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BIBLE PROPHECY
A Beginning of Global Governance - #1 in a series
Prophetic Signs that we are in the End Times
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A BRIEF HISTORY OF ISRAEL AND "PALESTINE" 


Contender Ministries                                                                       Printer Friendly Version


As we read the headlines everyday, and observe the conflicts that take place in Israel, we hear terms such as “Israeli Occupation”, “Palestinian statehood”, and “Palestinian homeland”.  Many world leaders feel that the only resolution to the fighting in Israel and the Palestinian terrorist attacks, is to establish an independent Palestinian state (nation).  In order to develop a better understanding of these terms, it’s important to know some of the history of the area.  I want to share with you a brief overview of the area’s recent history. 

 1917-1922:  From 1517-1917 Turkey's Ottoman Empire controlled what is today Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine.  During World War I (1914-1918), Turkey supported Germany. When Germany was defeated, so were the Turks. In 1916 control of the southern portion of their Ottoman Empire was "mandated" to France and Britain under the Sykes-Picot Agreement, which divided the Arab region into zones of influence. Lebanon and Syria were assigned to France...  and "Palestine" (today's Jordan, Israel and "West Bank") was assigned to Great Britain.  It is important to mention that “Palestine” is a name that was coined by the Europeans.  It did not exist before this point.  Because no other group of people had ever established a national homeland here since the Jews had done it 2,000 years before, the British "looked favorably" upon the creation of a Jewish National Homeland throughout all of Palestine. The Jews had already begun mass immigration into Palestine in the 1880's in an effort to rid the land of swamps and malaria and prepare the rebirth of Israel.  This Jewish effort to revitalize the land attracted an equally large immigration of Arabs from neighboring areas, who were drawn by employment opportunities and healthier living conditions.

1923-1947:  In 1923, the British divided Palestine into two administrative districts.  Jews would be permitted only west of the Jordan River.  The British had allocated 75% of the originally proposed Jewish Palestinian homeland to lay the seeds of what would become in 1946 the Arab Palestinian Nation of "Trans-Jordan," meaning: "across the Jordan River." The Palestinian Arabs now had their "Arab Palestinian" homeland. The remaining 25% of Palestine (now WEST of the Jordan River) was to be the Jewish Palestinian homeland.  However, the Arab population was determined to claim all of Palestine for itself, and wanted to “drive the Jews into the sea.” 

    Encouraged and incited by growing Arab nationalism throughout the Middle East, the Arabs of that small remaining Palestinian territory west of the Jordan River launched incessant terrorist attacks upon the Jewish Palestinians in an effort to drive them out.  The British at first tried to maintain order but soon (due to the large oil deposits being discovered throughout the Arab Middle East) turned a blind eye. It became obvious to the Palestinian Jews that they must fight the Arabs AND drive out the British.

1947-1948:  The Palestinian Jews, forced to form an organized defense against the Arabs, formed the Hagana, the beginnings of the Israeli Defense Forces [IDF]. There was also a Jewish underground called the Irgun, led by Menachem Begin (who later became Prime Minister of Israel). Besides fighting the Arabs, the Irgun was instrumental in driving out the pro-Arab British.  Finally, in 1947 the British turned the Palestine matter over to the United Nations.
   The U.N. Resolution 181 partition plan was to divide the remaining 25% of Palestine into a Jewish Palestinian State and a second Arab Palestinian State (Trans-Jordan being the first) based upon population concentration.  The Jewish Palestinians accepted the proposal, but the Arab Palestinians rejected it. The Arabs still wanted ALL of Palestine - both east and west of the Jordan River.  On May 14, 1948 the Palestinian Jews finally declared their own State of Israel and became "Israelis." On the next day, Israel was at war with seven neighboring Arab armies:  Egypt, Trans-Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Yemen. Most of the Arabs living within the boundaries of the newly declared "ISRAEL" were encouraged to leave by the invading Arab armies to facilitate the slaughter of the Jews and were promised to be given all Jewish property after the victorious Arab armies won the war. When the 19-month war ended, however, Israel won and survived, despite a 1% loss of it's entire population.  Those Arabs who did not run away became today's Israeli Arab citizens. Those who fled became the seeds of the first wave of "Palestinian Arab refugees."

