PALESTINE, USING BY REGIONAL POWERS?
During Ottoman period, Palestine has been under Turkish authority for 400 years. After Ottoman Empire’s collapse in 1923 and a period under British mandate, a Partition Plan was voted by the UN General Assembly on 29th November 1947. This Plan recommended the creation of independent Arab and Jewish States. Palestine rejected the proposal and came into conflict with the Hebrew State. Palestinian issue became a symbol. Some Muslim countries still use Palestinian issue as a way to spread their anti-Western speech.
PALESTINE UNDER OTTOMAN INFLUENCE
1517 was a turning point in Ottoman Empire history. Suleiman the Magnificent overrun caliphate just after Egypt conquest. 1517 is also the year where Palestine came under Ottoman Empire rule. Between 1538 and 1535 new caliph had the Dome of the Rock and the city walls of Jerusalem restored. In 1541, he closed down the Golden Gate to prevent the Jewish Messiah from entering. As the Ottoman caliphate became hegemonic, non-Muslims had a subordinate status. However, the system of millets, settled after the size of Constantinople by Ottoman power, established a degree of cultural and religious tolerance. As a result, non-Muslims enjoyed fairly extensive autonomy in return for their loyalty to the Ottoman Empire.
POST OTTOMAN PALESTINE
In 1923 Ottoman Empire collapses and Palestine came under British mandate rule. On 29th November 1947 the United Nations General Assembly vote in favour of the modified Partition Plan. This vote immediately led to aggressive confrontations between Jewish and Arab Palestinian communities. Facing those events British abandon their Mandate. On 14 May 1948, the day before the expiry of the British Mandate term, David Ben Gurion proclaiming independence of Israel State. The result is a mass exodus of the Palestinian population, called Nakba. 750,000 Palestinians fled their land to neighboring countries such as Lebanon, Syria and Jordan to settle in camps. In 15th November 1988 Palestinian independence is declared. Since January 2013 Palestinian National Authority has become State of Palestine but the country remains divided into two rival factions Hamas and Fatah on two territories: the Gaza Strip and the West Bank (cisjordanie).
In Cairo in 1928, the Society of the Muslim Brotherhood was created. The movement became involved in the tensions between Palestinians and Israelis in the mid-1940s. In 1945, an armed Arab branch in Palestine was created to fight against Zionism. Many activists took part in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. This conflict constitutes an historical step for the movement. Hamas has been founded in 1987 and represents a radical Islamist and nationalist Palestinian movement. Hamas is considered as a terrorist organisation by around thirty Western countries. The movement is mainly supported by Qatar in a financial way. Iran also provides financing support to Hamas by means of the Revolutionary Guards. The Lebanese Hezbollah is also a Hamas ally.
Turkey is a special case. Despite the fact that Palestine was under Ottoman domination during 400 years, Turkey was the first Muslim-majority country to recognize Israeli State in 1949. However, the depths of cultural and religious links between the two countries make Turkey being a fervent supporter of Palestinian cause. Meanwhile, Turkey is also seeking to develop economic relations with Israel, particularly in the energy sector. Turkey’s ambiguous positioning in the international relations shows that Ankara is trying to take advantage of every situation.
For nearly 80 years, Palestinian issue has been a subject matter defended by regional powers. No solution has been found yet. So-called links with Palestine are hidden by the personal interests of regional players. Palestine tends to be reduced to a symbol using by countries such as Iran, Qatar or Turkey for their own benefits.