The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is one of the world’s most enduring hostilities, with the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip reaching 53 years. Various attempts have been made to resolve the conflict as part of the Israeli–Palestinian peace process. Public declarations of claims to a Jewish homeland in Palestine, including the 1897 First Zionist Congress and the 1917 Balfour Declaration, created early tension in the region. At the time, the region had a small minority Jewish population, although this was growing via significant Jewish immigration. Following the implementation of the Mandate for Palestine, which included a binding obligation on the British government for the “establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” the tension grew into sectarian conflict between Jews and Arabs need quotation to verify Attempts to solve the early conflict culminated in the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine and the 1947–1949 Palestine war, marking the start of the wider Arab–Israeli conflict. The current Israeli-Palestinian status quo began following Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian territories in the 1967 Six-Day War. The worst violence between Israel and Palestinian groups since 2014 has been seen in recent days, with the conflict escalating over the final Ramadan weekend.
What is happening?
Since mid-April, there have been clashes on the streets of Jerusalem – a city both Israelis and Palestinians consider to be their capital. Over the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which started on 12 April, Israel imposed a limit of 10,000 people gathering for prayers at the Al Aqsa mosque.The mosque is the third most holy site in Islam and is also the site where the Jewish first and second Temples are believed to have been built – known as Temple Mount. Tens of thousands of Muslims were turned back from the mosque, which was condemned by both moderate Israelis and Palestinians across the board.Another reason for the increased tension has been the threat of eviction of Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah district. Jewish settler groups have brought their claim for land and property in the Palestinian neighbourhood, which is based in East Jerusalem, to the Israeli Supreme Court. The EU, UN and the UK government have condemned Israel’s decision.