The Israel-Palestine Conflict

The Israel-Palestine conflict is one that has been ongoing, and worsening, since the late 1940s when the state of Israel was established. Three years following the second world war, Israel claimed part of Palestine as their land and created the first Jewish state. Since then, there has been an ongoing conflict between the Israeli government and the remaining Palestinians, who seek to protect their land, people, and culture. One of the largest regions of Palestine, with one of the highest percentages of Palestinians in the state is the West Bank region. The West Bank is situated between Israel and Jordan. In 1948, many Palestinians had to flee their homes as a result of the partition of Palestine that created Israel. Following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the region was ruled by Jordan, however, Israel captured the area during the Six-Day War of 1967. At the 1974 Arab League Summit, a resolution was passed officially recognizing the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. Jordan later withdrew claims to the West Bank and today it, along with the Gaza Strip, comprise the territorial claims of the State of Palestine.

Since the Israeli occupation of Palestine began, there have been calls by Palestine for sovereignty over the region. Both Jewish and Muslim communities claim the area on historical grounds and a compromise on how to peacefully administer the land has been difficult to find. However, in 1993, both sides signed the Oslo Accords which created separate zones within the West Bank under varying amounts of control. Area A is officially controlled by the Palestinian National Authority, but it is noncontiguous and makes up only 11% of the West Bank, and is subject to Israeli military incursions. Area B is subject to civil control jointly by Israel and the Palestinian National Authority and makes up 28% of the West Bank. Finally, Area C is under full Israeli control and comprises about 61% of the West Bank. Despite the Oslo Accords, Israel has continued to expand settlements in the region, and preventing Palestinians from constructing their own settlements.

In 2016, the United Nations Security Council approved Resolution 2334 which condemned Israeli settlements in the West Bank as “flagrant violations” of international law and without legal validity. It also demanded Israel stop the construction of new settlements and respect its responsibilities as an occupying country under the Fourth Geneva Convention. Of the fifteen members of the Security Council, 14 voted in favor, while the United States abstained.

Various options for peace have been suggested over the past 30 years. Options have included a two-state solution, with the creation of a separate, sovereign, Palestinian state. In the latest attempt toward some form of peace agreement, the Trump Administration announced a proposed peace plan in January 2020 that would have included the creation of a Palestinian state. Despite this plan being seen as a compromise, it was criticized for being too harsh on the Palestinians and for the fact that no Palestinian representatives were present during the negotiations. Palestine has rejected the proposed plan, though Israel has accepted it.

It is clear that until some permanent settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is found, the prospect of violence will linger. Since the 1980s, there have been many civilian deaths and injuries, most of them Palestinian. Over the last several years, existing tensions have particularly led to violence in the Gaza Strip. In May 2021, “Israel killed 232 Palestinians, including 54 minors and 38 women. At least 137 of them did not participate in hostilities, including 53 of the minors and all women.” (B’Tselem) And most recently tensions overheated in August 2022 with both militant and civilian casualties occurring in the Gaza Strip.

As the Security Council, your role is to find a peaceful settlement to the situation. Can you forge a compromise in which all parties involved are satisfied with either a long-term or short-term solution?

Questions to Consider:

  • What is your country’s position on Palestine? Does it recognize Palestine as a state?
  • What is your country’s relationship with Israel? Does it have close economic or political ties with Israel?
  • How should the international community arbitrate the conflict between Israel and Palestine?
  • How can the territory be administered in a way that satisfies both Israel and Palestine? ● What steps can the United Nations take to ensure peace in the region?

Resources to Consider

  • Security Council Resolution S/RES/2334 2016.pdf 
  • Security Council Resolution S/RES1435 
  • ● West Bank CIA World Factbook. CIA. world-factbook/geos/we.html 
  • United Nations West Bank News, United Nations.



“Revisiting the History and Current Situation in the West Bank.” The Washington Post, June 9 2017.

“UN ‘Regrets’ New US Position on Legality of Israeli Settlements | | UN News.” United Nations, November 19, 2019.

Beauchamp, Zack. 2018. “What Are Israel and Palestine? Why Are They Fighting?” Vox, 20 November 20, 2018.

B’tselem: The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories. “2021 was the deadliest year since 2014, Israel killed 319 Palestinians in oPt 5-year record in house demolitions: 895 Palestinians lost their homes” January 4, 2022.

“Israeli-Palestinian Conflict | Global Conflict Tracker.” Council on Foreign Relations, Council on Foreign Relations.

McGreal, Chris. 2020. “‘Don’t talk about history’: How Jared Kushner Crafted His Middle East ‘Peace’ Plan”. The Guardian, January 28, 2020. news/2020/jan/27/jared-kushner-israel-palestine-peace-plan 

Liebermann, Oren. 2020. “Gantz Tells Israeli Army to Step up Preparations in West Bank Ahead of Possible Annexation.” CNN, June 2 2020.

Schwartz, Felicia, and Dov Lieber. 2020. “Israel Presses Ahead With Plan to Annex Parts of West Bank.” The Wall Street Journal, June 1, 2020.