Israel-Palestine Conflict: In a sudden assault carried out by Hamas militants on Saturday, hundreds of Israeli citizens lost their lives. In response, Israel has launched a relentless series of airstrikes.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged to obliterate Hamas strongholds in Gaza, reducing them to rubble, as the conflict continues to intensify.
"We are currently engaged in a state of war, and victory will be ours," Israeli PM declared, emphasizing, "This is not merely an 'operation' or a 'round,' but a full-fledged war."
The conflict between Israel and Palestine is not a new one. Even in 2021, both countries experienced a situation where they engaged in heavy hostilities.
They resorted to intense gunfire against each other, much like what was witnessed once again on Saturday.
Hamas launched thousands of rockets from the Gaza Strip, while Israel also responded with retaliatory actions. Let's understand what the Israel-Palestine conflict is all about.
The conflict between Israel and Palestine is not a new one. First, let's understand its geographical context. Israel is divided into two distinct regions in its eastern and southwestern parts.
In the eastern part, there is the West Bank, and in the southwestern part, there is a territory known as the Gaza Strip.
The West Bank and the Gaza Strip are collectively referred to as Palestine. While the West Bank is governed by the Palestinian National Authority, the Gaza Strip is controlled by Hamas, an anti-Israel militant organization.
While Israeli Prime Minister's statement suggests that they are in a state of war and warning Hamas to face consequences, Hamas on the other hand does not view Israel as a country and continues to launch attacks. While Israel and the United States label Hamas as an extremist organization.
Palestine is an Arab-majority and predominantly Muslim region with a population of approximately 2 million people.
Since the United Nations' vote in 1947, following the events of 1947-1948, Palestine has been divided into Jewish and Arab states.
The first conflict between Arabs and Jews occurred on March 6, 1948, and since then, the conflict between Palestine and Israel has persisted, spanning from that time to the present day.
This conflict is more than a century old. After defeating the Ottoman Empire in World War I, Britain established its control over this part of Western Asia, known as Palestine.
This was a period when the establishment of Israel had not yet occurred, and the region, from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip, was considered part of Palestine. It was a place where both Jewish and Arab communities resided.
Gradually, demands for creating a homeland for their respective people started emerging among both Jewish and Arab communities.
The international community also advocated for the establishment of Palestine for Jewish people, alongside Britain.
On the other hand, the majority Arab population sought to establish a new nation called Palestine. This is where the roots of the conflict began, which has persisted relentlessly.
Britain, unable to reconcile the conflicting demands, eventually left Palestine in 1948. This departure marked the beginning of hostilities, with Jewish leaders declaring the establishment of Israel.
Palestinian opposition was staunch, and neighboring Arab nations even launched an attack in response.
During the conflict, many Palestinians had to leave their homes, resulting in Israel taking control of most of Palestine.
After the war, Jordan took control of the West Bank, and Egypt took control of the Gaza Strip, while Israel established its authority over the western part of Jerusalem.
In 1967, during the Six-Day War, Syria heavily bombed Israeli villages in the Golan Heights, while Egypt deployed its forces near the Sinai Peninsula and denied Israeli ships access to the Gulf of Aqaba.
In response, Israel launched a sudden aerial attack against Egypt, crippling its air force. The Israeli military decisively defeated the armies of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan.
As a result, Israel gained control over the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem.
The scars of war never truly fade away. That's why, in 1973, Egypt and Syria launched a sudden attack on Israel on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar.
Initially, the Israeli military faced significant challenges and suffered heavy losses. However, eventually, the Israeli forces managed to push back the Arab armies.
In 1979, both Egypt and Israel came to the realization that war was not the solution to their issues. Consequently, a peace treaty was established between the two nations, ending a conflict that had persisted for three decades.
According to the terms of this treaty, Israel agreed to return the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt, relinquishing control. In return, Egypt officially recognized Israel's existence.
In 1982, Israel launched an invasion of Lebanon with the objective of eliminating the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). During this invasion, Israeli forces captured the Lebanese capital, Beirut.
As a result of Israel's control over Beirut, the PLO was forced to evacuate the city. Subsequently, Israel decided to withdraw from Lebanon, effectively ending the war.
Hezbollah launched rocket attacks on Israel and also captured two Israeli soldiers. Hezbollah is a Shiite political and semi-military organization in Lebanon.
To secure the release of the soldiers, Israel initiated an attack on southern Lebanon. This war lasted for approximately 34 days and resulted in the deaths of nearly a thousand Lebanese citizens, with over a million others displaced.
However, with a ceasefire in place, the Israeli military withdrew from the conflict.
Confirming that in 2006, Hamas took full control of the Gaza Strip, and by the end of 2007, Israel had imposed several restrictions on Gaza.
Israel's restrictions angered the Palestinian population in Gaza, leading to protests and opposition. However, after military operations in January 2008, Israel imposed even stricter sanctions on Gaza.
The Israel-Palestine conflict is one of the world's most complex and sensitive issues. It has resulted in both sides experiencing violence, displacement, and suffering. Israel and Palestine have deep historical and cultural ties to the land, and both have their grievances and claims.
This conflict has deep-rooted historical, political, and religious dimensions, making it a challenging issue to resolve. International efforts have been made to find a peaceful solution, but achieving lasting peace remains elusive.
The ongoing conflict between Israel and the terrorist organization Hamas in Palestine has resulted in the deaths of more than 500 people so far.
On Saturday, in a sudden attack by Hamas, more than 300 people in Israel lost their lives. Meanwhile, there are reports of nearly 250 deaths from retaliatory strikes by Israel in the Gaza Strip.
During this time, several countries, including the United States and India, have condemned these terrorist attacks. President Biden of the United States has also directed to provide emergency assistance of $8 billion to Israel in light of the attacks.