1. Set the stage for the lesson by showing students the first two minutes of the video Israel and
Palestine: The Fight for Peace. Tell students to take particular note of the brief overview of the
Oslo peace process, the events leading up to the signing of the Oslo peace agreement, the
assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, and the visit to the Temple Mount and the escalation of
2. After watching these segments, go over the events leading up to the current violence in the
Middle East. Make sure students understand the following key points:
• By 1987, there was mounting frustration and anger among the Palestinians, who had
been living in the West Bank and Gaza under Israeli occupation for 20 years. The
Palestinians have a strong desire for their own state, independent from Israeli control.
• As violence continued over the next couple of years, newly elected Prime Minister
Yitzhak Rabin decided that it was time to enter into peace negotiations with the
Palestinian Liberation Organization, known as the PLO, under the leadership of Yasser
• Rabin authorized secret negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians that took place
in Oslo, Norway. The Israelis and the Palestinians negotiated an agreement, which was
signed in Washington, D.C., on September 13, 1993. The agreement called for a
withdrawal of Israel from the occupied land and a mutual cease-fire over a period of
• The peace process began to fail when Rabin was assassinated in 1995. His successor,
Benjamin Netanyahu, slowed the Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank, further fueling
anger and mistrust between the two sides.
• In 1999 Netanyahu was defeated in his bid for reelection by Ehud Barak. President Bill
Clinton brought Barak and Arafat to Washington in 2000 to try to renew the
negotiations, but the attempt failed.