This paper will provide a brief narrative time-line of the conflict(s) between Israel and Palestine; and in doing so, will demonstrate that such conflict between the two has produced acts of terrorism against their nationals, and or national interest in countries other then their own domiciles.
In addition this paper will provide evidence that such conflicts also have an extending impact and influence on state matters outside the realm of the two disputed domiciles. It is acknowledged that there are multiple types of impacts that can be generated by conflicts of war, in third party countries, such as political, economical, foreign policy issues and cultural amongst others. However, this essay will primarily focus on eternal consequences that relate to acts of terrorism.
The instability of Israel is one that can be ascribed to the promise of God in the Hebrew Bible. In which God defines the modern day borders of Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (Hebrew Bible, Numbers; Chapter 34).
At the end of the First World War the League of Nations approved a British Mandate for Palestine, with an objective to etch out a sovereign state for the Jewish people (Yale Law School, unknown). Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria Yemen and the now Jordan were concerned about the growing potential loss of their independence and sovereignty in their regions and as a result formulated the Arab League in May 1945 (Arab League, unknown).
Following the actions of the Arab League the United Nations in 1947 approved the separation of the Mandate of Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab (Yale Law School, unknown). In response to the United Nations intent to establish two separate states the League of Arab States openly declared that they wanted to create a United State of Palestine instead of a Jewish and Arab, two-state, United Nations plan (Arab League, 1990).
However, this was already too late. On the 14th May 1948 David Ben-Gurion declared Israel independent; he declared: “After many years of underground warfare, years of persecution suffering…[the] Hebrew revolt of 1944-48 has been crowned with success….The rule of enslavement of Britain in our country has been beaten, uprooted, has crumbled and been dispersed…. The State of Israel has arisen. And it has arisen “Only Thus”: through blood, fire, a strong hand and a mighty arm, with suffering and sacrifices (in Hoffman, 2006; p.53).”
Almost immediately, as if anticipated, President Truman signed a press release which acknowledged the proclamation of the State of Israel (Truman, 1948).
Between November 1947 and May 1948 Jewish and Palestinian communities were engaged in subversive paramilitary type conflicts (Rogan & Shlaim 2001). As independence was declared, Arab forces from Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq invaded Israel (Infoplease.com). As a result of this first conflict there were a number of political consequences and disputes which centered on land boundaries and peace agreements. However in addition, to the political impact the war had there, was a further impact. It created a mass refugee problem in which more than three million Palestinian people would become displaced by the mid 1990’s (Boutwell, & Mendelson, 1995; p.72).
It is from this displacement of peoples that discontented terrorist groups would later initially harvest, recruit and train new members for further terrorist attacks outside the
conflict zone. Several short conflicts and cease-fires between Arabs and the Zionists followed the initial invasion into Israel and eventually a formal cease-fire was established on the 7th January 1949 (Infoplease.com).
From October 1951 through to 1955 Israel was involved in number of military skirmishes such as the Qibya raid in the West Bank; and the retaliation for the seizure of the Israeli ship Bat Galim near the Suez Canal in 1954, which in turn lead to the Gaza raid and the subsequent Sinai War in 1956 (Lee, 2007).
During the 1960’s and onwards Israel found itself under sporadic terrorist attacks from a number of Palestinian formed groups, which were commonly associated to the Palestine Liberation Organization, or better known as the PLO which was originally founded by the Arab League in 1964 (Lee, 2007). One such organization was the National Liberation of Palestine Organization also known as FATAH, which after the Six Day War utilized
alternative style fighting measures in order to recover what they considered lost Arab territory (Oren, 2002; p.2). From strong holds in Syria, Fatah, utilized its military arm al-Asifa to implement a serious of terrorist attacks which were construed from within the sovereign boundaries of Jordan and Lebanon (American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, date unknown; White, 2006; p. 147; Cobban, 1984, p.23; Alexander, et al, 1989, p.7). Also joining the Fatah cause in 1968 was the Syrian formulated Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) (Alexander, et al, 1989, p.7).
