Human rights can be defined as the rights that every person deserves. Depriving such rights leads to violation, hence causing human suffering. There are many examples of the Palestinians rights being violated by Israel such as being displaced from their homes. The Israeli-Palestinians conflict has been a subject of discussion, especially in the Middle East for over 5 years. According to Lamis Andoni, Israel army has killed and injured many Palestinians in the process of crushing their efforts geared towards fighting for their rights (173). The Palestinians decided to engage in armed struggle in fighting for their rights as non-violent tactics failed. The Palestinians rights are being violated in the Middle East. For example, Israel made use of overwhelming force in the process of countering violence during peaceful protests. Are the Palestinian rights being violated in the Middle East? The Palestinian rights are being violated in three major ways, not allowing aid ships for sick people during the blockade, forced displacement from their homes, and abusive detention through army court.
First, the Palestinian rights are being violated by not allowing aid ships for sick people during the blockade. The Israel army participated in performing the illegal armed operation that was against the activists who were challenging siege of Gaza. For example, Israel’s attack on aid ships an indication of a country that was involved in illegal actions in territories occupied. According to Andoni, the reaction of Israel to the non-violent protests outside and inside the territories occupied shows fear of asserting the Palestinian identity in Palestine land (174). The killing of Tom Hurndell and Rachel Corrie shows the impunity for Israel as they were killed as they protested in a peaceful manner against the actions of the Israel army geared towards the citizens of Palestine. The activists were working towards making sure that blockade of Gaza was ended but the Israel army was using extreme force against peaceful protestors. Lamis Andoni says, “…the bullets that pierced the bodies of the activists have boomeranged, shattering the myth of Israeli morality” (177). The Greek vessel owners were even afraid from renting ships that could help in delivering medical and food supplies to the sick people. Israel bombed the Cypriot boat before being boarded by westerners who included Jews and Christians. Amira Hass states, “…a journey that would normally take twenty-five minutes has turned into an ordeal of two to three hours or more” (6). The supply of food to the sick people was delayed by the blockades that affected the transport system. According to Hass (6), the Palestinian inhabitants were not in a position to enjoy their movement freedom in their territories as the pass system was introduced. The denial of freedom of movement had great social and economic impacts on the Palestinians hence affecting the supplies to the sick people (Hass, 8). The Palestinian rights were being violated as the humanitarian aid was being interrupted due to the blockade of Gaza. Food and medical help could not reach Gaza due to the blockade making the Palestinians suffer. However, the Palestinians reacted to the violation of their fundamental rights but where many were injured and others killed such as the ten flotilla activists (Mason and Falk, 179). The delivery of medical supplies and food to Palestinian population that was besieged was a basic violation of the rights of Palestinians.
Second, the Palestinian rights are being violated through forced displacement from Palestinian homes. The Palestinians were displaced due to the humiliation of the Israeli military. According to Richard Falk, and Victoria Mason, the Palestinians who were displaced were between 750,000 and 1,000,000 especially after the declaration of the state of Israel (168). The Palestinians who remained survived under very challenging situation as they were fighting for their rights. The displaced Palestinians had some hope of returning to their homes after the UN Resolution 194 developed some guidelines aimed at addressing the problems faced by the Palestinians. The Palestinians were humiliated in numerous ways as Israel was against their efforts to fight for their rights. However, self-determination increased among the Palestinians, as they were tired of being exposed to humiliating situations. Thus, armed struggle spirit increased to fight for their rights. Mason and Falk assert that the civil rights organizations of the Palestinians responded using violent resistance and non-violent protests (169). The homelessness of the Palestinians forced them to go into streets in large numbers demonstrating, burning tires and building roadblocks as a way of fighting for their violated rights. Mason and Falk said, “…but a symbolic gesture… of the vast discrepancy in power between the Palestinian people and Israel’s war machine” (170). The Palestinians were using stones while the Israel military war machines showing the difference in terms of their power during the armed struggle. This shows the determination of the Palestinians to achieve freedom from the domination despite the lack of war machines and power. According to Seth Tillman, self-determination played a crucial role in the armed struggle aimed at addressing the displacement problem that faced the Palestinians (63). Many homes were bulldozed in the year 1970 with the aim of carving the streets wide and straight for the Israel troops. Nadia Hijab says, “…hundreds of homes bulldozed in 1970 to carve a street straight and wide enough for Israeli troops and armored vehicles to move through a refugee camp to chase resistance fighters” (131). This made the human rights agencies get involve as the fundamental rights of the Palestinians were being violated, being displaced and became homeless. However, the diplomatic efforts by UN failed to address the problems of the displaced Palestinians making them remain as refugees for approximately seven decades. As a result, the Palestinians opted for armed struggle and non-violent resistance in the process of securing their rights.
