Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict is one of the longest ongoing armed conflicts in the world, beginning way back in 1929. At the end of WWII, around 1947, the conflict got much worse as the Jews sought safe haven after experiencing persecution and mass genocide at the hand of the Nazis. The result was an even stronger conflict over the rights to the “Holy Land,” the area where Abraham first lived and gave his word to God according to both Muslim and Jewish faith. Both sides wanted rights to the land, as they perceived it to belong to them in each of their written holy texts. The main battle is over the city of Jerusalem, which holds a number of Bible and Quran holy sites. The situation has escalated in recent years though, with the debate growing outside of the Gaza Strip, Israel, and Palestine at large.

Hamas Comes to Palestine

An unidentified protester holding a Palestinian flag scuffles with Israeli security forces during a joint pro-Palestinian demonstration held by foreign, Israeli and Palestinian demonstrators in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, Saturday, July 9, 2011. Some of the international pro-Palestinian activists questioned at Israel's airport over the weekend have reached the West Bank and participated in anti-Israel protests Saturday. (AP Photo/Oren Ziv)

An unidentified protester holding a Palestinian flag scuffles with Israeli security forces during a joint pro-Palestinian demonstration held by foreign, Israeli and Palestinian demonstrators in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, Saturday, July 9, 2011. Some of the international pro-Palestinian activists questioned at Israel’s airport over the weekend have reached the West Bank and participated in anti-Israel protests Saturday. (AP Photo/Oren Ziv)

Hamas, now deemed a terrorist group by all major world powers, started off as an Islamic group set on freeing the current geographical borders of Israel from the Israelites, and taking it back for the Palestinians (who lived in that land prior to 1947).  Using that platform, Hamas was elected into the Palestinian government in 2006, and began instituting their regiment immediately. Of course, the Fatah government of the Gaza Strip refused to listen to the new regime, and Hamas forcefully removed them, killing over 115 people and injuring over 500. After that, Hamas moved on to their original plan: taking back Israel. They attempted to take back Israel with extreme force, and began using suicide bombers, rocket attacks, and a number of non-sanctioned war crimes against the Israeli people. Hamas “won” the Gaza Strip using these tactics, and continued to bombard Israel with bombs, guerilla warfare, and massive destruction to Israel infrastructure and homes. Israel and many other countries moved against Hamas-controlled Gaza, and put sanctions against any form of import to Gaza by land, sea, or air. Of course, this stops the influx of armaments and prevents the Hamas leaders from escaping, but it is also incredibly damaging to the citizens of Gaza, which is cause for much concern. Finally, in November of 2012, a ceasefire was called due to the intense damage done, lack of a treaty in place, and loss of civilian life.

Israel Takes on Hamas

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In July of 2014, the ceasefire was intentionally broken by Israel and lasted for 49 days before a new ceasefire was agreed upon. The highest estimates indicate that over 2,300 Gazan civilians were killed, and only 5 Israeli citizens. The huge difference in casualties is credited to Israel’s larger military and budget, backed by large countries like the United States. A long-term agreement was signed, and is still in effect as of November 2015. As of 2015, the UN and UNICEF, along with many other countries and NGOs are attempting to raise enough money to help rebuild Gaza and the parts of Israel most affected. The humanitarian effects of the many conflicts of the region are much deeper than can be fixed in a few years, and many political experts believe the ceasefire will end before humanitarian efforts can make much change.

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