HISTORY IN THE NEWS: DEVOTED TO THE DEEP ORIGINS OF CONTEMPORARY EVENTS AROUND THE WORLD.
With Washington's less than half-hearted promotion of its "Road Map for Peace" in Israel-Palestine, it appears that the Annapolis talks are intended to give President Bush a last minute legacy as his presidency expires in the wake of repeated policy failures in the Middle East. With two lame-duck participants, Ehud Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas, neither of who have the full support of their own people, only the issue of Bush's legacy can explain the timing. With Hamas uninvited or boycotting the talks, Abbas's PNA represents only half of Palestinian power, while Olmert, badly damaged by his feckless Lebanon invasion and nagging financial scandals, hasn't much life expectancy. The best that can be said is that the talks will be based on achievements sponsored by the Clinton administration: the Oslo and Jericho-Gaza Accords and the Wye Agreements. If it is ever reached, the mutually painful compromise of a Palestinian state based on Israel's 1967 boundaries, might look something like the UN map proposed in 1947.
DISTANT BACKGROUND TO THE EVENTS:
The Fall of the Ottoman Empire
Upon the alliance of Turkey with Germany and Austria and the onset of World War One, Palestine becomes a battleground between the British and the Turks. In 1917, anticipating victory, the British, after Jewish lobbying, produce the Balfour Declaration- a statement of intent toward the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Ultimately, it implies a state. The wartime campaign of the British agent TE Lawrence to liberate the Arab Bedouin, has ignited Arab nationalism. Invading from Egypt, the British push the Turks out of Palestine. By the Treaty of Sevres, the former Ottoman empire of the Middle East is divided among the victorious European powers, Palestine falling under British Mandate. Meanwhile, nationalist aspirations have also been aroused among Palestinian Arabs and Jews alike.
The 1920s- Jewish-Arab Riots
In May, 1921, rioting begins between Arabs and a new wave of Jewish settlers. In 1928, an Arab conference at Jerusalem fails to reconcile rival ruling clans among the Palestinians, the Husaynis and the Nashabibis. In 1929, more Arab-Jewish riots ensue as Amin Husayni tries to limit Jewish use of the Wailing Wall. In Hebron, Arabs massacre 200 Jews.
The Intifada of the 1930s
Due to persecution in Germany, Jewish immigration increases exponentially after 1935. A Palestinian radical cleric, Izz a Din Qassam, foments guerilla attacks on the British in northern Palestine but is killed in the process. In 1936 Husayni forms the Arab High Committee to fight all Jewish claims in Palestine. Arabs call a general strike in protest against arms smuggling by Zionists. From 1936 to 1939 a general uprising of the Palestinians against the Jews and the British is led by veteran fighters of the late Izz a Din Qassam. In 1937 the Peel Report recommends a Jewish state, a Palestinian state and a British mandated area. Jews are divided over it; Arabs reject it outright. To quell the fighting, the British deport Amin Hysayni but the radicals increase their grip on the Palestinian movement. In 1938, the British postpone, then abandon plans of partition while the Intifada collapses due to in-fighting between the Husaynis and the Nashibibis. All plans for reconciliation between Jews and Arabs or joint government between them are abandoned. The British give in to Arab pressure to curb Jewish immigration and to limit the sale of land in order to preserve the Arab majority. The Second World War breaks out in Europe. The Jewish Agency makes Palestine into an allied supply centre
The Foundation of the State of Israel.
In the wake of World War Two, the horrors of the Holocaust bring world opinion round to supporting the idea of a Jewish state in Palestine. The UN gives it strong backing and proposes a partition with a Palestinian state in the Negev on the Siania border, in Gaza, in the West Bank and in Galilee. The plan is rejected by the Arabs but David Ben Gurion unilaterally declares the Jewish state of Israel in 1948. Egypt, Jordan and Syria invade to nip the fledgling state in the bud but Israel fights them to a standstill, carving territory out of western Palestine while East Palestine remains with Jordan, and Egypt holds onto the Gaza strip on the Mediterranean coast. Gaza City is made its capital. In Egyptian-occupied Gaza, Arab leader Amin Hussayni makes the first attempt to found a Palestinian state.
Gaza and the Suez
Peace is fragile, however, and in 1955, Israeli troops stage a raid on Gaza, killing 36 Egyptians. The following year Egyptian President Abdul Nasser defies the west by nationalizing the Suez Canal, successfully faces down French and British opposition. In the midst of the crisis, Israel occupies Gaza but returns it the following year, in 1957.
The Six Dat War.
In 1967, prompted more by fear of the Arab states that surround it, than by any Arab moves toward war, Israel launches a successful pre-emptive strike against Egyptian forces on manoeuvres in the Sinai desert. Successively defeating Jordan and Syria, Israel annexes Gaza from Egypt, East Jerusalem and the West Bank from Jordan and the Golan Heights from Syria. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees flow into Jordan and Lebanon. As it hangs on to the occupied lands for the dual purpose of defense and toward its biblical borders, Israel's reluctance to withdraw to its 1967 boundaries will become a chief obstacle to regional peace until the present day.
By 1970, Palestinian refugees are unwelcome in Jordan and Jordan's King Hussein expels them into the West Bank where they support the Palestinian Liberation Organization, dedicated to the expulsion of Israel and the formation of a Palestinian state. Its leader is Yasser Arafat, a blood connection of the great Palestinian leader of the 1930s, Ali Husayni. The PLO begins a systematic campaign of military and terror attacks against international Jewish targets, among them the slaughter of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics.
The Yom Kippur War
In 1973, in what will be known as the Yom Kippur War, Egypt and Syria launch a surprise attack on Israel in order to recover the territories lost in 1967. Both are resoundingly defeated.
In 1979, the balance of power shifts further toward Israel as Egypt's Anwar Sadat signs a peace treaty with Israeli President Menachem Begin. Gaza, though still under military command is finally given a civilian administration in 1981.
The PLO in Lebanon.
In the meantime, the PLO have been setting up in Lebanon and staging attacks across Israel;s northern border. In 1982, Israel's minister of defense, Ariel Sharon leads an invasion of southern Lebanon to crush the PLO and expel its fighters once and for all from the Palestinian refugee camps of Beirut. After the city is virtually placed under siege, the PLO and their leader, Yasser Arafat, are evacuated by sea and took refuge abroad.
The First Intifada
With little hope that negotiation or international intervention would lead to the formation of a Palestinian state, ordinary Palestinians initiate the First Intifada in 1987, the inaugural insurrection in what would be a series of popular rebellions against Israeli rule. These are the first Intifiadas to be held since the Intifada of the 1930s. Also in 1987, Hamas, "the Movement of Islamic Resistance" is formed. Its short-term goal is to evict Israel from Gaza, East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Golan Heights; its longer term objective is the elimination of the state of Israel and the creation of an Islamic state ratified by referendum. The armed wing of Hamas is named Izz-a-Din-Qassam after the legendary leader of the 1936-38 Intifada. Only at this early stage does Hamas reject the Iranian Revolution, on sectarian grounds, as being Shia.
The PLO becomes pragmatic
The PLO, meanwhile, continues on a somewhat more moderate track: when, in 1988, Jordan renounces any claim to the West Bank, Arafat's PLO declares Palestine a sovereign state while recognizing the state of Israel. Israel comes more and more to target Hamas, imprisoning its leader Sheikh Yassin who is then replaced by Abdul Aziz Rantizi. The first Gulf War of 1991 brings Iran, Iraq and Saudu Arabia to centre stage, causing a shift in regional power politics which will have a direct affect on the relations between Hamas and Fatah, the political wing of the PLO.
RECENT BACKGROUND TO THE EVENTS.
The Gulf War
In 1991, Arafat's decision to side with Iraq after Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, results in loss of support from Saudi Arabia and the Arab Gulf states. During the ensuing Gulf War which entails a US and allied invasion of Iraq, Hamas distinguishes itself from the PLO by opposing Iraq and obtaining funding from the Gulf states- despite its reservations about their decadence closeness to the United States. Still, it looks like the beginning of a separate foreign policy. Hamas is looking for worthy allies in the region and it's after the Gulf War that it begins to hold talks with Iran and with Hezbollah in Lebanon. In 1992, Israel deports 413 Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders to Lebanese soil.
The PLO, sidelined by the Gulf States and cut off from Iraq one of its major supprters, is despertate for funds. Meanwhile, the permanent expansion of the Israeli state into the West Bank and Gaza through the occupation of land by Jewish settlers has continued and by 1993 one-third of Gaza is taken up by Israeli settlement. Finding itself on the defensive and lacking in funds, Arafat decides to take the PLO to the bargaining table. At the US-brokered Oslo and Jericho Accords of September 1993, seven major West Bank towns are handed over to administration by the newly recognized Palestinian National Authority (PNA). While the PNA sees the agreement as the de facto recognition of a Palestinian state, Hamas sees it as a capitulation and rejects it. Significantly, Palestinian claims in Jerusalem are not mentioned in the Accords. This is followed, nevertheless, by a PNA Declaration of Principles for self-rule in the Palestinian territories.
