Abstract and Keywords
Israel’s theory and practice in the conflict with the Palestinians since the beginning of the Zionist enterprise reveals continued striving for secure and exclusive Jewish national territorial sovereignty over historic Palestine while disregarding Palestinians’ collective political rights and claims to the same territory. Nonetheless, changing regional and international constraints brought Israeli decision makers to shift their strategies in coping with the Palestinian political/military challenges to the country’s security and international legitimacy. This chapter analyzes Israel’s shifting policies toward the Palestinians, from long-term denial and military responses to negotiated agreements and tense coexistence with a self-governing Palestinian authority in the West Bank and Gaza Strip since the 1993 Oslo Accords. Since that period, however, the collapse of the Oslo process in the year 2000 and consequent Palestinian uprising, the increased role of religion in the conflict on both the Israeli and Palestinian sides, Israel’s insistence on continuing its overall domination of the Palestinian territories, and the stalemated diplomatic process all underline the narrowing options for bringing this conflict to any peaceful end.
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