyptian border crossing is controlled by the Egyptians. Israel has nothing to do with who is or is not allowed to enter into Egypt from Gaza or how people are treated by the Egyptians.
The border crossing between Israel and Jordan is controlled by both countries.
This has never happened. How could it, with hundreds of people around and video cameras on cell phones? The Border Patrol officers are both men and women. Do you think the women would allow such a thing to happen? Not Israeli women! If such a thing had ever happened, don't you imagine that people from the P.A. would stop asking for permits to enter Israel and stop lining up at the border crossings?
"I had no idea how endemic that it [violence against women] is, so rife, so widespread, that so many Egyptian men admit to sexual harassing women and think it's completely acceptable. In fact, blame the women for it."
– Lara Logan, CBS News correspondent, who was viciously attacked in Egypt while on assignment
Maybe such things happen to people entering Egypt from Gaza.
Egyptian men have been known to brutally attack women in open view of public bystanders. (On that link, the video news report plays immediately following the commercial for a television show.)
The Rafah Crossing is controlled by Egypt on the Egyptian side and by Hamas on the Gazan side, and is often closed for months at a time. Egypt has declared Hamas 'a terrorist organization' and Egypt does not coordinate its decisions with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Hamas is another story and the worst is to be expected about its treatment of people.
The Second Intifada ended with the death of Yasser Arafat on November 11, 2004. In the Oslo Accords, the Palestinian Authority agreed to hold democratic elections every five years and to transfer governance from the P.A. to the elected council after the first election. The first election was in 1996, but Arafat never transferred authority to the council. There was no other election during Arafat's lifetime.
After his death, elections were held for new leadership on January 9, 2005, and Mahmoud Abbas from Arafat's Fatah party became the new President of the P.A. Abbas was elected to a four-year term. No elections have been held since, yet Abbas retains his office, well after his term expired.
The following governments have declared Hamas to be a terrorist organization:
On January 25, 2006, elections were held for the Palestinian Council and Hamas won the majority of seats, led by Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh. No new elections have been held since. Because Hamas is an outlawed terrorist organization dedicated to the complete destruction of Israel and funded by Iran, this represented another P.A. violation of the Oslo Accords and has prevented any further negotiations for a final resolution of Areas A, B and C.
Though Fatah leader Abbas was still President, Hamas staged a violent military coup in June, 2007, and took over executive authority in the Gaza Strip. During 2007, hundreds of Palestinians were killed, wounded, sadistically tortured, and imprisoned by other Palestinians.
Because Hamas refuses to recognize Israel and to renounce violence, the U.S. and the European Union withdrew over $1 billion in foreign aid to the P.A.
In its power struggle with Abbas's Fatah Party and the 70,000 people on its payroll in Gaza, Hamas added another 40,000 to the payroll and set up its own border crossing into Gaza. In January, 2015, hundreds of employees staged a sit-in because they hadn't been paid their salaries in seven months. So, there are some extremely angry people manning the new Hamas checkpoint.
Hamas operatives are terrorists and are capable of any atrocity. This video shows the process of crossing into the Gaza Strip under Hamas control from the Rafah Border Crossing in Egypt, on a rare day when Egypt allowed it to actually be opened.
Operation Protective Edge 2014
The Palestinian Authority has broken every agreement made with Israel under the Oslo Accords. In reaction to terrorist activity and to rockets launched, the Israel Defense Forces sometimes bombs targets in Judea, Samaria or the Gaza Strip in self defense. The targets are actual missile launchers, offices of terrorist groups, or leaders of terrorism who are proven killers by the Israel military and who cannot be brought to justice by any other means. The bombing is strategic, limited and with specific purpose. All effort is made to limit civilian casualties, often warning civilians to evacuate in advance by dropping leaflets.
"I say again and again and again, we will not, we will not we will not recognize Israel."
– Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas Prime Minister
"We are not talking about a peace agreement. A 'truce' in the dictionary of the resistance means preparing for the next battle. We shall keep disturbing the Zionists until the last of the Zionists leaves our Palestinian land – Palestine, the entire Palestine."
– Mushir Al Masri, Hamas Parliament Member
An example of Israeli defense actions is found in Operation Protective Edge in 2014 in the Gaza Strip. Between July 7 – August 26, 2014, Hamas fired 4,881 rockets and 1,753 mortars from Gaza into Israel, some of them aimed at Tel Aviv and the holy city of Jerusalem. These were all unguided rockets and mortars which do not have a specific target, falling randomly wherever they landed and, therefore, represented a breach of international law.
