Arab-Israeli Conflict

Causes for the Creation of Israel


The land of Palestine in the Middle East was the ancient home of the Hebrews (early Jews).  According to Biblical tradition, today's Jews claim the area was given to them through a covenant (promise) with God.  During the era of the Roman Empire, the Jews were expelled from the region.  In moved the Arabs, who in the 600s adopted Islam.  Arabs that settled in Palestine became known as the Palestinians and lived in the the area during centuries of foreign rule, the last being at the hands of the Ottomans.  With the Ottoman defeat in World War I, Palestine came under the mandate (temporary control) of the British.  The British, in turn, gave control of Palestine to the newly created United Nations after World War II.  By that point, many Jews across the world had moved back to their ancestral homeland.  This movement of the late 1800s and early 1900s was called Zionism.  In 1948, the U.N. proposed that Palestine be divided between the Jews (minority of the population) and the Palestinians (majority of the population).  They gave half the land to the Jews. The Jews set up their own country of Israel.  They gave half the land to the Arabs.  The Arabs did not set up their own separate country.  The Arabs never agreed with the U.N. partition.  In 1948, the Arabs comprised 90% of the population; the Jews only 10%.

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