Lastly, the Palestinian rights are being violated because of the abusive detention through army court. Many Palestinians were arrested because of fighting for their rights and establishing political parties to challenge the colonial rule. According to Mason and Falk, the Palestinians who were violent in their resistant were killed and hanging of those detained was common (168). The army court could not guarantee fairness and justice for the Palestinians leading to the abusive detention. The determinations of Palestinians of achieving independence were being suppressed through the use of mass detentions and harassments. The detentions made the armed struggle of the Palestinians more radical in the fight against oppression and injustices of the army courts. Mason and Falk says, “…violent resistance included guerrilla attacks on Israel and killings of suspected Palestinian ‘collaborators’” (169). The Palestinians opted for the armed struggle after the non-violent tactics failed to address the injustices they were facing. Israel did not embrace peaceful negotiation but instead moved in a very opposite direction with the aim of abusing the Palestinians. In the army courts, the charge for arms possession was primarily based on art exhibitions, the peace sign shape that was built by Abu Rahme out of the utilized bullet cartridges that were being used by the Israel army in crushing protests. According to Mason and Falk (175), Abu was innocent for the arms possession charge where the military prosecutor also charged him with organizing and participating in demonstrations that were considered illegal. The unfairness of the army court can be shown by the way the judgment was being made with insufficient evidence. For example, Mason and Falk say, “…..because Abu Rahme’s interrogation had already ended, he was never questioned about this charge” (175). The evidence that was being used in making the court decision was that made by a child aged 16 years who said that Abu used chicken waste matter to make balloons to be thrown to the soldiers during protests. The other evidence was made by another child who was 16 years old made a statement that Abu incited the demonstrators to throw stones. The two evidences were not sufficient as the two children later revealed that the interrogators threatened them to provide such false evidence. Therefore, the army courts played a crucial role in violating the rights of Palestinians through detention without a fair hearing and the use of false evidence.
The fundamental rights of the Palestinians are being violated by Israel. The efforts of the Palestinians of using nonviolent tactics in addressing the rights violations have failed. As a result, the Palestinians have opted to employ armed struggle in the process of fighting for their rights. The aid ships could not be allowed leading to a shortage of medical and food supplies for the sick. The Palestinians were being forced out of their homes by Israel army and those who remained behind faced many challenges where many were killed and others injured. Abusive detention was common for the Palestinians as the army courts could not use the appropriate evidence in marking court decisions. As a result, the unfairness and injustice of the army court led to many Palestinians being detained without fair trial.
Andoni, Lamis. “The Myth of Israeli Morality.” Midnight on the Mavi Marmara: The Attacks on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and How it Changed the Course of the Israel/Palestine Conflict. Edited by Moustafa Bayoumi, New York, 2010.
Hass, Amira. “Israel’s Closure Policy: An Ineffective Strategy of Containment and Repression.” Journal of Palestine Studies 31.3 (2002): 5-20.
Hijab, Nadia. “Digging Behind the Gaza Blockade.” Midnight on the Mavi Marmara: The Attacks on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and How it Changed the Course of the Israel/Palestine Conflict, edited by Moustafa Bayoumi, OR Books, new York, 2010: 131-137.
Mason Victoria, and Richard Falk. “Assessing Nonviolence in the Palestinian Rights Struggle.” State Crime Journal 5.1 (2016): 163-186.
Tillman, Seth. “Israel and Palestinian Nationalism.” Journal of Palestine Studies, vol. 9, no.1, 1979: 46-66.
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The issue of the conflicts in the Middle East region stays relevant for more than half a century. Plenty of Arab countries, Israel, Iran, Turkey as well as the United States, Russia, and other countries participate in this confrontation. The controversy between the Arab States and Israel has led to the current situation which tends to become more serious throughout the years. Although the conflict in the Middle East was ethnic or local at first, it has become an international issue because many countries all over the world have intervened in this controversy. Undoubtedly, humanity can face plenty of difficulties to solve these problems as the governments have to act in special ways to meet the requirements of all participants of the conflict due to the intervention of other countries.