The PLO was later taken over by Fatah (American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, date unknown). Yasser Arafat founding member originally formed Fatah as a quasi paramilitary unit (White, 2006; p.147). He had done so, as he openly apposed the methodology the PLO used in attempting to solve the Israeli – Palestine conflict (White, 2006; p.147). From within the ranks of Fatah small terrorist cells know as the fedayeen fighters emerged (White, 2006; p.147). According to Hoffman (2006, p. 66) the fedayeen were responsible for launching the first terrorist attacks outside of the Israel domicile and the Middle East.
On the 5th September 1972, fedayeen terrorist known as the Black September Organization (BSO), associated directly to the Fatah/PLO stormed the Munich Olympic Village in the former West Germany, and raided the Israeli living quarters, murdering immediately two Israeli athletes, and taking a further nine athletes hostage (Hoffman, 2006; p.67). Evidence that the BSO and the PLO were directly associated is demonstrated in the US State departments correspondence dated March 13, 1973, which provided basic intelligence information assumed by the CIA, that allegedly confirmed an initial association and cooperation between the two organization (American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, date unknown).
The events of September 5th, 1972, in Munich, West Germany marked the beginning in a new phenomenon,. A phenomenon that clearly demonstrated that a military or paramilitary conflict being fought in one part of the world could have a terrorist compounded impact outside the conflict zone. Furthermore, that such an impact could have an adverse affect on a host nation which is not involved in the said conflict.
The Munich attack, which became known as one of the most horrific and devastating events of any Olympic Games was instigated by the PLO and the BSO in effort to ascertain mass global media exposure and publicity for their cause (Hoffman, 2006, p.67). Something the BSO were unable to achieve in their own back yard.
Fuad al-Shamali, one of instigators of the plan for the BSO Munich attack was quoted saying, “Bombing attacks on El Al offices do not serve our cause (In: Hoffman, 2006, p.67).” “We have to kill their most important and most famous people. Since we cannot come close to their statesman, we have to kill artists and sportsman (In: Hoffman, 2006, p.67).”
In addition to the media objective, the BSO sought to negotiate the release of 236 Palestinian nationals which were jailed in various Israeli prisons and a further five West German terrorist from the Baader-Meinhoff gang which were members of the Red Army Fraction, (RAF), (Hoffman, 2006, p.67). The RAF was a quasi criminal, radial left wing cell which had no deep rooted conviction in their objectives.
With this attack the PLO and the BSO demonstrated three major points. One that they no longer relied on what they considered conventional airline hostage taking. For example, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) which had been born shortly after the 1967 war had been involved in a number of El Al airline hijackings which had been in-flight between Rome to Tel-Aviv (Alexander, et al, 1989, p.11). Some other attacks by the group were the terrorist’s raid on the El Al Boeing aircraft at Athens international airport (Alexander, et al, 1989, p.11).
The second major point demonstrated by the Munich attack was that the PLO was prepared to launch pre-emanated terrorist attacks outside the conflict zone. Unlike previous attacks which were ground based, concentrated airborne in-flight or airport related attacks and hijackings.
The Munich BSO attack ended with the slaughter of 11 Israeli Olympians, the death of one West German police officer and the defensive killing of 5 BSO terrorists at
Fürtenfeldbruck air force base in Frankfurt, (Hoffman, 2006; pp. 67-68). Clearly the West German’s rescue attempt of the Israeli Olympians was unsuccessful. However, from the devastating incident, the Germans and the rest of the world were able to ascertain exactly how under prepared tactically their security forces were in handling terrorist attacks (Hoffman, 2006; p.67).
As a direct result of the Munich attack the Germans created the Grenzschutzgruppe Neun (GSG 9), and subsequently other countries such as France created Group d’Intervention de la Gendarminerie (GIGN) (Hoffman, 2006; p.68).
A notably third issue emerged from the Munich hostage attack. That being that the PLO/BSO was prepared to liberate not only their own fedayeen, but also members of other terrorist cells, namely in this case, members of the RAF (Hoffman, 2006, p.67). In the hope of cementing future alliances. This is evidenced by the event of the 1977 hijacking of a Lufthansa airliner in flight to Mallorca by German and Palestinian terrorists, which ended in a siege successfully concluded by the now well trained and organized GSG 9 in Mogadishu, Somalia (Hoffman, 2006; p.68).
One would think that the events of 1972 in the Munich Olympic village have been forgotten, or at least far placed in the mind of history. But the reality is somewhat different. In 1999 German police issued an arrest warrant for Mohammed Oudeh also known as Abu Daoud who was a former PLO BSO terrorist responsible for the bringing in of the weapons used later in the Olympic attack, by train from Frankfurt (Boston.com).
Ironically, even more recent Daoud received new media attention on his 1999 autobiography about his confessed involvement with the BSO and the attack. In an Associated Press article displayed on www.boston.com (2006) he is said to have confessed in a Germany’s Spiegel TV program that he regretted nothing, pertaining to the events of Munich (Boston.com). Daoud now around 68 years of age was last known to live freely Damascus, Syria (Boston.com). These recent events not only demonstrate that the issue is still of contemporary media importance, but also that the issue still has as an impact on policing and law and order issues within Germany.
Meanwhile in Israel, the Munich Olympic massacre prompted Israel to retaliate. Under instruction of Prime Minister Golda Meir, Mossad the Israeli intelligence corps instigated a plan to execute all those directly or indirectly involved in the Munich attack Reeve, 2000; p.152-154). The plan was later known as the ‘Wrath of God’. Reprisal attacks by the Israeli secret service would lead to covert actions of executions on suspected terrorist, not necessarily responsible or involved in the Munich attack.
The reprisal actions commenced in Rome, Italy, on the 16th October, 1972, with Abdel Wael Zwaiter who was shot twelve times by Mossad agents and went on to include the assassinations of;
Dr. Mahmoud Hamshari, on the 8th December, 1972, in Paris France;
Hussein Al Bashir, on the 24th January, 1973, in Nicosia, Cyprus;
Dr. Basil Al-Kubaissi, on the 6th April, 1973, in Paris, France;
Muhammad Youssef Al-Najjar, Kamal Adwan and Kamal Nasser, on the 9th April, 1973, in Lebanon;
Zaiad Muchasi, on the 11th April 1973, in Athens, Greece;
Mohammad Boudia, on the 28th June, 1973, in Paris, France;
Ali Hassan Salameh; on the 22nd January, 1979, in Beirut, Lebanon; (Wikipedia.com)
More notoriously, the ‘Wrath of God’ operations ended when Mossad operatives executed the wrong man. Mossad agents had thought that they were tracking and executing Ali Hassan Salameh, whom they considered a legitimate target under the Wrath of God charter. However they executed instead Ahmed Bouchiki, a Moroccan waiter who had been living peacefully and lawfully in Lillehammer, Norway, on the 21st July 1973 (New York Times, 1996). Although the Israel never admitted its involvement in Bouchiki’ murder, they did go as far as to financial compensating family members with more that 400,000 US Dollars (New York Times, 1996).
The consequences of Bouchiki’s murder had an impact on law and order issues for Norway, who were forced to protect their sovereignty by arresting and prosecuting (www.borrull.org), the majority of Bouchiki’s assassins, such as former Mossad agent Sylvia Raphael, who died in South Africa in February 2005 (www.borrull.org).
Between 1971 and 1974 the BSO under the alliance of the PLO would become responsible for thirty four well known terrorist attacks; which would include but not be limited to sixteen bombings; eleven assassinations; three hostage takings; three airline hijackings and the notorious attack on the US Embassy in Beirut Lebanon (Anderson, et al, 1995; p.61).
In amidst all the confusion and instability arose Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya the Islamic Resistance Movement (IRM) which was said to have been formed in 1987. It is better known as HAMAS.
Hamas’ origins can be traced back to the Muslim Brotherhood, and according to White, it is both a religious and a political organization (White 2006; p.154). It is said that the inspiration to the birth of the first intifada, was contributed to the Jabalya incident during the mid-late 1980’s, in which four children in a Gaza refugee camp were allegedly run over and killed by an Israeli truck (AlJazeera.com).
