The history of Palestine:
1. Prehistoric times
2. Canaanite and Israelite Period
3. Persian, Hellenistic, and Roman Period
4. Byzantines to the Ottomans Period
5. The British Mandate period
A Palestinian State has never existed. There was a Palestinian British Mandate, an area which was under Turkish control from 1417 to 1917 and was administered by the British after the end of the 1st World War and until 1948.
On November 29, 1947, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a Resolution for the establishment of an independent Jewish State in Palestine, and called upon the inhabitants of the country to take such steps as may be necessary on their part to put the plan into effect.
This recognition by the United Nations of the right of the Jewish people to establish their independent State may not be revoked. It is, moreover, the self-evident right of the Jewish people to be a nation, as all other nations, in its own sovereign State.
The Avalon Project at Yale Law School:
Declaration of Israel's Independence 1948
Declaration of Israel's Independence 1948
* As a strictly legal matter, the Jews didn't take Palestine from the Arabs; they took it from the British, who were sovereign in Palestine for thirty years prior to Israel's declaration of independence in 1948, a sovereignty that was recognized as legitimate by the international community at the time. And the British don't want it back.
* If you consider the British illegitimate usurpers, fine. In that case, this territory is not Arab land but Turkish land, a province of the Ottoman Empire until the British wrested it from them during the Great War in 1917. And the Turks don't want it back.
* If you look back earlier in history than the Ottoman Turks, who took over Palestine over in 1517, you find it under the sovereignty of the another empire not indigenous to Palestine: the Mamluks. These were Turkish and Circassian slave-soldiers headquartered in Egypt, who took Palestine over from the Ayyubi dynasty (the descendants of Saladin) in 1250. And the Mamluks don't even exist any more, so they can't want it back.
So, going back 800 years, there's no particularly clear chain of title that makes Israel's title to the land inferior to that of any of the previous owners. Who were, continuing backward:
* The Mamluks, already mentioned, who in 1250 took Palestine over from:
* The Ayyubi dynasty, who under Saladin conquered Palestine in 1187 from:
* The European Christian Crusaders, who conquered Palestine in 1099 from:
* the Seljuk Turks, who ruled in the name of the Abbasid Caliphate of Baghdad, which in 750 took over of the entire Near East from:
* The Umayyad Caliphate of Damascus, which had inherited control of the Islamic lands in 661 from
* The Arabs from Arabia, who in the first flush of Islamic expansion conquered Palestine in 638 AD from:
* The Byzantines, who (nice people - perhaps it should go to them?) didn't conquer the Levant but inherited it from:
* The Romans (upon division of the Empire in 395), who in 63 B.C. took it over from:
* The last Jewish kingdom, who during the Maccabean rebellion from 168 to 140 B.C. won control of the land from:
* The Hellenistic Greeks, who under Alexander the Great conquered the Near East in 333 B.C. from:
* the Persian empire, which under Cyrus the Great in 639 B.C. took Mesopotamia and Palestine from:
* The Babylonian empire, which in 586 B.C. under Nebuchadnezzar took Judah and Jerusalem from:
* the Jews, meaning the people of the Kingdom Of Judah, who in their earlier incarnation as the Israelites, seized the land in the 12th and 13th centuries B.C. from:
* the Canaanites, who had inhabited the land for thousands of years before they were dispossessed by the Israelites.
In May 1967, Egypt and Syria took a number of steps which led Israel to believe that an Arab attack was imminent. On May 16, Nasser ordered a withdrawal of the United Nations Emergency Forces (UNEF) stationed on the Egyptian-Israeli border, thus removing the international buffer between Egypt and Israel which had existed since 1957. On May 22, Egypt announced a blockade of all goods bound to and from Israel through the Straits of Tiran. Israel had held since 1957 that another Egyptian blockade of the Tiran Straits would justify Israeli military action to maintain free access to the port of Eilat. Syria increased border clashes with Israel along the Golan Heights and mobilized its troops.
The U.S. feared a major Arab-Israeli and superpower confrontation and asked Israel to delay military action pending a diplomatic resolution of the crisis. On May 23, U.S. President Lyndon Johnson publicly reaffirmed that the Gulf of Aqaba was an international waterway and declared that a blockade of Israeli shipping was illegal. In accordance with U.S. wishes, the Israeli cabinet voted five days later to withhold military action.
The U.S., however, gained little support in the international community for its idea of a maritime force that would compel Egypt to open the waterway and it abandoned its diplomatic efforts in this regard. On May 30, President Nasser and King Hussein signed a mutual defense pact, followed on June 4 by a defense pact between Cairo and Baghdad. Also that week, Arab states began mobilizing their troops. Against this backdrop, Nasser and other Egyptian leaders intensified their anti-Israel rhetoric and repeatedly called for a war of total destruction against Israel.
Arab mobilization compelled Israel to mobilize its troops, 80 percent of which were reserve civilians. Israel feared slow economic strangulation because long-term mobilization of such a majority of the society meant that the Israeli economy and polity would be brought to a virtual standstill. Militarily, Israeli leaders feared the consequences of absorbing an Arab first strike against its civilian population, many of whom lived only miles from Arab-controlled territory. Incendiary Arab rhetoric threatening Israel's annihilation terrified Israeli society and contributed to the pressures to go to war.
Against this background, Israel launched a pre-emptive strike against Egypt on June 5, 1967 and captured the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip. Despite an Israeli appeal to Jordan to stay out of the conflict, Jordan attacked Israel and lost control of the West Bank and the eastern sector of Jerusalem. Israel went on to capture the Golan Heights from Syria. The war ended on June 10.
The facts are that the Palestinians have refused a State of their own twice already: in 1948 and in October, 2000.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and US President Bill Clinton offered the following to the Palestinians:
An independent Palestinian State, recognized by Israel and the rest of the World.
Control over 95% of the West Bank and Gaza (see the Maps and history pages for details).
Control over part of Jerusalem.
Arafat and the Palestinian Authority, the Islamic Jihad, the Hamas, and other Palestinian terrorist groups chose to continue their armed struggle through terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians. These attacks include random shootings against women, children and passers-by in any street in Israel or homicide/suicide bombers who attach kilograms of explosives to their bodies and blow themselves up in malls or busy streets.
Between September 29, 2000 and December 1, 2005, Magen David Adom treated a total of 7,590 casualties as follows:
976 killed, 621 severely injured, 907 moderately and 5,086 lightly injured, among them 11 MDA staff members.
(IDF casualties treated by IDF medical personnel are not included in these figures.)
Magen David Adom (MDA) is Israel's emergency medical, health, blood and disaster services.