An Arab state in the Middle East situated in the northeastern portion of the Arabian Peninsula on the Persian Gulf. Although Iraq does not border Israel, it has been an active participant in the Arab-Israeli conflict for much of the period since 1947 and has fought against Israel in the War of Independence (1948—49), the Six-Day War (1967), and the Yom Kippur War (1973). It was the only Arab country that went to war against Israel in 1948 that refused to sign an armistice agreement. During the 1980s and 1990s, Iraq's pan-Arab Ba'athist regime was increasingly associated with the Arab confrontation states. Iraq was among those Arab states that took the lead against Egyptian president Anwar Sadat's overtures to Israel in 1977 and 1978, it opposed the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty of 1979, and it harbored and supported anti-Israel Palestinian terrorist groups. In 1981, Israel destroyed Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor, arguing it was developing nuclear weapons.
   At the same time, during the course of the Iran-Iraq War (from 1980 to the cease-fire of 1988), Baghdad was preoccupied with developments in the gulf area, and the cause against Israel became of much lesser consequence. With the end of gulf hostilities, Israel became increasingly concerned about Iraqi intentions, particularly with the large size, capability, and battle experience of Iraq's military; its ability and willingness to use missiles and chemical and biological warfare in its war with Iran; and its support of the Palestinian cause against Israel.
   The Iraqi attack against and occupation of Kuwait in August 1990 and the crisis that followed confirmed many Israeli fears. During the Persian Gulf War (1991) between Iraq and the international coalition, Iraq launched 39 Scud missiles with conventional warheads in 18 attacks against Israel that killed and wounded Israelis and caused substantial property damage. This unprovoked attack occasioned substantial concern and debate in Israel about an appropriate response. The Yitzhak Shamir-led government decided that it would accede to requests by the United States that it not respond militarily to the aggressive acts by Iraq. Based largely on its Gulf War experience, however, Israel—with U.S. cooperation and assistance—began the development of various mechanisms to improve its capacity to defend against or deter attacks by long-range ballistic missiles.
   Though weakened by international sanctions imposed by the United Nations following the Persian Gulf War, Saddam Hussein's Iraq continued to be considered a military threat by Israel. Specifically, Iraq was believed to be still secretly developing weapons of mass destruction and the capacity to deliver them upon Israel; moreover, despite the sanctions regime, Iraq in the late 1990s became one of the largest benefactors of Palestinian terror against Israel, with Saddam Hussein offering increasingly generous financial packages to the families of young Palestinians who killed themselves in mass-casualty suicide bombings targeting Israeli civilians.
   Iraq's defeat in the second gulf war and Saddam Hussein's removal from power and ultimate capture by the U.S.-led multinational coalition was greeted with relief by Israelis. Nevertheless, there was much uncertainty about the implications for Israel and regional peacemaking over the course of events (including the violence and insurgency) in post-Saddam Iraq.

Historical Dictionary of Israel. .

Look at other dictionaries:

  • IRAQ — IRAQ, country in S.W. Asia (for period prior to 634 C.E. see mesopotamia and babylonia ). The Diaspora of Iraq was one of the most ancient of the Jewish people. The Jews came to Babylon after the destruction of the First Temple (586 B.C.E.), or… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Iraq — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda جمهورية العراق Yumhūriyyat al ‘Irāq كۆماری عێراق Komara Îraqê República de Iraq …   Wikipedia Español

  • Iraq — La grafía culta del nombre del país árabe que se asienta sobre los territorios de la antigua Mesopotamia es Iraq. Esta grafía resulta de aplicar las normas de transcripción del alfabeto árabe al español, según las cuales la letra qāf en la que… …   Diccionario panhispánico de dudas

  • Iraq — country name, 1920, from an Arabic name attested since 6c. for the region known in Gk. as MESOPOTAMIA (Cf. Mesopotamia); often said to be from Arabic araqa, covering notions such as perspiring, deeply rooted, well watered, which may reflect the… …   Etymology dictionary

  • iraq — iraq; iraq·i·an; …   English syllables

  • Iraq — [i räk′, i rak′] country in SW Asia, at the head of the Persian Gulf, coinciding more or less with ancient Mesopotamia: formerly a kingdom, it became a republic in 1958: 169,235 sq mi (438,317 sq km); pop. 16,335,000; cap. Baghdad …   English World dictionary

  • Iraq — For other uses, see Iraq (disambiguation). Republic of Iraq جمهورية العراق (Arabic) …   Wikipedia

  • Iraq — /i rak , i rahk /, n. a republic in SW Asia, N of Saudi Arabia and W of Iran, centering in the Tigris Euphrates basin of Mesopotamia. 22,219,289; 172,000 sq. mi. (445,480 sq. km). Cap.: Baghdad. Also, Irak. * * * Iraq Introduction Iraq Background …   Universalium

  • Iraq — <p></p> <p></p> Introduction ::Iraq <p></p> Background: <p></p> Formerly part of the Ottoman Empire, Iraq was occupied by Britain during the course of World War I; in 1920, it was declared a League… …   The World Factbook

  • iraq — z. Uzaq, uzaqda. İraq olmaq. İraq durmaq. – Gül əkdim, şaxta vurdu; Nə yaman vaxtda vurdu; Bimürvət ovçu məni; Yardan iraqda vurdu. (Bayatı). Mürği ruhum getməz səndən irağa. A. Ə.. İraq düşmək – uzaq düşmək, ayrılmaq, uzaqda olmaq.… …   Azərbaycan dilinin izahlı lüğəti

  • Iraq — Irak جمهورية العراق (ar) Jumhūrīyatu l Irāq (ar) كۆماری عێراق …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.