Arab-Israeli Conflict

   The Arab-Israeli conflict has been and continues to be the central concern and focus of Israel and affects all aspects of national life. In the period prior to Israel's independence, the Arabs of Palestine actively opposed Zionist efforts to create the Jewish state through attacks on Jewish settlers and settlements, riots, and demonstrations and by opposition to Jewish immigration (see ALIYA) and land purchases. Arab opposition to the United Nations Partition Plan (see PALESTINE PARTITION PLAN) of November 1947 was followed by a de facto war in Palestine until the termination of the British mandate. With the formal end of Great Britain's role and the establishment of an independent Israel in May 1948, the first of seven major Arab-Israeli wars began. Israel and the Arabs have fought in Israel's War of Independence (1948—49); the Six-Day War (1967); the War of Attrition (1969-70); the Yom Kippur War (1973); the War in Lebanon (1982); and the Second Lebanon War (2006). In addition, there have been countless border and terrorist incidents and strikes against Israeli and Jewish targets abroad. Beginning in December 1987, Israel was confronted with widespread Palestinian disturbances (intifada) in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip; a second round of widespread Palestinian violence and terror, known as the Al-Aksa intifada, began in late September 2000. There was also a war of attrition between Hezbollah and other Muslim extremist groups and Israeli and Israel-backed forces prior to Israel's May 2000 withdrawal from southern Lebanon, as well as ongoing terrorism by such militant Palestinian factions as Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad against Israelis in the Occupied Territories and in major Israeli cities.
   Substantial efforts to end the conflict and achieve peace, often involving outside (especially from the United States) efforts, have yielded armistice agreements (1949); cease-fires at the end of the several conflicts; disengagement of forces agreements in 1974 and 1975; the Camp David Accords of 1978; the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty of 1979; the Declaration of Principles and the Oslo Accords and with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) beginning in 1993; and the Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty of 1994. While Israel is formally at peace with Egypt and Jordan and has a de facto working arrangement with some other Arab states and with the PLO, permanent resolution of the conflict has eluded Israel.
   See also Annapolis Conference; Persian Gulf War (1991).

Historical Dictionary of Israel. .

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