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MODERN HISTORY OF ISRAEL

ISRAEL/ARAB WARS, PEACE TREATIES and DEFENCE EXPENDITURE

____________________________________________________________


After the collapse of the Roman Empire, the area known as Aeolia Palaestinae (the name Palaestinae was a derivative of the word Philistia and the ancient Philistines who were enemies of the Jews) was primarily ruled by a succession of Muslim rulers. The Turkish Ottoman Empire was the last of these. At the end of the 19th Century, Jews began to immigrate to Palestine in response to mistreatment due primarily to Russian mistraetment. .


Of its neighbours Israel now has peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan but not with Lebanon where Hizbullah is a major force, Syria and Iraq (click here to review the problems) and Gaza which is controlled by Hamas whose objective is the obliteration of Israel and by the PLO in the West Bank.

____________________________________________________________________

.   

1917 the Balfour Declaration promising Jewish statehood in Palestine was sent by the British Home Secretary, Lord Balfour to Lord Rothschild

1948-49  Creation of Israel   (BBC)   The State of Israel was proclaimed on 14 May 1948, the culmination of nearly 2,000 years of hopes by Jewish people that they would one day return to the land from which the Romans expelled them. The Holocaust of European Jewry in the Second World War strengthened their determination.

The Balfour Declaration by the British government in 1917, enshrined in a League of Nations mandate in 1920, had said that a "national home for the Jewish people" would be founded in Palestine, while preserving the "civil and religious" rights of non-Jewish communities there. The British could not reconcile the conflicting principles.

On 29 November 1947, the United Nations General Assembly voted (resolution 181) to partition Palestine between a Jewish and an Arab state, with Jerusalem under an international regime. The Jews agreed but the Arabs did not. They called the declaration of the State of Israel "al-Nakba", the catastrophe.

Inter-communal fighting had preceded the declaration and after it five Arab armies invaded. By the time of an armistice in 1949, the Israelis had extended their territory, leaving Jordan with the West Bank, Egypt with Gaza and Jerusalem divided. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians had fled or had been driven out.

1950’s–1960’s    Israel reprisal operations in response to Arab fedayeen attacks  were raids carried out by the Israel Defense Forces in response to frequent fedayeen terror attacks during which armed Arab militants infiltrated Israel from Syria, Egypt and Jordan to carry out attacks on Israeli civilians and soldiers. Most of Reprisal operations followed raids that resulted in Israeli fatalities. The goal of these operations was to create deterrence and prevent future attacks. Two other factors behind the raids were restoring public morale and training newly formed army units.

1956   Suez War   (BBC)   While it was absorbing thousands of immigrants (the concept of the kibbutz, the communal farm, was becoming familiar to the outside world), Israel was also facing external threats.

In 1956 it decided to act against Palestinian guerrilla incursions from Egypt and to try to remove an Egyptian blockade of its port of Eilat.

A secret agreement was drawn up with Britain and France, which were planning to invade Egypt to regain control of the Suez Canal.

An Israeli attack into the Egyptian Sinai desert would be used as a pretext for a Franco-British intervention under the guise of separating the warring parties.

Israel's attack was successful. However, the British and French were forced to withdraw under US and Soviet pressure and the plan unravelled. Israel then had to pull back itself.

The war had shown the strength of the Israeli army and, in particular, of its armoured forces, and that Israel would use the principle of attack as a means of defence.

1967   The Six-Day War (BBC) The Israelis had used the 10 years since the Sinai invasion to build up their air force. When Egypt's President Nasser asked for the UN monitoring force in the Sinai to be removed, sent an army there himself, closed the Straits of Tiran (blockading Eilat again) and called for Arab action against Israel, the Israelis saw this as a cause for war.

They launched their air force with devastating effect in a pre-emptive strike against Egypt and followed up with victories over Jordan and Syria. The war ended after six days, with Israel in control of the Sinai, Gaza, the West Bank, the Golan Heights and Jerusalem.

But despite Israeli jubilation, the war did not settle the issue between Israel and its neighbours and the Palestinians.

It led to Security Council resolution 242, the basis of subsequent efforts to trade land for peace. The resolution called for an Israeli withdrawal from "territories occupied in the recent conflict" and for all states in the region to be able to "live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries". It also led to Israel beginning the settlement of the "territories occupied".

1967-1970  War of Attrition  (Wikipedia)  involved fighting between Israel and Egypt, Jordan, PLO and their allies from 1967 to 1970.  Following the 1967 Six-Day War, no serious diplomatic efforts tried to resolve the issues at the heart of the Arab–Israeli conflict. In September 1967, the Arab states formulated the "three nos" policy, barring peace, recognition or negotiations with Israel. Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser believed that only military initiative would compel Israel or the international community to facilitate a full Israeli withdrawal from Sinai, and hostilities soon resumed along the Suez Canal.

