I agree that Israel has committed horrors, but this statement is so completely untrue that I feel compelled to try to summarize the information provided to me through US History throughout my life. "Palestine" never initiated fighting. "Palestine" is not the PLO, or Fatah, or HAMAS. "Palestine" does not have a military. "Palestine" is not a state, or a political entity.
I am not trying to excuse any horrors executed on either side of the temporary demarcation lines, but part of the reason this ongoing violence is so confusing is that many people are unfamiliar with what is actually going on. Many false statements are made about the geography and political history in that part of the world, as well as the groups that are actually doing the fighting. Right now, the fighting is between HAMAS, (the de facto government of the Gaza Strip since they began occupying the area in 2005), and Israel
. It is absolutely impossible to form fair opinions of the situation when the situation is misinterpreted on its most basic level.
Prior to 1918 The geographical areas now called Israel, along with Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, West Bank, Golan Heights, Gaza Strip and parts of Turkey and Iraq. were one geopolitical called Ottoman Syria, and were under Ottoman rule. An area called "Palestine" was never ruled as a single unit. After WWI, the British became the governors of the area. The British
divided the area for administrative purposes, separating the Tranjordan from the specific area they
called "Palestine" from the Roman title, Palestina, which was derived from Philistines (an ancient people group of the region). The area was called British Mandatory Palestine until 1948 when the British turned over rule to the brand new state of Israel.
The problem for the last 64 years is a result from a United Nations degree that was only half enforced.The United Nations supported the declaration of Israel as a state, and, at the time claimed they would also grant an independent state to the Arab population that either refused to assimilate into Israel, or was forced out of Israel. The Arab population declared war on Israel, so the UN refused to support them. These people, the Arab refugees of British Palestine, have never been allowed citizenship in any other countries of the Arab world
, so, basically they have lived as refugees in lands administered by other countries; Egypt governed Gaza, Jordan annexed the West Bank, etc. The Arab countries will govern areas inhabited by the refugees, but they refuse to grant them citizenship or legal rights.
This population of Arab refugees began calling themselves Palestinians in the 1960s, because they originated in British Mandatory Palestine. From 1948 to today, these people are in a similar place in their national identity where Jews were at the turn of the 20th century. In the last 64 years, as a result of being denied citizenship in every country of the Arab world, they have lived as refugees in various places in the middle east. All these places were "occupied" by other states, i.e. Gaza was under Egyptian rule until 1968. (Jordan occupied other areas now considered "Palestinian").
In 1964, while Gaza was under Egyptian rule, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), an internationally designated terrorist organization, was formed. After decades of fighting most of the Arab world (i.e. Lebanon, Jordan, etc.) with terrorist techniques. The defeat of Syria, Jordan and Egypt in the Six Day War of 1967 destroyed the credibility of Arab states that had fought to be patrons for a Palestinian nationalist cause. Israel annexed the Gaza Strip. Even though Israel seized territories (in the formerly "nationalistic" way, like Prussia becoming Germany and Poland, the US gaining all its territories) the UN refused to let Israel claim areas seized in war as part of its governing territory. Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005,
in order to move forward with the peace process by either creating two independent states, or assimilating into one state with equal rights for all citizens.
Since the 1960s there are been many, many clashes with the PLO throughout the Middle East. In Israel, they include the Intifadas. I haven't even mentioned the regions of the West Bank and Golan Heights, etc. It's an incredibly complicated situation.
You may recall the Oslo Accords establishing the Palestinian National Authority? Clearly Israel has been working toward peace, but every single time they make progress, some sort of violence, usually religious in origin, causes a major setback. Sadly, the assassination of Rabin at a Peace Rally in 2003 threw the region once again into chaos. Have you read the news over the last decades showing the US and the UN attempting to make peaceful resolutions in order to stop the wars in the area and give the Palestinian people their own state, at last?
Remember President Carter? President Clinton?
Well, terrorist organizations still
harbor themselves within Palestinian refugee territories, so the UN still views the territories as hostile regions. Hostile regions cannot be granted independence. The people who have become "the Nation of Palestine" are literally sacrificial pawns of zealot terrorists who hate the Western world, and consider any people that aren't part of their version of Islam to be "infidels".
Israel with its current boundaries is landlocked between two areas governed by FATAH on one end, and HAMAS on the other. Israel is attempting negotiations with the UN in order to make the UN keep their promise on states having the right to "defensible borders". A landlocked area between two governments that have been hostile, or are currently hostile, is not "defensible".
Since Israel's withdrawal from Gaza, HAMAS has shot thousands and thousand of rockets and bombs into Israel (as explained in previous posts).Israel isn't randomly picking on the weakling in the corner.
In order for the Palestinians ever to be able to finally declare their independence, and to self-govern, they need to be free of HAMAS and any other terrorist organizations who might harbor among them.
After that the UN will be able to establish borders, and only then, will the UN recognize and support an independent state called Palestine, as a homeland for the Palestinian people.