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By Milton-Edwards, Peter Hinchcliffe

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Extra info for Conflicts in the Middle East since 1945 - 2nd Edition (The Making of the Contemporary World)

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Instead, we agree with Tessler who asserts that, ‘both Israel’s Jews and Palestinians have legitimate and inalienable rights. 1 Since the early roots of the conflict the battle between Palestinian and Israeli has been about territoriality, identity, ethnicity and religion, economics, competing nationalisms, colonialism and imperialism. Attempts to resolve the conflict, once described as one of the most intractable on earth, have in the past floundered on mutual suspicion and antagonism often exacerbated by the influence of other actors on the conflict.

Separation of these groupings has been officially encouraged; intermarriage is rare and not permitted under religious law in Israel. Schooling, housing and other services are largely confined to one ethnic group or another. This official policy promotes division within Israeli society because it does not embrace the separate but equal philosophy in practice. Arabs and Jews remain unequal parties in many aspects of life. The Palestinian–Israeli conflict 27 By May 1948 Israel was established as an independent state and was recognized by the UN.

Many types of settlement activity, some ideologically motivated, others religiously and yet more ‘paramilitary security’ based, emerged over the ensuing decades and were tacitly supported by the state. The settlement of Palestinian land started in earnest in the early 1970s and by the late 1990s hundreds of thousands of Israeli Jews were living in such illegally constructed settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and were proving to be a major and growing obstacle to the resolution of the Palestinian–Israeli conflict.

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