1996 A Turbulent Year For Israel Essay

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1996: A Turbulent Year For Israel Essay, Research Paper 1996: A Turbulent Year for Israel 1996 has been a very turbulent year for Israel. This lies in the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin on November 4, 1995. Rabin’s great work in the peace process with it’s Arab neighbors has been nearly reversed by Israel’s newly elected Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who actively opposed the peace process in the election. Netanyahu’s term of service has not only affected Israel politically but also socially, intellectually, religiously, and economically. In dealing with Yasser Arafat and the Palestinians Netanyahu was originally quoted saying that he would only meet with Arafat under special circumstances and that, “the era of one-sided giving was over.” Warren Christopher,

Secretary of State for the U.S., was able to arrange a peace conference with Arafat on the Gaza border. One article called it a , “Psychological breakthrough” (Netanyahu meets with Clinton). The issues at hand were Israel fulfilling it’s pledge to the Palestinians to redeploy it’s troops stationed in the West Bank town of Hebron so that they will only guard the 440 Jews who live there, from the tens of thousands of Palestinians. Also at issue were the exit permits given to Palestinians allowing them to go from there jobs in Israel to there homes in Gaza and the and the West Bank. That leads to another issue over whether or not a rail link between Gaza and the West Bank should be formed. The major problem with that would be the cost. In the next round of Israeli-PLO peace

talks, both sides could not reach a compromise and after four hours talks failed. To complicate matters further 3,000 houses were approved to be built in the West Bank by the Israeli government. “Peace Now spokesman”, Alon Arnon, called the housing, “A final burial of the hope of peace.” (West Bank Settlement Approved) Netanyahu also ended the month by opening a tunnel to Muslim and Jewish Holy sites that resulted in bloody riots that killed 76 people. The month of October cooled down a bit with an ice breaking summit in Washington. Netanyahu returned with a change in attitude calling Arafat a person whom he could resolve problems with. But aside from his change in demeanor no substantial agreements were made. In November Israel went on high alert in fear of an attack

planned to disrupt the peace process, possibly on the one year anniversary of the Jihad’s leader Fathi Shakaki. Again the peace effort was thrown back when the Israeli government announced plans to double the number of Jewish settlers in the West Bank. At one point Netanyahu asked the U.S. and Germany to help use their influence in Iran and Syria to hold the terrorists at bay. Arafat also grew tired of what he considered to be stalling on the part of the Israeli government. He called for plans already agreed to, to be put in motion. Netanyahu then makes a statement that he envisions, “A Palestinian entity with broad power,” but fell short of declaring full independence. One article called this a sign that Netanyahu was, “moving towards the Israeli political

center.”(Netanyahu Mulls Palestine Land) Towards the end of November peace talks tookplace about the redeployment of troops in Hebron. The main issue that stalled the talks was Israel’s insistence on written agreements that Israeli troops could chase Palestinian suspects into the city. In December, peace talks continued and as of now a decision was on the verge of being reached once final details were worked out. On January 1, 1997 a Jewish military officer, believed to be mentally disturbed ,walked into a Palestinian market and opened fire. Waving after being arrested he said, “Hebron, always and forever.” Israel also had some serious problems with it’s Arab neighboring countries. In September Israeli forces launched air and ground attacks to counter Lebanese