Israel Palestine conflict: history of violence explained as fighting escalates - and where is Gaza on the map?

The conflict goes back over 100 years.
Watch more of our videos on Shots!
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Tensions have spilled over between Israelis and Palestinians in recent weeks, leading to violent conflict.

The fighting is the result of an unresolved conflict that has been simmering between Israel and Palestine for decades.

When did the conflict start?

A series of Israeli airstrikes were targeted Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza strip, early on May 12, 2021.A series of Israeli airstrikes were targeted Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza strip, early on May 12, 2021.
A series of Israeli airstrikes were targeted Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza strip, early on May 12, 2021.

The roots of the conflict go back 100 years, when Britain took control of the area known as Palestine after the ruler of the area was defeated in World War One.

At the time, the lane was inhabited mostly by Arabs, with a Jewish minority population.

Tensions between these communities began to rise when Britain was implored by the international community to create a homeland in Palestine for Jewish people.

Jewish people considered the area their ancestral home, laying historical claim to the land, but Palestinian Arabs opposed the move, saying they had a claim to the land.

The number of Jewish people in the area grew between the 1920s and 40s as Jews fleeing the Holocaust in Europe sought a new homeland.

During this time, violence against British rule, and between Jews and Arabs, also grew.

Read More
Israel stampede: dozens killed and 150 injured in crush at Lag B'Omer religious ...

What happened after World War Two?

After World War Two, in 1947, the UN voted for Palestine to be split into separate Jewish and Arab states.

It was at this point that Jerusalem became an international city.

The vote was accepted by Jewish leaders, but Arab leaders rejected the plan and it was never implemented.

Unable to solve the issues, British rulers left the area in 1948 and Jewish leaders subsequently declared the creation of the state of Israel.

The move angered Palestinians, causing a war in which troops from nearby Arab countries invaded.

The war led to thousands of Palestinians being forced out of their home, and by the end of the conflict, Israel were in control of the majority of the territory.

Jordan occupied land which became known as the West Bank, while Egypt occupied Gaza.

The city of Jerusalem was left divided between Jordinian forces in the East and Israeli forces in the West.

There was never a peace agreement made between the sides, meaning wars and fighting have followed ever since.

Most Palestinian refugees and their descendants settled in Gaza and the West Bank, as well as Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.

In another war in 1967, Israel occupied the West Bank, East Jerusalem and most of the Syrian Golan Heights, the Egyptian Sinai peninsula and Gaza.

Though Israel has now pulled out of Gaza, the UN still regards the territory as occupied.

Israel continues to occupy the West bank and claims the whole of Jerusalem as its capital.

Palestinians, however, claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

Over the past 50 years Israel has built settlements in this area, with more than 600,000 Jews living there.

Palestinians claim the settlements are illegal under international law, but Israel does not agree.

The US is one of only a handful of countries around the world who recognise Israel’s claim to the whole of Jerusalem as their capital.

Where is Gaza?

The Gaza strip is a small strip of territory along the Mediterranean coast between Egypt and Israel.

The territory is claimed by Palestinians and run by Hamas, an anti-Israeli terrorist group.

The territory, however, is still controlled to an extent by Israel, controlling their air and land space as well as several land crossings.

Gaza depends on Israel for water, telecommunications, electricity and other utilities.

Why has conflict reignited?

The recent conflict has arisen out of a now-delayed Israeli court ruling on whether a group of Palestinians could be evicted from their homes in the Old City’s Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood to allow Jewish settlers to move there instead.

Airstrikes have killed 43 people in Gaza, inducing 13 children, while six people have been killed in Israel.