The Intifada Continues
Throughout the early 1990s the intifada increases with suicide bombings against Israeli civilian targets carried out mostly by Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Israeli military incursions into the territories kill even larger numbers of civilians. After 1993, Hamas begins to receive several million a year in funding from Iran. Sensing, perhaps, that Gaza is becoming the point of greatest tension, the PNA moves its administrative centre there while Hamas hardens its line against Israeli settlements in Gaza. In 1994, tensions increase after an Israeli murders 29 Palestinians in Hebron and Israel assasinates Yahyah Ayash, the commader of Hamas's suicide bombers. Palestinian casualties remain ten times those they inflicted upon the Israelis.
After Hamas's kidnapping of an Israeli soldier in Tel Aviv in 1994, the PNA's more moderate direction becomes clear when it responds by rounding up 350 Hamas supporters.
There is a respite as Palestinian Jericho and Gaza are given autonomous status. With the election of the hard-line Benjamin Netanyahu in 1996 as Prime Minister of Israel, however, the Oslo Accords slowly fall apart. Suicide bomnings increase as Israeli forces engage the PLO in the West Bank and south Lebanon. Arafat, meanwhile, is losing popularity due to high levels of corruption in the PNA and among his personal Fatah loyalists while ordinary Palestinians feel increasingly helpless.
The Wye Agreement
In 1997, Israel gives a nod to the Oslo Accords by withdrawing from Herbon but at the same time Netanyahu rapidly increases the expansion of Jewish settlements. In response, the campaign of suicide bombings increases against Israel. In the Wye Agreement of 1998, Netanyahu places limits on settlements but the protest from Israeli settlers is so strong that the agreement is eventually disregarded. At the same time, the PNA arrests Hamas leaders for opposing the Wye Agreement.
In 1999, it seems a new course might be set with the election of Ehud Barak as Prime Minister. US President Clinton inaugurates the Camp David talks between Arafat and Barak in which Barak is seen to make the most generous possible offer to Arafat on the issues of Jewish settlements, the status of Jerusalem and the occupied territories. But Arafat refuses to negotiate and the Camp David talks collapse. Hamas, as always, stays aloof.
Sharon at the Temple Mount.
Former Defense Minister Ariel Sharon uses this low point for a provocative visit to the disputed holy site of the Temple Mount, setting off a Second Intifada among the Palestinians. The outrage among the Palestinians results in a rapprochement between the PNA and Hamas as Arafat refuses Israeli requests to arrest Hamas leaders. For once, Hamas is numbered among Arafat's Popular Resistance Committees which includes Islamic Jihad and Fatah.
The Second Intifada
By 2000, Israel is responding to a renewed suicide bombing campaign with targeted killings. In 2001, Prime Minister Barak is defeated by Ariel Sharon in elections. Sharon is seen as the settlers' man. As Prime Minister he mounts large scale military incursions into the territories and begins the construction of a security barrier intended to wall Israel off entirely from the Palestinian territories. The problem is that the wall, built in defiance of UN objections, slices off large sections of Palestinian land. In the heated atmopshere, contacts among Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran increase. In 2003, Ariel Sharon is re-elected while Arafat is forced by international pressure to appoint mahmoud Abbas as President of the PNA. Chaos ensues as Abbas and his successor Ahmed Qurei resign in succession finding it impossible to gain a free hand under Arafat and his corrupt apparatus. In March 2003, Israel assassinates Sheikh Yassin, the leader of Hamas, a blow which only causes Hamas and Hezbollah to increase their rapprochement.
An International Court decision in July of 2004 that Israel's security barrier must be removed is heartily ignored by Tel Aviv.
Even Ariel Sharon knows that things can only go s far and in late October, 2004, the Knesset approves his plans for military disengagement with the Palestinians. Perhaps a sea-change is afoot because on November 11, Arafat dies, ending four decades of Palestinian leadership. He is succeeded at the head of the PNA by Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas is confirmed by election in January, 2005. On May 26, Abbas visits Washington and President Bush agrees in theory to the old 1949 borders between Israel and the Palestinians. Sharon, meanwhile orders the evacuation of Israeli settlers from Gaza, amid intense protest. On September 15, Sharon addresses the UN with an essential recongition of Palestinian rights. having gone from a man of war to a man of peace Sharon succumbs to a stoke on January 4, 2006.
Hamas Wins Elections
2006 seems to inaugurate a new age as Hamas wins the Palesitnian parliamentary elections on january 26 and Ehud Olmert is elected prime Minister of Israel on March 28. The radical, islamist party Hamas, dedicated to the expropriation of Israel, now has parliamentary power. But soon the territories begin to suffer as the international community, fearful of Hamas's refusal to recognize Israel, cuts the flow of aid. The boycott only brings Hamas closer to Iran, which continues to provide economic support to the territories. In the summer, the kidnapping by Hamas of an Israeli soldier in Gaza and of three Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah on the Lebanese border sets off a general conflagration during which Israel launches major incursions into the Palestinian territories and invades Lebanon.
The 2006 Invasion of Lebanon
In Lebanon, Israel does enormous damage without destroying Hezbollah, the intended target. The result is a major public relations victory for Hezbollah and Hamas and a fanning of radical Islamist sentiment throughout the the Middle East, particularly in Iran. Israel's Prime Minister Olmert is held respnsible for the disastrous invasion of Lebanon. There is, meanwhile. much talk of tactical and logistical links between Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas. Ceasefires ensue in Lebanon in August and in November in Gaza, though bombings and rocket attacks between Israel and Hamas continued in Gaza.
The PNA versus Hamas
Meanwhile in the Palestinian territories, a simmering power struggle escalates between Hamas which holds the parliamentary power and the Palestinian Authority whose president Mahmood Abbas along with his Fatah party still control the executive. In January of 2007, Israel makes its own position clear by awarding 100 million in witheld tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority and President Abbas. Hamas and Fatah meet for power-sharing talks at Mecca on February 8 where they sign the Unity Agreement. But fighting between Hamas and Fatah continues to escalate in Gaza between March and May. Throughout mid-May, Israel launches air strikes in Gaza and arrests a Gaza minister to deter rocket attacks on Israel. In the civil war in Gaza, Hamas begins to prevail, killing or expelling Fatah members and declaring victory on June 14. In effect, there are now two Palestinian entities- Gaza, ruled by Hamas and the West Bank ruled by Fatah and the Palestinian Naional authority. Israel, showing a tactical preference for the secular PNA and its Fatah Party begins to explore a rapprochement with President Abbas in the West Bank.
Kidnapped BBC Reporter Freed
On July 3, the BBC journalist Alan Johnston who had been abducted in Gaza is freed, having bee in captivity since March 12. Hamas claims it had intervened with his captors, an al-Qaeda-linked group called the Army of Islam. Hamas leader Ishmael Haniyeh, meanwhile denies any links to the group or to al Qaeda. Skeptics view Hamas's intervention as a publicity stunt to obtain renewed funding from the international community. At the end of September, Gaza and Israel trade rocket attacks and air strikes. By October 10 meanwhile, Hamas says it is ready for renewed talks with Fatah although this may have been to conceal a simmering split inside Hamas itself, in Gaza. In fact, fighting breaks out on October 20 as a radical Hamas faction fights to wrest control from the Hamas leadership. At the same time, Israel cuts off supplies of gas and power to Gaza.
The fatal Arafat Rally
On November 12, Fatah holds a massive rally in Gaza to commemorate the second anniversary of the death of Yasser Arafat. Hamas, after attempting to put a stop to the rally, begins firing into the crowd, killing 7 and then detaining 400. On the 13th, as Palestinians throughout the West Bank demonstrate on behalf of Fatah against Hamas, the army and foreign ministers of Hamas in Gaza continue moves to seize the leadership of Hamas from Khaled Meshal and Ismael Haniyeh.
PREVIOUS ENTRIES ON ISRAEL-PALESTINE.
Demonstrations after Hamas kills 7 at Fatah Arafat rally in Gaza- 11/13/07
Palestinian President Abbas gets support from Russia- 8/1/07
REMOTE BACKGROUND TO THE EVENTS. The region of Palestine and of modern day Israel was originally occupied by the Canaanites, one of many Semitic peoples of the ancient Levant. Jerusalem was already inhabited by 3000 BCE and by 1900 BCE it was a Canaanite city state. In the second millennium BCE, the Hyksos invaded from the north, taking Canaan and Egypt after which Egypt's new Kingdom then ruled Canaan. At that time Gaza was already a significant Mediterranean port and trading city. In the late second millennium the Hebrews enter the historical record with Joshua, successor to Moses, ruling Jerusalem. In that period, the Hebrew tribes begin to unite in the face of the hostile tribes of the Canaanites and of the Philistines in the coastal area.
The Hebrew Kingdom.
