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Israel and the Palestinian territories

Last Updated: Friday August 21 2009 08:53 GMT

Fighting between Israelis and Palestinians

Israeli attacks on Gaza in 2008

Many people have died because of fighting between Israelis and Palestinians.

In the 1960s, many Palestinians grew frustrated at not having their own state. They formed armed groups that attacked Israelis and Jewish people.

The leaders of some groups, like the Palestinian Liberation Organisation and Fatah, have said they won't hurt Israelis anymore.

Other groups, like Hamas, are still violent. They have fired rockets towards Israeli towns and sent Palestinian suicide bombers to kill Israelis.

Between 2000 and 2008 more than 1,000 Israelis were killed by Palestinians.

Human rights

Lots of Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli army too, and some by Israeli settlers. Nearly 4,800 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces between September 2000 and December 2008.

Human rights groups say the Israeli army has sometimes beaten and abused Palestinians.

There was a big conflict in Gaza in the beginning of 2009.

Israel bombed and sent its troops into the Gaza Strip. Palestinian groups like Hamas had been firing rockets into Israel and the Israeli government said it wanted to stop them.

Gaza is very crowded and the buildings are very close together, so a lot of ordinary people as well as members of Hamas were killed.