Country Profile

Israel

Summary

Although the Israel-Palestine conflict is largely a nationalist one, in which two peoples lay claim to the same piece of land, it also has strong religious elements. That same piece of land is of central religious importance to four billion people around the world, and its holy sites are triggers for the escalation of the conflict. 

1Israel, established in 1948, is a Jewish majority state with a 20 per cent Arab minority, most of whom are Muslim.

2The 1967 Six Day War brought further territories in Gaza, the Sinai, the West Bank and the Golan Heights under Israeli control. For Israel's 'national-religious' - those who have a religious commitment to Israeli control over the biblical Land of Israel - this was of immense significance, and a sign of divine favour.

3The war also brought East Jerusalem, including the Old City and the Holy Esplanade (Temple Mount to Jews, al-Haram al-Sharif to Muslims) under Israeli control. A status quo in which the Islamic religious endowment controlled the Esplanade, but Israel controlled the Western Wall has been in force since. Nevertheless, rumours over Israeli intentions at the site have been a frequent catalyst for violence.

Situation Report

The suggestion that the Israel-Palestine conflict is essentially religious does not stack up. But the idea that it has no religious aspects is also baseless. The driving forces behind the modern Zionist movement were secular, as were the dominant voices in the Palestinian and Arab opposition to the State of Israel. However, from the beginning there were religious aspects to the hostilities, and in recent years, they have become more prominent.

Conflict over the Holy Land, and Jerusalem in particular, is not a modern phenomenon. Jerusalem has been fought over...........

  • Global Overview
  • 1. Violent Religious Extremism Incidents: September 2016 1
  • 4. Violent Religious Extremism Incidents: June 2016 1
  • 5. Violent Religious Extremism Incidents: May 2016 4
  • 6. Violent Religious Extremism Incidents: April 2016 1
  • 7. Violent Religious Extremism Incidents: March 2016 2
  • 8. Violent Religious Extremism Incidents: February 2016 3
  • 9. Violent Religious Extremism Incidents: January 2016 5
  • Counter-Extremism
  • Counter-Extremism Incidents: September 2016 11
  • State Counter-Extremism: Statements: September 2016 4
  • State Counter-Extremism: Use of Force: September 2016 4