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Peace Solutions For The Arab And Israel Conflict.

1994 words - 8 pages

The Middle East has always been known as the Holy Land. For centuries, prophets have walked there, nations have collided and conquerors have come and gone. While Jews claim a three thousand-year-old attachment to this ancient land, Arabs also stake their devotion. These two peoples, are constantly involved in a tragic conflict that has lasted more than half a century, saw the possibility of a new beginning.The Oslo Accord transformed the political realities of the Middle East (Peres, 2). Since the founding of Israel in 1948, there has been continuous conflict between Israel and the Arab states. Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories led to the uprising of Arab youth in the West Bank and Gaza, known as the Intifada. For the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, the Intifada provided them with a new and assertive Palestinian identity. Israelis were also growing tired of their roles as occupiers, as soldiers trained to defend their country in war were finding themselves aiming their weapons at rock throwing teenagers. Many Israelis were disillusioned and desperately eager for a solution.Talks took place between January and May of 1993. As talks continued, complications arose, notably Israel's insistence that it retain control of West Bank security. However, as trust grew, both sides compromised as they moved towards reconciliation and mutual recognition. After eight months of negotiations, an agreement of principles was signed secretly in Oslo. The Declaration of Principles bound Israel and the Palestinians to a five-year interim agreement. Power over Gaza and Jericho would be transferred to the Palestinians, economic programs would be developed and a new port built. Resolution of the harder questions such as Jerusalem would be left for a permanent status agreement to be concluded within five years (Corelli, p. 34-35).During this period, relations between Israel and Jordan improved, opening the path for peace. In October 1994, nearly a year after the meeting of Rabin and Arafat, Israel and Jordan officially ended more than fifty years of conflict. Israel's new partnership with Jordan encouraged Syria to negotiate for the return of the Golan Heights, captured by Israel in the Six-Day War. Though inconclusive, the talks were a major step forward (Peres, p.40-45). The Oslo Accord also had many enemies, including the Israeli settlers in the occupied territories as well as Arab radicals. The main Arab opposition to the peace accord is rooted in the militant Hamas and Islamic Jihad movements. Both groups call for total Israeli withdrawal from the occupied lands, and to give the Palestinians more freedom and independence. In Israel, the minority opposing the accord includes the ultra-nationalists and the religious right wing. They believe that giving up territory is in total opposition and conflict with the ideals of the land of Israeli movement (Hunter, p. 217). For many Palestinians, Oslo did not offer enough. They claim all the occupied...

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