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What is Going On With Israel and Palestine: A Historical Timeline and Op-Ed

For the past several decades, there have been numerous violent conflicts, crises and wars between the forces of Israel and Palestine. However, recently there has been more talk about the conflict. It is important to note, that this conflict is new or recent but has rather been going on for countless years. So why have people been talking about it more recently? In order to understand what is going on with Israel and Palestine within present day society, it is crucial to understand their past history.


As a result of the Ottoman Empire (historically also known as the Turkish Empire), Britain conquered the land of Palestine. There were several ethnic groups that occupied and inhabited the land, two of the prominent being Jews and Arabs. The UK then established the Balfour Declaration of 1917, essentially depicting their support of creating a “National Home” in Palestine specifically for Jewish people during World War I.


Roughly around the 1920s to the 1940s (throughout both WW1 and WW2) there was prosperity in Palestine in terms of the Jewish population. The cause for this, mainly derived from their disparity to flee persecution  from their concentration camps in Europe, conducted by Hitler and the Nazis throughout the Holocaust. Jews began to categorize Palestine as their “Ancestral land and Home” whereas the equally rising population of Arabs opposed this postulation.


The United Nations created a proposal and voted to split the land of Palestine in order for the Jews and Arabs to have their own parts of the land, in the hopes of reducing conflicts between the two groups. This proposal was approved by the Jewish leaders however, it was declined by the Arabs causing it to be neglected. With the still existing conflicts, Britain withdrew from their position of authority, allowing the Jewish leaders to propose the new idea of the creation of a new state, Israel. The intention of forming this state was primarily to create a national homeland for Jewish people however, shortly after it was declared to be a state, the Arabs had attacked them. Palestinian civilians fled for many years where more wars and conflicts arose. These conflicts continued for many decades to the extent in which the city of Jerusalem became divided between Israeli forces as well as Jordanian forces. Egypt and Jordan gained control over a portion of Palestine, whereas Israel gained control over other territories such as the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

The Gaza Strip and Its Significance:

The Gaza strip is essentially a strip of land located in between Israel and the Mediterranean Sea. After the 1967 war, Israel had maintained their authority and control over Gaza up until 2005 while equally constructing new Jewish settlements. Due to their authority, there has been severe oppression and repression implemented upon Palestians, resulting in major violations of their human rights. The various rules employed by the forces of Israel, have caused Palestinian Civilians to lose access to clean water, or even electricity. Today, it is significantly recognized by many countries as the biggest “Open-Air Prison” in the entire world.


Throughout 2005, Ariel Sharon, the Prime Minister of Israel at the time, decided to disengage and remove some of their soldiers in Gaza, in order to restore peace between the two forces. Evidently, chaos increased from this point on. In 2006, Hamas, an Islamic Resistance group, won the legislative elections in Palestine. The Hamas at this time were primarily known for their motives and intentions of destructing Israel as a considered state. As many individuals within the community were against this, there was a temporary Civil War that broke out between the two major political groups of Palestine, the Hamas and the Fatah. Evidently, Hamas won this war, defeating Fatah and their forces, thus Hamas gained control of the Gaza strip whereas Fatah gained control of the West Bank. For several decades, as the wars proceeded between the Israeli and Palestinian forces, there were numerous ceasefires along with the captivation and assassination of many innocent civilians from both of the opposing forces. For instance, on October 7, 2023 the Hamas had unexpectedly attacked Israel by firing rockets and swarming into the many homes of Israel people while killing 1000s of innocent civilians. Israel then retaliated against this violence and had officially declared war. Israel’s main intention of the war is to defeat Hamas entirely, even if they must take away the lives of Palestinians along with their efforts. The level of violence and conflicts has only increased from this point on in which numerous civilians are harmed and killed on a daily basis.

Important Facts:

  1. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, there is approximately 6,621 Palestinian fatalities and 156,230 injuries

  2. 4,482 of these fatalities are men, 1,215 are boys, 627 are women and 275 are girls

  3. There is also approximately 311 Israeli fatalities and 6, 338 injuries

  4. 250 of these fatalities are men, 36 are female, 19 are boys and 6 are girls


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