The Hebrew kingdom of Judah is ruled by King Saul who defeats the powerful Philistine city States before being defeated in turn. Saul's son-in-law David rallies the Hebrews and defeats the Philistines. By tradition, King David is founder of the kingdom of Israel at the beginning of the first millennium BCE. However he rules it from Samaria in the north and only around 1000 BCE does he move the Ark of the Covenant from Hebron to Jerusalem, making Jerusalem the religious capital of Israel. His successor, King Solomon, builds the first great temple of the Jews in Jeruslaem but taxes the people heavily. Upon his death, Judah secedes from Israel as a separate southern kingdom.
The Two Kingdoms
Israel is the wealthier cosmopolitan kingdom and Judah, to the south, is poor and agricultural. In the eighth sentury BCE, the Assyrian king, Tiglath Pilesser invades, conquers Israel and takes its inhabitants captive. For most of that century, Israel is ruled by Assyria. At the beginning of the sixth century BCE, Babylon, successor to Assyria, conquers Judah and takes its population captive as well.
Rule by Persia
Until the middle of the fourth century BCE, both kingdoms are occupied and ruled by Persia which uses Gaza as its Mediterranean port. Persia's King Cyrus, an enlightened monarch, treats the captive Jews as cultured near-equals and allows the the Jews a safe retrurn from exile to Jerusalem in 537 BCE. Persia will still rule for the next century and a half. Prominent are Cambyses II and Darius I who allows the rebuilding of the temple at Jerusalem at the beginning of the fifth century.
In the late fourth century BCE, Alexander the Great of Macedon conquers the entire Levantine region, Egypt and eventually Persia as well. Alexander sacrificed in the temple at Jerusalem, as a gesture of religious tolerance. However he encountered resistance from Batis, the Persian governor of Gaza, captured him, had him dragged around the city and enslaved Gaza's population. Alexander's general, Permenion, ooccupies Jersualem and Judah but has to reduce Samaria by force. After Alexander's death, his general Antigonus rules the Levant and Persia as one of the Seleucid kingdoms. Throughout the third century BCE, Israel is invaded and ruled by Alexander's heirs, the Ptolemys of Egypt.
The great Jewish struggle for independence begins in the late Seleucid period. In the early second century BCE, Antiochus Epiphanes IV rules Babylon and the Levant from Syria, embarking on a campaign to Hellenize the entire region by force and, through violence and persecution, abolish the the religion and culture of the Jews. A furious Jewish resistance is led by the Maccabees in mid second century BCE. They are triumphant and the Hasmonean priesthood rules an independent state of Judah until the middle of the first century BCE. It was then that rivalry between branches of the Hasmonean priest kings opened Judah to invasion by the Roman conqueror Pompey. His general, Sacaurus takes the kingdom by siding with one of the claimants to the throne.
Pompey enters Jerusalem and expresses Roman domination by tearing away the curtain to the Holy of Holies, an act of blasphemy which the Jews wwill never forget. Within twenty years, a Jewish resistance to Rome, calling themselves the Zealots, springs up in Galilee. Rome meanwhile, appoints Herod, a Jewish convert from the southern kingdom of Idumea, to rule Judah. Siding with Mark Antony, in the growing Roman Civil War, Herod overthrows Antognus, the last Hasmonean priest king of Judah. Thus began the reign of Herod the Great.
Herod the Great.
Herod's rule begins aupiciously but quickly turns sour. He makes Caesarea his capital and launches a splendid construcion program, erecting Hellenistic public buildings. He rebuilds the Jerusalem temple for the Jews but in the end places above it, a Roman eagle. The Jews riot and in response Herod massacres a lot of the leading Pharisees. Around the end of the first century BCE, Herod dies and Jesus is born. Judas the Galilean, heir to the Zealots, starts an insurrection upon the death of Herod.
Herod Antipas, one of the Tetrarchs imposed by the Emperor Augustus, rules Galilee while unstable Judah falls under direct Roman rule but is soon ruled by Herod Archelaus. Meanwhile, the Roman commander Varus is sent from Syria and quells the uprising in Galilee. Two thousand rebels are crucified. The rebels, driven underground, see the Jewish leading families, known as the Sanhedrin and the Pharisee class as collaborators with Rome and at the beginning of the first century AD, the rebellion continues. The Roman Legate Quirinnius crushes the rebellion, Judea is formally annexed to the Roman Empire, governed from Antioch in Syria and adinistered by a Prefect in Jerusalem. Under the rule of th Emperor Tiberius, it was the Prefect, Pontius Pilate, who collapbrated with the Sanhedrin in the crucifixion of Jesus, an Apocalyptic Jew whom they probably misunderstood as a Zealot.
Roman successors to Tiberius and the Destruction of Jerusalem.
The Emperor Caligula commits abuses in Judea by trying to get his own statue set up in the temple in Jerusalem by force. The rule of Claudius is more relaxed. Sporadic persecution of Christians by Rome and by the Jews begins as Jewish insurrection against Rome continues. In 70 AD, during the Jewish war, the Roman General Vespasian destroys Jerusalem and the temple once and for all. From that date begins the Jewish tradition of the diaspora, the scattering of the tribes, a fourth 'exodus' after those of Egypt, Assyria and Babylon and centuries of hope for the final recovery of a Jewish national identity. For Christians, it becomes an apocalyptic moment in which God's plan for the followers of Christ is released into a new, transnational Gentile world. Under the rule of the emperor Hadrian, a resurgence of Jewish militancy led by Simon Bar Kockba in 132-135 was ended once and for all with the destruction of Jewish towns, the massacre of the rebels in the fortress of Masada and the prohibition of Jews from entering Jerusalem. Hadrian formally reconstructs Judea as a Roman colony rom the ground up.
With the Chrsitianization of the Empire by Constantine the Great in the fourth century, Jerusalem becomes a Christian holy place and a destination of pilgrimage from all over the Byzantine or Eastern Roman Empire. In Jeruslaem a Christian revival is under way. The Byzantines build the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. In the fifth century, the Council of Chalecdon makes Jerusalem one of five Holy Sees. For a brief period in the early seventh century, Palestine is conquered by the Sassanians of Persia before it is retaken by Byzantium.
From 633 the Caliph Omar conquers Palestine and Syria from Byzantium, taking Jerusalem in 637 and making it the second holy city after Mecca. Gaza is the burial place of Mohammed's great grandfather, Hashem Ibn Abdul Manaf and the Dome of the Rock is where Mohammed was said to have been taken up to heaven. In 691, the Umayyad Caliph, Abdul Malik Ibn Marwan, erects a mosque on the site which is also said to be the site of the temple of Solomon. The Al Aqsa Mosque was built nearby. Jerusalem has become sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims. In 750, Palestine becomes part of the Abbaside Caliphate although struggle continues with their predecessors, the Umayyads. From 800 and over the next two centuries, Byzantium and Islam are in rivalry over Jerusalem.
In the 9th century, Palestine is ruled by the Muslim Fatamid Dynasty. The Fatamids persecute Christians and Jews. In 969, the fatamid ruler Muizz takes Jerusalem and burns down the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. A multicultural community of Bedouins, Byzantine Christians, Seljuks and Karmatians suffer Fatamid persecution. At the end of the century, the Fatalid Caliph Hakim ruthlessly supresses Christians and Jews. Churches are burned.
In 1099, European Crusaders, bent on reconquering Palestine from Islam, conquering Jerusalem and massacring Muslims and Jews. The great Kurdish leader Saladin rallies the Muslim armies, defeats the Crudaders at the battle of Hittim, retakes Jerusalem and founds the Ayyubid dynasty.
The sack of Jerusalem by the Mongols in 1244 inaugurates a new age. The Crusades are drawing to a close and in Egypt the Mamelukes, originally a corps of Turkish slave soldiers for the Abassids, supplant the Fatamids and the Ayyubids in Cairo in 1249, eventually ruling Egypt, Palestine and Syria. It is the Mamelukes who expel the last of the Crusaders from Acre, Palestine, in 1291.
The Decline of Palestine.
The rule of the Mamelukes bring the Levant into decline. The Crusades and the Mongol invasions have already damaged the overland trade routes into Asia from which the Levant had profited. Now, the Mamelukes, traditionally a nomadic desert people, arrive late at seafaring. Though they control the commercial crossroads of Europe, Africa and the Middle east from the Egyptian coast of the Red Sea and from the Mediterranean port of Alexandria, the city is allowed to decline with the silting up of the Nile. They suffer increasing competition from the Ottoman Turks and in the 15th century, the European discovery of sea routes to the East, around Africa, weakens the Red Sea traffic and the commercial importance of Egypt and Palestine. In 1516, Mameluke Egypt and Palestine finally fall to conquest by the Ottomans.
The Ottomans make an administrative change which would have a psychological effect down to the present day. Palestine is made formally part of Syria and is divided into a northern Sanjak of Beirut and a southern Sankaj of Jerusalem. Both are administered from Damascus. The difficult , multi-religious and multi-ethnic city of Jerusalem itself is ruled directly from Constantinople. Improvements are made and trade routes are restored, bringing commerce and economic recovery to the region. The Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent rebuilds the walls of Jerusalem in 1541. Gradually, however, the Ottomans isolate Palestine from outside influences and decline continues. However some contact with Europe is sustained when Francis I, king of France is accorded the right to protect the Christian shrines.