1949-1967:  The end result of the 1948-49 Israeli War of Independence was the creation of a Jewish state slightly larger than that which was proposed by the United Nations two years before. What remained of that almost-created second Arab Palestinian State was occupied by Egypt (occupying the Gaza Strip) and by Trans-Jordan (occupying Judea-Samaria (the "West Bank" of the Jordan River) and Jerusalem. In the next year (1950) Trans-Jordan formally merged this West Bank territory into itself and granted Jordanian citizenship to all those Arabs who lived there.  Since Trans-Jordan was no longer confined to one side of the Jordan River, it renamed itself simply "JORDAN.  In the final analysis, the Arabs of Palestine ended up with nearly 85% of the original territory of Palestine. But that was still not 100% and thus the conflict between Arab and Jew for "Palestine" would continue through four more wars and continuous Arab terrorist attacks upon the Israeli citizens.  It continues to this very day.
    From 1948-67 when all of Judea-Samaria (the West Bank, including Jerusalem) came under Arab [Jordanian] control, no effort was made to create a second Palestinian State for the Arabs living there.  It seems ironic that Yassir Arafat and his Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), discovered their "ancient" identity and a need for "self-determination" on this very same West Bank ONLY AFTER Israel regained this territory (three years later in 1967) following Jordan's attempt to destroy Israel.  Why was no request ever made upon King Hussein of Jordan when he "occupied" the West Bank?  The PLO later went on to become the Palestinian Authority of today. 

The 1967 War (Six-Day War):  Throughout much of May 1967, the Egyptian, Jordanian and Syrian armies mobilized along Israel's narrow and seemingly indefensible borders in preparation for a massive invasion to eliminate the State of Israel. But the Israel planned and executed a perfect pre-emptive strike against Egypt. Within two hours, the Egyptian Air Force did not exist.  Most of its planes were destroyed while still on the runways!  Unaware that the Egyptians had no more air force, King Hussein of Jordan, launched his attack from the West Bank into Israel's belly while Syrian troops prepared to descend down the Golan Heights mountain range into northern Israel. 

    After ONLY six days grueling warfare, Israel defeated all three Arab armies along three separate fronts, taking control of the entire Sinai Desert from Egypt, the Golan Heights from Syria and the West Bank (including East Jerusalem and its Old City) from Jordan.  Most importantly was the return to Israel of its holy 3,000-year-old city of Jerusalem along the western edge of the West Bank.
    Unfortunately, Israel then became an "occupier" of this "West Bank" and the Gaza Strip along with its 850,000 Palestinian Arabs who were living there. These Arabs would refer to themselves as "refugees" and joined the masses of refugees from the previous war of 1948-49.
   
The Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza Strip were packed and ready to leave following their defeat.  Suddenly the victorious IDF General Moshe Dayan persuaded them to stay. Dayan's plan was to educate them, offer them modern medical treatment, provide them with employment both in the West Bank AND inside Israel Proper, and to live amongst them in hopes of building a bridge to the Arab world.   

 

1982:  Israel wanted to gain some international respect, and therefore returned the entire Sinai (oil fields, air bases and endless miles of security buffer) to Egypt. 
    I
srael still occupies Syria's Golan Heights, which had been used solely for terrorist incursions into and artillery bombardment upon Israel's northern settlements.  And of course, Israel still occupies the West Bank with its population of 1,200,000 "Palestinian" Arabs. 

 

PRESENT DAY:  When you hear news reports that talk about “Israeli occupation of the Palestinian homeland”, I hope you’ll be able to put that spin in the context of that area’s history.  In my mind, the only reason Israel still exists, is because of the special covenant God made with her.  Be watchful.  It seems that prophecy is being fulfilled rapidly in that area.  Yet at the same time, remember that none of us knows the day or hour of our Lord’s return.  When we are caught up to be with Him, it will be a day beyond our wildest imaginations.  We may have to go through some trials and tribulations before that occurs, but it will be temporary.  Therefore, when you realize that time may be running down, think of those of your friend who still do not know Jesus as there personal savior.  Use the time you have left to spread His word, and let people know the reason for the hope you have within you. 

--Information obtained in part from Masada2000.org