These initially took the form of limited artillery duels and small-scale incursions into Sinai, but by 1969 the Egyptian Army judged itself prepared for larger-scale operations. On March 8, 1969, Nasser proclaimed the official launch of the War of Attrition, characterized by large-scale shelling along the Suez Canal, extensive aerial warfare and commando raids. Hostilities continued until August 1970 and ended with a ceasefire, the frontiers remaining the same as when the war began, with no real commitment to serious peace negotiations.

1968-1982  Palestinian insurgency in South Lebanon  (Wikipedia)  was a conflict initiated by Palestinian militants based in South Lebanon upon Israel since 1968, which evolved into the wider Lebanese Civil War in 1975 and lasted until the expulsion of the Palestinian Liberation Organization from Lebanon in the 1982 Lebanon War. Though the PFLP and some other Palestinian factions continued a low-level military activities against Israel from Lebanese soil, after 1982, the conflict is considered to have shifted from Palestinian-Israeli to Israel-Hezbollah conflict. The South Lebanon insurgency, which peaked through the 1970’s, claimed hundreds of Israeli and Palestinian military and civilian lives, and is considered among the key elements to starting the Lebanese Civil War.

1973   Yom Kippur War   (BBC)   Egypt could not accept Israeli occupation of the Sinai and, after two years of artillery duels, launched an audacious surprise attack across the Suez Canal on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year, the Day of Atonement. Israeli forces were at their least prepared.

The Egyptians gained a bridgehead across the canal but were eventually outflanked when the Israelis crossed to the west of the canal. Egypt accepted a ceasefire. In the meantime, the Israelis had counter-attacked against the Syrians who had taken the Golan Heights and forced them back, approaching Damascus itself.

Although Israel had won, it had been taken by surprise and was shocked. Its chief of staff and head of intelligence resigned. It also realised that the day of the tank was over, with so many destroyed by anti-tank missiles.

Eventually, both Egypt and Israel decided that they had a basis for making peace.

1982  First South Lebanon conflict   (BBC)   With Egypt a treaty partner and Syria and Jordan quiet, Israel turned its attention to the Palestinian guerrillas. Many of them had grouped in Lebanon after being expelled from Jordan by King Hussein, and began attacking Israel from there. The Palestinians, led by Yasser Arafat and his Palestine Liberation Organisation, would not recognise Israel and Israel would not support a Palestinian state.

In 1982, Prime Minister Begin launched "Operation Peace for Galilee", which was an invasion of Lebanon, taking the Israelis right up to and into Beirut.

Yasser Arafat and his fighters were forced to depart for Tunisia. But the operation went wrong for Israel. It was condemned by world - and much of its own - opinion when Christian fighters massacred hundreds of Palestinian civilians as the Israeli army stood by, and it failed to make a political agreement with the Christians stick. It pulled back to an enclave north of their border

1979  EGYPT–ISRAEL PEACE TREATY  (Wikipedia) The Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty was signed in Washington, D.C., United States on 26 March 1979, following the 1978 Camp David Accords. The Egypt–Israel treaty was signed by Egyptian president Anwar Sadat and Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin, and witnessed by United States president Jimmy Carter.

The main features of the treaty were mutual recognition, cessation of the state of war that had existed since the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, normalization of relations and the complete withdrawal by Israel of its armed forces and civilians from the Sinai Peninsula which Israel had captured during the Six-Day War in 1967. Egypt agreed to leave the area demilitarized. The agreement also provided for the free passage of Israeli ships through the Suez Canal, and recognition of the Strait of Tiran and the Gulf of Aqaba as international waterways.

The agreement notably made Egypt the first Arab state to officially recognize Israel.

1985 - 2000 Second South Lebanon conflict   (Wikipedia)  Warfare between the Israel Defense Forces and its Lebanese Christian proxy militias against Lebanese Muslim guerrillas led by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah, within what was defined by Israelis as the "Security Zone" in South Lebanon.  It can also refer to the continuation of conflict in this region, beginning with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) operations transfer to South Lebanon, following Black September in the Kingdom of Jordan. Historical tension between Palestinian refugees and Lebanese factions fomented the violent Lebanese internal political struggle between many different factions. In light of this, the South Lebanon conflict can be seen as a part of the Lebanese Civil War.1985-2000  

1987-1993   First Intifada  (BBC)  In the 20 years since the war of 1967, the Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza had not reconciled itself to Israeli rule. Open revolt broke out in November 1987, with the intifada, or uprising.