The Middle East has a profound effect on the development of the political, economic and social fields of the countries throughout the world. Importantly, this area is known for the enormous amount of various natural wealth and resources which have become the reasons for the wars between different countries for many years. According to the fact that many countries are located in this territory, a huge number of conflicts related to the struggle for land rights continue to appear between them. The nations cannot agree who has the rights to hold that territory as well as whose ancestors were the true owners of the wealth of the Middle East. For example, Jewish people believed that they had to fight for the opportunity to create their country in that area since the nineteenth century. Nevertheless, Arabs continued to insist on their rights to live in Palestine and to be the only people who can own the land there (James O. C. Jonah 414). Although this controversy began in the twentieth century, the nation continues the violent struggle as they cannot decide which of them has the right to live in that area as well as are not able to live in peace avoiding the confrontations. After briefly stating these side-topics one must ask the question; why is the Middle East a conflict area? There are many reasons that have led to the modern situation in the Middle East such as the existence of several religions in a small area, the struggle between countries for natural resources, the border issues as well as the coexistence of many ethnic groups in the same territory.
Firstly, the religion issue plays an important role in the conflict in the Middle East, as human’s behavior depends on his or her belief. Three world religions exist in the Middle East, and this fact explains the appearance of plenty of conflicts in that area. Although Judaism, Christianity, and Islam share plenty of similar knowledge and ideas, they differ considerably. Thus, as the people express various religions and beliefs, they tend to live as well as to perceive the world in different ways. Moreover, Middle Eastern and Islamic minorities seem to attract more international interference than other ones. It is stated that “this is due to a larger pattern where states, especially Islamic ones, rarely intervene on behalf of ethnic minorities with which they share no religious affinities” (Jonathan Fox, Patrick James, & Yitan Li 173). The international community monitors the countries and areas where people practice not the same belief. If several religions exist in the same area, this territory tends to attract much attention as well (Fox, James, & Li 176). Undoubtedly, religious affinities have a huge impact on the development of international relations. As a result, there are plenty of various religions and ideologies in the Middle East, and this fact causes not only controversies and conflicts among people who live in that areas but also plenty of attention of international society.
Secondly, natural resources stay one of the main reasons for the conflict in the Middle East as well. According to the fact that almost one-third of the world’s oil supplies are extracted in that area, a large part of this oil is exported. Undoubtedly, this process has a strong effect on the economic development of the world. Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia are the most important supplier of oil and gas to the European and American markets. However, these countries are at dispute with each other throughout the years, and the United States participate actively in this process as they support different countries depending on the participants of the war. Moreover, the issue of the water stays relevant as it is one of the essential resources in the world. According to Frederick W. Frey and Thomas Naff “If all else fails, severe water shortages might well provoke armed conflict…” (Frey Naff 77). Although the Middle East has enormous reserves of oil, it tends to suffer from the lack of water. Plenty of modern countries do not have enough water to provide people with this resource. I acknowledge that rivers are the only sources of freshwater, and the countries which are located in the Middle East tend to begin the struggle for the water as well. As a result, the governments of the Arab States and other countries have to solve these problems to avoid the appearance of the new wars and conflicts.
Thirdly, the conflict in the Middle East continues throughout the years due to the border issues as well. Sykes-Picot agreement determined the borders of the countries located in that territory in 1916 as the powers that won the First World War aimed to share their influence on the new areas. Nevertheless, all these countries became independent in the 1960s. Moreover, it is clarified that “the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 has been the source of considerable regional conflict and instability, and the protracted conflict has hampered political and economic development in the entire region” (Mirjam E. Sorli, Nils Petter Gleditsch, & Havard Strand 146). The appearance of the new country had a huge impact on international relations in general as the Middle East was a significantly important part of the world to the main players in world politics. However, the establishment of Israel was not approved by the neighboring countries as a new state not only became a contender for a new oil supplier but also occupied the territory in which other nations aimed to settle.
