Overview of Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
The conflict between Jewish and Arab residents of Palestine began in the early 20th century because of significant Jewish immigration. In 1947 the United Nations partitioned the area and created the nation of Israel.
The Arab opposition to the establishment of Israel led to two military conflicts each of which resulted in Israeli control of considerable additional territory in the region. In 1967 Israel began occupation of former Jordan territory (the West Bank), Syrian territory (the Golan Heights), and Egyptian territory (the Sinai and Gaza Strip).
Palestinians have engaged in two distinct periods of violent resistance to the Israeli occupation characterized by terrorist incidents and known as "Intifadas",
Due to a series of agreements, the Sinai was returned to Egypt, the Gaza Strip has come under Palestinian control, and the West Bank is divided between Israeli and Palestinian control. Many Palestinians remain residents of United Nations-operated refugee camps.
Public opinion in the U.S. tends to be favorable to the Israeli side of the dispute but world opinion generally has condemned the prolonged occupation.