The Israel-Hamas conflict has seen a recent escalation, with the situation intensifying on Monday, October 9, 2023. Thus, in addition to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the world has a second military conflict with global consequences. Here’s a brief overview of the recent developments and the background of this conflict:
- On October 8, 2023, Israeli jets intensified their bombardment on Gaza.
- The death toll has been rising due to the ongoing airstrikes.
- Palestinian fighters and the Israeli military have been engaged in heightened confrontations.
- Octo 9, 2023: Israeli defense minister orders complete siege of Gaza, as conflict with Hamas enters third day
- Ukraine’s Zelenskyy likens Hamas to Russia.
Background of the Conflict:
The Israel-Hamas conflict has deep historical roots, with both sides laying claim to the same land. Here’s a brief overview:
- Historical Roots: The origins of the conflict can be traced back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries when nationalist movements emerged among various ethnic and religious groups in the Middle East. Zionism, the Jewish nationalist movement, aimed to establish a national homeland for Jews in Palestine. At the same time, Palestinian Arabs also harbored national aspirations.
- Formation of Israel: In 1947, the United Nations proposed a partition plan to divide Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem as an international city. The Jewish leadership accepted the plan, but the Arab leadership did not. In 1948, the State of Israel was declared, leading to the first Arab-Israeli war.
- Hamas Emergence: Hamas, an Islamist Palestinian organization, emerged in the late 1980s during the First Intifada (uprising) against Israeli rule in the occupied territories. It has since become a major political and military force in Gaza.
- Key Issues: The conflict revolves around several key issues: the status and borders of Israel, the rights of Palestinian refugees, the status of Jerusalem, and the establishment of a Palestinian state.
- Recent Tensions: Over the years, there have been several flare-ups between Israel and Hamas, particularly in Gaza. These have often been precipitated by rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel and retaliatory Israeli airstrikes.
- Hamas’ Perspective: Hamas does not recognize the state of Israel and seeks its end. It views the entirety of historic Palestine as Palestinian land and believes in the right of return for all Palestinian refugees.
- Israel’s Perspective: Israel views Hamas as a terrorist organization and has imposed a blockade on Gaza since 2007, citing security concerns. Israel’s primary concern is the security of its citizens and stopping rocket attacks from Gaza.
The recent escalation is a continuation of this long-standing conflict. The situation remains fluid, with both sides suffering casualties. The international community has often called for a two-state solution where both Israelis and Palestinians can live side by side in peace, but achieving this has proven challenging.