Israel & Hamas – A Breakdown 

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By Natalia Ahrens 

On Oct. 7, 2023, the political party that governs Palestine, Hamas, shocked the world by launching 3,000-5,000 rockets into Israel, and also led a ground offensive into Israel, attacking military bases and civilians. There were many Israeli people who were either killed, or taken back to Gaza as hostages. Israel’s response was cutting off water and electricity to Gaza, leaving millions of civilians without power and water. Israel then began to fire back at targets in Gaza that are associated with Hamas. There have been 5,000-7,000 civilian deaths in Gaza. On Tuesday, Oct. 17, at 7 p.m., there was a large blast outside of Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza. The authorities in Gaza claim over 500 deaths, and blame Israel for this attack. Israel, on the contrary, throws the blame back at Hamas, as a rocket misfire. The cause is still unknown. 

How far back does this conflict between Israel and Palestine actually go? Where does it come from? How is the United States involved? Here is some History. 

This conflict goes back to the year 1940. After World War II, many Jewish people were misplaced and left without homes, and the League of Nations established that every people was entitled to their own land, so the United Nations established the State of Israel, and Jewish people moved, which was at the time, Palestine. As of the census in 1940, 30% of people who lived in Palestine were Jewish. Over time and through many Arab-Israeli wars, territories, such as the West Bank, Gaza, and Golan Heights, were slowly taken into control and occupied by Israel, and taken away from other countries, such as Palestine and Syria. Israel began creating settlements throughout territories, Currently there are roughly 250 Israeli settlements with a population of around 500,000. This misplacement of the Palestinian people created millions of refugees, into Syria, Egypt, Jordan, and it caused stress on these countries.  

In 2005, Israel withdrew from Gaza, leaving behind a big wall and an administrative government called the Palestinian Authority. In 2006, the residents of Gaza elected the Hamas party to govern. Hamas is committed to eradication of Israel, and is widely considered a terrorist organization.  

How is the United States involved? It isn’t totally clear yet. President Biden has announced plans to provide $14 billion in aid to Israel, however Congress has thus far not approved the aid and many think it unlikely Congress will pass an aid package for Israel. A fleet of naval aircrafts has also been provided in support of Israel. It is clear that the United States will defend Israel, but are also aware of the civilian deaths in Gaza.