Israel responded by intercepting and destroying rockets in the air with its Iron Dome Missile Defense System and by bombing the launching sites in Gaza.
Ten percent of the rockets launched from Gaza actually landed within Gaza. Some exploded in Gaza before launch.
"Today, we say, in a clear and unambiguous fashion: The armed resistance and armed struggle are our strategic choice and our path to liberate the Palestinian land, from the [Mediterranean] Sea to the [Jordan] River, and to drive the usurping invaders out of the blessed land of Palestine. The Hamas movement, which was born in the First Intifada, and lived through the Second Intifada, will continue to lead one Intifada after the other, until we liberate Palestine and its entirety."
– Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya, Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas-Gaza), December 14, 2011
Israel will always respond to military attacks upon its country. How would Pakistan respond if its neighbor Iran launched 4,800 rockets into Pakistan? It is Iran which is attacking Israel, through its proxy army Hamas.
The so-called 'Palestinian cause for self-determination' has nothing to do with it. The Gaza strip has no Jewish residents and has been an independent district under the self-government of the Palestinians since 2005.
Iran's motive is the destruction of Israel.
The video below shows some of the launching sites Israel targeted in 2014:
Hamas rockets were found in U.N. schools in Gaza and in hospitals, playgrounds, mosques and houses.
In the Gaza Strip, over 160 children have died as child laborers digging terrorist tunnels for Hamas.
During Operation Protective Edge, Hamas rejected four ceasefire proposals and broke all eleven humanitarian ceasefire agreements which it did accept.
Except for a few weapons manufactured in the Gaza strip, the terrorists arsenals are stocked entirely by Iran which sends shiploads of rockets and weapons into Gaza for use by its proxy, Hamas, in attacks against civilians in Israel. These are a few examples of weapons shipments:
The Karine A, January, 2002
The Victoria Affair, March, 2011
Operation Full Disclosure, March, 2014
Many smaller shipments are routinely sent to Gaza from Egyptian waters. According to Lt. Col. Liav Ziberman, commander of the Israel Navy 916th Company, “Thwarting smuggling attempts like this happens almost every week.”
Everyday Palestinian Life
The video above shows what it is like at a swimming pool in Israel when rockets are launched from Gaza.
Arabs in Israel (Palestinians) are jumping in the municipal swimming pools or the ocean and 'having a great life.' Also, Arabs living in Areas A, B and C have swimming pools or recreation facilities in every major city. There are ten public swimming pools in Ramallah, which has a population of 57,000 and is the headquarters of the Palestinian Authority. Most of the pools in the present P.A. Areas A and B were built by Israel before the Oslo Accords.
Izz al-Din Shuheil al-Masri, a famous Palestinian swimming champ, attended college in Jenin (a university town under full P.A. control in Area A) and practiced in one of the many pools there. He is no longer living.
One hot summer day, instead of swimming, he traveled to Jerusalem and blew himself up as the suicide bomber at the Sbarro Pizza Restaurant on the corner of Jaffa Road and King George Street in August, 2001. Fifteen people were killed, including a pregnant woman and seven children who can no longer cry. One doctor arrived on the scene and found a baby's stroller. He recalls, "It had half a baby in it. Half a baby. What can you do for half a baby?"
There were 130 wounded (including several Arab employees). A 15-year-old girl who was injured had 60 shrapnel nails in her body, a hole in her right thigh, third degree burns on 40 percent of her body, and a ruptured spleen. One wounded teenage girl remains in a coma to this day.
All because a young Palestinian from a wealthy family preferred bombs to swimming pools.
If people living under the P.A. are crying, they should stop allowing terrorists to live in their midst and create new political parties to represent themselves. They should stop their representatives from lining their own pockets with money meant to help them and improve their quality of life. And they should stop allowing their funding to go toward terrorist activities and salaries of terrorists.
"The base of the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians is a religious struggle. There is no god other than the mighty Allah.
"I do not regret what happened. Absolutely not. This is the path. I dedicated myself to Jihad for the sake of Allah, and Allah granted me success ... This was made possible by Allah. Do you want me to denounce what I did? That's out of the question. I would do it again today, and in the same manner."
– Ahlam Tamimi, the female Hamas operative who chose the Sbarro Restaurant target and led the bomber to the venue.
