Analysing the Israel-Palestine Conflict in International Relations Perspective

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Analysing the Israel-Palestine Conflict in International Relations Perspective

Introduction to International Relations

Analysing the Israel-Palestine Conflict in International Relations Perspective


Since the early 20th Century, Israelis and Palestinians have been fighting over the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. With the assumption that Palestine is a state to facilitate discussion, this report sketches out the most significant elements of the conflict on the three levels defined by Kenneth Waltz, and applies the Realist theory of international relations (IR) to the “Two-State” solution.

Levels of analysis

1. First Level

The first level focuses on individuals
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However, divergent values among parties could result in unstable governments. Such instability has been particularly highlighted by frequent national elections and coalition reconstruction in Israel.

The PA resembles a classic authoritarian regime under the reign of Mahmoud Abbas even though it is supposed to be democratic. The PA government remains relatively stable under this structure. However, militant groups like Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad could be a credible external threat to the established governance of the PA. Since 2003, conflicts between the two major factions, the traditional dominant party, Fatah, and its subsequent electoral rival, Hamas, have fractured the Palestinian side. “After the Hamas took power in the Gaza Strip in June 2007, the territory controlled by the PA was split between Fatah in the West Bank, and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.”[1] The estrangement between the parties has led to “the fall of bipartisan governance of the PA”[2].

3. Third Level

The third level is the international level which can be broken down into sub-groups such as relevant third-party states, transnational actors, international organizations, and the relations between states. The Quartet on the Middle East represented by a special envoy formed by the United States, Russia, and the United Nations is an international contingent mediating the official negotiations. The
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