Formation and expansion of the IPFU (2015-22):
In 2015, Israel has de facto control over all of Palestine, which it overtook through warfare and continued creation of settlements, among other things. Israel also controls the Golan Heights, which was overtaken in the midst of the chaos in Syria. Islamic State continues to wreak havoc in Iraq and Syria as the conflict spills into Jordan and Saudi Arabia, something that is seen by Israel as a grave threat to its national security. Later in the year, a multinational coalition is formed in opposition to IS, consisting of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Egypt, Iran, Israel, the United States, the United Kingdom and France, temporarily halting disputes between its members, and IS, al-Nusra and other groups are pushed out of most larger cities and deeper into Iraq and Syria. In Iraq, the Kurdish region achieves independence, and parts of eastern Iraq are annexed by Iran, while in Syria things take a dramatic turn as Assad's regime is disposed and the military takes power instead. The new leader of Syria is more stability-minded than his predecessor, and he enters a peace treaty with the Free Syrian Army, ending the conflict. In late 2017, the Israeli-Palestinian Federal Union (IPFU) is formed, consisting of Israel (including Palestine and the Golan Heights), Lebanon and Jordan each maintaining its own governmental system, as well as the Sinai Peninsula, which was ceded by Egypt following an extended peace treaty. Jerusalem is made the federal capital. Hope of peace in the region starts to grow with the creation of this federal state, the rise of Turkey as a major power, and the beginning democratization of Iranian society. Mossad continues to exist as the national intelligence agency of the IPFU, and the military forces of the former countries are merged together, but there is a general over-representation of Jews and Christians. Upon the formation of the IPFU, the so-called Federal Transition Government (FTG) temporarily takes power, and the first democratic election is held in early 2018, with a new election being held every 5 years.
Annexation of Syria and demographics
In 2022, upon an agreement with Turkey, the military leadership of Syria and the population, most of Syria, as well as Hatay, joins the IPFU, while the rest joins Turkey. A united Levant state has now been created. The ethno-religious composition of the IPFU is different from that of the former independent countries. Overall, Sunni Arabs form the majority, but there are also very large numbers of Jews/Israelis and Christian Arabs, while Shia Arabs constitute a smaller minority. In recent years, Judaism and Christianity have gathered more and more followers, mainly due to the massive campaigns by Jewish and Christian organizations. Islam, on the other hand, has not managed to do this, and thus the percentage of Muslims is falling. There is also a rising birth rate among the more Orthodox Jews, and large groups of foreign Jews and Christians have migrated to the IPFU, whereas many Muslims have moved out or, as some speculate, been driven out. Additionally, the Israelis have created large settlements, however legal, all around Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Sinai, thus spreading out their population. Today, Israel, Sinai and the “East Bank” are dominated by Jews/Israelis, while Lebanon and large parts of Syria are dominated by Christians, and the rest of Syria and Jordan are dominated by Sunni Arabs. Now and then, a little unrest and violence erupts in the state, but the belief in peace is still there. Meanwhile, the Arab oil states, as well as Yemen and (South) Iraq, come together to form the United Arab Kingdom under the rule of the Saudi king.
Great Middle Eastern Wars (2028-35):
The 2028 federal election ends with a major victory for Jewish and Christian politicians, and a Jewish-Christian coalition government is formed. The new president and PM are both from Israel, and there is only one Muslim minister in the new government, causing dissatisfaction among Muslims. Corruption and lobbyism was prevalent at the election, and political watchdogs criticize the democratic process. Throughout the year, the new government passes laws differentiating between ethnoreligious groups, and Muslims are generally lower on the social ladder than their Jewish and Christian counterparts.
By the start of 2029, Muslims form a (narrow) plurality in the IPFU, but the Jewish and Christian denominations are now so large that they together form a majority of the population. Israel, Sinai, Jordan and parts of Southern Syria are dominated by Jews, while Lebanon and parts of Southern and Western Syria are dominated by Christians, and the rest of Syria (central, north and east) is dominated by Muslims. In the last year, tensions have gone up and violence increased, causing serious doubt whether the peace will last. These tensions are mainly caused by the result of the 2028 federal election and the actions of the new Jewish-Christian government. People have also started using the term “Israeli Empire” as a synonym for the IPFU.
Beginning of the war
:In mid-2029, an unknown group of Islamic terrorists targets the Christian-dominated city of Damascus, killing 114 civilians and 3 police officers. Upon investigation by Mossad, it is revealed that the group has been trained in the United Arab Kingdom (UAK) and has received funding from the government. The Armed Forces of the IPFU launches a bombing campaign in the area where the terrorist camps are allegedly located, causing the death of at least 23 people. The UAK, having denied any claims of involvement in the terrorist attack, considers what the IPFU has done a declaration of war. The world is shocked by the dramatic events, and Turkey urges the other countries in the Middle East to try not to further escalate the situation. Turkey is, at this point, the closest ally of the IPFU in the region, but their bonds are slowly breaking. Iran and Egypt both give a more hostile reaction and blame the IPFU for “shattering peace and stability” in the region, and Russia and the Western countries express serious concern.