Reform, Reaction and the Reappearance of the West
The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries witness frenetic attempts at political and economic reform from Constantinople. However it is usually stymied by conservative, religious reaction in the provinces. Among the few positive developments are European trade contacts, particularly with the French, which develop as a result of France's interest in protecting local Christians. In 1757, the Sultan reverses his policy by making Russia the protector of Middle Eastern Christians and in 1774 Russia becomes protector of the Orthodox Christians in particular.
At the end of the eighteenth century, France sends General Bonaparte to take Egypt with a view to cutting the British off from India. He succeeds in subduing the Mamelukes in Egypt and invades Syria. However he fails to hold either. Though the invasion is a failure, the presence of the French in the Middle East is sustained and Bonaparte's expedition will be seen, with the Crusades, as one of the West's signal encroachments on the Arab world.
In the early nineteenth century, Jerusalem witnesses a brief Christian revivial. In 1831, the Ottoman's Viceroy of Egypt, Mohammed Ali, rebels against the Sultan in Constantinople and annexes Palestine and Syria. He holds them until 1840, French support of his policies and acquisitions becoming one of the early ways in which European powers will exploit internecine Muslim rivalries to assert power in the region. Under Muhammed Ali's relatively enlightened rule Jewish immigration to Palestine increases, many Jews seeking shelter from poverty and persecution in Europe and Russia. Throughout the mid-nineteenth century, Muslims tend to compete for political power while trade is left to Jews, Greeks, Armenians and other Christians. It is these trading peoples in Palestine and Lebanon, who deepen contacts with Europe. In 1840 Britain, opposed to French influence in the region through Muhammed Ali's new Egyptian-Levantine empire, invade and expel Ali from Syria and Palestine, returning them to Ottoman rule. The region, a center of Christian veneration and a commercial crossroads between Europe and the East has become a center not just of Muslim but of European power struggles and hence European influence and control.
Palestinian Clans and the Return of the Jews
The mid-nineteenth century sees increased Jewish settlement. The residual stagnant Jewish community in Jerusalem begins to grow. By 1875, Jerusalem has a Jewish majority. Forebears of the 20th century Palestinian resistance, the Husayni family, take over large tracts of land in southern Palestine. Meanwhile, the Sultans try to force increased reform on the empire and in the process impose increasingly autocratic rule. As European and Russian Jewish immigration increases in the late nineteenth century, political consciousness develops among Palestinian Arabs. Ruled in separate "millets" and oppressed by Osmanli (Ottoman adminstrative) tax collectors and absentee landlords, Palestinian Arabs and Christians fail to make any collective protest. And there is little consciousness of Palestine, its north being under the effective rule of Damascus and Beirut landlords and the south loosely populated by migrant Bedouin herders, a domain which gradually comes under the sway of Husayni landlords.
Dawn of Palestinian Nationalism circa 1880.
While most Palestinians identify with Beirut, the Palestinian Arabs of the poorer south look to the Husayni clan for leadership. In the late nineteenth century, half of Jerusalem's mayors are Husaynis. In this period two trends, fated to be tragically opposed get under way: the Jewish population of Palestine rapidly increases and the Zionist movement, a political drive to secure a homeland for the Jews is founded. Meanwhile, the Palestinians develop an Arab nationalism in opposition to Ottoman rule. By 1900, the Jewish population of Jerusalem has moved past the the city walls. A large wave of scholarly and middle class European Jews arriving before the First World War is still regarded as a population of guests and refugees and Palestine is still regarded, internationally, as a part of Syria.
TIMELINE FOR THE HISTORY OF ISRAEL; HISTORY OF PALESTINE.
3,000 BC- site of Jerusalem first occupied.
2500-1675 BC- the Canaanites.
1900- Jerusalem is the capital of a Canaanite city state. Samaria, to the north, lies at the center of Canaan.
1750 (circa)-1570- the Hyksos warlords of Palestine invade and rule lower Egypt.
1490-1200- Palestine ruled by the New Kingdom of Egypt.
1400s- Gaza an important trading city.
1250-1030- the Israelis colonize Canaan.
1220- Joshua, successor to Moses, takes Jerusalem for the Hebrews.
-Hebrew tribes, without any single leader, begin to unite to face the menace of the Canaanites and especially the Philistines.
The Hebrew Kingdom
1200-586 BC- the Hebrew Kingdom.
1200-1050- the period of the Judges.
1150-587- along the coastal region, Gaza and other Philistine City States flourish.
-Saul becomes the first king of Judah and leads the tribes to victory.
-Saul, after defeat by the Philistines, is succeeded by his son in law David who retakes land conquered by the Philistines, takes Jerusalem and unites north and south under one kingdom.
Kingdom of Israel
1022-922- Kingdom of Israel.
1010 - 970 -King David, according to tradition, is devout, powerful and just- the perfect monarch.
-northern Samaria given to the tribe of Manasseh and southern Samaria to the tribe of Ephraim.
-Jerusalem remains independent until captured by King David in 1010.
-David transfers the ark of the Covenant from Hebron to Jerusalem, making it the religious capital of Israel.
-David captures Jerusalem from the Jebusites.
1000- Jerusalem becomes capital of Israel.
970 – King Solomon- criticized by the prophets for the political expediency of being lenient to other local religions.
The First Temple.
953- Solomon builds the first temple.
-Solomon destroys the temple of Dagon in Gaza.
-Solomon taxes Israel heavily.
922- after the death of Solomon the north, Israel, secedes from Judea in the south.
The Two Kingdoms- Judah and Israel.
-922-587- the Kingdom of Judah and 922-721- the Kingdom of Israel.
-the northern Manasseh and Ephraim tribes of Samaria split from southern Samaria becoming the Samaritans but retaining the name Kingdom of Israel.
-Solomon’s son Rehoboam rules the southern kingdom of Judah, which is poorer and more agricultural than Israel, to the north. Israel, meanwhile, remains wealthier, more urban and cosmopolitan. A chronic power struggle develops between the two kingdoms.
-the Samaritans form a dissident sect of Judaism.
Assyrian and Babylonian Exile
-721- Tiglath Pilesser of Assyria conquers Israel and takes its people captive.
721-600- rule by Assyria.
597- Judah falls to the new power of Babylon and First Temple destroyed as Nebuchadnezzar takes Jerusalem and transports the Judean upper class to the city of Babylon.
559-330- rule by Persia. Judah becomes a Persian satrapy.
-Gaza provides Persia with a deep-water port on the Meditarranean.
The Second Temple.
537-515- the temple is rebuilt in Jerusalem.
537- Cyrus allow the Jews safe return from exile, to Jerusalem
530- death of Cyrus the Great.
530-522- rule by Cambyses II, son of Cyrus.
522-486- rule by Darius I. The Persians allow the rebuilding of the temple at Jerusalem.
Alexander and the Seleucids.
-Alexander’s conquest of the Persian-ruled the Levantine coast,
-Batis, Persian governor of Gaza, holds out against Alexander but in the end Gaza falls, and Alexander has Batis dragged around the city behind a chariot, in memory of Achilles’ vengeance on Hector.
-according to legend, Alexander makes sacrifice at the temple in Jerusalem.
-as Alexander marches on Egypt, he leaves his general, Parmenion, to take Jerusalem and Judah. Only Samaria has to be reduced by force. Samaria is colonized by Macedonians.
332-301- rule by Antigonus of Macedon.
322- Greeks build a fortress in Samaria.
-Gaza however resists conquest by Alexander. As a consequence, he enslaves the population.
301-200- rule by Ptolemaic Egypt.
200-150- rule by the Greek Seleucids.
175- Antioch IV, Epiphanes consolidates Cilicia (SE Turkey), Syria, Babylonia, Media. Encourages Hellenism and Greek manners. Tries to abolish Judaism in order to unify everyone against Rome.
175-164- Antioch IV persecutes the Jews. Jewish Apocalyptic movement begins.
168-142- The Maccabees found an independent Jewish state which will last until 63 BC. Jerusalem is its capital.
The Second Temple
-the Second Temple is restored by the Maccabees.
150-50- rule of Judah by the Hasmoneans.
129- A new Jewish state has formed- wrested from the Seleucids by the Maccabees.
104 BC -Hasmoneans take Galilee.
65-62- Sacaurus is first governor of Syria under Pompey. Sacaurus invades Judea during a civil war between Hycanus II and Aristobulus II. Scaurus supports Aristobulus. Scaurus' envoy was Antipater, father of Herod.
64- Syria annexed by Pompey- including the coastline from Pontus round Anatolia and down to Egypt. Emesa, the Itureans, Jews and Nabateans become client states.
63- Pompey enters Jerusalem and the Temple and tears away the veil of the Holy of Holies. The deed is never forgotten.
48- Caesar defeats Pompey at Pharsallus in Egypt.
-the high priest Hyrcanus brings Judea into alliance with Caesar. Caesar makes Antipater procurator of Judea.
