DONALD Trump’s decision to go against years of political policy and recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has caused major upset worldwide and the US President has been accused of destroying any chance of peace between Israelis and Palestinians. But why is it such a big deal?
First of all, a little background into Jerusalem and the conflict between the two groups: Jerusalem is considered a holy city by Christians, Jews and Muslims alike, and is rich in religious significance. Both Israelis and Palestinians claim the city as its capital, but until now, the rest of the world has opted not to recognise either of these claims.
The current conflict between Israelis and Palestinians has been ongoing since the end of World War II. After the war, during which millions were killed during the Holocaust, the Jewish people were given a large portion of land in the region they considered their “traditional home” — in Palestine. However, the Arabs who lived there thought the offer was unfair.
To try to ease tensions between the Jewish and Arab people, in 1947 the United Nations proposed the land be divided into an independent Arab State, an independent Jewish State, and the City of Jerusalem. Neither side was happy with the solution.
In 1948 they went to war, which left Palestinians fleeing Israel for Gaza (controlled by Egypt) and the West Bank (controlled by Jordan). Tensions continued, and during another war in 1967, Israel again captured control of a large portion of Palestinian territory, including the West Bank and Gaza Strip. They also annexed East Jerusalem. Conflict over the land and city has continued ever since.
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