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Arab Israeli Conflict Essay

1053 words - 4 pages

Account for conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbours in the period 1948-1973?Between 1948 and 1973 Israel was in a state of war with its Arab neighbours. On four separate occasions wars were fought between the respective sides, leaving the issues unresolved and worsening the sense of crisis. Open war was never far from the surface and was seen as the only instrument to resolve differences. The Arab-Israeli conflict is a long-running conflict in the Middle East, in regards to the existence of the State of Israel and its relations with Arab peoples and nations. Though the term is often used synonymously with Middle East conflict, the region has been host to other disputes and wars not directly involving Israel.From 1945 to 1948 Zionists waged guerrilla war against British troops and against Palestinian Arabs supported by the Arab League, and they had made substantial gains by 1948. The 1948-49 War reflected the opposition of the Arab states to the formation of the Jewish state of Israel in what was considered to be Arab territory. The proclamation of the state of Israel in 1948 resulted in war between Israel, Egypt, Syria, Transjordan, Iraq and Lebanon. The Egyptians gained some territory in the south and the Jordanians took Jerusalem's Old City, but the other Arab forces were soon halted. In June the United Nations succeeded in establishing a four-week truce.On October 29 1956, Israel invaded the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula and made rapid progress towards the canal zone. As per the agreement, Britain and France offered to reoccupy the area and separate the warring armies. Nasser refused the offer, which gave the European powers a pretext for a joint invasion to regain control of the canal and topple the Nasser regime. To support the invasion, large air forces had been deployed to Cyprus and Malta by the UK and France and many aircraft carriers were deployed. Throughout 1956, conflict increased between Israel and Egypt, with Egyptian fedayeen launching frequent incursions into Israeli territory and Israel launching raids into Egyptian territory. Egypt, under the leadership of President Gamal Abdul Nasser, blockaded the Gulf of Aqaba and closed the Suez canal to Israeli shipping. The invading forces were forced to withdraw in March 1957 under pressure from the United States, which saw good relations with the third world as being more important than defending Anglo-French interests. Perhaps more significantly, the US also feared a wider war after the USSR's offer to intervene on the Egyptian side. Eden's resignation marked the end of the last attempt Britain would ever make to establish, as Lucas writes, "that Britain did not require Washington's endorsement to defend her interests". In a way, it also marked the symbolic end of the British Empire, though it had in reality been in decline for decades, even before World War II. The crisis also marked the transfer of power to the new superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union.The...

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