47 BC- Zealots begin when a group of insurgents under Ezechais, father of Judas the Galilean, were executed by the young Idumean Jew, Herod, as bandits. But the Sanhedirn protest the killing of jews.
40- in Rome, Herod is appointed to restore order to Judea. He returns to Israel, attacks Galilee first and takes Sepphoris and the people of Sepphoris flee.
38- Antigonus, last of the Hasmonean priest-kings is attacked by the forces of Herod who is supported by Mark Antony. Hasmonean Dynasty falls when Herod takes Jerusalem with troops from Mark Antony under C. Sosius, governor of Syria. Antigonus is captured and taken to Syria where he is beheaded by Sosius on orders of Mark Antony- who was bribed to do so by Herod.
-Herod loots the wealthiest families of Jerusalem and puts 45 Hasmoneans to death.
King Herod the Great
37- Antony sends legions under C. Socius to install Herod, son of Antipater on throne of Judea in Jerusalem. Sosius joins his legions with Herod's amry and they storm the Hasmoneans who are under the command of Antigonus in Jerusalem. Herod the Great begins his reign. Judea becomes a client kingdom of Rome- loses status as a Roman province.
30- Herod brings Judea to high development. But he is hated by the Jews for being a Hellenizer.
27- Herod begins to rebuild the Second Temple in Jerusalem. Makes sure that there are no images in the temple or on coins.
-Herod makes Caesarea his capital and rebuilds it as a Greek city.
19 BC- Herod begins to restore the temple in Jerusalem. Overseen by priests for purity. Herod has a Roman Eagle placed over the door. Rioting ensues
7-4 BC- probable dates for the birth of Jesus
-at the birth of Jesus, Galilee is under the tetrarchy of Herod Antipas. And Judea is under direct Roman rule.
4BC- Judean rebellion starts when the Roman gold eagle is set up on the gates by Herod. Judas Sepphoraeus and Matthias, sons of Margolathus, are the 2 Pharisee teachers behind the rebellion - falsely believing Herod was dead, they got one of the pupils to pull down the eagle and smash it.
-Herod massacres the Pharisees in Judea for attempting to pull down the Roman Eagle from the temple in Jerusalem. He may also have initiated the 'massacre of the innocents'.
4 AD- death of Herod the Great just before passover. Rule of his son Herod Archelaus begins. His rival is Herod Antipas. Archelaus gets Judea and Idumea; Philip gets the north east.
-death of Herod sparks a revolt provoked by his abuses. Judas the Galilean and a small army capture Sepphoris and terrorized the region.
-Varus invades Samaria, Judea and Idumea- uses all three legions in Syria to crush a revolt in Judea. Judas and the rebels are driven underground. Galilee is crushed first. Sepphoris is destroyed. Varus achieves victories in Gallilee and in Judea, thus returning Herod's kingdom to Roman rule.
-2,000 rebels crucified by the Romans.
4 AD- Augustus decides to break up Herod's kingdom into three. Replaces the Herodean kingdom with Judea.
Rebellion of the Zealots
6-rural resistance movement revived against Rome and its Jewish Pharisee and Sanhedrin collaborators. Resistance is led by Judas the Galilean. Together with Zadok the Pharisee he founds the Zealots and the Sicarii. Judas holds that Isreal should have no earthly lord.
-legate of Syria Sulpicius Quirinius marches south to repress the rebellion. Tries to impose the census. Quirinius sells off the property of Archelaus, dismisses unpopular high priest Joazar and appoints Ananus as high priest.
6- Judea annexed by Rome. Becomes a provinice under Quirinnius, Governor of Syria. Census finally held and tribute being paid.
25- circa- Jesus begins his ministry.
26- Pilate appointed prefect of Judea. Succeeds Valerius Gratus.
26- Pilate marches his legion into Jerusalem needlessly offending the Jews.
27- February- Baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist. Christ announces his Ministry then spends 40 days in the desert. He returns to John the Baptist and recruits his disciples.
27- John the Baptist arrested and executed by Herod Antipas.
30- Passover- Wed 5 April or 14 of Nisan- or March 17, probable date of the crucifixion. Of Christ.
39-40- Caligula orders governor Publius Petronius to take half the legions ot Judea and negotiate the placement of Caligula's statue in the temple. The Jews refuse. Mass protests follow at Petronius' HQ in Ptolemais, Petronius asks Caliguala to cancel the edict and is supported by King Agrippa I who is visiting Caligula in Rome.
40- Christianity spreading fast among the Jews.
41- Emperor Claudius makes Herod Agrippa King of Roman Judea and Samaria.
44- Herod Agrippa executes James (brother of John), leader of the Christian community in Judea and imprisons Peter.
45-46- Fadus is procurator of Judea. The zealot Theudas leads a crowd to the Jordan. Fadus decodes it's a rebellion and has Theudas decapitated and his head impaled on the gates of Jerusalem.
The Jewish War
66-70 AD- rebellion of the Jews against Rome. The Jewish war begins.
70- the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple by the Roman general Vespasian ends the Jewish War.
132-5 AD- the Kingdom of Israel ends with the collapse of the Bar Kochba uprising. The messianic figure of Simon Bar Kochba leads a revolt against occupation by Hadrian’s Rome. Sucessful at first, the movement is defeated by the Roman general, Julius Severus. Jericho and Bethlehem are destroyed and the Jews prohibited from entering Jerusalem.
Byzantine Jerusalem; Gradual Exodus of the Jews from Palestine.
-Hadrian reconstructs Jerusalem as a Roman colony.
312- after Constantine converts to Christianity, Palestine becomes a destination of Christian pilgrimage. Jews begin to leave the region, reducing the Jewish population.
-Christian revivial in Jerusalem.
325-637- Palestine under the rule of the Byzantine Empire.
335- the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is completed on the site of the crucifixion, on mount calvary.
451- the Council of Chalcedon divides the Roman Empire into five Holy Sees , establishing the see of Jerusalem and Palestine- with its own patriarch.
614- Chosroes II, Sassanian monarch of Persia conquers Jerusalem.
628- Palestine is recovered briefly by the Byzantines.
Muslim Conquest- the Abbasids and the Umayyads.
633-637- Muslim conquest of Palestine and Syria under the Caliph Umar.
-637- Muslims capture Jeruslem. It is made the second holy city after Mecca.
-Gaza is the burial site of the Prophet Muhammad’s great grandfather, Hashem Ibn Abdul Manaf.
-Palestine becomes a holy place for Muslims. The Dome of the Rock is alleged to be a stopping place of Mohammed on his way to heaven.
-691- Umayyad leader Abdul malik ibn Marwan erects the Dome of the Rock on the alleged site of the temple of Solomon. Nearby the Aqsa Mosque is built.
-750- Palestine becomes part of the Abbasid Caliphate. A period of dissension between partisans of the former Umayyad dynasty and the Abbasids.
800-1000- Byzantine and Islamic Arab rivalry over Jerusalem.
Fatimid Rule- Persecution of Christians and Jews
-9th century- Palestine is conquered by the north African dynasty, the Fatamids.
969 -the Fatimid ruler Muizz takes Jerusalem and burns down the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
-Palestine becomes the site of resistance by Bedouins, Byzantines, Seljuks and Karmatians to Fatimid rule.
-Muslim persecution of Christians in Palestine.
996-1021- the Fatimid Caliph Hakim ruthlessly suppresses Palestinian Christians and Jews. Churches are destroyed.
1099- European Crusaders conquer Jerusalem and massacre its Jewish and Muslim population.
-the Crusaders establish a Kingdom at Jerusalem.
-Crusaders periodically occupy Gaza.
1187- Saladin, the Kurdish founder of the Ayyubid dynasty, defeats the Crusaders at the battle of Hittin and retakes Jerusalem.
1244- Jerusalem sacked by the Mongols.
1249- the Mamlukes, a Turkish slave corps under the Fatimids, found a dynasty in Egypt, overthrowing the Ayyubids and taking Palestine.
1250-1517- a Mameluke sultanate in Egypt and the Levant.
-the Mamelukea finally stem advance by the Mongols.
1291- the fall of Acre. The Crusaders are driven from Palestine once and for all by the Mamelukes.
-the Mamelukws try to resist the growing power of the Turks by making trade contact with Europe. Europe, however, takes advantage of the situation to trace new trade routes to the far east, by-passing the Middle east. As a result, the region, including Palestine begins to suffer.
Decline of Palestine
-Palestine goes into decline under Mamluk rule.
1516- the Mamluks are beaten by the Ottoman Turks.
1517- Palestine and Gaza come under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. But for the Ottomans, there is no single entity called Palestine. It is divided into the Sanjak (district) of Jerusalem in the south. In the north it is part of the vilayat (province) of Beirut. The city of Jerusalem is ruled directly from Constantinople.
-the Ottomans bring an end to strife between Turks and Mamelukes in Palesine.
-the Ottomans restore security to trade routes throughout the Middle East.
-Palestine begins a short-lived economic and cultural recovery with the renewed flourishing of Arab traders.
-under Ottoman rule, the Mameluke territory of southern Syria and Palestine is ruled from Damascus.
