The occupation - a brief history

In the late 1800s, a group known as Zionists, a minority of the Jewish population from Europe, decided to colonise Palestinian land with the aim of creating a Jewish state. This immigration eventually led to the first outbreak of violence between the soon-to-be Israelis and Palestinians.

As the conflict grew out of control, the United Nations (UN) decided to intervene. They gave away 55% of the Palestinian land to the Zionists for the formation of a Jewish state, Israel, and established them as the ruling body. This happened despite the fact that the Jews represented about 30% of the total population and owned less than 7% of the land. This decision of the UN conflicted with its own charter regarding self-determination by denying the Palestinians the right to define their own political status.

In 1948, Palestinians called a strike against the partition leading to violent outbreaks and ultimately in an all-out war. During that period, 8 out of 13 major Zionist military attacks occurred in the declared Palestinian land. By the end of the war, Israel had conquered 78% of Palestinian land, destroyed over 500 towns and villages and undertook the mission to cleanse the land of Palestinian presence.

The 1967 War between Israel and Egypt aided Israel to conquer the remaining 22% of Palestinian land it did not possess, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Under international law, it is illegal to acquire territory through war and do not belong to Israel but are ‘occupied’