It feels like Israel is being ripped apart at the seams. Those waving orange flags are passionately protesting Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Plan to Disengage from Gaza, slated to begin August 15, 2005. Those waving blue flags are supporting Disengagement from Gaza and protesting the vehemence of those waving orange flags. Orange vehemence has included clashing with police and soldiers, blocking traffic, spilling oil and nails on the highway and even planting dummy bombs. How did Israel get herself into this complicated and painful situation?
British troops leave Mandatory Palestine. The State of Israel is declared.
In the Israeli war of Independence, thousands of Palestinians, fleeing other cities like Jaffa and Beersheba, settle in the Gaza Strip, mostly in refugee camps. Gaza Strip's population triples.
Following the signing of the armistice, the Gaza Strip comes under Egyptian military rule. Egypt does not give Egyptian citizenship to the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip.
Israel captures the Gaza Strip during the Six Day War. The United Nations Security Council passes Resolution 242, calling for the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the war in exchange for an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
In 1970, Kfar Darom - a Jewish community in the Strip evacuated in 1948 - is re-established as a para-military Nahal outpost.
In 1972, Netzer Hazani, the first civilian Jewish community in the Gaza Strip, is founded. And Netzarim and Morag are founded as para-military Nahal outposts.
Israel and Egypt sign the Camp David Accords, in which they pledge to try to reach an agreement on Palestinian autonomy in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. In response, Jewish settlement groups start to establish more settlements to ensure Jewish presence in the Gaza Strip. Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip grows in the 1980s.
The Gaza-Jericho Agreement is signed; IDF forces leave most of the Strip's Palestinian inhabited areas, but maintain control of the Jewish settlements, borders and certain strategic points.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad carry out suicide bombings against Israelis. Israel surrounds the Strip with a security fence. Israel and the Palestinian Authority sign the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Camp David Summit fails. The Second Intifada begins. Jewish settlements in Gaza suffer constant attacks. Palestinians in Gaza fire missiles at Israeli communities in the Negev. Israeli helicopters attack targets in Palestinian areas, and IDF tanks enter refugee camps. Curfews placed on Palestinians, security at checkpoints increased.
In response to Palestinian attacks, the IDF recaptures parts of the Gaza Strip. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon presents a Disengagement Plan from Gaza and the northern West Bank.
Knesset ratifies Sharon's Disengagement Plan. Government announces August 15 as the day disengagement is set to begin. Passionate, nationwide anti-disengagement protests begin.