The geographical impact of international conflicts: the Israeli/Palestininan conflict in the Middle East
Who is involved?
Who are the Israelis?
The Israelis are people living in Israel. They include:
Jews: Jews have religious and historical ties to Israel dating back thousands of years. Many of them migrated from Europe and Russia to escape persecution e.g. after the Holocaust. Some Jews are religious and some are not.
Zionists: Zionism is an ideology that believes that Jews should have their own homeland. Zionists may be either Jewish, Christian or Atheist.
The Zionist movement is a political movement founded by Theodor Herzl in1897. Most of the Israeli government are Zionists. Some Zionist groups are extremists and have carried out terrorist attacks.
Arabs: (Muslim and Christian) About one fifth of the Israeli population are Arabs, descendants of the Palestinians who remained in Israel at its creation, despite the conflict
that drove out many of their neighbours.
Who are the Palestinians?
Palestinians are mostly Muslim Arabs, but some are Christian. They also have important religious and historical ties to the area. They live in many countries around the world incl. the Middle East. Many live in the ‘Occupied Territories’ but do not have their own country. Notable groups include:
The PLO: Umbrella political group formed in 1964. Some allied groups are extreme and have carried out terrorist attacks. They’ve also used guerilla tactics against Israel. However, they have now renounced violence and terrorism and been recognised at the political representative of the Palestinians.
The PNA: The governing body of the Palestinian urban centres in the Territories. They were formed in 1994 by the UN. Mahmoud Abbas is the head of both the PNA
and the PLO.
Fatah: The largest faction of the PLO. Some members still associated with ‘terrorist’attacks against Israel but now not generally seen as a terrorist organisation. They were ruling party until 2006 when they became seen as corrupt and incompetent. Led by Mahmoud Abbas. Control the West Bank. On-going conflict with Hamas. Not the only political party in the West Bank
Hamas: Formed in 1987 with 2 aims: social welfare and armed resistance. The EU, UK, US and Israel consider it a terrorist organisation following suicide bombings and
rocket attacks against Israeli civilians. However, it has earned support from many Palestinians. They won elections in 2006. Led by Ismail Haniya. Control Gaza. Not the only ‘terrorist’ group in Gaza
What are the occupied territories?
• The West Bank and the Gaza Strip make up the Occupied Territories
• About 3/4s of the world’s countries recognise these areas as ‘Palestine’. However, not the UN or major western nations such as the USA and the UK
• Gaza is ruled by Hamas and The West Bank is ruled by Fatah. However, they have little real power as they are under military occupation
Timeline of the conflict
The impacts of the conflict
Restrictions on womens freedom by Hamas
Residents of Gaza hurt by white phosphorus used by the Israli army buring the victims skin
Damaged homes by shelling
Injuries caused by the Israeli army
Lack of medical facilities
Blockade by the Israeli army makes it difficult to get supplies in.
Israel has spent $12 billion dollars on the war between 1989 and 2010
Palestinians banned from working in Israel – limiyed numbers of jobs in Gaza and the West Bank
Many services are run by outisde agencies – e.g. the UN
Underground tunnels used to smuggle in goods and guns
Only $60 million of Gaza $540 million budget is gnerated inside of Gaza – the rest from outisde donors
80% live in poverty and 35% are unemployed
Contamination of drinking water
Shortage of food production
Limited access to the sea by the Israeli army
Using new fish pond to raise fish for market
Struggling to remove sewage and other waste material – leading the spread of disease