The Palestinian Intifada

Following disputes, in July 1968, Palestinian terrorist from the PLO attacked Israeli's in rebellion of the previous peace agreement. This was the first successive attack for the Palestinians against the Israeli's. This shows us that even though a peace agreement was made straight after the war, there was a terrorist attack shortly after the peace agreement was made against making peace. Peace cannot be established if they 'refuse' to agree in making peace. The main key areas of land that cause problems are the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Hebron and one of the worst areas, Jerusalem.

All these places are partly under Palestinian or Israeli control but there are Jewish settlements surrounding certain areas of Palestinian territory. These places are always vulnerable towards attacks for both Jews and Palestinians, such as the suicide bomb attack that occurred on Friday 27 October 2000. A suicide bomber blew himself up outside an Israeli army post in the Gaza Strip. This shows us that he was willing to even die for the sake of gaining Palestinian territory and murdering Israeli's for placing their army on Palestinian soil.

With this attitude, there cannot be peace if people are not willing to compromise and talk instead of killing. Many peace attempts have led to violence and assassinations such as Yitzahk Rabin who was Prime Minister of Israel between 1992 and 1995. In 1995, he agreed to sign a peace accord with the PLO leader Yasser Arafat, which gave Palestinians home rule in Gaza and Jericho. Opposition to this peace accord resulted in Rabin's assassination in 1995 by a Jewish Nationalist called Yigal Amir. It is almost impossible for peace to occur if there is disunity within each nation.

Also President Sadat became hated by extremists who believed he had betrayed the Palestinians for signing a peace accord with Israel. In 1981 he was assassinated in Cairo by extremists from within his own army. It is very difficult to have a peace agreement that everyone will agree such as fundamentalists who believe that 'all' the land is theirs and are unwilling to compromise. For example, break away groups from the PLO such as Hamas and Hezbullah will only relinquish violence on the return of previous Palestinian lands since 1967 such as Golan Heights and West Bank which they lost during the 'Six Day War'.

They feel that Yasser Arafat is giving into peace and not fighting for their 'rightful' land. Some Fundamentalist are seen as heroes for both the Arabs and Israeli's. Palestinians don't have a government to rely on and so the only way they feel they can have a voice is to rely on violence that explains why there are so many terrorist attacks from the Palestinian side. For example, the cousin suicide bomber who blew himself up outside the Israeli army post in the Gaza Strip on 27 October 2000 said his family were, 'proud of what he had done'.

If their attitude towards his suicide attack was to be proud of him, then it is impossible for there to peace, because they cannot continue to kill the opposition if there is to be a peace agreement to be established. Israeli's also regard their fundamentalists as heroes, such as Baruch Goldstein, a major in the Israeli army. On 25 February 1994 he shot dead 29 Palestinians at prayer in the Al-Ibrahimi mosque, Hebron. This massacre immediately sparked off riots in Jerusalem, Ramallah, Gaza, Nablus and Hebron. 33 Palestinians were killed in disturbances and Rabin once again sealed off the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

A curfew was placed on the citizens of Hebron-120, 000 Palestinians were punished to guarantee the safety of only 450 Jewish settlers in the area. If the Jews are not willing to compromise with the Palestinians in such circumstances there cannot be peace. The five major wars led to loss and gaining of land. This caused boundaries of what of what belongs to the Jews and Palestinians unofficial. The peace process is attempting to provide mutually recognized borders for all the nations in the area, but the success of this process is not guaranteed.

Jerusalem is a big issue that both nations desperately want as it is their capital city and also because it contains both of their religions holy shrines, e. g. the wailing wall which is the only remains of what was their Holy Temple before the revolt in 135 AD, and also the Al-Aqsa mosque which is mainly known as the 'Golden Dome'. This is though by Muslims to be the last place in which their prophet Mohammed was in, until he was thought to have ascended into heaven. The Al-Aqsa mosque is also thought to have the foundations of Solomon's temple.

