Conflict in Israel and Palestine Escalates
Updated: Oct 25
This is an ongoing conflict; the following article was produced Oct. 16.
A rapid escalation to the Israel-Palestine conflict has left thousands dead and many more across the world scrambling for information and answers.
The Israel-Palestine conflict is a deeply rooted dispute between two main parties: Israel and Palestine. Israel, a Jewish-majority state, was established in 1948 with international recognition and United Nations resolutions. The Palestinians, an ethnically diverse group composed of mostly Muslims, seek self-determination and statehood in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem.
The conflict's origins trace back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries when Jewish and Arab nationalist movements emerged. After World War I, the League of Nations granted Britain control of the region, then known as Palestine. The 1947 United Nations partition plan for Palestine was rejected by Arab states, leading to the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, resulting in Israel's establishment and the displacement of 100 thousands of Palestinians.
This ongoing conflict involves multiple wars, uprisings, peace negotiations, and international mediation efforts. Key issues include borders, the status of Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees, Israeli settlements in the West Bank, and security concerns. The conflict continues to challenge regional stability and international diplomacy, with the Palestinians divided between Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and Palestinian Authority-administered West Bank.
The latest major conflict started on Oct. 7, when militants from Gaza fired rockets towards Israeli towns before breaking through the heavily fortified border fence and sending militants deep into Israeli territory. There, Hamas gunmen killed more than 1,400 people, including civilians and soldiers, taking 199 hostages, according to Israeli authorities.
In response to the attack, Israel has declared war on Hamas and launched “Operation Swords of Iron,” targeting what it says are Hamas political and military targets in Gaza. It has also blocked supply lines of basic necessities to the Gaza population, including fuel and water.
Between Oct. 7 and 12, Israel dropped an estimated 6,000 bombs on the densely inhabited territory: equivalent to the total number of airstrikes on Gaza during the entire 2014 Gaza-Israel conflict, which lasted 50 days. The death toll from the conflict so far has risen to at least 1,400 people killed in Israel and nearly 2,700 people killed in Gaza.
Currently, a humanitarian crisis continues to escalate in Gaza due to the siege and blockade of basic supplies to Gaza residents. Israel has continued urging Gaza residents to flee to the south as they pledged to counter Hamas with “even greater force.”