What is Jerusalem Conflict
A Timeline on the Conflict of Jerusalem
Jerusalem, located in Israel, is regarded as a holy land. Both Israelis and Palestinians reckon that the city of Jerusalem is their political and religious clan and that is the reason why its the most rigorously disputed territory in the world on religious terms. The Israelis are Jews and the Palestinians are Muslims and they’ve been fighting over this city from hundreds of years. Although Muslims and Jews claim the land but almost all the religions have somehow participated in the battle. Let’s understand the whole issue through a timeline of events that happened in Jerusalem over the years.
The Early Period (639-1898)
In antediluvian times, the city of Jerusalem was ruled by Muslims (639-1099 AD). The Muslims rulers were overthrown by the Crusaders (sent by the Latin Church) in 1099 and forcefully directed the Muslims and Jews out of the land of Jerusalem but, soon after, the Kurdish General Saladin, in 1187, defeated the crusaders and permitted Jews and Muslims to settle back in the city. In 1244, Mameluk Sultans from Egypt came and captured the holy city and ruled it until 1577 when the Ottoman Turks effected a peaceful takeover of the city. They built the mammoth walls and gates including the ‘Tower of David’ we see in the Jerusalem. Until now, there hadn’t been any conflict between the two sects and both were just living as their rulers directed them to.
The British Period (1917-1948)
In 1917, the British General Edmund Allenby took over the control of the city of Jerusalem from the Ottoman Turkish rulers. The Muslims, who were living freely under Ottoman Turkish Rule, were now forced to live in obedience to the new rulers. The period after arrival of British in the state saw rise of the Zionist elements all over the place. Zionism was actually a movement initiated by the Jewish community in which they sought a separate protected land for them under their own set of rules and governing systems while the Arabs adjusted to newly introduced conditions. The sudden change in the conditions gave rise to clashes among the two communities and led to massive casualties. After the war, in 1947, the United Nations proposed and later passed a partition plan for the whole territory. This plan was enacted to end the British mandate and control the whole dispute. The plan provided for a separate state for Jews, other state for Arabs and the disputed territory including the center of Jerusalem was proposed to be an international territory to be governed under a “special international regime”. The plan was thought to be okay but the destiny had something else in the box for everyone in the state.
The Post-Partition Period (1947-1967)
While the partition plan was happily accepted by the Jewish community, it didn’t go well with the Arabs. They forthrightly rejected the whole partition plan. A day after Israel (Jewish State) proclaimed its independence, the Arabs laid siege on Israel. The Arabs got defeated in the attack but the city of Jerusalem not stood divided. The Western half became a part of Israel whereas the eastern part was captured by Jordan. After this defeat, the Arabs and the Israelis stayed cool for a period of two decades and focused on the development rather than destruction. It was during this period that Israel moved its important offices and governing bodies into the city of Jerusalem which, according to the Israeli law, was the capital of Israel. The peace somewhat prevailed for a period of time but it was not destined to last for a longtime.
The Arab-Israeli War of 1967
The Arabs, once again, bombarded Israel with an all-out attack. This war proved to be the crunch point in the whole dispute as Israel successfully defeated the Arab armies and captured an elephantine amount of land from the Arab countries. The Israel conquered the Eastern part and Western coast of Jerusalem from Jordan, the Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula from Egypt and the Golan Heights from Syria. This was the pivotal moment in the history of Israel as winning such a war boosted up the morale and ended the fear of war among the nationals. The Israelis now stood robust in their territory and the city of Jerusalem, which was the root cause of the conflict, was now with Israel.
The Post-War period & the First Infitada (1987-1993)
The Arab-Israeli War of 1967 gave a strong message to Arabs that Israel was a united and a sturdy nation. Both the sides stayed calm for quite a while. During this period, Jerusalem became a symbolic sight in Israel. The city was now seen as the symbol of victory by the gen-pop. There were several parade and rallies where Jerusalem was highlighted as the star in the history of Israel. In 1980, the Israeli House declared Jerusalem as the united capital of Israel. This initiated a sense of rage among the Palestinians and they launched a movement against Israel rejecting the Israeli claim over the Western part of Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. This movement was called as “Infitada”. The term was coined from Arabic Vocabulary and it means ‘shaking off’ or ‘do away with’. This Infitada was violent in nature and caused multiple deaths.
The Oslo Accords and the Second Infitada (1993-2005)
In 1993, Oslo accords directed Palestinian authorities to govern the West Bank and the Gaza strip. The peace, which scarcely prevailed in all the countries involved, now looked more evasive.Due to the Oslo accords, the situation once again became more vulnerable and tense on both the sides. Both sides were in rage and waited for a trigger. This trigger came in the form of Ariel Sharon. In 2000, Ariel Sharon, an Israeli General, visited a place called Temple Mount by the Jewish and Noble Sanctuary by Arabs. This places contained the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of Rock. This visit escalated the situation and clashes stated to erupt among Israelis and Palestinians. This was the second Infitada. The clashes were violent and aggressive in nature and there was a lot of blood on the streets. Over 3000 Palestinians and 1000 Israelis lost their lives during this five year long violent process.
Never ending War and the Present day Scenario
The war and the dispute never went away from that land after such a bloodshed. The Israel laid its claim over the conquered land. The Palestinians don’t agree with Israel on this as Jerusalem is equally important to them as it is to the Jewish. The other Arab countries too are engaged in war like situation due to this conflict. It is due to this territorial dispute that many brutal terrorist outfits like ISIS were born and went on a rampage multiple times. Enough has been said about this whole issue on international platforms and innumerable movements have been started to restore peace in Israel, Palestine, Gaza and adjoining areas but nothing has worked out as thought. May the people see peace soon.
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