The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is an important issue to Muslims around the world. In fact, it is the position that many countries have taken in this conflict that has fueled many of the heretical Muslim extremist groups. The conflict in this part of the world has been going on in some form or another for a very long time.
The most disputed problems between Israel and the Palestinian people are recognizing the legitimacy of the other party, defining the borders of each nation, agreeing on security issues, a dispute over water, agreeing on the control of Jerusalem and its many holy sites, dealing with Israeli settlers on Palestinian land, defining the immigration status and free movement of Palestinians, and defining the status of Palestinian refugees. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has generated many violent acts, and has affected the whole world's security. The violence has also severely stunted the touristic potential of this region, replete with sites of supreme historical and religious significance that cannot be explored or visited because of the threat of violence.
Most people on both sides of the conflict support a two-state solution; that is, creating an independent Palestinian state. However, due to the long history of this conflict, there is a problem of trust in both parties. Neither party can trust that the other will uphold the commitments in any treaty that may be eventually signed. Another problem is agreeing on the exact borders and location of a possible Palestinian state. Within both societies, opinions are extremely polarized. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a very volatile issue. What is most regrettable about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the violence that has resulted from it. At every step of the way there has been violence, from a war involving armies, terrorism, paramilitary, and violence on a smaller scale through individuals fighting against each other. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has also had a very large number of civilian fatalities on both sides.
Today, the parties that are negotiating an end to this conflict are the Israeli government, the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) and mediators from the United States, the United Nations, the Russian Federation, and the European Union. Throughout history, Egypt has been an important participant in the peace process, as a member of the Arab League. Today, there is a glimmer of hope for the end of this long-running conflict. Negotiations between both parties began directly in 2010, and the main goal today is to finally reach an agreement both parties can accept. While these peace negotiations have been delayed by the Arab Spring (the widespread youth revolt in Arab countries,) there is hope for an eventual end to the violence in this part of the world.
-- Al Arabiya Digital