It has been sixty two years since the United Nations partitioned the territory in the Middle East known as Paelestina, to encourage the formation of an Arab and a Jewish state; and until know, violence, inequality and constant hostilities among Jews and Arabs continues to hamper the possibilityof a solution to the historical and religious conflict in what is probably the most volatile region in the world. The Palestinian-Israeli question has become one of the most controversial issues on the international agenda nowadays and its origins can be dated since the 19th century during of the Ottoman and British Empires and the time of the Zionist pioneers. In 1948 the formation of the stateof Israel sparked the Arab-Israeli war which ended with the 1949 Armistice Agreements. However, this agreement only marked the beginning of a series of wars and failed attempts of negotiation. Following events as the Suez Canal war of 1956, the 1967 war (better known as the Six-Day war), the Yom Kippur War in 1973, and even the recent Gaza war in 2008, have marked an escalade of violence andcrisis among the population, primarily to the Palestinians; most live stateless primarily as refugees. People are getting less and less optimistic as peace negotiations continue to fail and a future solution seems distant.
A major international involvement as taken place as both parties continues demands increase. Examples have been the Road Map to Peace proposal by the Quartet of Power ( UnitedStates, United Nations, Russia and the European Union), the Arab Peace Initiative and the recent Geneva Initiative. Yet, a misunderstanding among the neighbor Arab countries in the Middle East, a non firm United States as mediator, the immoderate political wings in Israel and extremists in Palestine continue to hamper the peace process.
In this brief essay, rather than an overview of thehistorical conflict, I will try to address its evolution since the year 2000, when negotiations known as Camp David II failed, and expose some of the reasons why the peace process has driven to what we see today in the Holy Land.
There are three key issues that I will address in the current development of the conflict to explain in my opinion the reasons behind an Israeli and a PalestinianCause: a) The Second Intifada. b) The Disengagement Plan. c) The Gaza War (2008). All these events are related to violence and political shifts among parties that have affected the peace process directly. The refugee problem and the settlement process would not be addressed deeply since my intention is to focus on the violence and political moves as the deterrent and motor at the same time, ofthe negotiations.
The second intifada
Due to the failure in the negotiations at Camp David and the non-recognition of the Oslo accord by the Prime Minister of Israel, Ariel Sharon, the second mass uprising of the Palestinians, known as the Intifada, broke out. It is important to mention because it not only was a movement against the Israelis, but gave the pout to the change of power in the PA(Palestinian Authority) and a “step forward to a possible solution”. It also gave the Palestinians international support, as their case was being exposed and more evident to the international community.
The official beginning of the mass uprising occurred after the Likud leader, Sharon, attended to the Temple Mount, on September 28. It is one of the most important religious sites for the Muslims inthe Old city of Jerusalem, it includes the Dome of the Rock, the oldest existing Islamic building in the world. It was supposed to be a normal visit, but it resulted in the declaration of Ofir Akouins, a Likud spokesman, that said that “under Likud government it would remain under Israeli sovereignity. Then after several violent scenes, Israel launched a heavy offensive over the Palestinians....