-the Ottomans isolate Palestine from outside influences. However, they grant Francis I of France the right to protect Christian shrines in Palestine.
1541- Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the magnificent rebuilds city walls of Jerusalem.
1575 (circa) Jerusalem declining as a religious and commercial center.
1656- Grand Vizier Mehmet Koprulu slows Ottoman decline by instituting reforms. Thousands executed for corruption.
1757- contrary to an agreement with the French, the Ottomans agree to Russia being the protector of Christians in the Levant
1774- -the Treaty of Kuchuk Kainarji also allows Russia to be protector of Greek Orthodox Christians in the Ottoman empire
Invasion by Napoleon Bonaparte.
1798-99- to cut India off from the British, the French, under General Bonaparte, launch an invasion of Egypt and from Egypt to Palestine and Syria, breaking the rule of the Mamelukes. Appealing to English strategic help and Turkish armies, Bonaparte is forced back to Egypt. Though its attempt at domination fails, the French manage to sustain a presence in the region dating back to the Crusades.
The European presence increases.
1807- the Ottoman Sultan, Selim III launches a modernization program
1808- rejecting Selim’s modernization attempts, the Janissaries force him to abdicate. Reformers in his court are massacred.
-Jerusalem begins to experience a Christian revival with pilgrimages and new hospices and churches
-1831- Muhammed Ali, Egyptian viceroy to the Ottomans, deals with rebellions against the Ottomans in Saudi Arabia and in Greece. The Ottoman Sultan, Mahmoud, having promised him Syria and Palestine as a reward, renegs. Ali rebels, takes Syria and from Syria occupies Palestine. He and his son open the area to European influence.
1831-40- Egyptian occupation of Syria and Palestine. Because Ali is a protege of France, France refuses to help the Sultan. Ali wins Cilicia, Palestine and Syria.
1832-41- Jewish immigration to Palestine increases under Muhammed Ali.
1834- a national Ottoman militia is set up to supervise military training in the remote provinces
-the power of the Ottoman provinces is reduced. Roads, trade, postal service and communications are reformed. Corruption is reduced.
-Muslims tend to compete for political positions, while entrepreneurship and progress in commerce is left to Jews, Greeks and Armenians and through them, the Europeans. Increasingly the Muslim population has contempt for Christians and their modernizing tendencies.
1840- in a bid to stop the center of power in the Middle East moving to French-supported Egypt, the British invade and expel Muhammed Ali from Syria and Palestine and the Ottomans reassert control. Nevertheless, western influence continues to penetrate the area.
-1855- Jerusalem expands beyond its city walls. Its population, once small and stagnant, increases.
-the Palestinian Arab Husayni family takes over large tracts of land in southern Palestine.
1875- majority of the population of Jerusalem is Jewish.
1876--Midhat Pasha overthrows Sultan Aziz in a coup. The new sultan dies and is replaced by his brother, Abdul Hamid II. He appoints Midhat Pasha as his vizier. Midhat and Hamid adopt a new constitution. Belgian and French constitutions are used as models. Universal equality before the law is declared and a two-chamber assembly along with some decentralization of government
1880- Ottoman government, in debt to Europe, is bankrupted by the war with Russia.(1874). Taxes and tarrifs used to pay off the debt.
-as Sultan Hamid II modernizes he turns the Ottoman empire into a police state. Tries to distract the public with an Islamic revivial
Arrival of European Jews.
1882- settlement in Palestine by a first wave of Russian Jews in flight from pogroms in Russia.
-Palestinian peasants are impoverished under absentee landlords and Osmanli tax collectors. Palestinian Arabs and Christians, ruled in separate “millets” by the Ottomans, have little contact.
-northern Palestine is controlled by landlords based in Damascus and Beirut. The southern half is populated by nomadic Bedouin who range over the region from Jordan and Sinai.
The Husaynis and Palestinian nationalism.
-most Palestinians associate themselves with Syria while the Husayni family takes on leadership of Palestinian Arabs. Between 1865 and World War I, 6 of Jerusalem’s 13 mayors are Husaynis.
-Arab nationalism begins to develop in opposition to Ottoman rule.
-1900- Jews, the largest group in Jerusalem, expand past the city walls.
-1904-14- a second wave of Jewish settlers- primarily intellectual and middle class. So far there is only desire for refuge, not for a state.
-to Arabist scholars and to Arab nationalists, Palestine is historically a part of southern Syria and as such is no less Arab than any other Arab region in the Middle East.
-1913-1918- Ottoman empire is under a dictatorial triumvirate of the Young Turks: Talat Bey, Enver Pasha and Jemal Pasha. Ottoman empire is effectively a police state. More attempts are made to westernize the military.
British Liberation of Palestine from the Ottomans
-World War One- the British, with the help of the Arabs, wrest Palestine from the Ottomans.
1917- the Balfour Declaration: Britain declares support for the idea of a Jewish homeland in Palestine.
-meanwhile, the campaign of TE Lawrence has helped to stoke Arab nationalism among Palestinians. Britain promises a Palestinian Arab state as well as a Jewish state.
-Baghdad and Jerusalem also rebel against Istanbul.
- the British, with the help of the Arabs, wrest Palestine from the Ottomans
-Oct. 31- General Allenby defeats the Turks in Palestine at the battle of Beerhsheba.
-Jewish nationalist organizations- Histadruth and Haganha.
1918- Turkey is defeated on its Middle Eastern and European fronts
Oct. 18- Sultan Muhammed VI signs an armistice with the allied powers. The Ottoman empire comes to an end.
- to sustain the Palestinian social structure, the British support Husayni leadership of the Palestinians.
1919- in Palestine there are: 568,000 Muslims, 74,000 Christians and 58,000 Jews.
The Husaynis and the Nashashibis
-the Husaynis lead the anti-Zionist Muslim-Christian Association.
-the Husaynis support the creation of a Palestine independent from Syria. The Husaynis remain ambivalent about British control in the area; they need yet resent British support.
-to control the Husaynis, the British play them off against their rivals, the second most powerful family in Palestine, the Nashashibis.
-British appointment of Amin al-Husayni as mufti and Supreme Muslim Council president make him the predominant figure in Arab Palestine.
The British Mandate.
-1920- Aug. 10 -the Treaty of Sevres makes Syria a French protectorate and Palestine and Jordan a British protectorate.
1920-1947 Israel is fornally a British Mandate.
-with the French administering Syria and the British administering Palestine, what was traditionally southern Syria for 1,300 years of Arab history, is represented by Europeans as a separate entity- Palestine.
First Arab-Jewish Riots
1920- the first Arab, anti-Zionist riots.
-a third wave of Jewish immigrants with a specifically Zionist agenda arrives. Tensions escalate with the Palestinian Arabs.
-Nashashibi-Husayni rivalry for leadership of Palestinians increases
-among the Arabs, a split develops between the radical Husaynis, led by the Haj Amin Husayni and the more moderate Nashishibis which sought negotiation for a two-state solution. Husayni believes that Palestine should retain its traditional membership with Arab Greater Syria.
-the Husayni faction responds with a campaign of violence against moderate Arab mayors.
-the Husayni-Nashishibi rivalry turns into a veritable blood feud.
-Amin Husayni shows signs of starting an Islamist trend, ordering Christian women to wear the veil and attacks begin on Druze and Christian minorities.
1921- -but to conciliate the Arabs, the British pardon al Husayni and make him Grand Mufti of Jerusaelm
-1921- May 1-6- Arabs riot against the new wave of Jewish settlers.
-The Mufti al Husayni begins restoring the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque.
1928- an Arab Conference in Jerusalem fails to unify the 2 Palestinian leadership factions.
1929- Arabs and Jews clash when Mufti Amin Husayni tries to limit Jewish use of the Wailing Wall. Palestinians massacre 200 Jews at Hebron.
1930-1945- Jewish immigration increases due to Nazi persecution. 200,000 Jews arrive.
1935- the Palestinian national parties, unified only by their opposition to Zionism, have still failed to achieve unity.
1935- Palestinian radical Islamist cleric Izz a Din Qassim begins armed insurgent attacks against the British in north Palestine. But Qassim is killed by the British .
The Palestinian Uprising.
1936- the Arab High Committee is formed by Amin al Husayni to oppose all Jewish claims in Palestine.
Apr.-Oct- Arab general strike in protest of arms smuggling by the J ews.
1936-39- Palestinian uprising led by guerilla units started by the late Izza a Din Qassam.
1937-the Peel Commission Report recommends the partition of Israel into a Jewish State, an Arab state and a British mandated state. Jews are divided over accepting it.
Sept. -the Pan Arab Congress at Bludan: the Arabs reject the Peel Commission report. They demand that all Jewish settlement and expansion stop and that Jews be recognized only as a minority in an Arab state.
-Jews and Arabs fighting pitched battles.
-the British arrest the Arab High Committee and deport many to the Seychelles. Haj Amin al Husayni flees to Syria. Syria becomes the base for the Arab insurgents. The radicals get greater control over the Arab movement
1938 January- the British postpone the partition plan.
June- Jewish anti-Arab militant Solomon Ben Yusef is executed.
