The contested city of Jerusalem : City of peace or city of conflict ?

    27-May-2021
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Daryal Rocko Anal
Contd from previous issue
Then, in 1897 AD, Zionist Movement initiated under Theodor Herzl (Father of Modern Zionism) for return of Jews to their ancestral homeland and re-establishment of Israel Nation.
Then in 1917 came the First World War in which the British captured Jerusalem from the defeated Ottoman Empire. The British in its Balfour Declaration supported the establishment of Jewish homeland in Palestine. The text of the Declaration was included in the Mandate for Palestine—a document issued by the League of Nations in 1923 that gave Britain the responsibility of establishing a Jewish National homeland in British-controlled Palestine. During the Second World War (1939-1945), Holocaust and persecution of Jews by Nazism led thousands of Jews to flee to Palestine.
With the end of the Second World War (and the Holocaust) in 1945, Zionist movement gained momentum for an independent Jewish Nation. In 1947-48, The United Nations (UN) adopted Partition Plan for Palestine. In 1947, the UN General Assembly adopted the Plan as Resolution 181 which recommended the creation of independent Arab and Jewish States and a Special International Regime for the city of Jerusalem. The Plan stipulated that the Mandate would be terminated and the United Kingdom would withdraw no later than 1 August 1948. The Plan sought to address the conflicting objectives and claims of two competing movements, Palestinian Nationalism and Jewish Nationalism or Zionism. The Plan also called for Economic Union between the proposed States, and for the protection of religious and minority rights. The Plan was basically accepted by the Jews but the Arab leaders and Governments unanimously rejected the UN partition plan and were bitterly opposed to the establishment of a Jewish State. Immediately after adoption of the Resolution by the UN General Assembly, a civil war broke out and the plan was not implemented. When the British Mandate of Palestine expired on 14 May 1948, and with the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel, the surrounding Arab States Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Syria invaded Israel which became the 1948 Arab–Israeli War or the First Arab-Israel War. The 1948 War resulted into division of Jerusalem into two -Israel controlling West Jerusalem and Jordan controlling East Jerusalem.
Then in 1967, the 6 Days Arab-Israel War took place in which Israel defeated the Arabs and captured and annexed East Jerusalem and since then Israel has complete control over Jerusalem. Another war took place in 1973 between Arabs and Israel (Yom Kippur War) but with no drastic consequences. In 1977, Egypt became the first Arab country to recognise Israel when Egyptian President Sadat visited Israel leading to signing of Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty in 1978. Consequently, Israel returned the Sinai to Egypt.

(To be contd)