What are Some Causes of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict developed over land.
Israeli and Palestinian groups both believe the land they are fighting over belongs to them based upon accounts in their holy texts.
Jewish migration into Palestine was a result of Nazi persecution.
Hasidic man praying at the Kotel (Wailing Wall).
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  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
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  • Last Modified Date: 31 March 2014
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The primary causes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict involve a dispute over the land that the Jews call Israel and the Palestinians call Palestine. Both groups believe that they have a God-given right to the territory, with both sides claiming rights based on the pact God made with Abraham in the Bible’s Old Testament. In fact, both opponents were once part of the same group of people who inhabited what was considered the Promised Land.

Some believe the original conflict begun because the Jews were exiled from the area in ancient times when it was conquered by the Romans. Later, it was taken over again by the Arabs, who can still be found there today. The Jews created a movement in which they would relocate to the land they felt was given to them by God based on the accounts in the Bible. This occurred with little regard to the Palestinian population that was already residing there. Disputes over who had rights to the land followed.


Great Britain had control over the Palestinian land and granted the Jews permission to emigrate, but this was revoked as riots from the Arab people became increasingly violent and hostile. When the Holocaust occurred and more than 6 million Jews were killed by the Nazis in Germany, Poland, and other areas in Europe, Great Britain was petitioned to allow the Jewish people to begin migrating into Palestine once again. This period was when the Israeli-Palestinian conflict escalated into the nearly constant fighting of today.

The Jewish people once again began taking over parts of the Palestinian territory and established what is now Israel. This led to war breaking out in the years 1956, 1967, 1973, and 1982. Since that time, there have been various terrorist attacks and battles over areas of land within the region, especially the Gaza Strip. Since Israel became a nation in 1948, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have been relocated as refugees in various locations in the Middle East.

Palestinians have used violent force during the course of the conflict in an attempt to overtake the Jews, reclaim the territory, and allow the refugees to return to their former land. Although terrorist groups are responsible for many of the attacks against Israel, most Arabs there live in poverty and poor living conditions. There have been a number of peace treaties that both sides tried to implement, but none have withstood the test of time in maintaining peace in the region. This is due, in part, to repeated terrorist attacks and continued pushes for more land by both sides.


Discuss this Article

Post 10

In simple terms, why don't you put it like this: Nazis killed Jews. The Holocaust, or whatever you name it, the Palestinians extended sympathy towards them, gave them a place to live, food, etc., and Israel paid the Palestinians back by occupying their territory and killing them.

Now Palestine is fighting for its land and rights. and you call them terrorists. If Israel kills children in Palestine, nobody questions them. What would have been the reaction if someone gave me a place in their home to live for a time, and then after time passes, I throw them out of their home with their family and children and claim their house as my own?

Post 6

I have to write a paper explaining how to fix these problems here. I have no idea. I believe there is no solution.

Post 5

Israel conflicts with Hamas, but both sides damage the Palestinian public. Hamas is a terrorist group, but Palestinians are not terrorist.

Due to this conflict, innocent people and babies are harmed.

Post 4

@burcidi-- I believe that's the issue of water rights. If I remember correctly, much of the water sources in the region are currently in Palestinian territory (West Bank and Gaza Strip) but most of the water is used by Israel.

Water is already a rare resource in the Middle East and this area in particular doesn't have much water. So basically, there is a fight over water sources and that's adding to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Does anyone else want to add to this?

Post 3

My teacher mentioned in class something about water being a cause of this conflict but she didn't talk much about it.

How is water a cause of the Palestinian and Israeli conflict?

Post 2

The Israeli and Palestinian conflict is about land but it has gotten so complicated now. It's not simply about who the land really belongs to, but also the methods both parties have been using to reclaim the land.

Palestinians have been resorting to violence and so have Israelis. Israel also continues to build settlements which some view as illegal since the area of Israel was already drawn out in the wars.

I personally think that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has also become a conflict of identity now. Neither side wants to give up anything which doesn't make reaching an agreement possible.

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