Tamimi was sentenced to 16 life-in-prison terms, but later released in a prisoner exchange and left the country. She now collects $4,000 a month as her pension for life from Hamas for spending time in an Israeli prison on murder convictions, while she works for a salary with the Hamas-affiliated Al-Quds TV.
The P.A. pays salaries to imprisoned terrorists that amount to as much as $3,000 per month per criminal, among the best salaries for people living under the P.A. More than six percent of the P.A. budget of $4.2 billion per year – $252 million – goes to pay salaries to imprisoned terrorists. (All of the prisoner's needs (food, clothing, medical care, etc.) are provided by the Israel prison service.) Released prisoners receive a monthly salary of $4,000 for not working. Additionally, $2.1 billion goes to pay annual salaries of P.A. employees, which supports one-fourth of the Palestinian population.
The P.A. squanders billions of dollars of U.N. funds given to assist 'refugees' and much of this money ends up in the private bank accounts of Palestinian leaders. According to Dr Ahmed Karima, a senior lecturer at al-Azhar University in Cairo, Hamas leadership now has over 1,200 millionaires. Representing the 'poor Palestinians' is a profitable business.
Palestinian Leaders Net Worth
Mousa Abu Marzook, #2 Hamas leader
Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas Prime Minister
Khaled Mashal, #1 Hamas leader
Suha Arafat, Yasser Arafat's widow
$3 billion, plus a monthly income from P.A. of $100,000
Mahmoud Abbas, P.A. President
Mohammed Rashid, aide to Yasser Arafat
Arabs living under the Palestinian Authority don't even have adequate health care from the P.A. Ministry of Health and the P.A. Health Insurance Fund. According to the World Bank, only 44 percent of all Palestinians under the Palestinian Authority have access to “reasonable and customary” healthcare. According to a press release from Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) in 2012, there are 79 hospitals in the P.A., yet the Palestinian Ministry of Health refers tens of thousands of patients to Israeli hospitals for services it says it cannot provide and then it refuses to pay its debt for medical care, a situation which is reaching a crisis because Israeli hospitals cannot afford to provide treatment without compensation.
The P.A. also refuses to pay its electricity bills and that debt is now almost $500 million. These areas may soon find themselves living like many parts of Pakistan which only have intermittent electricity.
In the P.A., 46 percent of the population is under 15 years of age. When pictures are shown of Palestinian children crying, it is the parents of these children who are ultimately responsible, for it is the parents who chose the leadership of the P.A. and who praise suicide bombers and terrorists as heroes.
Israel supplies the P.A. with 52 million cubic meters (MCM) more water than it is required to under the Oslo Accords. Arabs living under and supervised by the P.A. have drilled more than 300 unauthorized wells, in complete breach of the Oslo Accords. Also in breach of the Oslo Accords, the P.A. is not treating sewage water and has contaminated the Western Samarian and Tel Aviv aquifers.
According to Israel National News, “The Palestinians refuse to build sewage treatment plants, despite there being a $500 million international Donor Fund available for the building of sewage treatment plants.”
In the more than 20 years since the P.A. has been in charge, potable water supplies and adequate sewage facilities have deteriorated to the point that only 69 percent of the towns are reached by a water network, those which do have a water supply only have it intermittently, inadequately treated sewage has contaminated wells (most are dug illegally) and 25 percent of illnesses in Gaza are either directly or indirectly caused by unclean water. This is all under the control and responsibility of the P.A., not Israel.
Israel has not cut off water it supplies to the P.A. yet, but maybe that is the correct approach to force it to fulfill its obligations to build sewage treatment plants under the Oslo Accords. The P.A. cannot be allowed to continue to contaminate the water resources in Israel and then expect to have water to drink.
In the first place, Israel does not supply the P.A. with food. The border crossings allowing vendor shipments are only closed on some Israeli holidays and during active military actions – such as during the rocket launches from the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2014 – and then residents have to do what Israeli citizens also have to do: stock a few days' supply of food and water in their bomb shelters.
When a rocket is fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel, civilians living near Gaza have just 15 seconds to reach a bomb shelter; and that can happen at any moment on any day. This is not enough time to clear a border checkpoint and remove people to safety, which is why checkpoints must be closed during sustained attacks.
This video is a perfect example of why the border crossing had to be closed many times during the summer of 2014, when Hamas rockets attacked the crossing where shipments of food and other goods are brought into the Gaza Strip:
In areas controlled by the P.A., food shipments from Israel are often denied entry by the P.A. in protest of Israel. It is the Palestinian children who are ultimately hurt by those actions, especially when the P.A. purposely blocks shipments of milk.
