The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

November 22, 2012

9 questions about Israel-Gaza you were too embarrassed to ask

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

6. Wow, that's depressing. Why don't Israel and Palestine just become independent countries?

Because they can't agree where to draw the borders. Let's go back to that 1967 war. Before it started, Israel controlled everything except Gaza and the West Bank, which today are the two Palestinian territories. At the end of it, Israel occupied both Palestinian territories, plus a small piece of Syrian land, the Golan Heights. Long-standing U.S. policy is for Israel and Palestine to return to the 1967 borders from before that year's war. Palestinian groups also accept this. A big hurdle comes from Israeli settlers: Almost half a million Israelis have gradually moved into parts of the West Bank. That U.S. peace plan also calls for "land swaps" between Israel and Palestine to keep a number of those Israeli settler communities within Israel's borders. Palestinians in Gaza don't have a state, Hamas is committed to firing rockets at Israeli civilians, and Israel is committed to keeping Hamas weak and deterred, in part through periodic military campaigns.

7. This is getting complicated. I hear a lot about Iran. What's their role?

Though Iran does not border Israel or Gaza, and though its population is majority ethnic Persian rather than Arab (most Iranians also follow a different sect of Islam than do Palestinians), Iran helps to fund and arm Hamas, as well as other anti-Israeli groups. Depending on whom you ask, Iran either helps Hamas because it is committed to Israel's destruction, because it sees this as a way to project its influence in the region, or because it fears an Israeli or American attack and uses Hamas as a deterrent. One of the things that Iran gives Hamas is special, longer-range rockets called Fajr-5. The Iranian rockets can feasibly reach major Israeli cities, although because they are unguided, and because Israel has advanced missile defense technology funded by the Obama administration, that threat is reduced.

Text Only
State and Nation
Photos


Poll

Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

Russia-Ukraine
Israel-Palestine
Iraq
None of the above
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee