Given the number of instances of Palestinians needing urgent medical attention being snarled at checkpoints, if Joseph and Mary had traveled to Bethlehem today, Jesus would have been born at a checkpoint.

Palestine Military Guide

Israeli Independence1947
The Nakba1947
Terrorist Attacks1960s-1980s
The Intifada1987-1993
Al-Aqsa Intifada2000-2005
Palestinian Civil War2006
Op Summer Rains2006
Op Sea Breeze2007 +
Op Cast Lead 2008
Op Pillar of Defense2012
Op Protective Edge2014
Knife Intifada2016-2019
Gaza March of Return2018-2019
Gaza Conflict2019
Gaza Conflict2021




The Two State Solution

Palestinian Authority

Political Groups

Political Leaders

Security Agencies

West Bank


Urban Areas


Donald Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner have been working on Washington’s so-called “Deal of the Century”, which can be summarized in three phrases: a political “entity” in the Gaza Strip, a degree of “autonomy” in the West Bank, and a Palestinian “capital” in parts of Jerusalem. The plan’s details were largely in line with longstanding Israeli policy objectives. Israel’s current political leadership rejects the notion of a Palestinian state but has shown its readiness to accept a Palestinian ‘entity’ in parts of the Palestinian territories.

But such an “entity” would lack a capital in East Jerusalem, would not include the strategic Jordan Valley, and would not be allowed to take in Palestinian refugees. The US administration offered the Palestinians a “capital” in East Jerusalem’s Abu Dis district and four districts of East Jerusalem (Jabal al-Mukaber, Al-Zaim, the Shuafat refugee camp and Al-Issawiya). The Israelis would be expected to withdraw from a handful of Arab villages on Jerusalem’s eastern and northern outskirts. Trump’s “Deal of the Century” would not call on Israel to relinquish any of its illegally-built West Bank settlements blocs. What’s more, the Jordan Valley would remain under full Israeli control, while the new Palestinian “state” would remain completely disarmed, lacking any military capacity.

Such a plan was unlikely to be met with acceptance by the Palestinians, some of whom have derisively described it as the “Slap of the Century”.

After a quarter of a century of peace process, there's no peace, and only more of the same occupation and Palestinian dispossession. The Oslo agreements and their implementation have led not to a Palestinian state, but rather to more illegal Jewish settlements that paved the way towards a system of apartheid.

Successful conflict resolution is possible only when the actor's fear of continued conflict exceeds their fear of a settlement. When parties have been convinced they need a way out of their stalemate, a formula for peace should appear relatively just and satisfactory to both parties, and should include important demands from both sides, since the parties will not give up claims without compensation. Theoretically, successful negotiations build trust and further momentum through agreement on less contentious issues. Building on this developing trust, the parties then gradually move to the more difficult issues that require serious concessions on both sides.

These traditional theories of negotiation fail to fully explain the decidedly non-traditional conflict in Palestine. Despite the appearance of a military stalemate, important constituencies on both sides reject the legitimacy of the other. Not all conflicts can be resolved through negotiation when peace involves costs and risks that neither side is willing to bear. For students of conflict management, guiding elements of negotiation theory are difficult to find here and, when apparent, always transitory.

The Palestinians want a state in the West Bank, Gaza, and east Jerusalem -- territories Israel captured in 1967 -- but have accepted the principle of limited land swaps. Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas repeatedly said he will only go to talks if Israel either freezes settlement-building or recognizes the 1967 lines as a starting point for drawing the border of a Palestinian state.

The IDF restricted Palestinians’ movement within the occupied territories and for foreign travel, and, citing military necessity, it increased these restrictions at times. The Israeli government maintained more than 519 obstacles to movement inside the West Bank as of August 2011. Barriers to movement included checkpoints, a separation barrier between the West Bank and Israel, internal road closures, and restrictions on the entry of persons and goods into and out of the Gaza Strip. Restrictions on movement affected virtually all aspects of life, including access to places of worship, employment, agricultural lands, schools, and hospitals.

No one would wish to live under such circumstances, and everyone would hope to see the conditions of the Palestinians improved. Despite the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) stance on a nonviolent path to statehood, a commitment to security cooperation with Israel and a public recognition of Israel's right to exist, the Israeli government continues to weaken its Palestinian counterpart by Jewish settlement expansion, eroding more and more land upon which an independent and contiguous Palestinian state might be established, and along with it the Palestinian public confidence in nonviolent struggle. During the 9-month peace talks under the auspices of America, the Israeli government promoted plans and tenders for at least 13, 851 housing units in West Bank and East Jerusalem, four times higher compared to the equivalent time of previous years, according to Israeli watchdog group Peace Now. Although an increasing number of Palestinians support two-state solution, 61 percent of them believe that it is no longer practical due to the settlement expansion.

The plight of the Palestinians has been the focus of international sympathy and concern for decades. In particular, many Muslims have long called the world's attention to the plight of the Palestinians. It is said that Israel's land-stealing policy is the source of Middle Eastern instability, and America is hated because American money and weapons are what enable Israel to steal Palestine from Palestinians. The obsession that many people in countries around the world seem to have with the Arab-Israeli conflict and with the plight of the Palestinians is frequently to the exclusion of all else.

The Palestinian-led BDS movement - Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions - has ramped up its activities, calling for foreigners not to buy products made in West Bank settlements and pressuring foreigners to avoid Israel. From the point of view of the largest foreign investors, the BDS movement, founded in 2005, is not significant, at least not yet. It draws headlines and can damage sentiment at the margins, but Israel's broader economy, built on hi-tech innovation, pharmaceuticals and engineering, is largely unaffected.

At least part of the problem is that the Palestinians were on the losing side in World War II, and they have not reconcilded themselves to this fact. Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the most influential leader of Palestinian Arabs, lived in Germany during the Second World War. He met Hitler, Ribbentrop and other Nazi leaders on various occasions and attempted to coordinate Nazi and Arab policies in the Middle East. By the summer of 1949, about 750,000 Palestinian Arabs were living in refugee camps in territories adjacent to Israel's borders. As many as 850,000 Jewish refugees from the Middle East came to Israel in the fragile first years of its existence. The state of Israel has accepted this exchange of populations, but the Arab states have not.

Other nations drove out thousands or millions of people, and there was afterwards no enduring refugee problem. Russia displaced Poles. Poland and Czechoslovakia displaced Germans. Turkey expelled a million Greeks, and Algeria a million Frenchmen. Indonesia threw out heaven knows how many Chinese – and no one says a word about refugees.

After World War II, the Allies decided to move Poland's borders westwards, the Germans living in the areas east of the rivers Oder and Neisse were expelled from their ancestral homeland now being Polish territory. Though figures vary widely it is estimated that around 15 million Germans were forcibly transferred from eastern and central Europe, most of whom settled within the borders of today's Germany. By some estimates 15,000 Palestinians were killed in 1948 ( less than 1% of the Palestinian population). Of the 15,000,000 Germans who were displaced at the end of World War II, as many as 2,000,000 died along the way. The relative and absolute scale of Palestinian suffering compared to that of the Germans is slight, yet no one now speaks of restoring Germans to Polish lands.

Join the mailing list