Palestine profile Country
The Palestinian case is the ongoing struggle between Israelis and Palestinians that began in the early-20th century, following the Balfour Declaration in 1917 when the British government declared its support for the creation of a home for the Jewish people in the land of Palestine. The state of Israel was officially declared in 1948 after war between Palestinians and Jewish settlers, where half the Palestinian population were forced out of their homes in a mass exodus known as the Nakba (Arabic for catastrophe).
Why are people fleeing Palestine?
Palestinian territory now consists of the West Bank and the Gaza strip. Conditions in Gaza are particularly bad with regular bombings and assassinations taking place by Israel. Palestinians in Gaza experience feelings of insecurity due to the bombings, fact that their homes must be rebuilt with the absence of raw materials, the unjust blockade and the suspension of work in Gaza. The situation is further exacerbated by the Islamic movements now controlling Gaza.
Israel and Egypt, Gaza’s other neighbour, have maintained a crippling blockade, locals say “siege”, on goods going into the 25-mile-long territory. Israel, which recalled its forces occupying the area in 2005, says the restrictions are for its security. But the UN says the blockade constitutes collective punishment.
It is this life that has driven tens of thousands to protest along the Israeli frontier each Friday for almost a year, throwing rocks and bottles of burning petrol in vain at Israeli soldiers on the other side. The protests have called for an easing of the blockade and also the right of return for Palestinians to ancestral homes in Israel. The Israeli army has responded by shooting more than 6,000 people and killing at least 180.