Country Profile

State of Palestine

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.

1The establishment of Israel in British Mandate Palestine in 1948 sparked a conflict with the surrounding Arab states that has continued in various forms to this day.

2The advances of Israel in the Six Day War in 1967 to control the West Bank and Gaza further continued this. To Palestinians, this is seen as imperial conquest deserving of resistance. To many Israelis, it is seen as a matter of essential national security. And to Israel's 'national-religious' (those whose commitment to the land has a religious form), it is a matter of religious necessity.

3Groups such as Hamas frame their resistance in religious terms as well. To them, the whole of historic Palestine is an Islamic religious endowment, and according to Hamas' charter, negotiation over the land amounts to a betrayal of its religious obligations.

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
  • 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