-July-Aug- fighting intensifies all over Palestine.
Oct 2- the massacre of 20 Jews by militant Arabs at Tiberias.
-meanwhile the Arab resistance collapses as the Husayni-Nashishi feud pushes Arab Palestine into internecine chaos, with the targeting of ‘collaborators’ with Britain and the Jews coalescing with old Arab family vendettas.
Nov 9- Britain’s Woodhead commission abandons the partition plan.
1939- May- both Jews and Arabs reject a further British plan for joint Arab-Jewish government.
-British give in to Arab pressure to curb Jewish immigration and to limit the sale of land to preserve the Arab majority.
-the British and their policy are fought by a Jewish insurgent group, the Irgun, Zwei, Lumi gang.
World War Two
-the Jewish Agency makes Palestine into an allied supply centre.
Holocaust reinforces the idea of a Jewish State.
1945- the opening of the concentration camps and the revelation of the holocaust gives the idea of an Israeli state the force of world opinion.
1945-47- the British evacuate Palestine as Jewish settlers flood in after the war with US support. Tension builds between Jews and Palestinian Arabs.
-after US President Truman advocates a difficult, pro-Zionist solution, Britain seeks to extricate itself from Palestine altogether.
-1947 the UN proposes a Jewish state comprising the Negev in southeast Palestine to the Gulf of Aqaba; south central Israel below Jerusalem; a coastal strip running north from Tel Aviv to Acre and a northeastern strip which includes the Sea of Galiliee and runs northward between southern Syria and Lebanon. This would leave an Arab state along the Sinai border and along tghe coast in the southwest, and separately another area from below Jerusalem northward through Samaria, (the West Bank) and Galilee, the northwestern area against the coast and the Lebanese border. The Arabs, meanwhile, refuse to countenance a Jewish state. Central Jerusalem, at the crossroads of Nablus-Hebron highway and the east-west highway to the coast would remain under British Mandate with the UN-administered city surrounding it.
-UN intends Jerusalem to be an international city with free access to Jews, Christians and Muslims.
1948- May 14- Britain withdraws from Palestine. David Ben Gurion announces the creation of an independent state of Israel.
Israeli War of Independence
1948-49- Jordan, Syria and Egypt attack the new state of Israel. Israel successfully holds them off. Under the terms of UN armistice lines, Israel rules the northwestern Palestinian territory on the Lebanese border in the north and the southwest Palestinian area long the Sinai border as well as a large central area around the West Bank. Eastern Palestine is ruled by Jordan as the West Bank. Gaza, a sliver of coastal territory unconquered by Israel, goes to Egypt. Israel controls all of Jerusalem west of the Ramallah-Bethlehem highway. Jordan rules the reimaining sliver of Jerusalem east of the highway.
-Israel occupies all of Palestine save for Gaza and the West Bank.
-west Jerusalem comes under Israeli control. East Jerusalem is ruled by Jordan.
-Tel Aviv becomes the internationally recognized capital while Jerusalem remains the self-declared capital.
-in Gaza, Amin Husayni tries to found a government of all of Palestine.
-Gaza City becomes the capital of the Gaza Strip.
1955- Israeli troops raid Gaza, killing 36 Egyptian troops.
1956- the Suez Crisis. Egypt’s Abdul Nasser stands down France and Britain as he nationalizes the Suez Canal. Israel occupies Gaza.
1957- Israel returns Gaza to Egypt.
The Six Day War and the PLO.
1967- The Six Day War. Israel emerges victorious and adds East Jerusalem, Gaza, Sinai, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Sinai Peninsula, and the Golan Heights as occupied territories. The Suez Canal Zone and the Syrian frontier along the Golan Heights are supervised by the UN.
Israel occupies the remaining strip of Jordanian Jerusalem east of the Ramallah-Bethlehem Road.
1970- many Palestinians are expelled from Jordan into Palestine. They become the PLO.
PLO leader Yasser Arafat is a blood connection of the radical Al Husayni that led the insurrection in 1936.
The Yom Kippur War
1973- The Yom Kippur War- Egypt and Syria launch a surprise attack on Israel to recover occupied Syrian and Egyptian lands. Israel defeats Syria and Egypt.
1975- Egypt regains the Suez Canal area, supervised by the UN since 1967.
1979- Israel and Egypt’s President Anwar Sadat sign a peace agreement.
1981- Gaza, though still under military command, is placed under civilian adminstration.
-Sinai is returned to Egypt.
The First Lebanon War
1982- The First Lebanon War. Israeli General Ariel Sharon invades Lebanon and Beruit to root out the PLO once and for all.
1982- the PLO evacuates by sea and disperses from Lebanon.
The First Intifada and the founding of Hamas
1987- Dec 9- Palestinians launch the intifadah- permanent resistance to Israel.
Dec 27- Hamas (Movement of Islamic Resistance) is founded by Sheikh Ahmad Yassin and other members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Its short-term aim is to eject Israel from the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza -and in the long run to found an Islamic State, ratified by referendum, in all of Palestine.
-the armed wing of Hamas is called Izz a Din Qassam, after the leader of the 1936-39 intifada.
-initially Hamas rejects Iranian revolution as Shia.
1988- Jordan renounces any claim to the West Bank. In response, the PLO declares Palestine a sovereign state while recognizing the Israeli state of Israel
1989- Hamas leader Yassin imprisoned by Israel. . Abdul Aziz Rantizi made leader of Hamas.
1990s- continual attempts to launch peace talks to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflct.
1991- Iraq invades Kuwait. The Gulf war ensuses as a US-brokered international alliance invades Iraq, a major supporter of the PLO.
1991- during the Gulf Crisis, Hamas gets funding from the Gulf States after cutting off funding to the PLO as punishment for siding with Iraq.
-Hamas is ambivalent about the 1st Gulf war- because many of its donors are from the oil rich Gulf states.
-after the 1st Glf war Hamas and Iran hold meetings.
-Hamas sets up an office in Iran and Hamas leaders begin meeting with Hezbiollah leaders in Lebanon.
-as a result of the defeat of Iraq, which had been a supporter of the Palestinians, a weakened PLO decides to bargain for peace with Yitzak Shamir's Labour party government in Israel. The result is secret taks held in Oslo, Norway.
1992- Israel deports 413 Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders to Lebanon.
1993- September- 1/3 of Gaza is taken up by 16 Jewish settlements.
The Oslo Accords
1993- September: the Oslo Accord and Gaza-Jericho agreement: Israel withdraws from the Gaza Strip; seven major west bank towns to be handed over to Palestinian rule as Israel formally recognizes a potential Palestinian State. The Palestinian National Authority is recognized as its government. Hamas rejects the agreement.
1993- the Palestinians issue a declaration of principles for self-rule in the occupied territories.
-the problem of a divided Jerusalem is not dealt with in the Oslo Accords.
-after 1993- Hamas begins receiving several million a year from Iran.
-Hezbollah and Hamas cooperated\ on the level of coordination rather than operations or training.
-cooperation becomes closer as Israel-Palestinian conflict increases.
1994- May-- Gaza becomes the base of the Palestinian National Authority. Under an Interim Agreement, it is enlarged to accommodate buffer zones between Jews and Palestinians. Sections southern coastal border and the southern border with Egypt are under Israeli-Palestinian joint control. Israel occupies a strip along the entire eastern border and three strips running across central Gaza to the coast so that Palestinian Gaza is divided in four. Israel also occupies a strip alng the south end of the west coast. Hamas decries Israeli occupation and declares Israeli settlers to be occupiers who must be resisted.
July Yasser Arafat returns to the Palestinian territories after 33 years' absence. He becomes chairman of the Palestinian Authroity.
-Jericho also transferred to Palestinian control.
1994- 29 Palestinians murdered in Hebron. In retaliation Israel assassinates Hamas’s Yahya Ayash, commander of Hamas suicide bombers.
1994- Palestinians losing ten times the number of Israelis killed in the Intifadah.
-Israel's commitment to Oslo is revealed as little than a negotiation for security as it begins land confiscations which break up Palestininan areas designated under Oslo, making them difficult to administer.
1994- Peace Treaty between Jordan and Israel.
The Palestinian National Authority clamps down on Hamas.
-Oct.- Hamas kidnaps an Israeli soldier in Tel Aviv. The PNA arrests 350 Hamas supporters Hamas begins to oppose the PNA.
1994-5- Jericho and Gaza get autonomous status. Intifadah decreases.
-Hamas begins to incite violence against Israel.
1995- January- Hamas’s military wing, the Qassam Brigade, mounts suicide bombings against Israel in retaliation for death of Yahya Ayash.
1995- January- Arafat becomes president of the Palestinian authority.
November 4- Israeli Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin is assassinated by a Jewish extremist.
May- Nablus, Tulkarm, Ramallah and Bethlehem transferred to Palestinian control.
-about forty separate islands of land in the West Bank are under Palestinian adninstration.
