Update on Israel-Hamas Gaza Conflict

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The conflict between Israel and Hamas has gained global attention once again as Hamas began sending rockets toward Israel last week. Here’s a brief overview of the conflict:

Hamas, established in 1987, is deemed a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States, the European Union, and other major countries. Contrarily, countries like China, Russia, Iran, and Turkey do not consider them a terrorist group. Instead, to those countries, Hamas is simply a government organization that operates social welfare programs, schools, hospitals, military programs, and religious institutions. 

Israel and Hamas have been at odds over religious and territorial differences. Israel is a Jewish state, while Hamas promotes and wants to expand the Islam religion. Hamas refused to recognize Israel as a legitimate state in the 1990’s when they rejected the Oslo peace process. In a series of suicide bombings, Hamas killed hundred of civilians. Of course, Israel retaliated by capturing and killing the group’s founder and other high profile leaders. 

Hamas demands that Israel return to its pre-1967 borders, release thousands of prisoners, and allow Palestinians to return to the communities they inhabited before the creation of the Israeli state in the 1948.

israelborders

Map of the Israel/Palestine borders from 1946-2000. Green=Palestine; White=Israel. The tiny green strip in the SouthWest corner on the coast is the Gaza Strip. From: http://www.juancole.com

Within the last week, fighting has once again erupted between the two countries, with Hamas making the first move and Israel retaliating. Rockets have been fired back and forth, killing innocent civilians. Yesterday, an attempt by Egypt to have a ceasefire between the two feuding countries was accepted by Israel, but rejected by Hamas. As of now, rockets continue to be sent back and forth.

We will keep you updated as more information comes in. 

-Political Rush

 

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