Jews now want this mosque/temple back by depriving Muslims from entering into their own mosque to pray so that they themselves can build underground tunnels to get to the foundation of the temple, therefore weakening the mosque so it'll fall. By doing this, the Jews can the take over and begin to rebuild the temple upon the foundations of King Solomon's temple to do their sacrifices in. The area of Temple Mount is vulnerable to violence because there are many mosques and synagogues as well as the Wailing Wall that intermingle and is a meeting place for worshippers of Jews and Palestinians.

On Friday 9 February 2001, Palestinian radicals planted a car bomb outside a synagogue in Temple Mount. Miraculously no one was injured. This was a reply to the elections when Ariel Sharon was elected to be the new Prime Minister of Israel. This was also a reply to The previous air attacks on the Gaza Strip with many Arab fatalities. This 'Tit for Tat' attitude that is contradictory to the ethos of peace will only provoke more violence. Both nations are determined to have their land back and not give into peace, as this would lose their sense of pride and dignity, which is why it is so difficult for them to sign a peace agreement.

They'd feel they'd given in and lost all remaining hope of gaining their land back. Israel's Prime Minister was put on the defensive for the first time on the 18th April 2001. Domestic critics accused him of giving in to American pressure to pull back troops who had re-occupied a pocket of Palestinian territory in Gaza. Ran Cohen, a member of the Israeli parliament of the opposition Meretz party, said, " What are the prime minister and his office doing now? They now are blackening the army's name for their own mess and anarchy!

" From this statement it is clear that by abiding with peace, the government will get criticized for being inconsistent in their decisions and show that they are politically weak by pulling their troops out of the Palestinian territories. Peace for Israel cannot be made if they refuse to exchange land for peace. Ariel Sharon of the Likud Party (right wing) who has only recently become Prime Minister (7 February 2001) said, " I will preserve Jerusalem, united and individual as the capital of Jewish people, the capital of Israel forever!

" This quotation shows us that whilst Sharon is the Israeli prime minister and is a Zionist, he holds no hope of peace to occur and certainly not giving in to any land. The Jewish people voted for Sharon knowing his reaction towards making peace with Palestine as well as the other Arab nations. They voted for him knowing the consequence of there being no peace whilst he's in power. Also a traditional farewell of Jews who don't live in Israel, always say In their prayers, "next year, in Jerusalem".

This shows us that the Jews are willing to fight for their country and not give it up. Ironically, Palestinians feel the same way about the whole situation and so hope for peace is almost impossible. Yasser Arafat is now 84 years old and so is getting very old, especially as he is suffering from Parkinson's. When he dies, no one knows who the successor will be. This can only leave us in suspense, only to hope that the new leader of the Palestinians will not be as stubborn minded and fight instead of making further steps towards peace.

The Palestinian Intifada which begun on 28 September 2000 is still going on till today and so only provokes the already bitter, bloody situation. On 17 April 2001, Israeli troops launched its most serious raid on a Syrian military target backing the Hezbullah militants in Lebanon. A spokesman in Damascus described the air raid - in which three Syrian soldiers were reported killed and six wounded - as "dangerous escalation that could de-stabilize security and stability in the region". Peace cannot be established if Israel launch attacks against neighbouring Arab countries.

It is impossible for a peace agreement to be made when Israel cannot make peace with other Arab countries. Although there are so many ominous signs surrounding the peace process in the Middle East, compounded by pessimistic attitudes of the general public, politicians, people may still argue that there is still hope for peace. The 1993 Oslo peace agreements ensured land around Jericho to be split for both the Arabs and Jews. The first agreement signed after Oslo was signed in Cairo. Rabin also signed a treaty with King Hussein of Jordan in 1994.

