The Cost of Occupation – The Burden of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: 2008

This document aims to present the social, economic, military and political price that Israel has been paying for its continuing occupation of Palestinian territories

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This year Israel celebrates its sixtieth birthday. The State of Israel was founded and recognized on the basis of the 1947 United Nations decision to partition the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea between two states, one Arab and one Jewish. The Zionist leadership agreed to the partition. The Palestinian leadership, which represented the majority of the Arab population and considered itself the only legitimate claimant to the entire land, opposed the partition. Together with neighboring Arab states, it attacked the Jewish settlement in Palestine and lost the war. Following the 1967 war, Israel took control of all of the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, which included a large proportion of the Palestinian people. Following that victory, it was in Israel’s power to implement the United Nations decision to partition the area between Israel and the Palestinians – along the lines of June 4, 1967 rather than those of the 1947 UN resolution. Many people were of the opinion that this would be the right thing to do, including David Ben Gurion, the founder of the state. However, victory bred arrogance and a desire on the part of Israel to maintain exclusive control over the area. Since then, during 40 of the 60 years of Israel’s existence as a sovereign state, it has acted to deny sovereignty to the Palestinians