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What are the main milestones in the emergence of the Palestinian problem and the Arab-Israeli conflict?

Since the inception of the state of Israel in 1948, the Arab-Israeli conflict has dominated the political landscape of the Middle East. More specifically, the Palestinian-Israeli dispute has taken centre stage as the paramount problem facing not only parties in the region, but the international community itself.

This essay seeks to explore in more depth, the main milestones in the emergence of the Palestinian problem, as well as examining more broadly the underlying issues which has left the majority of the Arab world in conflict with Israel since the late 1940s. Firstly, by looking at the origins of the Arab-Israeli conflict pre-1948 War of Independence and then by analysing the key events since then, we will start to tackle what is a hugely complex and endlessly debateable topic.

All in all, the nature of the final status of a Palestinian state itself would be a massive issue. Would it be allowed its own foreign and defence policy with the right to sign treaties with whomever they like, including a potentially hostile state such as Iran? What form of governance would it take? The West would surely demand a transparent democracy but is this likely when a non-secular movement such as Hamas is in power?

In summing up, the Arab-Israel conflict is one which has many milestones. Its roots are in the pre-WW1 declarations of the Western powers regarding the state of Palestine. Its evolution sees it move through a period of thirty years of war between Israel and its neighbours to a period of concentrated conflict in Palestine itself after the Egypt-Israel peace treaty. Today, Israel sees itself working with a Palestinian Authority less likely to be ready for peace than it has been for decades as well as a hostile Hezbollah on its northern border. Overall, though the Arab-Israeli dispute has evolved and become more concentrated into a Palestinian-Israel dispute, for the aforementioned reasons of territory, settlements and borders, refugees and Jerusalem alone, a solution is unlikely to be attained any time soon.

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