Israel-Palestine: Four ‘crucial’ points concerning conflict explained

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Last Saturday, an autistic Palestinian man was shot and killed while travelling to his special needs school. Israeli’s police said officers suspected 32-year-old Iyad Halaq to be carrying a weapon.

They opened fire after Mr Halaq failed to obey their orders to stop, killing him.

He was later found to be unarmed.

Benny Gantz, the Israeli Defence Minister, expressed regret over the shooting.

He said: “We are sorry about the incident in which Iyad Halaq was shot, and we of course share in the grief of his family.

“I am sure this issue will be quickly investigated and conclusions will be drawn.”

The Israel-Palestine conflict has been raging for years.

Britain took control of the area known as Palestine after the Ottoman Empire was defeated in World War 1.

The land was inhabited by a Jewish minority and Arab majority.

Disturbances began when the international community gave Britain the task of creating a “national home in Palestine for Jewish people” and the state of Israel was formed in 1948, after the horrors of World War 2.

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While Jewish people viewed the land as their ancestral home, Palestinian Arabs also claimed the land and opposed the move.

Violence and struggle over control of the land between the two parties has dominated the region ever since.

During the 2014 BBC Sounds podcast “Beyond Belief: Archaeology and Religion” Broadcaster Ernie Rea spoke to Jeffery Smith, a Christian Zionist.

Zionism was a movement started in the 19th century that promoted Jewish immigration to Palestine in an effort to form a Jewish state.


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Mr Jeffrey suggested that at the core of the issue rested four main principles.

He said: “Right at this time there is the negotiation between Israel and the Palestinians.

“There are really four crucial points which are the right of the return of the refugees.

“There are the settlements.

“And, there are the boundaries.

“But there is fourthly the status of Jerusalem.”

Full-blown war in Israel didn’t start until Britain’s withdrawal from the region in 1948.

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were forced out of their homes in what is known as Al Nakba, or the “Catastrophe”.

An agreement has never been reached and skirmishes still persist in the border regions.

Projectiles are also often fired into each territory, with civilian deaths common.

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