International Relations

Israel is concentrating its efforts in the West Bank

  • Israel carried out a military operation in the occupied West Bank, similar to previous large-scale operations.
  • This strike has resulted in Palestinian casualties.

The West Bank and Its Importance

  • The West Bank is a landlocked territory in Western Asia that makes up the majority of the Palestinian territories.
  • Jordan, the Dead Sea, Israel (south, west, and north), and the Mediterranean coast form its geographical borders.
  • Anti-Semitism as State Policy: Several theocratic countries, notably the Arab world, the self-proclaimed caliphate ‘Turkiye,’ and even Pakistan, have publicly expressed anti-Jewish sentiment.
  • Denial of Access: As a world micro-minority, Jews have been denied access to their country.

Understanding the Israel-Palestine Conflict

  • Historical Background: The land at issue was ruled by the Ottoman Empire and then by the British Empire.
  • Palestinian Aspirations: Palestinians, Arabs from the region, want to establish a state called Palestine in the region.
  • Land and Control Conflict: A dispute between Israelis and Palestinians about territorial ownership and governance.
  • Jews escaping persecution in Europe hoped to build a Jewish state on what they thought to be their ancestral homeland.
  • Arab Resistance: Arabs resisted, claiming the region known as Palestine at the time as their own.
  • The Balfour Declaration, issued in 1917, proclaimed the United Kingdom’s support for the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine.
  • Arab opposition to the proclamation resulted in rioting and increased tensions.

West Bank Jewish Immigration

  • Thousands of Jews immigrated to Palestine throughout the 1920s and 1930s, according to migration statistics.
  • Arab Opposition: Palestinian Arabs urged that the UK stop Jewish emigration, which resulted in violent occurrences.
  • The League of Nations issued the British Mandate for Palestine in 1923, tasked the UK with creating a Jewish sovereign homeland.
  • Partition Proposal: The United Kingdom proposed partitioning Palestine into Jewish and Arab republics in 1936.

Involvement of the UN in the Conflict:

  • The subject of Palestine was presented to the UN in 1947, resulting in a partition plan.
  • Proposals for Peace: The United Nations proposed two independent nations with economic cooperation or a single bi-national state with autonomous Jewish and Palestinian districts.
  • Arab Invasion and Israeli Independence: When Israel declared independence in 1948, Arab countries immediately invaded.
  • Changes in area: Under the UN decision, Israel gained some of the area designated for Palestinian Arabs, notably the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Resolving the Conflict:

  • Two-State Solution Concept: The two-state solution seeks to build coexisting Israeli and Palestinian states in the region.
  • The Solution’s Difficulty: The two-state solution has not been realised over the decades.
  • The establishment of separate states for Israelis and Palestinians addresses the underlying source of the conflict.

Challenges to the Two-State Solution

(1) Borders:

  • Drawing the Lines: There is no agreement on how to determine the borders.
  • Some say that the borders before the 1967 Israeli-Arab war should be used.
  • Settlements in the West Bank: The presence of Israeli settlements in the West Bank complicates the border question.

(2) Question of Jerusalem:

  • Both Israel and the Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capital.
  • The overlapping of sacred sites makes it difficult to divide Jerusalem into Israeli and Palestinian areas.

(3) Refugee Issue:

  • Palestinian Refugees: During the 1948 war, a large number of Palestinians became refugees.
  • Right of Return: Around 5 million Palestinians and their descendants demand the right to return, which Israel denies.

(4) Security Concerns:

  • Hamas Harassment: Israel faces security concerns from Hamas, the terrorist organisation that controls the Gaza Strip.
  • Palestinian Attacks: Palestinians are also concerned about their safety as they fight to stop foreign military occupation.

The Value of a Two-State Solution

  • Fulfilling Aspirations: The two-state solution gives Jews and Arabs their own states.
  • Alternative Limitations: Other options, such as a single state, might result in Jews becoming a minority or an unhappy Arab majority.

Moral Justification for a Two-State Solution

  • Aspirations in Balance: Advocates argue against subordinating one group’s goals to the those of another.
  • A single state would reduce Jews to a minority, thereby jeopardising their objectives.

The Way Forward

  • India feels that a negotiated two-state solution is necessary for long-term peace between Israel and Palestine.
  • Establishment of a Palestinian State: India supports the creation of a sovereign, independent, and sustainable Palestinian state within internationally recognised borders.


  • Understanding the Israel-Palestine issue and the significance of a two-state solution is critical for establishing regional peace.
  • A negotiated settlement can result in a sovereign and independent Palestine living alongside Israel by addressing the problems and taking into account the aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians.
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