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Israel-Palestine Conflict: Who stole whose land?
While debating Israel-Palestine conflict, I usually come across a strong comment from pro-Palestinians that Israel stole the Palestinian land forcibly with the help of western forces. On the other hand pro-Israel advocates claim that this is their land from where they were forced to leave.

Although I am always for peaceful cohabitation of both modern day Israel and Palestinian, but academic interest force me to search Wikipedia to get the answer of the question, 'Who stole whose land?'

From history there was indeed a 'Kingdom of Israel' (united monarchy) during 1209 BC. This was a very big kingdom. During 930 BC this kingdom was divided in to two states such as 'Kingdom of Judah' and 'Kingdom of Israel'. Along with these state of Israel, there too existed Palestine state with its capital at Gaza.

This kingdom of Israel was eventually destroyed by Assyrian Tiglath-Pileser III during 750 BC. The Philistine state too was destroyed that time. The Assyrians sent most of northern Israelites kingdom in to exile thus creating 'Lost tribes of Israel'. Then Babylonian attack on Kingdom of Judah, further reduced Jews number and finally they became very marginal after Roman invasion during 6 AD to 300 AD.

In 131 AD, the Emperor Hadrian renamed Jerusalem 'Aelia Capitolina' and Judaea Province as 'Palestine' (from Arabic 'Philistine'). Jews were barred from living in Jerusalem. There were lot of protest by Israelites in assistance of Arabs and others, but all are crushed.

In early 4th century Roman Empire adopted Christianity as their state religion and Jerusalem is made a Christian city. It should be noted as Arabs, Philistines, Jews, Judaist were cooperative and fought commonly against the aggressors like Assyrians, Babylonians, and Romans and Roman Christian emperors.

The Muslim history of Palestine region starts from 630 AD during Great Muslim Conquests'. The Roman region of Palestine is conquered by Muslim Army. Since then the Roman region of Palestine was ruled by Muslims except a brief period of 1099-1291 of crusader rule. After that Muslims regain control until 1948 Palestine War led to formation of 'State of Israel' and Israel sovereignty over the majority of territories of the British Mandate Palestine.

The above are the historical facts. The fact is indeed Israel existed along with Philistine since 1209 BC and then around 750 BC both Israel and Philistine were destroyed by Assyrian king. When Romans conquered the area (both Kingdom of Israel and Philistine) they named it as Palestine.

During 630 AD Muslim Army under Caliph Umar conquered this Palestine region. In 1917 British defeated Ottoman Turkish forces and occupied Ottoman Syria which later divided as British Palestine and Trans-Jordan along with French Lebanon and Syria.

Point is who stole whose land then? Indeed there was an Israel and a Palestine. Both were lost to external aggressors. A point here must be noted that even biblical mentions say that philistines and Israel's were dead enemies since they exist independently. But neither Philistine nor Israel had taken over each other's land. Rather they lost to start from Assyrians to British and French.

During Muslim conquest too it was Arab that had taken control although early philistines who converted to Muslim remained along with Arab Muslim settlements. The Palestine was under Caliph Rule from Arab. Thus since 750 BC neither Palestine nor Israel had their own country although the name Palestine featured as Roman country and later under Islamic caliphate and finally under British!

Bottom line is both Israel and Palestine (in fact Philistine) lost land to foreigners. Because of such rivalry even Jordan and Egypt occupied West Bank and Gaza respectively which later on reclaimed by Israel in 1967.

As per a 2007 opinion poll, majority of Israeli and Palestinians prefer two state solutions over any other solution for the resolution of this conflict. Present PNA that is controlling West Bank, too is inclined to two state solutions for peace to come back.

Extremists from both sides however still think to eliminate each other, for which this conflict appears to be never ending. As majority people from both sides are fed off of such violent environment. They want proper efforts to be taken to come to a solution.

None can change the history, but both Israel and Palestine combined can create new history of peaceful cohabitation. The only thing need to be done is to remove extremist elements from both the sides!

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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