JERUSALEM: Representatives from around 70 nations will meet in Paris Sunday to try to chart a course toward restarting moribund Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

Here is a brief explanation of one of the world's most intractable conflicts.

What is the conflict?

The conflict in its modern form dates back to 1947, when the United Nations proposed two states on the territory -- one Jewish and the other Arab.

Israel was founded the following year after British forces withdrew, with hundreds of thousands of Arabs fleeing the war that broke out.

Their descendants make up a large percentage of the Palestinian refugees across the Middle East.

In 1967, Israel seized the West Bank and east Jerusalem from Jordan during the Six Day War with neighbouring countries, while another conflict followed in 1973.

It later annexed east Jerusalem, where key Christian, Jewish and Muslim holy sites are located, and continues to occupy the West Bank.

The Oslo accords of the 1990s laid out what is commonly referred to as the peace process.

Efforts at an agreement have centred on a two-state solution based on pre-1967 borders, with Jerusalem as a shared capital. Israel would withdraw from territory it occupied, though likely with land swaps.

Other longstanding issues include the status of Jerusalem and the right of return for Palestinian refugees.

There have been growing warnings that the chances of a two-state solution are slipping away. The Paris conference's aim is to put it back on track.

Why have negotiations stalled?

Both sides say they are willing to talk, but haven't done so face-to-face since 2014.

The Palestinians say years of negotiations have not ended the occupation and have pursued an international approach.

They want a stop to Israeli settlement building before further talks, among other demands.

Israel wants face-to-face talks and calls on the Palestinians to recognise the country as a Jewish state.

The Palestine Liberation Organisation has long recognised Israel, but it believes doing so as a Jewish state would preempt negotiations on refugees' right of return.

Both sides also face domestic challenges that make concessions harder.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads what is seen as the most right-wing government in the country's history, with members of his cabinet opposed to any Palestinian state.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has grown unpopular, with a recent poll showing some 64 percent of Palestinians want the 81-year-old to resign.

He also doesn't control the Gaza Strip, which is run by Hamas, the Islamist movement that refuses to recognise Israel.

What role for settlements and violence?

There are now around 600,000 Israelis living in West Bank and east Jerusalem settlements, considered a major obstacle to peace.

A UN Security Council resolution passed on December 23 called for a halt to settlements after the United States withheld its veto -- the first such successful resolution since 1979.

At the same time, Israel argues the conference rewards Palestinian violence.

A wave of Palestinian knife, gun and car-ramming attacks, mainly by lone-wolf assailants, erupted in October 2015.

Israel accuses the Palestinian leadership of encouraging attacks through incitement and by lionising dead assailants.

What to expect?

The conference will be held without the Israelis and Palestinians.

Israel has rejected the meeting, with Netanyahu saying he will refuse international "diktats," but the Palestinians have welcomed it.

Abbas spoke by telephone with French President Francois Hollande ahead of the meeting and will visit Paris "in the coming weeks" for bilateral talks, Hollande's office said Thursday.

For the Palestinians, the mere fact the conference is being held is a victory.

But they also want concrete results, such as a follow-up mechanism and a timeframe to end the occupation.

What about Trump?

The inauguration of US President-elect Donald Trump on January 20 will likely bring more favourable Washington policy toward Israel.

Trump condemned the UN settlement resolution and has nominated David Friedman, a supporter of settlement expansion, as his Israeli ambassador.

A senior Palestinian official said the week when it comes to Trump "all indications are negative".

Israel fears the Paris conference will produce measures that will be taken to the UN Security Council before Trump becomes president.