On October 7, the Palestinian militant group Hamas launched an unprecedented attack on Israel, infiltrating communities near the Gaza Strip with hundreds of militants.
More than 1,400 Israelis were killed, while the Israeli military claims 230 troops and civilians, including women and children, were taken captive in Gaza.
The Israeli military responded by carrying out air and artillery strikes on Gaza that resulted in the deaths of over 9,000 Palestinians, according to the health ministry in Gaza, which is run by Hamas.
What was Israel like before 1948?
Following the Ottoman Empire’s defeat in World War One, Britain acquired control of the area known as Palestine.
A majority of Arabs and a minority of Jews lived in the region, along with many smaller ethnic groups.
When the international world tasked the UK with creating a “national home” for Jews in Palestine, tensions between the two peoples increased.
This was a result of the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which was a promise given to the Jewish population in Britain by then-foreign secretary Arthur Balfour.
The proclamation was accepted by the newly established League of Nations, which served as the model for the United Nations, in 1922 and was codified in the British mandate over Palestine.
Although Palestinian Arabs also claimed the land and were against the relocation, Jews considered Palestine to be their ancestral home.
Jews began to arrive in greater numbers between the 1920s and the 1940s; many of them were escaping persecution in Europe, particularly the Nazi Holocaust during World War Two.
There was also a rise in violence against British rule and between Jews and Arabs.
The UN decided in 1947 to divide Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem becoming a global metropolis.
Though it was never carried out, the Arab side rejected the idea, which was approved by Jewish officials.
Israel was founded, how and why?
In 1948, unable to address the problem, Britain departed, and Jewish leaders declared the establishment of the State of Israel.
It was meant to serve as both a sovereign homeland and a safe refuge for Jews escaping persecution.
Months of fighting had escalated between Arab and Jewish militias, and five Arab nations launched an attack on Israel the day it became a state.
Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians left or were forced to flee their homes during what they call Al Nakba, or the “Catastrophe.”
Israel possessed most of the region by the time the battle came to an end in a truce the following year.
Jordan occupied what is now known as the West Bank, while Egypt occupied Gaza.
Israeli soldiers occupied the West of Jerusalem, while Jordanian forces occupied the East.
In the decades that followed, there were further conflicts and violence because there was never a peace treaty.
Israel captured most of the Syrian Golan Heights, Gaza, the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula, East Jerusalem, and the West Bank after a 1967 conflict.
The majority of Palestinian refugees and their offspring reside in Gaza, the West Bank, and the neighboring countries of Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan.
While the Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, Israel continues to occupy the West Bank and claims Jerusalem as its entire capital. Only a few nations recognize the city as the capital of Israel, including the US.
Over 700,000 Jews currently reside in settlements that Israel has constructed in the West Bank and East Jerusalem over the previous 50 years.
Palestinians reside where?
What exactly is the Gaza Strip?
Gaza is a small area of land with a short southern border with Egypt, but it is surrounded by Israel and the Mediterranean Sea.
At just 41 km (25 miles) long and 10 km wide, it is one of the most densely populated areas on Earth, home to almost two million people.
Following the 1948–1949 conflict, Egypt occupied Gaza for 19 years.
During the 1967 conflict, Israel invaded Gaza and remained there until 2005, during which time it established Jewish settlements.
Israel kept control over its shared border, shoreline, and airspace even after it removed its settlers and military in 2005. The UN continues to view the region as being occupied by Israel.
Which issues divide Israelis and Palestinians the most?
The two parties are at odds over a variety of issues.
These consist of:
- What ought to occur with Palestinian refugees?
- Whether Jewish colonies in the West Bank should remain under occupation or be evacuated
- Whether Jerusalem should be shared by the two sides
- And—possibly the trickiest of all—whether or whether Israel should be accompanied by a Palestinian state
And who doesn’t in the ongoing battle with Israel?
The United States, the European Union, and other Western nations have all condemned Hamas’ attack on Israel.
The US, Israel’s closest friend, has offered more weapons, air defense missiles, guided bombs, and ammunition in addition to providing the Jewish state with more than $260 billion in military and economic assistance over the years.
In an attempt to prevent Israel’s adversaries, namely the Hezbollah movement in Lebanon, from starting a second front in the conflict, it has also dispatched two aircraft carrier strike groups to the eastern Mediterranean.
China and Russia claim to be in communication with both sides of the dispute but have declined to denounce Hamas. Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, has attributed the lack of Middle East peace to US strategy.
Iran, Israel’s arch-enemy, is a primary sponsor of Hamas, as well as Hezbollah, whose militants have been exchanging fire with Israeli soldiers practically daily since Hamas’s onslaught.