UN and the Arab-Israeli Conflict


Arab-Israeli conflicts have presented the United Nations with some of its most difficult peace keeping problems.

In 1947, the General Assembly approved a plan to divide Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state and to make Jerusalem an international city under UN control.

Jerusalem is a holy city for Christians, and Muslims.

About 90 percent of all Arabs are Muslims, and the land given to Jewish was more then Arab, The Arab countries opposed the UN plan


On 14 May 1948, the United Kingdom relinquished its mandate over Palestine. Israel was proclaimed. On the following day, the Palestinians, together with the armies of Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan, attacked the the proclaimed Israel , The Arabs failed to prevent establishment of a Jewish state.

In 1949, the war ended with four UN-arranged armistice agreements between Israel and Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria.

The United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) assisted the parties in complying with the provisions of these agreements. However, border incidents continued


Following the nationalization of the Suez Canal announced by Egypt on 26 July 1956, Israeli forces invaded Sinai, while British and French troops landed at Suez at the end of October.

On 4 November 1956, the General Assembly, meeting in special session, called for a cease-fire and created the first peace-keeping force, the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF), which supervised the progressive withdrawal of the Israeli, British and French troops, patrolled the demarcation line between Egypt and Israel, and brought relative quiet to the area


UNEF was withdrawn at Egypt’s request on 16 May 1967.

On 5 June, war broke out again between Israel on the one hand, and Egypt, Jordan and Syria on the other. The Security Council called four times for a cease-fire, which was eventually concluded on 11 June. At that date, Israel occupied Sinai, the Gaza strip, the West Bank of the Jordan, including East Jerusalem, and part of the Syrian Golan Heights.The Security Council sent observers to monitor the cease-fire.

On 22 November 1967, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 242, which laid down the general principles for a peaceful and lasting settlement; the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the most recent conflict; the termination of all claims or states of belligerency

Respect for and recognition of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every state in the area; the guarantee of free navigation through international waterways in the area; and the establishment of demilitarized zones


On 6 October 1973, October war started. On 24 October 1973 , the Security Council created the second United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF II).

The deployment of 7,000 men from twelve countries brought the October war to an end


In 1974, the General Assembly adopted a resolution recognizing the right of Palestine Arabs, including those in Israel, to nationhood. A second resolution gave observer status to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), a group approved by Arab countries to represent the Palestinians. Observer status gave the PLO the right to attend Assembly sessions but not to take part in them


In 1975, many Western nations were angered when the General Assembly passed a resolution declaring that Zionism is "a form of racism." Zionism is the Jewish movement that helped establish the state of Israel. The Assembly repealed the resolution in 1991


In 1978, Israel agreed to return the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt. The two countries also agreed on autonomy for the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty in 1979. Egypt regained full control of the Sinai Peninsula in 1982. However, no arrangement for autonomy for the Gaza Strip and the West Bank was made


In 1993 and 1995, Israel and the PLO signed agreements that led to the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Gaza Strip and most cities and towns of the West Bank by early 1996. As the Israelis withdrew, Palestinians became the governing authorities in these areas. Israel also recognized the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people. In 1994, Jordan and Israel signed a declaration that marked the end of a state of war that had technically existed between them since 1948. In 1996, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and Palestinian-controlled parts of the West Bank elected a president and legislature to make laws and administer these areas

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