Centre for Advanced Legal Studies and Research, (CALSAR), Thiruvananthapuram


Haripriya H.M, 3rd year BALLB,Kerala Law Academy

Haripriya H.M, 3rd year BALLB,Kerala Law Academy


The Arab-Israel conflict is also in many ways a conflict about status; it’s a war between two peoples who feel deeply humiliated by the other, who want the other to respect them. Battles over status can be even more intractable than those over land or water or oil.”                                                                                    

                                                                                        –Alain de Botton

 The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the world’s longest-running and most controversial conflicts. The conflict has different dimensions of upholding one’s religion, survival in their own homeland, battle for power and a deep wounded history. 

According to history Jews who were ill-treated by the Nazis advocated for a piece of land through the Zionist movement. This was settled when the UN on November 29, 1947, voted to partition Palestine into Jewish and Arab states. This was opposed by the Arabs. However, the declaration of the state of Israel on May 14, 1948, fulfilled the Zionist’s dream of a Jewish homeland. With their perseverance and hard work they converted this  land into heaven. Arabs always saw Israel as a threat to them and wars started just after the creation of Israel in 1948. Arab states of Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria attacked Israel as joint forces with Israel emerging victorious. This war ultimately went into the creation of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in  1964 and the Palestine refugee crisis.

 In 1967, Israel launched a pre-emptive strike against Egypt, Syria, and Jordan in a Six-Day War. The 1967 war is particularly important for today’s conflict, as it left Israel in control of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, two territories home to a large number of Palestinians. Even though Israel got control over  the region by way of Oslo Accord in 1993 an interim Palestine government was formed in  parts of West bank and Gaza. After a series of wars and peace treaties the  tensions over  the  region still exist  as an unsolved crisis. Hamas and Fatah two politically dominant parties in the Palestine region works with the objective of creating a Palestinian state on the borders of 1967. It’s important to note  that Hamas  uses armed  rebellion against  Israel  as  a strategy  and  Fatah is more  likely  to  do it  through negotiations. Both Zionists and Palestinian Arab nationalists have at various times since the 19th century claimed rightful possession of the area west of the Jordan River.

 The rivalry between the two groups and their claims have been major causes of the numerous Arab-Israeli conflicts and the continuing crisis in the region. In 2005 Arab concerns were partially assuaged when Israel completed its withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and handed over control of the territory to the Palestinians, but the Israeli settlement population in the West Bank nearly doubled between 2005 and 2019 because of the. Israel’s objective of expanding Jewish settlements in these regions. Although the West Bank settlements are on land administered under Israeli military rule rather than civil law. The Israeli civil law is pipelined into the settlements in such  a way that Israeli citizens living there are treated similarly to those living in Israel.

The main objective of Palestine is that they want Israel to withdraw from pre-1967 borders and establish an independent Palestine state in the West Bank and Gaza, and also East Jerusalem as the capital of the Independent Palestine state. The objective of Israel is the Sovereignty over Jerusalem and Recognition of Israel as a Jewish State (Israel is the only country in the world with a Jewish majority population)

. The recent events which  led  into the current  crisis  include Israel’s restriction on holy  sites during Ramadan and the Court decision  to  change Palestine families from the east  Jerusalem neighborhood. The situation worsened when, Israeli police raided the Al-Aqsa compound by firing rubber bullets and stun grenades at  the Palestinians protesting by throwing rocks. The police  raid  on  the mosque  wounded  the religious sentiments leading  into massive rocket attack  led  by Hamas and Islamic Jihad to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv  from Gaza straining Israel’s Iron Dome defense system. Israel responded with enormous bomb attacks on Gaza. In May 21 2021 Israel and Hamas both claimed victory  after their forces agreed on a cease fire but humanitarian officials stated that the damage to Gaza would take years to rebuild.

The British Government supports the right of the Palestinian people to establish a sovereign and independent Palestinian state. They also recognize Israel’s right as a state and the rights of its citizens. The UN’s 15-nation Security Council is granted the right of protecting international peace and security. Humanitarian agencies and NGOs have pleaded to  the council to do something after the start of the current crisis. But the United States keeps using its veto power to block any legal reaction by the council. The USA  prefers to use its own diplomatic powers to calm things down. India’s permanent representative TS Tirumurti  has  made it  clear that India supports the two state solution .India also pointed out that Israel was just reacting to the attacks by Hamas and asked both Israel and Palestine to restart the dialogue and reduce their tensions.

In my opinion the best solution is a “two-state solution” that would establish Palestine as an independent state in Gaza and most of the West Bank, leaving the rest of the land to Israel. Though the two-state plan is clear in theory, the two sides are still deeply divided over how  to make it work  in practice . Conducting a plebiscite under  the  United  Nations in  the  conflict  region will be a better way to  reach  an end  to  this conflict.


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