The second Intifada which started in September 2000 saw Hamas, through its military wing the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades conducted a number of well known and publicized attacks on Israeli civilian targets, which have included various significant suicide bombings.
To demonstrate further that a said country’s military action in one part of the world can have an impact outside the conflict zone can be found when we examine Hezbollah, also
known as the “party of God” which is a Shi’a Islamic political and paramilitary organization based in Lebanon. It is devoted the Islamist Shi’a ideology taught by Ayatollah Khomeini, who himself was the power source and influence behind the Islamic Revolution in Iran (Rubenstein, 2007).
From its inception Hezbollah has joined the crusade against Israel and has publicly been noted for its call for the extermination and final elimination of the State of Israel (Memri.org). Many attacks in Lebanon have been accredited to Hezbollah, which is alleged also to have included the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing on U.S. and French Forces in Lebanon, during the Lebanese civil war period.
in some cases indirectly associated to terrorist attacks in other countries. Further evidence is contributed to this fact in what Gold (2006), wrote about how Israeli troops located propaganda material that was linked back to Saudi Wahhabi, Sheikh Sulaiman al-Ulwan who in turn was liked to al Qaeda. This is evidence that not only supports the theory those terrorist groups share common ground in their ideology (Gold, 2006), exchange ideas, and cooperate in training methods, but they also assist each other in implementing attacks abroad. Or that the exchange of ideas leads to attacks abroad, which in turn has a number of impacts in a third party country.
More evidence to support this essay’s theory is found when we examine Iranian sponsored groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon who have been responsible for past terrorist attacks against United States interests abroad. Two well known incidents are recorded as the suicide bombings by Hezbollah of the U.S. embassy and the Marine barracks in Beirut. Those particular Hezbollah attacks were launched in retaliation for U.S. military support of the Lebanese Christian Government against the Muslim militias.
A further example can be derived from the events in Somalia during 1993 in which Osama bin Laden was known to have trained the Somali indigenous tribesmen to perform a serious of paramilitary skirmishes against the U.S. peacekeeping forces. This attack resulted in 18 dead U.S. Army Rangers and the subsequent withdrawal of US presence in Somalia.
Although there have been many political and military events since the conception of the new Israel, it is the contemporary issues relating to terrorism, and foreign policies of a number of western nations, including the US, which definitively prove that conflicts such as the ones in Israeli and Palestinian, or Afghanistan and Iraq have a vast range of impact on third party nations, and equally importantly an impact against the interest of a particular countries interests in a third party country.
Osama bin Laden himself has contributed to this perception when he provided his letter to America in a press release which was published in the Guardian on Sunday 24th November 2002 (Observer.guardian.co.uk). In which he contributes the Israel Palestinian
conflict one in which involves America and thus mitigating the reason to why he and al Qaeda deems its actions necessary (Observer.guardian.co.uk). One could conclude from reading this publicly addressed letter to America that he was referring to the 9/11 attack.
In the same article bin Laden goes on to identify his group with an association to all Muslims and conflicts which involve Muslims. Simply by using the word ‘us’ when he referred to America’s involvement in Somalia; and furthermore when he referred to America’s support for the Russians in Chechnya, and the Indian conflict against Kashmir, and the Zionist conflict with Lebanon, even going as far as contributing an association to the Muslim conflict in the Philippines (Observer.guardian.co.uk).
Whether there is hard evidence to the truth of what he says is irrelevant, in as much that what he says really goes towards aspiring deep rooted Islamic fundamental activists to join his cause. This in itself is a direct impact on what the Afghan military conflict has had. More of such evidence is visible in the current Iraq conflict in which subversive actions have been manifested by Islamic fundamentalist who in turn have been trained in al Qaeda terrorist camps in places like Pakistan.
Without doubt then, the most final impact that the depicted incidents in this essay have had, is that they have contributed to the growth of the international terrorism phenenomonon broadly and intensely globally.
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Christian P.W. Faust
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