The Israeli Independence Day

13 May 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

Independence Hall in Tel Aviv © Deror avi

Independence Hall in Tel Aviv © Deror avi

The Israeli Declaration of Independence took place on May 14, 1948 or on 5 Iyar 5708, according to the Hebrew calendar, in the Independence Hall of the Israeli de jure capital city Tel Aviv, mostly as a direct result of the Holocaust and the Évian Conference. On the same day, the British Mandatory Palestine ended. The Independence Day (Hebrew “Jom haAtzma’ut” for “Day of Independence”) was introduced in the following year 1949 as a reminder of the proclamation of the state by David Ben-Gurion.   read more…

Arab–Israeli and Israeli-Palestinian conflict

6 January 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Editorial, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  1987 minutes

© Oncenawhile

© Oncenawhile

(Latest update: 23 August 2022) The Arab–Israeli conflict is the political tension, military conflicts and disputes between a number of Arab countries and Israel. The roots (European colonial period, Ottoman Empire, widespread Antisemitism in Europe, Jews in the Russian Empire, Baron Edmond James de Rothschild (Jewish land purchase in Palestine), Theodor Herzl, Jewish National Fund (Israel Bonds), timeline of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, World War I, Sykes–Picot Agreement (San Remo conference, Mandate for Palestine, UN Charter, Chapter XII – International Trusteeship System, Article 80 (commonly known as the “Palestine Article” used by both conflict parties, Israel and Palestine, to create the wildest interpretations, speculations and conspiracy theories to assert the respective alleged right to the total land area), McMahon–Hussein Correspondence), Balfour Declaration, World War II, The Holocaust (International Holocaust Remembrance Day), Évian Conference, Mandatory Palestine, Forced displacement, and United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine) of the modern Arab–Israeli conflict (or the history of collective failure) are bound in the rise of Zionism and Arab nationalism towards the end of the 19th century. Territory regarded by the Jewish people as their historical homeland is also regarded by the Pan-Arab movement as historically and currently belonging to the Palestinians, and in the Pan-Islamic context, as Muslim lands. The sectarian conflict between Palestinian Jews and Arabs emerged in the early 20th century, peaking into a full-scale civil war in 1947 and transforming into the First Arab–Israeli War in May 1948 following the Israeli Declaration of Independence (Nakba and the assassination of UN mediator Folke Bernadotte by the terror organization Lehi/Stern gang. Among them, the later Israeli PM Yitzhak Shamir). Large-scale hostilities mostly ended with the cease-fire agreements after the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Ramadan War, or October War. Peace agreements were signed between Israel and Egypt in 1979, resulting in Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula and abolishment of the military governance system in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, in favor of Israeli Civil Administration and consequent unilateral, internationally not recognized, annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights and East Jerusalem. Even when the text is about 556 pages long, it is just a summary. The multitude of links point out that there is a lot more to learn in detail. At first, it is a timeline of the major developments in the region and it leads to today’s challenges. The starting point is the view of the international community, especially the European Union and North America, on the conflict, enriched with excursions into the ideas, convictions, believes, and thoughts of the direct and indirect involved parties to the conflict.   read more…

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Theme Week Palestine – Beit Hanoun

27 December 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  8 minutes

© Lencer/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Lencer/cc-by-sa-3.0

Beit Hanoun is a city on the northeast edge of the Gaza Strip with a population of 49,000. It is located by the Hanoun stream, 6 km north of Gaza City, 5 km east of Beit Lahia, and just 6 kilometers west of the Israeli town of Sderot. There are twelve secondary, primary and agricultural schools in Beit Hanoun and an agricultural college which is related to al-Azhar University – Gaza. There is a medical center and hospital in the city and several clinics mostly managed by the United Nations.   read more…

Theme Week Palestine

25 December 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  14 minutes

Bethlehem - Church of the Nativity © flickr.com - Neil Ward/cc-by-2.0

Bethlehem – Church of the Nativity © flickr.com – Neil Ward/cc-by-2.0

Palestine is a de jure sovereign state in the Middle East claiming the West Bank (bordering Israel and Jordan) and Gaza Strip (bordering Israel and Egypt) with East Jerusalem as the designated capital although its administrative center is located in Ramallah (Arab–Israeli conflict). Most of the areas claimed by the State of Palestine have been occupied by Israel since 1967 in the consequence of the Six-Day War. The population is at 4.7 million. The State of Palestine is recognized by 136 UN members and since 2012 has a status of a non-member observer state in the United Nations – which amounts to a de facto, or implicit, recognition of statehood.   read more…

Israeli settlements

3 February 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  9 minutes

Jerusalem barrier 2007 © The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

Jerusalem barrier 2007 © The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

Israeli settlements are Jewish Israeli civilian communities built on lands occupied by Israel since the 1967 Six-Day War. Such settlements currently exist in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and in the Golan Heights. Settlements previously existed in the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza Strip until Israel evacuated the Sinai settlements following the 1979 Israel-Egypt peace agreement and from the Gaza Strip in 2005 under Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan. Israel dismantled 18 settlements in the Sinai Peninsula in 1982, and all 21 in the Gaza Strip and 4 in the West Bank in 2005, but continues to both expand its settlements and settle new areas in the West Bank, despite pressure to desist from the international community (the Gulf States do not speak of “Israeli settlements” but of “Israeli colonies“. On closer inspection, the designation fits far better).   read more…

Rafah in the Gaza Strip

8 January 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  6 minutes

Gaza Strip map © Gringer/cc-by-sa-3.0

Gaza Strip map © Gringer/cc-by-sa-3.0

Rafah is a Palestinian city and refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip. It is the district capital of the Rafah Governorate, located 30 kilometers (19 mi) south of Gaza City. Rafah’s population of 153,000 (2014) is overwhelmingly made up of Palestinian refugees. Rafah camp and Tall as-Sultan camp form separate localities. When Israel withdrew from the Sinai in 1982, Rafah was split into a Gazan part and an Egyptian part, dividing families, separated by barbed-wire barriers. The core of the city was destroyed by Israel and Egypt to create a large buffer zone.   read more…

Gaza City in Palestine

23 February 2013 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  7 minutes

Gaza City © Mr.david.w/cc-by-sa-3.0

Gaza City © Mr.david.w/cc-by-sa-3.0

Gaza, also referred to as Gaza City, is a Palestinian city in the Gaza Strip, with a population of about 450,000, making it the largest city in the Palestinian territories. Inhabited since at least the 15th century BC, Gaza has been dominated by several different peoples and empires throughout its history. The Philistines made it a part of their pentapolis after the Ancient Egyptians had ruled it for nearly 350 years. Under the Romans and later the Byzantines, Gaza experienced relative peace and its port flourished. In 635 AD, it became the first city in Palestine to be conquered by the Rashidun army and quickly developed into a centre of Islamic law. However, by the time the Crusaders invaded the city in the late 11th century, it was in ruins. In later centuries, Gaza experienced several hardships—from Mongol raids to floods and locusts, reducing it to a village by the 16th century, when it was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire. During the first half of Ottoman rule, the Ridwan dynasty controlled Gaza and under them the city went through an age of great commerce and peace.   read more…

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