Collapse of Oslo Accords
1996- June- Benjamin Natanyahu elected prime minister of Israel at head of Likud Party. Oslo Accord collapses
September- Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank: Tulkarm, Nablus, Qalqiliya, Bethlehem, Nablus, Jenin and Ramallah are under Palestinian control. Salim, Birzeit, Halhul, Nahalin, Hebron and Abu Harah are under joint control. Scattered in the entire western half of the West Bank are at least 128 Jewish settlements.
1996- Palestinian suicide bombings carried out in Israeli cities. Israeli forces engage the PLO in south Lebanon and in the West Bank.
-Arafat losing popularity due to increasing poverty among Palestinians and the corruption of the PNA.
-Hamas boycotts PNA elections.
1997- Israeli troops withdraw from Hebron in accordance with the Oslo Accords.
-fast-growing illegal Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories spark renewed fighting.
-Prime Minister Netanyahu orders construction of settlements for 30,000 new Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem. Hamas, in response, starts a new suicide bombing campaign.
-Under Israel pressure, the PNA suppresses Hamas.
The Wye Agreement.
1998- the Wye Agreement between Arafat and Netanyahu moderates Jewish settlement in Palestinian lands. Because of that and failure to reach agreement about East Jeruslaem, Netanyahu starts to lose settelrs’ support.and the agreement is suspended. Jerusalem is not dealt with.
-the PNA arrests Hamas leaders for criticizing the Wye Agreement.
1999- Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party is defeated by Ehud Barak’s Labour Party.
2000- President Clinton’s Camp David II peace talks fail. Barak is seen by Israelis as being soft on Palestine during negotiations with Arafat. Barak starts to negotiate the status of Jerusalem.
-Hamas criticizes the PNA for attending Cap David.
2000- Sept 27- Sharon visits the Temple Mount in Jerusalem setting off the Second Intifadah.
-‘Al Aqsa’ Intifadah suicide bombers begin a campaign against Israel.
-Arafat refuses Israeli requests to arrest Hamas leaders and there’s a rapprochement between Hamas and the PNA. Hamas becomes a member of the Popular Resistance Committees which include Islamic Jihad and radical members of Fatah.
-Palestinians start the second intifada. Israel resorts to targeted killings in response to Palestinian suicide bombings.
2001- Barak defeated by Ariel Sharon, who is seen to represent the Jewish settlers.
-late April,- Nasralla and Khalid Mashaal present at Tehran's "International conference on the Palestinoian Intifada"
-2001- Iran tries to get 50 tons of munitions to the Palestinian Authority via Hezbollah.- (Congressman Howard Berman in an address to the American Iranian Council)
-2002- Under Sharon’s direction, Israeli troops re-occupy the Palestinian Territories.
2002- in response to the continuing intifadah, Israel re-occupies the West Bank and begins construction of a security wall between Israel and Palestine. The wall is plotted so that it cuts off chunks of Palestinian land. .But Israeli right wing critics complain that the wall effectively recognizes a Palestinian nation.
-March 2002- meeting of Hamas and Hezbollah leasers in Lebanon about attacking Israel.
-2003- Ariel Sharon re-elected.
-throughout the next two years repeated Palestinian suicide bombings against Israel are accompanied by incursions into the territories by the Israeli Defence Forces and by targeted killings of Hamas leaders.
Mahmoud Abbas is Palestinian Prime Minister.
-2003- under international pressure, Mahmoud Abbas is approved by Arafat as Palestinian prime minister.
-the U.S. releases its updated Road Map to peace.
2003- June-August- Israel carries out targeted assassinations of Hamas leaders.
Abbas resgines; succeeded by Ahmed Qurei
-Mahmoud Abbas resigns. Arafat appoints Ahmed Qurei as new Prime Minister.2003-
Sept-Oct- Palestinian suicide bombings in Israel.
Oct-Nov. Ahmed Qurei resgins as Palestinian Prime Minister and then is reinstated after negotiations with Arafat.
2004- March 22- Israeli forces assassinate Hamas leader, Ahmed Yassin.
-March- (likely after the assassination of Sheikh Yassin in Gaza) Nazrallah decides to join forces with Hamas.
2004- July 9- International Court of Justice rules that the Israeli security barrier violates international law and must be torn down.
Oct 25-26- Israel’s Knesset approves Ariel Sharon’s plan for disengagement.
Arafat Dies; he is succeeded by Abbas as Prime Minister.
Nov. 11- Yasser Arafat dies.
2005- Jan 9- Mahmoud Abbas elected head of Palestinian National Authority.
May 26- Mahmoud Abbas visits Bush at White House. Bush agrees in principle to 1949 borders for Israel.
-European Union observers are placed in Gaza to allay Israel's concerns that Gazan Palestinians are bringing in weapons from Egypt.
Aug 16- Sept 1- under Sharon, Israel evacuates Gaza, handing settlements over to Palestinians.
Sept 15- Sharon calls for peace, recognizes Palestinian rights in an address to the UN.
Hamas wind elections. Prime Minister Sharon immobilized by a stroke.
2006- Jan 4- Ariel Sharon suffers a stroke, putting him put of politics permanently.
Jan- Iran’s Ahmedinejad visits Assad in Damascus and they met with leaders of Hamas and Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and PFLP- according to Israel's consuil general in New York.
Hamas wins in Palestinian elections- provoking international economic sanctions.
Jan 26- Hamas wins the election in the Palestinian territories, ending PLO-Fatah rule.
March 28- Ehud Olmert is elected Prime Minister of Israel.
-the Palestinian people suffer as international economic aid dries up due to sanctions in protest of Hamas’s refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist.
-Hamas is a branch of Muslim Brotherhood- backed by Saudi Arabia, all of which are anti-Shia. But Hamas coop-erated with Iran because it had been cut off from funding in the west. Iran may have wanted Hamas to attack Israel from Gaza.
June 25- Israel invades Gaza in response to the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier by Hamas.
July 12- Hezbollah fighters kidnap two IDF soldiers on Israel’s border with Lebanon.
The 2006 Summer war in Lebanon.
-Israel invades Lebanon in response to the kisnapping of its soldiers. Hezbollah retaliates, firing masses of rockets into Israel. Heavy Israeli artillery bombardment, ground attacks and aerial bombardment destroy mush of Lebanon’s infrastructure but fail to destroy Hezabollah. Hezbollah is considered to have womn by standing firm.
Aug 14- the Israel-Lebanon war ends with a UN brokered ceasefire.
Nov. 26- a truce is declared in Gaza but fighting between Israel and Palestinians continues throughout the terriotories.
Strife between Hamas and the PNA
2007- Jan 19- Israel pases 100 million in tax revenues to Palestinian Authority President President Mahmood Abbas to encourage Fatah at the expense of Hamas.
-a power struggle over control of the Palestinian cause begins between Hamas, which holds parliamentary power and the Palestinian National Authority which heads the government.
2007- Feb 8- Palestinian Unity Agreement signed in Mecca: the Palestinian National Authority and Hamas agree to share power.
March 12- BBC reporter Alan Johnston kidnapped.
-March-May- despite Mecca accord, fighting between Hamas and the PNA verges on civil war.
May 4- the US sets a timetable for Israel to ease restrictions in the Palestinian territories and for the Palestinians to increase border security for Israel.
May 18-26 Israel launches air strikes at Hamas targets and arrests a Hamas minister.
June- in fighting verging on civil war, Hamas expels the PNA from Gaza- taking over political control there. The Hamas movement's armed wing, better known as al-Qassam Brigades, along with the executive police force formed by Hamas last year, overpower the PNA security headquarters by force.
-as civil war develops, the PNA begins to expel Hamas from the West bank.
June 14- Hamas claims victory over Fatah in Gaza.
July 3- Alan Johnston freed by alQaeda-linked group named Army of Islam. Hamas claims responsibility for obtaining his freedom, distances itself from al Qaeda and denies any links. Skeptics call Hamas’s intervention a piublicity stunt in order to secure international recognition and the resumption of aid.
Sept 6- uncompleted Syrian nuclear reactor hit by Israeli air-strike.
Sept. 27- Israel retaliates against rocket attacks launched from Gaza.
Oct 10- Hamas says it is ready for talks with Fatah.
Oct 20- heavy fighting between factions within Hamas.
Oct 25-29- Israel cuts power and fuel to Gaza.
Nov. 12- Hamas fires on Fatah rally held in honour of the 2nd anniversary of the death of Arafat.
Nov. 13- Hamas holds 400 Fatah members arrested at rally, in detention.
Nov. 26- President Bush inaugurates peace talks between Prime Minister Olmert and President Abbas at Annapolis with the goal of a two-state solution.
2008- January 24- Hamaz activists bulldoze and dynamite the containing wall in souhtern Gaza,, opening a border crossing into Egypt. At least half the 1.5 million population of Gaza flows through the crossing into Raffa, Egypt, to get supplies.
January 28- PNA Fatah president Mahmoud Abbas agrees with Arab nations and the European Union that the latter will post observers at Gaza's Raffa crossing provided Abbas posts his PNA guards on the crossing as well.