1516

Ottoman Empire incorporates Palestine as one of its territories

1516

1570

Palestine was ruled for three hundred years as part of the Ottoman Empire

Relationships between the diverse religious and ethnic communities in Palestine during this period was largely integrated and peaceful between Arabs and Jews.

1570

1895

Emergence of the Zionist movement

Founded by Theodor Herzl (1860-1904) dedicated to establishing a Jewish ‘national homeland’ on the land of historic Palestine.  The Zionist movement (combining religion and politics) in Europe promoted Jewish migration to Palestine, mostly in response to anti-Semitism experienced in Europe.

1895

1882

Ottoman Sultan approves Jewish immigration to Ottoman territories

First waves of Jewish immigration (aliyah) begin, paving the way for further waves of Jewish immigration in later decades. 

1882

1917

Balfour Declaration/Arthur James Balfour

During World War 1 (1914-1918) Britain declared its aim to establish a ‘national home’ for Jewish people in Palestine in a public statement known as the Balfour Declaration.  The Balfour Declaration (“Balfour’s promise” in Arabic), published on the 2nd November 1917 was included in the terms of the British Mandate for Palestine after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The Balfour Declaration was problematic as it promised Jewish people a ‘homeland’ where Arabs of Palestine owned 90% of privately-owned land. 

Balfour

1917

1936

al-Thawra , al-Kubra (“the Great Arab Revolt) or the Great Palestinian Rebellion

This lasted for three years and was a significant protest against British Colonial rule in the interwar period.

1936

1947

The UN passes Resolution 181 ending the British Mandate

The UN passes Resolution 181 ending the British Mandate, supporting the partition of Palestine into two independent states – Palestine and Israel.

1948 UN Resolution 181

 

1947

1948

Nakba (‘catastrophe’)

Nakba (‘catastrophe’) refers to the ethnic cleansing of Palestine when the State of Israel was created. The creation of Israel was a violent process that involved the forced removal of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland to establish a Jewish majority state propagated by the Zionist movement. Between 850,000 to 1 million Palestinians were made refugees.  Zionist forces took more than 78% of historic Palestine by depopulating and destroying 531 villages and two urban areas emptied (Matar, 2014).

The United Nations define Palestinian Refugee as: ‘Palestine refugees are defined as “persons whose normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948, and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict.’

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‘Nakba’ – 1948

‘Nakba’ – 1948

Palestine Refugee Camp

Jaramana Emergency Camp, Syria, 1974

1948

1948

UN Resolution 194 [III] – The Right to Return

  1. Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible;

    Instructs the Conciliation Commission to facilitate the repatriation, resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of the refugees and the payment of compensation, and to maintain close relations with the Director of the United Nations Relief for Palestine Refugees and, through him, with the appropriate organs and agencies of the United Nations’

Keys feature as a prominent symbol of the Right to Return in much of the Palestinian art and demonstrations of the Palestinian struggle.

Keys Right to Return

1948

1967

‘Six-Day War’

The Six Day War led to a second great wave of Palestinian displacement, known to Palestinians as the Naksa. In the ‘six-day war’ Israel invades neighbouring states, Syria, Jordan and Egypt and took control of the, the Golan Heights, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the Sinai. The construction of illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied territories is opposed by UN resolution 242, which calls for Israel to withdraw from occupied territories during the conflict and negotiate a just settlement with Palestinian refugees.

Six-Day War Map

1967

1987-1993

First Intifada

The first intifada or popular Palestinian uprising against Israeli oppression lasted for 6 years.  During this period thousands of Palestinians were killed with even more arrested. Many of these were young people under the age of 16.  

1987-1993

1993

Oslo Accords

Oslo Accords – agreements for peace negotiations between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Government of Israel was signed in Washington.

Oslo Accords

Oslo Map

1993

2000 - 2005

Second Intifada (Al-Aqsa Intifada)

Palestinian resistance grew out of the collapse of peace negotiations between the Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Chairman Yasser Arafat.

Second Intifada

 

2000 - 2005

2002

Israeli apartheid wall/separation barrier begins construction

The wall was built by the State of Israel to separate Palestinian territories from Israel.  The wall currently measures at approximately 700 kilometres and restricts the movement of Palestinians under the guise of security.

The Wall The Israeli barrier at the Palestinian town of Abu Dis in the Israeli-occupied West Bank east of Jerusalem

 

The Wall – Qalqilya, West Bank

The Wall – Qalqilya, West Bank

2002

2004

separation wall in occupied Palestinian territory as illegal

The International Court of Justice deems the separation wall in occupied Palestinian territory as illegal under international law, stating the wall must be dismantled and compensation for any damage repaid.  The UN are advised that they should take action against Israel for any further construction.

2004

2014

Israel Gaza conflict – Operation Protective Edge

Palestinians accuse the Israeli government as being responsible for the increase in violence, attributing the Israel Defence Force (IDF) of attacks on Gazan civilians in the days leading up to the operation.

Gaza Protective Edge

2014

2017

The Israeli Parliament passes a law which legalises dozens of Jewish settlements

The Israeli Parliament passes a law which legalises dozens of Jewish settlements built on private Palestinian land in the West Bank. Encouraged by the new USA President Trump administration the Israeli government advances plans for thousands of new settler homes.

Settlements

2017

2017

US President Trump recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel

US President Trump recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, upsetting the Arab world and some Western allies.

Trump declares Jerusalem as the capital and moves the US Embassy

2017

2018

‘The Great March of Return’

‘The Great March of Return’ demonstrations along the border fence begins in Gaza to protest Israel’s economic blockade of Gaza and demand refugees right of return.

The Gaza Ministry of Health report that 267 Palestinians died over the next 2 years of demonstrations including 50 when Israel Defence Force (IDF) open fire during protests coinciding with the ceremony marking the relocation of the American embassy to Jerusalem. the deaths include 50 children, six women and one elderly person. This includes 2 journalists and 3 paramedics. Meanwhile, the ministry said that 30,398 others were wounded, including 3,175 children and 1,008 women.

March of the Return 2018

2018

2018

The ‘Nation State Law’ is passed in Israel

The ‘Nation State Law’ is passed in Israel.

The law does three big things: 

  1. It states that “the right to exercise national self-determination” in Israel is “unique to the Jewish people.”
  2. It establishes Hebrew as Israel’s official language, and downgrades Arabic — a language widely spoken by Arab Israelis — to a “special status.” 
  3. It establishes “Jewish settlement as a national value” and mandates that the state “will encourage and promote their establishment and development.”
2018

2019

The US confirms withdrawing all aid to Palestinians

The US confirms withdrawing all aid to Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza which amounts to $200 million.  The UN expresses serious concerns over the US decision.

2019

2019

President Trump recognises Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights

President Trump recognises Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which Israel seized from Syria in the 1967 war and later annexed. The US also states that it no longer considers Israeli settlements on the West Bank to be illegal. 

2019

2020

President Trump releases his vision through the Middle East Peace Plan

President Trump releases his vision through the Middle East Peace Plan which is rejected by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Trump ‘Peace Plan’

Abbas Reject Peace Plan

2020

2020

Abraham Accords

In September, President Trump host Middle East leaders from Israel, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates (UAE) to sign “peace agreements”.  These accords do not include a resolution between the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, calls for Palestinian rights, or of suspending Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans for further annexation (62%) of the occupied West Bank.

The signing of these accords makes the UAE and Bahrain the third and fourth Arab states to take steps to normalise ties with Israel since Israel signed peace treaties with Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.

This is seen as a significant betrayal of the Palestinians by other Arab states and breaks the long-standing collective rejection of normal relations with Israel without Palestinian independence.

2020