The P.A. supports its government mostly from the donations of other countries. The Arab states are no longer honoring their pledges to the P.A. because of its fraudulent use of their funds, its support of terrorist activities, and its alliance with Iran via Hamas. Most of the financial support for the P.A. right now comes from the European Union, and it is no longer giving money directly to the P.A. without first obtaining receipts or it will fund projects directly and bypass the P.A. The P.A. lives off of donations and has failed to create a viable economy or employment opportunities for its people. Terrorism is the only employment opportunity Hamas creates.
On February 23, 2015, a U.S. court unanimously found the Palestinian Authority liable for six terror attacks in Jerusalem which killed or injured Americans. These specific attacks killed a total of 33 people and wounded more than 390 others between the years of January 2002 and January 2004. The P.A. has to pay $655.5 million to the plaintiffs in the suit. P.A. bank accounts all over the world can be attached to pay this judgment.
Now that the evidence has been confirmed that the P.A. sponsors terrorism, more lawsuits will be filed and the P.A. will receive even less support from donor countries.
Pakistan and the Palestinians
There were several videos made during the 2014 Operation Protective Edge which pleaded for help from Pakistan for the Palestinians. These were carefully orchestrated by Iran (Hamas) and the aim was primarily to generate funding from Pakistan and street protests in Pakistan which would receive international attention. Why was Pakistan targeted for these videos?
1) Because many other Arab states supported Israel in the military action against Hamas (Egypt led the coalition of Arab nations supporting Israel, which included Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates);
2) Pakistan supported the Iranian-led Hamas government when it was first elected to the Palestinian Council in 2006, and gave it millions of dollars;
3) Iran has direct ties to all terrorists groups operating in and around Pakistan to do its bidding and has ties to Pakistan’s Jammat-e-Islami political party which sponsored pro-Hamas demonstrations in Islamabad during Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2014; and
4) and Iran views itself as the leader of the 20 percent of Pakistan's population which adheres to Shia Islam (the 2nd largest population of Shias in the world after Iran), who are often terrorized in Pakistan by the majority Sunni Muslims. When Iran took over Yemen in a military coup in March, 2015, it did so with a 30 percent minority Yemeni Shiite population and Iranian proxy terrorist groups. It's in Iranian self-interest to feed the flames for its causes within Pakistan and continue the allegiance of its perceived base among the Pakistani people.
Iran takes advantage of the fact that the average person on the street in Pakistan is clueless about Hamas and can be easily persuaded. The reasons for this are many:
2) third highest number of illiterate adults in the world (according to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan),
3) lack of education (average expected years of schooling were 6.8, according to the HRC report),
Pakistani Opinions about Hamas
Pakistani Opinions about Hezbollah
4) lack of mental capability among many in Pakistan (due to insufficient nutrition in childhood), a country where 280,000 children die each year from malnutrition,
5) and linguistic isolation since less than 50 percent of Pakistanis can read English and the national language of Urdu is the first language of only eight percent in Pakistan. There are dozens of other languages spoken in Pakistan, which makes intranational communication difficult. Arabic is not spoken, which limits understanding of Middle Eastern life and thought. There are few speakers and translators of Persian in Pakistan, so very few Pakistanis know Iran's true messages.
According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, whereas all other Muslim nations – including people living under the P.A. in Israel and the Gaza Strip – have a decidedly unfavorable view of the Iranian terrorist groups of Hamas and Hezbollah, the majority of Pakistanis simply 'don't know.'
Hamas is banned in Jordan, the country where most Palestinians live (5,340,000). Hamas is also banned in Egypt, which shares a border with the Gaza Strip.
It is interesting to note that the government of Pakistan has not always been supportive of Palestinians. Remember that during Black September (1970), General Zia ul Haq (future Pakistan President) led the Jordanian 2nd Division when it ousted Yasser Arafat and his PLO from Jordan and in the process killed 25,000 Palestinians, which makes Pakistan responsible for the deaths of more Palestinians than Israel.
What happened in the military operation in Gaza is very different from the slaughter of thousands of Shia Muslims in Pakistan and the thousands of other Pakistani minorities killed every year from sectarian acts of terror, suicide bombings and 'honor killings.' According to Pew research findings comparing Pakistan to other nations, "Pakistan had the highest level of social hostilities involving religion."