This was a good sign towards peace as Israel began to sign more and more peace agreements, to push forward any signs of peace. Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin signed the Middle East peace accord in a ceremony in the White House on 28 September 1995. The historic handshake between the two men seemed to signal an end to the problems in the Middle East. In August 1993, the declaration of principles was agreed upon. The Declaration was an agenda for negotiations covering a five-year period which would then lead to a permanent agreement based on resolutions 242 and 338.

This shows us that that continue to move a step further towards peace despite attacks getting in the way. In January 1997, the Hebron agreement was signed when Israel agreed to withdraw from around 80% of Hebron to give back some land to the Palestinians. This shows us that the Israeli's were willing to compromise and by doing this, they continued to pursue in their hope for peace. Today there were 100,000 Palestinians in Hebron and only 400 Jewish settlers. The Arab-Israeli conflict has a lot of international influence to make peace.

This was mainly because during the Yom Kippur war, Arab states used the power of oil to threaten and influence U. S. A and Western Europe. The price of oil was raised by 70% and the economies were severely disrupted if the war was to continue and last long. After providing the Arabs and Israeli's, it helped them realize the enormity of the situation for peace in the Middle East. Due to this international influence, this encourages both nations to make peace, and so always keeping their hopes up. Peace talks are still being held till today.

The latest peace talks were held in Taba (January 21 2001) between Israel and Palestine. These are good signs to show that they are still willing to make peace. During the peace talks that were held in Taba, they made a plan on what should belong to Israel and the Palestinians. On 6th October 1973 (Yom Kippur) a UN ceasefire, Security Council resolution 338 was later agreed by Israel, Egypt and Jordan. This was a Great move towards peace as it showed that Israel and Arab countries greed on something. In March 1979, the first formal peace treaty was signed between Israel and Egypt.

This was the first ever peace treaty between Israel and an Arab country so this was a major step towards peace. Israel withdrew from the Sinai Peninsula and returned it back to the rightful owners, Egypt. In September 1983, the Israeli army pulled out of the capital of Lebanon, Beirut, following the Lebanese war in the mid 1980's. Israeli's had pulled their forces back towards their border and created a buffer zone between Israel and Lebanon. Only recently (20 January 2001) did the Israeli army withdraw all the troops from the captured Lebanese border.

Also only recently, on Wednesday 17 April 2001 Israel invaded Gaza for only 20 hours after five ineffectual mortars provoked Israel's full fury. Yasser Arafat described the Israeli action as an "unforgivable crime". People will not approve of peace if they are going to be continually attacking the opposition each time because of revenge and not compromising and being able to 'forgive and forget'. On 23rd July 2000, Bill Clinton was in Camp David to push the Middle East talks forward. He was said to be 'hopeful'. The reaction of the Israeli government was also largely optimistic as Mr.

Barak was reported to have told the cabinet minister that the prospects for peace were now 60-40. The former president of U. S. A, Clinton, said, " there is a rhythm in everyone of these thing I've been involved in. " Clinton had pushed the peace talks so far that there was a spurt of hope for peace, but now that Sharon is the new Prime Minister, hopes for peace have died down. President Bush promised on 7 February 2001 to 'Play the hand we've been Dealt' and work the Yasser Arafat and Ariel Sharon to make peace.

A White House spokesman said the president had telephoned Mr. Sharon to say that he looked forward "to working with him, especially with regard to advancing peace and stability in the region. " These are good signs to show that Bush is continuing from where Clinton had left to pursue in continuing with pushing the peace process forward. Refugees are now getting more help. Small peace organizations such as the 'Peres center for peace' promote reconciliation and cooperation between their people in this period of transition to peace.

These peace organizations show us that there are still people willing to make peace on both sides despite the dangers of publicizing peace organizations, as there are fundamentalists, who reject the word peace and so in some cases, go to the extremes of killing people who believe that peace may still be established. This shows us that people are still patient, tolerant and forgiving to be able to work together in order for the voice of reason to prevail and for dialogue and cooperation to replace violence and yet risk their own life's for peace's sake.