In early 2030, the Great Middle Eastern War officially breaks out between the IPFU on one side, and the UAK on the other. Iran and Egypt, despite strongly speaking against the IPFU, both stay out of the war, and so does a worried Turkey. The IPFU pours troops into the deserted Iraq region and rushes forward with superior technology, leaving the UAK forces unable to fend off the foreigners. The UAK fires missiles towards major cities in the country, such as Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Beirut and Damascus, and in these cities, terrorist attacks also start to become increasingly frequent. A pro-UAK group emerges in Syria, described by Mossad as terrorists, and areas of Syria start to become targets of IPFU air strikes, "coincidentally" leading to the death of hundreds of Muslim civilians. Western leaders begin to speak out against the IPFU, as does Russia in stronger terms.
By mid-2031, the IPFU forces have reached the Persian Gulf coast and the Euphrates River, and are in full control of the UAK borders with Iran and Turkey. By the end of the year, a new border has been drawn up by the IPFU government, expanding the federation to include a large part of the northern UAK, including all of Iraq and former Kuwait. An Orthodox Zionist group from Israel declares that “Yahweh’s wish of Eretz Israel has come true”. The IPFU government refuses to comment on the resulting accusations of “Zionist imperialism”. Now, a stalemate-like situation is reached in the northern Arab Peninsula as fighting takes place entirely in the hot, dry Arabian desert, and neither side is making major incisions into one another.
In early 2032, Egypt makes a massive mobilization of its troops at the border of the IPFU-controlled Sinai Peninsula, formerly Egyptian territory. After a month of rising tensions, Egypt officially declares war on the IPFU, and launches an invasion of Sinai while carrying out missile attacks and air strikes throughout the country. The IPFU deploys thousands of troops to the already well-guarded Sinai Peninsula, and orders them to enter Egypt and head for Cairo. At the same time, a large-scale bombing campaign is launched, targeting important sites throughout the country. Egypt is a great military power, and the Battles of Cairo and Alexandria are long and exhausting for both sides. In mid-2023, the IPFU declares victory in Cairo as the Egyptian Army is ordered to leave the city and the government relocates to another city. The IPFU troops now head south, and as year 2033 begins, the IPFU has captured all of Egypt east of the River Nile, and the rest of Egypt is in shambles as water supply is cut off. This move is condemned by humanitarian organizations and prominent Western leaders, and Egypt manages to receive water from its southern ally of Sudan, and receives humanitarian aid from the international community.
Ending of the war:
In early 2033, at the federal election, the Jewish-Christian coalition wins another 5 years in power, but the new PM, the head of government, is much more Orthodox and nationalistic. This very year, the name of the IPFU is officially changed to the Israeli Empire, thus confirming all previous accusations of “Zionist imperialism”. By now, Muslims are effectively a minority. During this year, the Israeli forces cross the River Nile and continue the invasion of Egypt, eventually forcing the country to surrender. Upon capture of these areas, the Israeli Empire drives out many Muslims from the occupied part of Egypt, whereas Coptic Christians are allowed to stay and not be harmed by Israeli forces. At this point, many Western countries and Russia start supplying arms to anti-Israeli groups. In the northern Arab Peninsula, the Israeli Empire makes progress and has managed to block several supply routes for the UAK forces. The stalemate is effectively over, and the war rages on. By the beginning of year 2034, the Israeli Empire has captured large parts of the northern UAK, and a new border is drawn up. With the threat of a nuclear attack in Riyadh, the UAK surrenders. The Great Middle Eastern War has ended, but the end result is strongly condemned by the international community, and Israel faces harsh sanctions as a result, becoming isolated from its former allies, including the US, although the arms industry and many Republicans push for supporting Israel instead.
In early 2034, the most Orthodox groups in the Israeli Empire dream of extending the empire all the way to the Tigris River, and controversial statements by government officials dramatically raise tensions with Iran and Turkey. The Tigris War, also called the Second Great Middle Eastern War, breaks out with the Israeli Empire on one side, and Iran, Turkey, the UAK, the countries of Central Asia, and various terrorist groups on the other. The anti-Israeli coalition is also assisted by the West and Russia, who supply arms and increase sanctions against Israel. Although the force faced by Israel is greater than ever before, the country does not hesitate to fulfil its dream. The country suffers major damage on its infrastructure and war machine during the long and exhausting conflict, but nevertheless, by late 2035, the Israeli forces have reached the Tigris River. Months later, Israel declares that its ultimate goal of capturing “the land assigned to us by Yahweh” has been reached, and that it has no desire to make further conquests. In late 2035, a treaty to end the war is signed in Geneva, Switzerland by the belligerents, but not a single country recognizes the new borders of Israel. The international community pushes for Israel to give up all land it took in the Great Middle Eastern Wars, but they refuse.