The Urban Areas of Israel Essay

Ever since the official declaration of the Israel State in 1948, the conflict over the territory has been in force. Even before, the antebellum activities like the British Mandate of Palestine [5, 1922] approved by the League of Nations, and the following division of the Mandate into one Jewish and one Arab state, brought serious tension into the Arab-Jewish relations and lead to the rejection of the plan by the Arab League. Sad but true, the conflict has not been resolved in the course of the following 50 years and is still one of the hottest crises of the world.

The major cities of Israel, especially the capital, where the religious and historical places of the three religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are concentrated.

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Israel asserts that the city should not be divided, and should remain unified within Israel’s political control. Palestinians claim at least the parts of the city which were not part of Israel prior to June 1967 (before the Six-Day War, during which the Israelites enlarged Jerusalem’s boundaries be adding the East Jerusalem, initially controlled by the Jordanians (nowadays over one third of the Jerusalem inhabitants are Muslim and most of them still live in the Eastern part of the city Jerusalem) [1, 2006].

The question of who should rule the city and how should it be divided is quite complicated, the relatively recent summits of 2000-2001 failed to provide the solution that would have suited both parts, especially taking into consideration the Israel law of 1980 claiming “Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel.”[2, 2008] And the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Palestinian Declaration of Independence eight years later, where Jerusalem is claimed to be the capital of the State of Palestine.

The principal source of conflict over the cities is the question of governing. Neither part accepts the possibility of the holy places to remain under control of the opponent. Mutual charges take place in abundance, and they are far from being groundless, especially basing on the half a century long conflict that sometimes turns into a real bloodshed.

The military confrontation has certainly influenced the conditions of living and the state of the urban areas around Israel. Even when the conflict fades a bit, there are no reasons for breathing with relief – there always are chances for a new wave of violence, terrorism or other activities undermining normal existence. The issue of refugees is also in force especially on the occupied territories where hostilities and military conflicts take place.

The conditions for Israelites and Palestinians are not the same mainly because of the existing official status of the land of Israel, while the Palestinian autonomy has not still been recognized officially of the international arena. The situation in Janin, Nablus, Ramallah, Jericho, Bethlehem, Hebron, Haifa, Tel Aviv, Qiryat.

Gat and Gaza vary depending on the geographic situation and distance from the conflict territories. The cities that protect the national borders of Israel, as well as the capital are the most vulnerable places throughout the country. There are several solutions to the problem – one is the common government providing equal rights to both parts, the other is a territory within a state of Israel with different levels of autonomy. The question of governing the cities should either be divided on a religious principle (but that might only aggravate the religious and political confrontation) or there is another opportunity – more complicated but still more rewarding – finding a common basis for governing the city and the state.

In 2005-2007 the internal-violence and direct conflict clashes caused the deaths of over 1200 Palestinians and 86 Israelis. The First Intifada of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (1987-2000) took lives of more than 1500 Palestinians and over 400 Israelis, while along the first part of the Second Intifada (up to 2004) over 3000 Palestinians and almost 1000 Israelis ceased. [3,4, 2008]

There is no correct answer on who should rule the territory, as long as any proposal will cause more deaths and injuries of the common citizens. The confrontation has already destroyed the lives of thousands of families. If there is a way of finding a mutually beneficial solution to this problem, I would stand for it.

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