The Palestinians were largely unarmed, so the enduring picture of the intifada is one of young men and boys throwing stones and rocks at Israeli troops.

The intifada was a reminder to Israelis of what their first Prime Minister David Ben Gurion had said in 1938: "A people which fights against the usurpation of its land will not tire so easily."

However, the Israeli settlements continued to spread out across the territories occupied in 1967. Some were settled by visionaries quoting Biblical justification, some by families wanting less expensive housing and some by those who wanted Isarel to keep a buffer zone west of the River Jordan.

1993  Oslo Agreement (BBC)  The intifada had rallied the Palestinian people but the PLO also realised that both this method of opposing the Israelis and its own armed struggle would not be enough to bring political benefits.

The Palestinian National Council (a government-in-exile) had in 1988 accepted the two-state solution, as envisaged by the UN resolution 181 in 1947. It renounced terrorism and started to seek a negotiated settlement based on Resolution 242, which called for Israel to withdraw from territory captured in the 1967 war, and Resolution 338.

Secret talks encouraged by the Norwegian government took place and these resulted in a Declaration of Principles. This said they had agreed it was "time to put an end to decades of confrontation and conflict, recognise their mutual legitimate and political rights, and strive to live in peaceful coexistence and mutual dignity and security and achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement".

It called for a five-year transitional period in which Israeli forces would withdraw from occupied territories and a Palestinian Authority would be set up, leading to a permanent settlement. It was signed on the White House lawn in September 1993 in the presence of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat. It was followed by a peace treaty with Jordan in 1994.

1994  JORDAN-ISRAEL PEACE TREATY  (Wikipedia) The Israel–Jordan peace treaty or in full "Treaty of Peace Between the State of Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan" was signed in 1994. The signing ceremony took place at the southern border crossing of Arabah on 26 October 1994. Jordan was the second Arab country, after Egypt, to sign a peace accord with Israel.

The Treaty settled relations between the two countries, adjusted land and water disputes, and provided for broad cooperation in tourism and trade. It included a pledge that neither Jordan nor Israel would allow its territory to become a staging ground for military strikes by a third country.

2000-2004

2000 Second Intifada  (BBC)    After the Oslo agreement, Yasser Arafat returned to Palestinian territory, the Palestinian Authority was established and Israeli withdrawals began. However, the agreement was denounced by hardline Israelis and Palestinians as a sell-out and it did not take hold.

Opposition to the agreement was led on the Palestinian side by the Islamic militant group Hamas and the deadly phenonenom of the suicide bomber emerged, in which dozens of Israeli civilians were killed. Israeli counter-strikes killed many Palestinians.

President Bill Clinton got Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak together at Camp David in 2000 but the final-status issues of Jerusalem and the future of Palestinian refugees broke the talks.

By 2000, a second intifada was being openly fought and Israel re-occupied the West Bank.

2005  Gaza Withdrawal  (BBC)  By now, the former general Ariel Sharon was Israeli prime minister and he abandoned the policy he had followed all his life, that of holding onto the West Bank and Gaza at all costs.

Instead, he announced that Israel would leave the Gaza Strip and would build a wall and fence to defend itself against suicide bombers and separate the Palestinian territories from Israel.

The withdrawal went ahead, but Gaza later became the scene of a power struggle between the Palestinian Authority, representing the old guard of the secular PLO, and the newer Islamic-inspired forces of Hamas. Hamas prevailed.

2006  Second Lebanon War  (BBC)  Israel had had experience of modern missile warfare in 1991, when Iraq fired Scud missiles at it during the war over Kuwait.

In 2006, it was under rocket attack again and had an ineffective response.

After eight Israeli soldiers had been killed and two captured by the Lebanese group Hezbollah, Israel and Hezbollah engaged in a 33-day war in which Hezbollah fired a hail of rockets into Israel and the Israelis bombed Lebanese towns, villages and infrastructure but made little headway in ground operations.

The war ended inconclusively but with Hezbollah largely intact. A new element had also been introduced into Israel's wars. It accused Iran of arming Hezbollah (and Hamas).

2008-2009  Gaza War   (Wikipedia) The Gaza War, known as Operation Cast Lead by Israel and the Battle of al-Furq by Hamas, was a three-week armed conflict between Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and Israel that began on 27 December 2008 and ended on 18 January 2009 in a unilateral ceasefire.

Israel's stated goal was to stop rocket fire into Israel and weapons smuggling into the Gaza strip. Israeli forces attacked police stations, military targets including weapons caches and suspected rocket firing teams, as well as political and administrative institutions in the opening assault, striking in the densely populated cities of Gaza, Khan Yunis and Rafah. After hostilities broke out, Palestinian groups fired rockets in response to what they characterized as "massacres".