According to several studies, 80,000 Pakistanis have died in Pakistan's own war against terror between 2005 and 2013.
More than any other event, the 2015 war against the Iranian overthrow of Yemen has proven Pakistan's alliance with Iran. Iran, with the highest rate of opium addiction per capita in the world, has infested Pakistan with its ideology of Islamic jihadism and terrorism which has become an addiction of its own in Pakistan, so much so, that Pakistan would give only token support to its best friend in the Muslim world, Saudi Arabia.
Pakistan, with its long history as #1 in the world in state-sponsored-terrorism, is at a crossroads which will determine the future of its 185,132,926 people.
Iran's goals in Yemen are not just about control of the Strait of Bab el-Mandeb which controls access to oil shipments from the Red Sea and access to the Suez Canal for Persian Gulf tankers. Iran's proxy insurgents in Yemen have the stated goal of using Yemen as a stepping stone in the conquest of Mecca and Medina, the holy sites of Islam in Saudi Arabia.
If the young, academic professionals in Pakistan sit idly by Iranian terrorism invading their country, they might as well get on a plane and immigrate to the Gaza Strip, for that is the picture of their future, ruled by easily-bribed politicians, as captives in the crossfire of Iranian ambitions.
Scroll down to leave your comments.
The 1973 Yom Kippur was the largest religious war in human history. Read the account of Israel's miraculous victory:
Read the chilling allegory of the next event on the horizon for Israel and be sure to watch the video at the end:
Share - Don't Copy.
Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on March 07, 2018:
aya2 on October 26, 2017:
i am jewish and i live in israel. if you want to know more things comen to my propil
StormsHalted from Karachi, Pakistan on December 31, 2016:
Bookmarked for later study.
I see you have created a table of contents, I was able to create the same for one of my hubs but I am not able to put the Anchor text in bold.
Could you please tell how to do it?
Aaron Seitler from Manchester, United Kingdom on June 30, 2016:
This is fantastically comprehensive and well-written, surely you must have some kind of academic qualification? Points are qualified with detail and the nuance with which you approach this most controversial of topics is gratifying. Thumbs up from the UK.
Gunny Cracker from Elkhorn, WI on October 22, 2015:
About the most exhaustive and well-researched article I have read anywhere. Left-handed Abbas was never elected president of a country that doesn't even exist, has no written history or native-tongue.
Chantelle Porter from Ann Arbor on September 06, 2015:
Fantastic article. Comprehensive and well researched. Shared.
Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on August 07, 2015:
Hi Mr. Writer: I think that you are probably connected with a well-educated group of people! But, looking at the general population which is overwhelmed with illiteracy, studies have shown that most people in Pakistan don't really know much about Israel and, of course, have never visited the country.
Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on August 07, 2015:
Hello Neil: Thank you for your comments and I look forward to reading your article. Please feel free to link to this and share with others.
Gaza is such a pity, but it was that way long before the State of Israel was established in 1948. That's a fact that most people don't know.
TheMisterWriter from Karachi, Pakistan on August 06, 2015:
I disagree with you on the fact that most pakistanis are ill-informed about the conflict. Several people who know a great deal about it are Pakistani Muslims.
Neil Radow from Tel Aviv on August 02, 2015:
Thank you so much for your detailed and accurate analysis. There is way too much inaccurate information on this subject, and Israel is far too often unfairly demonized. As an Israeli and IDF veteran, I am truly grateful for people like you who present the conflict, and its history, in the proper context. Everybody needs to read this before making judgement on what goes on in this region. If you are ever posting on a similar subject, or updating this post, I am at your service if you would like to hear from an Israeli. I am actually currently working on a related hub about Gaza that I plan to publish later today. If you don't mind, I would like to link to this hub as well. Hope all is well with you.
Audrey Selig from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on June 25, 2015:
Hi Writer Fox - I read part of this hub so far, and your writing about the atrocities and the details of the conflict become alive to me. The story of the boy from the wealthy family who became a suicide bomber is so sad and so unnecessary. The fact that the Israelis don't have time to get to bomb shelters is scary. Your journalism does deserve an award, as someone said. Thanks for sharing, and I will go back and finish and comment. Sharing. Blessings, Audrey
Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on June 22, 2015:
@ Crafty picks – Thanks for the shares.
@ Marcy – Since you are an academic, I more than appreciate your comment that this article is thoroughly researched. So many people really don't understand the background of the Israel-Palestine conflict, let alone its history. Thank you for your comment and for sharing.
@ Shades-of-truth – Like your son-in-law, most Christian Palestinians have left the country because their lives were made unbearable by their Muslim neighbors. For example, hardly any Christians now live in Bethlehem and that used to be a predominantly Christian town. I'm so glad you had a wonderful visit to Israel. Come back!
@ Colorfulone – Hi Susie. Thanks for the shares and the 'award.'
@ Sanjay – I appreciate your comment and I'm so glad that Israel and India have such a good relationship. We love India!
@ PurvisBobbi44 – Hi Bobbi. I'm so glad that you found this article to be informative. I appreciate your sharing it and I appreciate you!
@ Eric – I hope that you, indeed, will use this as a reference. All of the major points are in hear and it is handy to have all of the names, dates, and events in one place. If you have a question, just post it here.
@ Mary – Thanks for the 'masterpiece' comment. I did spend a lot of time on this, so that means a lot to me. Thank you also for sharing.
@ Aesta – I think that there must be only a few places where you and your husband haven't lived! You two are adventurous. Since you have lived in both Pakistan and in Israel, I'm sure you understand these areas much better than most people in the world. Let me know when you are on your way to Israel again.
@ Arksys – Thank you for sharing this in Pakistan. I am glad that so many Pakistanis speak English. Now, if only everyone there could find their way around the Internet censor as you have figured out how to do … Every time I hear about a new terrorist attack in Pakistan (10 in the past 5 months), I think about you and hope you are safe.
@ Flourish – You're welcome and I'm glad you learned some new information about the conflict here.
@ Nell – Wow, it was worth my writing this just to read your comment! So many in the UK don't understand what is happening. The government in England has such an animosity toward Israel (stemming from the days of the British Mandate and its thick ties to Arab nations), that it has turned many of its citizens against Israel. The Queen, during her very long reign, has NEVER visited Israel, not even when her husband came here to bury his mother. Prince Charles came but his visit was made 'unofficial' so as not to embarrass the Queen. I'm hoping that Charles will take a different approach when the crown is passed to him. The British Ambassador and the people in the British Consulate in Israel all say that they want the Queen to visit. But she won't. It's her loss and it will be her legacy when she passes on.
@ Akriti – I love to have people from India read this article. You live in a beautiful country. More than 40,000 Indians visit Israel every year and more than 40,000 Israelis visit India. You should come for a visit.
Writer Fox (author) from the wadi near the little river on June 22, 2015:
Arabs living in areas of the old British Mandate for Palestine have received two autonomous regions: one now called Jordan and one in the Gaza Strip. Unfortunately, since receiving autonomy, tens of thousands have died at the hands of their own respective governments.
In the Gaza strip, the Arabs living there will never be free so long as they are controlled by Hamas and billionaire thief Khaled Mashal. Perhaps you should spend your time calling for freedom for Balochsitan, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunwa provinces. The majority of Sindhis, Balochis and Pathans have never considered themselves to be Pakistanis. You can throw Kashmir in that list as well. They want the same autonomy as Bangladesh.
This week, Egypt ordered its border crossing to the Gaza Strip (see above) to be opened for the first time in months and 15,000 people stormed the gates to flee their Hamas captors. Egypt only allowed 1,500 to enter for medical reasons. Hamas continues to withhold adequate health care for the people it rules while Khaled Mashal, Mousa Abu Marzook, Mahmoud Abbas and their ilk continue to line their own pockets with money which should be used for this purpose.
Pakistan ─ with a literacy rate of only 54.9% (according to UNICEF), with no freedom of the press or media or religion, with censored Internet access, with a humanitarian crisis from its inability to provide education, electricity, clean water, medical care, rights for women and children, and adequate sewage to all its population ─ is a hotbed of ethnic and political violence. (It is no wonder that Pakistan can't attract tourists. Nobody wants to visit Pakistan. Tourists would much rather visit India and Israel; and they go to those countries by the millions.) There are no Arabic speakers in Pakistan so it is impossible for you to even understand what people in the Gaza Strip are saying. Everything you hear or read is filtered by your controllers and they have their own agenda.
