Dating back to the late 1940s, the conflict between Israeli and Hamas groups has been around for over 70 years, with the tension between the parties reviving itself on October 7th of 2023, due to the recent attack of Hamas on Israel. Because this conflict is multi-faceted, it encompasses various minor conflicts, including the UN Partition Plan of Palestine of 1947. Although the main focus of global media was on the conflict, the United States’ definite stance to support Israeli groups resulted in disparities in the information provided to the media, leading to ultimate misinformation. Let’s take a look at the most current occurrences in the Gaza Strip in October of 2023.
For the Israel-Hamas war, October was packed with updates as the United Nations Human Rights Chief urged both Palestinian and Israeli governments to declare an end to “powder keg situations in Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories” (OPTs). The saying “powder keg” refers to a situation of imminent danger, which Chief Volker Türk later invited both parties, the Israel and Palestine governments, to comply with the international war and mutually declare a ceasefire in the region of the Gaza Strip. This call to both sides of the conflict arose from High Commissioner Türk’s concerns to alleviate the aftermath of inestimable adversities and ginormous death tolls. His calling for states consisted of Palestinian armed groups to indefinitely release all hostages and High Commissioner Türk further called for the attention of Israeli armed groups, who declared a “full siege” on Gaza, depriving the city of most integral resources: Electricity, fuel supplies, sustenance and network connection. High Commissioner Türk further highlighted that the actions of both states violated international humanitarian law along with reiterating how violence won’t be the answer this time as well.
Even after High Commissioner Türk’s call and endeavors for a ceasefire, both states were not in favor of resolving the conflict, even the slightest amount. Moreover, the United States vetoed a Security Council resolution, containing methods for a ceasefire in the Israeli-Hamas War, disregarding global calls for a ceasefire and peacemaking endeavors. The week following High Commissioner Türk’s call, Israel intensified the occurrence of airstrikes in the following week of the conflict, centralizing the attacks in the governorates of Rafah and Khan Yunis central governorate of Dayr al-Balah, which are two regions located in the southern Gaza. Although Israeli authorities claimed that this attack was targeting Hamas militants hiding in the area, southern Gaza housed many refugees who emigrated from the northern part of the city, due to the overwhelming amount of attacks posed to the northern side. On October 17 alone, the Israeli airstrikes killed over 100 Palestinians, meanwhile, on October 16, reportedly killed the regional head of the Hamas intelligence system and the commander of Hamas’ central brigade in central Gaza. Despite receiving the condemnations of many states, Israeli airstrikes are yet to be ceased.
(Photo of Rafah, the city located in the southern part of the Gaza Strip)
Further into the month of October, the Israeli oppression on Palestinian territories took a massive toll. In the following days of Israeli airstrikes, Al-Ahli Hospital, located in Gaza’s Old City, experienced a blast. Since over 500 hundred Palestinian civilians were killed during the blast, and more than 1,300 individuals, more than 600 being children, are anticipated to be under the rubble of the hospital, this attack got international recognition and condemnation. Although global consensus was on Israel’s liability for the blast, American and Israeli officials indicated how this blast was a result of a misfired Palestinian Islamic Jihad Rocket, citing early intelligence provided to them. Being one of the deadliest attacks to target a hospital in decades, the blast was recognized by various states presidencies, including Syria, Türkiye, and the USA. The following reactions were to provide immediate humanitarian aid to the area, aiming to compensate for the utter damage the Al-Ahli Blast caused. Primarily, the United States government announced its efforts to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza through Egypt, with President Biden underlining the cooperation of Israel through not blocking the aid.
(The Area of Al-Ahri Hospital, after the blast)
From the very first day of the Israeli-Hamas War, the conflict took the greatest toll on civilians. Without any alteration to the second week of the conflict, attacks from either party are detrimental not to the terrorist groups, but to the children who were treated for their wounds in Al-Ahli Hospital.
Barnes, Julian E., et al. "Early U.S. and Israeli Intelligence Says Palestinian Group Caused Hospital Blast." The New York Times, The New York Times Company, 18 Oct. 2023, Accessed 20 Oct. 2023.
"In pictures: Hundreds killed in Gaza hospital blast." Reuters, Thompson Corporation of Canada, 18 Oct. 2023, Accessed 20 Oct. 2023.
"Reactions to strike on Gaza hospital killing hundreds." Reuters, Thomson Corporation of Canada, 18 Oct. 2023, Accessed 20 Oct. 2023.
Siddiqui, Usaid, and Joseph Stepansky. "Israel-Hamas war updates: Biden says 20 aid trucks to enter Gaza via Egypt." Edited by Dalia Hatuqa and Arwa Ibrahim. AlJazeera, Al Jazeera Media Network, 17 Oct. 2023, Accessed 20 Oct. 2023.
Throssell, Liz, et al., editors. "UN Human Rights Chief urges States to defuse 'powder keg' situation in Israel and OPT, as incalculable suffering, massive death tolls take hold."
OFFICE OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS, United Nations, 10 Oct. 2023, Accessed 20 Oct. 2023.