Al Jazeera World – Palestine Divided


In 1947 when the UN General Assembly voted for the partition of the region between Jews and Palestinian Arabs the land was divided on a relatively equal measure.

But after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War only 22 percent of Palestinian land remained. When Israel was founded in 1948 it divided Palestinians between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, creating separate territories with very little freedom of movement between the two.

In the Six-Day War of 1967, Israel occupied both territories, began building settlements and appeared to implement separate policies on each.

“The aim has always been to create different atmospheres and cultures; here and there,” says Dr. Nashat al-Aqtash, a political analyst and academic.

The decades of separation have distanced the Palestinian communities living in the two territories who have developed distinct social and cultural identities.

None of the conflicts or peace talks over the decades, including the Oslo Accords of 1993, has succeeded in changing the map or this divide.

Filmmaker Asraf Mashhrawi examines the political, social and economic history of the split, analysing major events such as the Oslo Accords, the Fatah-Hamas conflict, the Israeli blockade of Gaza and the attacks of recent years – with interviews from Israeli experts like Haaretz journalist Amira Hass and lawyer Sari Bashi.

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