2012   Gaza War (Wikipedia)   Known as Operation Pillar of Defense by Israel was an eight-day Israel Defense Forces (IDF) operation in the Hamas-governed Gaza Strip, which began on 14 November 2012 with the killing of Ahmed Jabari, chief of the Gaza military wing of Hamas.

The operation was preceded by a period with a number of mutual Israeli–Palestinian responsive attacks.  According to the Israeli government, the operation began in response to the launch of over 100 rockets at Israel during a 24-hour period, an attack by Gaza militants on an Israeli military patrol jeep within Israeli borders, and an explosion caused by IEDs, which occurred near Israeli soldiers, on the Israeli side of a tunnel passing under the Israeli West Bank barrier. The Israeli government stated that the aims of the military operation were to halt rocket attacks against civilian targets originating from the Gaza Strip and to disrupt the capabilities of militant organizations. The Palestinians blamed the Israeli government for the upsurge in violence, accusing the IDF of attacks on Gazan civilians in the days leading up to the operation. They cited the blockade of the Gaza Strip and the occupation of West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as the reason for rocket attacks.

2014  Gaza War  (Wikipedia) known as Operation Protective Edge by Israel was a military operation launched by Israel on 8 July 2014 in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. Following the IDF Operation Brother's Keeper, Hamas started rocket attacks, targeting Israeli cities and infrastructure, resulting in seven weeks of Israeli operations. The Israeli strikes, the Palestinian rocket attacks and the ground fighting resulted in the death of thousands of people, the vast majority of them Gazans.

The stated aim of the Israeli operation was to stop rocket fire from Gaza into Israel, which increased after an Israeli crackdown on Hamas in the West Bank was launched following the 12 June kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers by two Hamas members. Conversely, Hamas's goal was to bring international pressure to bear to lift Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip, end Israel's offensive, obtain a third party to monitor and guarantee compliance with a ceasefire, release Palestinian prisoners and overcome its political isolation. Some claim Israel was the first, on 13 June, to break the ceasefire agreement with Hamas that had been in place since November 2012.  However, Israel argues its air raids on Gaza are responses to rocket fire from the Gaza Strip

DEFENCE EXPENDITURE


















































LINKS

Middle East Research and Information Project -Primer on Palestine, Israel and the Arab-Israeli Conflict

HISTORY OF THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT

WIKIPEDIA    - very big important site

Stockholm
International Peace Research Institute

2016 Fact Sheet (for 2015)
Top 15 Defence Budgets 2015

Rank

Country

 Spending



$ Bn.

% of GDP


World total

1676

2.3

1

United States

590

3.3

2

China

215

1.9

3

Saudi Arabia

87.2

13.7 (1)

4

Russia

66.4

  5.4  (3)

5

United Kingdom

55.5

2

6

India

51.3

2.3

7

France

50.9

2.1

8

Japan

43.6

1.4

9

Germany

39.4

1.2

10

South Korea

36.4

2.6

11

Brazil

24.6

1.4

12

Italy

23.8

1.3

13

Australia

23.6

1.9

14

United Arab
Emirates

22.8

5.7 (2)

15

ISRAEL

16.1

5.4 (3)

Stockholm
International Peace Research Institute
Mliitary Expenditure per Capita

2016 Fact Sheet (for 2015)
Top 15 Defence Budgets 2015

Rank

Country

Amount (USD)

1

Saudi Arabia

6909

2

Singapore

2385

3

ISRAEL

1882

4

United States

1859

5

Kuwait

1289

6

Norway

1245

7

Greece

1230

8

United Kingdom

1066

9

France

977

10

Bahrain

912

11

Australia

893

12

Brunei

866

13

Luxmbourg

809

14

Denmark

804

15

Netherlands

759

Stockholm
International Peace Research Institute

2016 Fact Sheet (for 2015)
Top 15 Defence Budgets 2015

Rank

Country

 Spending



$ Bn.

% of GDP


World total

1676

2.3

1

Saudi Arabia

87.2

13.7 (1)

2

United Arab
Emirates

22.8

5.7 (2)

3

ISRAEL

16.1

5.4 (3)

4

Russia

66.4

5.4 (3)

4

South Korea

36.4

2.6

5

United States

590

3.3

6

India

51.3

2.3

7

France

50.9

2.1

8

United Kingdom

55.5

2

9

China

215

1.9

10

Australia

23.6

1.9

11

Japan

43.6

1.4

12

Brazil

24.6

1.4

13

Italy

23.8

1.3

14

Germany

39.4

1.2

THE

INCREDIBLE

STORY OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE