The Israeli–Palestinian relation has been full of ongoing turmoil. The conflict is wide-ranging, and the term is also used in reference to the earlier phases of the same conflict, between Jewish and Zionist yishuv and the majority Arab population living in Palestine under Ottoman or British rule. It forms part of the wider, and generally earlier, Arab–Israeli conflict. The remaining key issues are: mutual recognition, borders, security, water rights, control of Jerusalem, Israeli settlements, Palestinian freedom of movement and legalities concerning refugees. The violence resulting from the conflict has prompted international actions, as well as other security and human rights concerns, both within and between both sides, and internationally.
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Many attempts have been made to broker a two-state solution, which would entail the creation of an independent Palestinian state alongside an independent Jewish state or next to the State of Israel (after Israel's establishment in 1948). As recently as 2007, a majority of both Israelis and Palestinians, according to a number of polls, prefer the two-state solution over any other solution as a means of resolving the conflict. Moreover, a considerable majority of the Jewish public sees the Palestinians' demand for an independent state as just, and thinks Israel can agree to the establishment of such a state. A majority of Palestinians and Israelis view the West Bank and Gaza Strip as an acceptable location of the hypothetical Palestinian state in a two-state solution. However, there are significant areas of disagreement over the shape of any final agreement and also regarding the level of credibility each side sees in the other in upholding basic commitments. An alternative is the one-state or binational solution, whereby all of Israel, the Gaza Strip, and West Bank would become a bi-national state with equal rights for all.
Within Israeli and Palestinian society, the conflict generates a wide variety of views and opinions. This highlights the deep divisions which exist not only between Israelis and Palestinians, but also within each society.
A hallmark of the conflict has been the level of violence witnessed for virtually its entire duration. Fighting has been conducted by regular armies, paramilitary groups, terror cells and individuals. Casualties have not been restricted to the military, with a large number of fatalities in civilian population on both sides.
There are prominent international actors involved in the conflict. The two parties engaged in direct negotiation are the Israeli government, currently led by Benjamin Netanyahu, and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), currently headed by Mahmoud Abbas. The official negotiations are mediated by an international contingent known as the Quartet on the Middle East (the Quartet) represented by a special envoy that consists of the United States, Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations. The Arab League is another important actor, which has proposed an alternative peace plan. Egypt, a founding member of the Arab League, has historically been a key participant.
Since 2003, the Palestinian side has been fractured by conflict between the two major factions: Fatah, the traditionally dominant party, and its later electoral challenger, Hamas. Following Hamas' seizure of power in the Gaza Strip in June 2007, the territory controlled by the Palestinian National Authority (the Palestinian interim government) is split between Fatah in the West Bank, and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The division of governance between the parties has effectively resulted in the collapse of bipartisan governance of the Palestinian National Authority (PA).
A round of peace negotiations began at Annapolis, Maryland, United States, in November 2007. These talks aimed at having a final resolution by the end of 2008. The parties agree there are six core, or 'final status,' issues which need to be resolved.