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From The Globe and Mail Style Guide

Israel

The Globe and Mail Style Guide


Israel

 Adjective and people: Israeli. Currency: (new) shekel. The officially designated capital is Jerusalem, but most countries have their embassies in Tel Aviv.

 It is best described as a Jewish republic on the square eastern end of the Mediterranean. About 75 per cent of Israel's six million people are Jews; those who are not include Muslim and Christian Arabs, Samaritans, Circassians and Druze. The official language is Hebrew. Israel forms part of the area once called Palestine, taken from the Ottoman Empire during the First World War by the British, who allowed considerable Jewish immigration afterward. A 1947 UN declaration called for establishment of two states, Jewish and Arab, but the Arab one was never created. When Jewish leaders declared the state of Israel in 1948, neighbouring Arab states invaded and were defeated. There were wars to repel attacks by Egypt and Jordan in 1967 (the Six-Day War, which ended with Israel occupying the West Bank and Gaza Strip), and by Egypt and Syria in 1973. The Camp David accords in 1978, on a framework for peace, led to a treaty with Egypt in 1979. Israel invaded and occupied Lebanon in 1982; it withdrew in 1985, but continued to support a Lebanese Christian force there.

 December of 1987 saw the beginning of violent protests, dubbed the intifada (uprising), by Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, and also the birth of Hamas, a radical group whose activities, along with those of the even more radical Islamic Jihad, eventually included suicide bombings of Israeli civilians. Agreements with Yasser Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization signed in Washington in September of 1993, Cairo in May of 1994 and Washington in September of 1995, and the Oslo accords brokered by Norway in 1993, promised limited Palestinian self-rule in the occupied territories and set a schedule for gradual Israeli withdrawal. Subsequent detailed negotiations on the handover of administration and security to the Palestinian Authority produced the Hebron accord of 1997 but otherwise stalled, largely because of increased violence by those on both sides dedicated to preventing peace. (Many more were killed in suicide bombings in the years after Oslo than in the preceding intifada, and 29 worshippers at a mosque in Hebron were slaughtered by radical Jewish settler Baruch Goldstein in 1994. Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by radical Jewish student Yigal Amir on Nov. 4, 1995.) Talks to decide the permanent status of Gaza and the West Bank began in September of 1999, but faltered when a second intifada began in September of 2000.

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