Israel and Palestine have had conflict and violence for several decades. But this year, there has been an increase in the number of civilians and militants killed by both Israelis and Palestinians.
Who are Hamas?
Hamas is one of Palestine’s major political parties. They are an Islamist militant movement that currently governs the Gaza Strip and also has power in the West Bank. Hamas was created in 1987 to fight against Israel’s occupation. But has been coined a terrorist group by several nations such as the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and the European Union.
The Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed that the country is at war, after Gaza sent numerous gunmen with deadly weapons, and fired rockets into Israel during a surprise attack, while Israel was completing the celebrations for their holy seven-day-long festival, Sukkot. The attack from Hamas was launched on the 50th Anniversary of the Yom Kippur War.
Yom Kippur War
The Yom Kippur War, also known as the Ramadan War, or October War, marked an era of armed conflict where Israel fought against an Arab coalition led by Egypt and Syria. Around 6:30 a.m. on October 7, thousands of rockets were launched into southern and central Israel. Armed Hamas militants shot at Jewish settlers in the Gaza Strip and took mothers, children and the elderly among other Israeli citizens as hostages.
Israel has ordered a complete siege of the Gaza Strip and Hamas’ military has threatened to kill hostages, including civilian captives that they took hostage in Israel, every time Israel attacks without warning. Israeli troops battled to regain towns that were infiltrated by Hamas gunmen. The Defense Minister of Israel has made the decision that no food, fuel, electricity, water and others would be allowed into Gaza.
Israel has since then launched strikes in retaliation into Gaza, sealing them off from food and other supplies. The death toll has been climbing with over 2,500 Israelis injured and over 900 deaths. Among those deaths, President Biden has noted at least 11 Americans were also killed by Hamas.
The U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin has stated that the Department of Defence will be ensuring that Israel has everything that they may need, in order to protect their civilians from terrorism. Austin has been speaking to the U.S. Centcom Commander General as Israel falls under USCENTCOM, making it part of their responsibility. USCENTCOM enables military operations with allies, Israel being one of them.
2023 Israel-Hamas War
After PM Netanyahu declared war Israel has initiated massive airstrike operations, with Netanyahu cautioning that there is much worse to come within the next few days. Israel has since evacuated families living along the Gaza separation fence. All who were willing to be relocated while those in favour of staying were able to stay.
After Israel’s blockade, the United Nations has predicted a severe shortage of drinking water in Gaza. United Nations human rights chief, Volker Turk has said in a statement that “The imposition of sieges that endanger the lives of civilians by depriving them of goods essential for their survival is prohibited under international humanitarian law,” in regards to Israel’s total siege on Gaza.
Footage documenting the massive destruction covering wide areas of Gaza Strip, which has been under the lsraeli attack for the fourth day in a row. pic.twitter.com/f1ZudAwx20
— TIMES OF GAZA (@Timesofgaza) October 10, 2023
Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel 😳😳
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— Ja'afar👑🤺 (@yarima619) October 8, 2023