Not only that, but your government forbids you to travel to Israel or to the Gaza Strip. You are not in a position to evaluate with intellectual integrity. Pakistan will only allow a small number of Palestinians to enter Pakistan and only if they have permits to study at a university. So, don't preach about how much Pakistan 'cares about Palestinians.' It doesn't. The only Pakistanis the Pakistan government allows to visit Gaza are known terrorists, which is no surprise since Pakistan is the world's greatest sponsor of terrorism. (See references above as well as this: http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Pakistani-terrori...
You didn't even read this article. Like most Pakistanis (see survey above) you have no idea what Hamas is just like you have no idea what ISIS is nor do you understand that ISIS is presently infiltering Pakistan.
You're clueless and your ignorance of these issues is apparent for all to see.
Akriti Mattu from Shimla, India on May 03, 2015:
Nell Rose from England on April 13, 2015:
Hi, fascinating read, I never knew about the word Palestinian being Greek! and the fact that the Arab side was Transjordan! amazing! I have kept coming back to this throughout the day, as its so fascinating, took me about 3 hours so far! but honestly I just cannot understand why certain countries can't see who the evil ones are! what the hell? constant attacks, and yet, well you get my point! I learned more reading this than I have in years, well written and full of detail, amazing people, pity the world doesn't treat them with more respect, nell
FlourishAnyway from USA on April 05, 2015:
This is so in-depth and addresses many issues that people don't understand but want to know. I learned a lot. Thank you for writing it, Writer Fox.
Irfan from Adelaide, Australia on April 01, 2015:
Just for the record ... some of the statements you make about Pakistan, I do not agree with ... such as the figure you presented in the war on terror. Those numbers are consequences of the US-led wars and would not have occurred if the US had not started the "war on terror".
Irfan from Adelaide, Australia on April 01, 2015:
Wow... that was quite a write-up, and thanks for answering my questions. from your point of view Israel certainly is not the "Devil" everyone claims it to be. Although the video i shared with you in the forum had a other things to say. I will have to go through both your hub and the video to grasp the whole idea.
Adding the india / pakistan partition comparisons was very helpful for me to understand the situation better.
I will definitely share this in my social circles, because I feel it is necessary for everyone in the Islamic world to know both sides of the story.
more in the forum and thank you so much for putting all this together.
Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on April 01, 2015:
I have read a lot about this and have worked in Gaza, Ramallah, Israel and Pakistan but your summary of the events made this situation clearer. I wish the media would give us such clear explanation. Looks like the Middle East conflict has gone beyond Arabs and Jews as the Sunnis and Shiites get at each other.
Mary Hyatt from Florida on April 01, 2015:
This is a masterpiece! I have never fully understood this conflict, but I came away with a better understanding now. I have bookmarked this Hub, because it deserves my longer and better attention when I can absorb it more in depth.
Voted UP, etc. and shared.
Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on April 01, 2015:
Thank you for this exceptional hub. Boy of boy I sure learned a lot. Thanks to you I can now form, informed opinions about the area. You can bet I will refer back to this as questions arise.
Barbara Purvis Hunter from Florida on March 31, 2015:
Hi Writer Fox,
I am happy to see you back and I thank you for clearing this up for a lot of people including me. It was one of the best informative hubs I've read about the Jews.
This has my head spinning so, I will return to read it again. I am going to share with Twitter, G+ and in it on my Re-pin board on Pinterest.
Have a great Wednesday.
Sanjay Sharma from Mandi (HP) India on March 31, 2015:
Thanks for sharing the detailed information about the palestine conflict. I was unaware about a lot of things. I salute the spirit of the Jews. It should have been the hub of the day. Voted up and shared.
Susie Lehto from Minnesota on March 31, 2015:
Now, we know what you have been up to, Writer Fox. Wow!
Thank you for sharing so much information with the world. I shared and voted this up, and wish I could give you a journalist award. Wow!
Emily Tack from USA on March 31, 2015:
I have a Christian Palestinian son-in-law. A few years ago, we were in Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv. One of things that impressed me the most, was that the young people who are Israelis, and Palestinians, are all crying out for peace.
In the end, all of the conflicts seem to just feed the coffers of those who foment them. I would love to see a peaceful end to all of the contention, so those who live in the area can live their lives out in harmony and - peace.
Marcy Goodfleisch from Planet Earth on March 31, 2015:
This is an amazing and thoroughly researched hub - so much of the history of that area is not known. Thanks for this very scholarly piece. I need to read it several most times to fully understand the changes and conflicts over the years. Voted way up, and shared!
Lori Green from Las Vegas on March 31, 2015:
Can I like this twice? A big 2 thumbs up and a share from me.