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Israel

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Index
  1. Israel Main Page
  2. State of Israel Gives Jews a Homeland
  3. Israel Expands Its Territory Through War
  4. Peace Treaty with Egypt Brings Temporary Calm to Mideast
  5. Jewish Settlements Increase Tension Between Israelis and Palestinians
  6. Netanyahu Steps Back from Oslo Accord
  7. Progress Toward Peace Inconsistent
  8. Violence Between Israelis and Palestinians Reaches New Heights
  9. Israel Withdraws Settlers from Gaza
  10. Sharon Forms New Party
  11. Hamas Dominates Parliamentary Elections
  12. Israel Criticised for Attacks on Lebanon
  13. New Hope for Peace as Leaders Return to Bargaining Table
  14. Violence Flares in Gaza
  15. Netanyahu Returns to Power; Peace Talks Fall Apart
  16. Attack on Aid Flotilla Causes International Uproar
  17. Peace Talks Resume—Briefly
  18. Unaffordable Housing Costs Cause Mass Protests
  19. Terrorist Attacks Threaten Peace with Egypt
  20. The Palestinians Request Membership to UN, Give up on Talks with Israel
  21. Gilad Shalit Released After More Than Five Years
  22. Exploratory Talks with Palestine Stall while Tension with Iran Increases
  23. Netanyahu Calls for Early Elections
  24. Report Confirms Suspicions over Iran's Nuclear Program
  25. Violence Erupts with Hamas in November 2012
  26. Palestine Given Status Upgrade at UN
  27. 2013 Election Shows a Slight Move to the Center for Israel
  28. Netanyahu Maintains Tough Stance against Iran
  29. Peace Talks Resume After Five Years
  30. Parliament Passes Landmark Military Service Legislation
Violence Between Israelis and Palestinians Reaches New Heights

Peace talks in July 2000 at Camp David between Barak and Arafat ended unsuccessfully, despite President Clinton's strongest efforts—the status of Jerusalem was the primary sticking point. In September, Likud Party leader Ariel Sharon visited the compound called Temple Mount by Jews and Haram al-Sharif by Muslims, a fiercely contested site that is sacred to both faiths. The visit set off the worst bloodshed in years, with the deaths of around 400 people, mostly Palestinians. The violence (dubbed the Al-Aksa intifada) and the stalled peace process fueled growing concerns about Israeli security, paving the way for hard-liner Sharon's stunning landslide victory over Barak in Feb. 2001. Attacks on both sides continued at an alarming rate. Palestinians carried out some of the most horrific suicide bombings and terrorist attacks in years (Hamas and the Al-Aksa Martyr Brigade claimed responsibility for the majority of them), killing Israeli civilians at cafés, bus stops, and supermarkets. In retaliation, Israel unleashed bombing raids on Palestinian territory and sent troops and tanks to occupy West Bank and Gaza cities.

In 2003, in an attempt to restart the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Israel and the United States resolved to circumvent Arafat, whom Sharon called “irrelevant” and an obstacle. Under U.S. pressure, Arafat reluctantly appointed a prime minister in April, who was to replace him in negotiating the peace process, Mahmoud Abbas, formerly Arafat's second-in-command. On May 1, the “Quartet” (the U.S., UN, EU, and Russia) unfurled the “road map” for peace, which envisioned the creation of a Palestinian state by 2005. Although Sharon publicly acknowledged the need for a Palestinian state and Abbas committed himself to ending Palestinian violence, by fall 2003, it became clear that the road map led to a dead end as Palestinian attacks on Israeli civilians continued, and Israel stepped up its “targeted killings” of Palestinian militants. Sharon also persisted in building the highly controversial security barrier dividing Israeli and Palestinian areas.

In May 2004, the UN Security Council condemned Israel's attack on the Rafah refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, the largest Israeli military operation in Gaza in decades. In July, in response to a ruling by Israel's supreme court about the construction of the West Bank barrier, Israel revised the route so that it did not cut into Palestinian land. The UN estimated that the original route would have taken almost 15% of West Bank territory for Israel.

Next: Israel Withdraws Settlers from Gaza
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