The threatening attacks by Hamas that killed thousands have shocked the world. This militant group has been controlling the Gaza Strip since 2007. Its unprecedented border breach, which transported terrorists inside border villages and military posts, stunned Israel and its allies and raised concerns about the group’s capabilities and strategy.
After decades of struggle and bloodbath, these attacks are again a horrific reminder of the deadly Isreal-Palestine conflict.
Let’s get to the basics and background of the conflict.
What is Hamas?
This group is the creation of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, a Palestinian refugee. The Arabic abbreviation for the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, is an acknowledgment of the group’s beginnings and early ties to one of the Sunni world’s most important organizations, the Muslim Brotherhood, which was founded in Egypt in the 1920s. The organization is behind a number of deadly suicide bombings and other attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians, and it has pledged to destroy Israel, which is why the entire movement has led to the major Islrael Hamas War.
Also, it was classified as a terrorist organization by the US State Department in 1997.
Quick Recap of Key Events in the History
- Late 19th Century: Origins of Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
- 1947 – 1949: UN Resolution 181, Creation of Israel, 1st Arab-Israeli War, displacement of Palestinians, division of territory.
- 1956 – 1967: Tensions, Suez Crisis, Six-Day War, territorial changes.
- 1973: Yom Kippur War.
- 1979: Camp David Accords, a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.
- 1987: First Intifada.
- 1993: Oslo I Accords, the framework for Palestinian self-governance.
- 1995: Oslo II Accords, expansion of agreements.
- 2000 – 2005: Second Intifada, construction of barrier wall.
- 2006: Hamas wins Palestinian elections, control of Gaza, violence.
- 2014: Israeli-Hamas military confrontation.
- 2015: Wave of violence, end of Oslo Accords.
- 2018: Protests at Gaza-Israel border, embassy relocation.
- 2020: UAE and Bahrain normalize relations with Israel.
- October 2020: Israeli court ruling on Sheikh Jarrah evictions.
- April – May 2021: Protests and violence in Jerusalem, al-Aqsa Mosque clash.
- May 2021: Rockets, airstrikes, and ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
Crux: Main Reasons for this conflict
On the basis of the data, it is clearly evident that Palestine & Israel have a conflict for the following reasons:
Palestinians want East Jerusalem, which encompasses Muslim, Jewish, and Christian holy sites, to be their state’s capital. Jerusalem, according to Israel, should remain its “indivisible and eternal” capital. Internationally, Israel’s claim to the eastern portion of Jerusalem is unrecognized. Trump accepted Jerusalem as Israel’s capital without elaborating on the scope of Israel’s jurisdiction in the disputed city and relocated the US Embassy there in 2018.
Two state solution
A deal that would establish a state for the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip alongside Israel is known as a “two-state solution.” Hamas is committed to destroying Israel and rejects the idea of a two-state solution. Israel has stated that a demilitarised Palestinian state is necessary to prevent a threat to its security.
There are currently over 5.6 million Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the Israeli-occupied West Bank, and Gaza, the majority of whom are descendants of those who left in 1948. According to the Palestinian foreign ministry, over half of all registered refugees are stateless, with many living in overcrowded camps.
Palestinians have long requested that refugees, along with millions of their descendants, be allowed to return. According to Israel, any relocation of Palestinian refugees must take place outside its boundaries.
The majority of countries consider Jewish settlements erected on land taken by Israel in 1967 to be illegal. Israel denies this, citing historical and Biblical connections to the territory. Their continuous expansion is one of the most contentious topics among Israelis, Palestinians, and the international community.
West has come together to settle the Conflict
Understanding the gravity of the Isreal- Hamas War, the world leaders from different dominions have come all aligned for a peaceful settlement. In a joint statement, the leaders of the US, UK, Germany, France, and Italy declare their “steadfast and united support” to the State of Israel and unequivocal condemnation of Hamas and its appalling acts of terrorism.