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  Arab-Israeli conflict
Updated 19 April 2004, 15.57
Thousands of Palestinians gathered in Gaza City to mourn the death of Hamas leader Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi

Citizenship 11-14/KS3/Levels E&F
Conflict resolution

Hamas leader Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi was killed by an Israeli missile strike. His supporters have threatened a "volcano of revenge" for the killing.

Evaluate comments on the Middle East. Script an imaginary meeting of young people involved in the conflict.

For a comprehensive guide use the link. BBC News: History of the conflict.

Learning aims

  • Non-violent conflict resolution

  • Case study of a conflict

Read the story

[A] Provide students with as much background to the conflict as you feel appropriate.

[B] Read the group some of the following comments submitted to the Newsround website by kids.

  • Read out the comments one at a time.

  • After each statement help students to identify what strategy (if any) the comment is proposing.

    - Prompt - 1 Military action, 2 transfer of lands, 3 disarmament, 4 discussion, 5 tolerance, 6 more compassion, 7 discussion, 8 more compassion, 9 transfer of lands, 10 self-defence,

  • Vote on whether they think the sentiment expressed will make the Middle East more or less violent.

Kids comment on the conflict

[1] Israel is fighting a war on terrorism against the Palestinians, why can't the world get behind it like it does with America? It is exactly the same...

Sam, 15, London

[2] There wouldn't be any violence or bloodshed if the Palestinians were given their land back. It shouldn't have been taken from them in the first place.

Sara, 15, Wales

[3] The countries are wasting their money on bombs and weapons when it could be used to help the injured.

Tara, 15, Epsom

[4] I have been to the middle east a number of times. It's nothing like the news shows. You don't notice the violence and everyone in Israel is very hopeful and caring. I think that it is tragic that both side can't sit down and discuss their problems.

Debs, 15, Manchester

[5] We should be doing more to stop the violence. It doesn't matter what other people believe in, just worry about what you believe in.

Stacey, 16, Kent

[6] It is awful to see that people are getting hurt over land and religion. Many innocent adults and children are getting killed. I would hate it if I lost some of my family in the violence.

Sophia, 13, Croydon

[7] Why can't people talk about their problems rather that fighting about them?

Lucy, 14, Horsley

[8] I feel really sorry for the people who live in the middle east. I would be so scared.

Hannah, 10, Crowthorne

[9] The land should be returned to its rightful owners, the only reason that so many people are dying is because the Palestinians are willing to risk their life have the land back.

Emzi, 11, Studley

[10] The Israeli people do not want war or bloodshed. They are just defending themselves and their land.

David, 13, London

Main activity
Print off these reports by young people involved in the conflict.

Ahmad is a 16 year old Palestinian from Ramallah.

16-year-old Iris describes how Israeli children live in fear.

17 year old Elad believes peace talks are the only way forward.

Brief encounter
Students script an encounter between Iris, Ahmad and Elad. Imagine they meet on a train.

What arguments might Ahmad and Iris have? How would Elad try to resolve these?

If time allows act out the meeting.

Extension activity
Produce a poster for younger students telling them how to resolve arguments.

Points could include:

  • Having discussions
  • Getting a third person to act as go between
  • Making a deal
  • Signing a contract

Remind students of the differing strategies for peace that were drawn out from the comments.

Which were likely to produce less violence?

Teachers' Background

  • The current Palestinian intifada, or uprising, broke out at the end of September 2000.

  • This was a time of increasing Palestinian frustration. Their delegation had rejected a deal that arose from the peace process.

  • Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon (now Prime Minister) visited a site on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.

  • Correspondents say the visit was intended to underline the Israeli claim to the city.

  • The Palestinians viewed the visit as provocative as the compound lies on territory captured by Israel in the 1967 war.

  • Bloody clashes resulted at the mosque. These quickly spread through the occupied Palestinian territories.

For all links and resources click at top right.

More InfoBORDER=0
Find OutGuide to the Middle East
ChatYour comments on the Middle East
QuizMiddle East quiz


BBC Links
BBC News: History of the conflict



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