However, the Arab–Israeli conflict is not the only controversy that belongs to the conflict in the Middle East as plenty of other wars and confrontations occurred in that area throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. For instance, Iran-Iraq war took place in the 1980s, and the territory issue was the main reason for that conflict as well. Thus, Iraq was dissatisfied with the fact that Iran held the territory which was famous for rich reserves of oil. Likewise, the Gulf War which occurred between 1990 and 1991 was related to the land and oil reserves as well (Dennis Ross 71). In addition, not only the Arab States but also the coalition of twenty-eight countries headed by the United States participated in that war. All these wars have caused the nuclear Arm Race in the Middle East which tends to become more serious and widespread. It is stated that “countries like Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, and Jordan have expressed a serious inclination toward acquiring nuclear technology” (David Oualaalou 140). Importantly, these countries seem to have serious reasons for developing and owning the nuclear weapon, as they have the real opportunities to achieve these goals. As a result, the conflicts that took place throughout the twentieth century have caused the appearance of competition between the Arab countries as well as led to the nuclear Arm Race and the risk of use of these deadly weapons. Thus, the border issue stays relevant throughout the years as the governments of the countries located in the Middle East are in a continues dispute of who’s the rightful owner of these areas.
Lastly, the coexistence of many ethnic groups in the same territory tends to cause plenty of unnecessary conflicts as all these people live in different ways. According to the fact that the Middle East is inhabited by various nations, there is a huge risk of the appearance of controversy between them. For instance, Arabs, Sunni’s, Shei’s, Kurds, Turks, Azerbaijanis, Persians, and many other smaller ethnic groups live in the same area. Importantly, all of them belong to different religions and some have different beliefs within the same religion, and this fact even tends to aggravate the situation. These ethnic groups not only differ considerably due to their lifestyles and practices but also to the world view and even confront each other due to the disagreements related to the areas and spheres of influence. Although many of these nations have fought for their independence as well as the right to live in a particular area, the governments of the stronger countries continued to crush the uprising. For example, Kurds attempted to create their state throughout the years. However, they suffered from the harassment provided by neighboring countries, and that process included both the attempts of genocide as well as the formal prohibitions on the right for their language and culture. As a result, the coexistence of such a huge number of various ethnic groups can cause many conflicts and disagreements.
In conclusion, the conflict in the Middle East is a serious problem of the modern society which has already existed for many years. This area has an important role in the development of various spheres of life throughout the world. Nevertheless, the conflicts that take place there have a negative impact on the countries situated in the Middle East as a whole. Undoubtedly, several factors make the controversy more significant. According to the fact that three world religions exist in that area, humans tend to face difficulties attempting to live together. Likewise, natural sources such as oil influence the actions of the governments as all of them aim to improve the economic conditions of the countries while the water has a big effect on these processes as well. Moreover, Although the countries in the Middle East exist for many years, the border issue stays relevant even today. In addition, the enormous variety of ethnic groups in that territory tends to elaborate the situation. In sum, the governments of all the countries have to join their forces to deal with the conflict in the Middle East and provide the people with peaceful lives.
Frey, Frederick W., Thomas Naff. “Water: An Emerging Issue in the Middle East?” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, vol. 482, 1985: 65–84
Fox, Jonathan, et al. “Religious Affinities and International Intervention in Ethnic Conflicts in the Middle East and Beyond.” Canadian Journal of Political Science / Revue Canadienne De Science Politique, vol. 42, no. 1, 2009: 161–186
Jonah, James O. C. “The Middle East Conflict: The Palestinian Dimension.” Global Governance, vol. 8, no. 4, 2002: 413–419
Oualaalou, David. “Political Landscape of the Middle East.” Volatile State: Iran in the Nuclear Age, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, Indiana, 2018: 64–129
Ross, Dennis. “The Middle East Predicament.” Foreign Affairs, vol. 84, no. 1, 2005: 61–74
Sørli, Mirjam E., et al. “Why Is There so Much Conflict in the Middle East?” Conflict Resolution, vol. 49, no. 1, 2005: 141–165
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Camp David Accords
Camp David Accords is an agreement between Egypt and Israel that was signed in the year 1978. It led to a peace treaty in the following year between Egypt and Israel marking the first treaty in the history of Israel and a country in its neighbors. The treaty was brokered by Jimmy Carter, the US president, prime minister of Israel and Anwar al-Sadat the Egyptian president. The agreement was commonly referred to as the “framework for peace in the Middle East”. According to Salameh (3), Sadat was considered to be a hero as the Camp David Accords represented a watershed in Middle East’s modern history. The Camp David Accords impacted the Middle East by Egypt recognizing Israel, changing the map of the Middle East and strengthening the economic relationship between Egypt and Israel. This paper will be discussing how Camp David Accords affected the Middle East.
