The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has its deeply rooted reasons and complicated background. It has been going on for decades, however, the recent events has put both sides in turmoil.
Israel has recently officially declared that it was in a state of war. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told his nation that they are going into a "long and difficult war". On Saturday, October 7, 2023, rockets launched by Palestinian Islamist militant group Hamas in Gaza Strip ended up in Israeli territory. Israeli defense minister quickly responded to the event, stating that Hamas had "made a grave mistake and launched a war". Victims were many, including more than 250 participants of the Supernova Music Festival that was being held nearby. Overall, more than 700 people have been confirmed to be dead by the Israeli Defense Forces as a result meanwhile the number of injured people surpassed 2000. The Supernova Music Festival had international participants and Israeli sources have claimed that it was a main target of Hamas. The attacks are said to be “meticulously planned” as they took place on early hours of shabbat, which is the Jewish holiday, and used a ton of ammunation. According to Hamas’ own statements, they used more than 5000 rockets, although Israel declared it was around 2500. Naturally, after the disaster nearby hospitals struggled meeting the demand and many international organizations intervened to help ease the situation. Hamas’ rockets, however, did not stop, especially destructing southern Israeli territory. Israel responded to the attacks by launching retaliatory strikes into Gaza. Israel is also planning on limiting the resources such as internet and electricity provided to Gaza Strip. Both the attacks of Hamas and Israel’s attacks on the Gaza Strip persisted for days. On the Palestinian side, 300 people were confirmed to be killed with many more injured. Many buildings, schools, and worship places such as mosques were reduced to rubbles in Gaza. Refugee camps in Gaza were among the places harmed by Israel’s counterattacks.
The international community turned its eyes on the region, and many officials of countries including the United States of America outright expressed their support for Israel and condemned the actions of Hamas. The US also provided Israel with financial and military assistance. Chinese officials, on the other hand, called for a two state solution and condemned all attacks targeting civilians of any nation. Similarly, Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned the actions of both sides, calling them “cruelty”. US President Joe Biden called the attacks on Israel “sheer evil”. He added that Israel “had the duty to respond to Hamas’ actions”, however, the American people seem to be displeased by the “insufficiency” of their leaders’ condemnation of Hamas. The Royal Family of the United Kingdom didn’t take too long to give their thoughts and prayers to Israel. Similarly, the French government put a ban on pro-Hamas and pro-Palestinian demonstrations. Many Israelis sought to flee the country and sought asylum in nearby countries they deemed safe. Foreign missions of other states in Israel mainly were interested in the benefit of their own citizens. Infamous Lebanese Hezbollah also attacked Israeli territory from a mountainous region and expressed verbal support for the “Palestinian resistance”. Israel responded with artillery strikes, again harming many buildings in Lebanon and killing people.
Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian Ambassador to the UN, expressed concern for the possible incoming terroristic actions under the name of “Israeli self-defense”. He also added that Palestine was being occupied by Israeli powers. Egypt, worried by being located this close to the warzone “indefinitely” sealed its borders with Israel and the Gaza Strip. Israel also is now strictly controlling its borders to Gaza.
While mutual attacks persist, the destiny of the region is unclear and many including leaders and people are anxious about the situation in the warzone.
Edited by Melisa Altıntaş and Yağmur Ece Nisanoğlu.
Recent Israel Articles of BBC English. BBC, 7 Oct. 2023.
“The Crucial Context of Israel’s War on Gaza.” Al Jazeera, The Listening Post, 13 Oct. 2023.
“‘Only the Beginning’ Says Netanyahu as Israel Makes First Raids into Gaza.” Reuters, 12 Oct. 2023.