Effects of Camp David Accords on the Middle East
First, Camp David Accords had effects on the Middle East by changing the geography of the Middle East leading to a six-day war in the year 1967. Israel gave back the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt where Sinai become a neutral zone with no Egyptian military. Sadat made a very bold move by attacking Israel with hopes to regain the Sinai Peninsula that was lost in the year 1967. According to Salameh (5), Egypt suffered a serious defeat making Israel remain in control of the Sinai Peninsula. However, many nations had the feeling that Sadat was not attacking Israel but was seeking the attention of the western countries on the problems facing the Middle East. Salameh says that “…the West did intervene to some extent (5).” For example, the western countries were involved in the negotiation of the solution to the problems between Arabs and Israel leading to a dangerous confrontation. Huber (4) argued that Camp David Accords somehow deviated from the framework of the Arab league due to the failure to ensure a comprehensive approach towards the regional peacemaking. However, Camp David Accords had great effects on the geography of the Middle East as Israel gave the Sinai Peninsula back to Egypt.
Second, Camp David Accords affected the Middle East as it led to the recognition of Israel as a nation by Egypt. The main goal of Nassir was to ensure recognition of the Palestinian cause and ensure they are granted their own state. Salameh says “…the problem with having this as such a large goal is that it is a very controversial issue… (4)”. The western nations were worried about the way Jews were treated during the Second World War and countries like the United States were ready to protect them. Egypt recognizing Israel led to some problems such making the Arabs annoyed. As a result, in the year 1979, the Arabs globally protested. Egypt was removed from the Arab league because of recognizing Israel. Anwar Sadat took place due to the recognition of Israel by Egypt. Palestinian liberation organization was a separate entity after Egypt was removed from the Arab league but it remained under the control of Nassir (Salameh, 4). Egypt recognizing Israel as a state had a great impact on the Middle East especially in promoting peace between Egypt and Israel.
Lastly, Camp David Accords had a great impact on the Middle East by strengthening the economic relationship between Israel and Egypt. The major outcome of the Camp David Accords was enhancing the economic relationship that was existing among the involved nations. For example, the improved economic relationship made Egypt feel the need to allow Israel to use the Suez Canal. Also, the trade between Egypt and Israel was enhanced especially the natural gas trade. According to Salameh (13), Camp David Accords led to improvement in tourism between Egypt and Israel. Camp David Accords made Israel and Egypt be given priority in U.S aid where Israel become the largest recipient of foreign aid while Egypt second largest globally in receiving foreign aid. Salameh says “…over the years Egypt has received billions of dollars in military aid and economic assistance… (13)”. Egypt and Israel could receive half of the foreign aid distributed annually. The United States ensured that resources and security were offered in order to make sure that Egypt and Israel could experience economic growth (Crotty, 12). The primary aim of providing the foreign aid was to ensure economic development of Egypt and Israel for the Arab countries to realize the benefits associated peace hence setting an example to the Arab world.
The Camp David Accords had great impacts on the Middle East countries. Sadat made a heroic move a step that no president had thought of before. For example, the willingness of Sadat to work together with Israel was crucial in fostering the peace agreement. Camp David Accords helped in modeling future peace agreements between Arabs and Israel. Peace, security and economic development formed important parts of the Camp David Accords where the United States played a crucial role in the negotiations. The Arab world realized the benefits of peace with the other nations. Therefore, Camp David Accords made it possible for the involved countries to learn from their past mistakes and work towards ensuring peace and good economic relationships.
Crotty, Richard C. The Camp David Accords: A US Strategic Foothold Or Achilles Heel in the Middle East? Army war Coll Carlisle Barracks PA, 2003. Retrieved from:
Huber, Daniela. Forty Years of Camp David, Forty Years Without Peace. 2018. Retrieved from:
Salameh, Mohammed Bani. The Camp David Accords: Lessons and Facts. Yarmouk University, March 2012. Retrieved from:
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