Israel-Palestine conflict: Long history, what we need to know, how Hamas escalation started 

The Israel-Palestine conflict has claimed huge number of lives and dislodged millions of people and has its foundations in a colonial act completed more than 100 years ago. 

With Israel proclaiming war on the Gaza Strip after an unprecedented attack by the armed Palestinian militant group Hamas on Saturday, the world’s eyes are again centered around what could come next. 

Hamas fighters have killed more than 800 Israelis in attacks on various towns in southern Israel. Accordingly, Israel has launched a series of bombings in the Gaza Strip, killing more than 500 Palestinians. It has assembled troops along the Gaza border, clearly in anticipation of a ground incursion. What’s more, on Monday, it declared a “total blockade” of the Gaza Strip, halting the stock of food, fuel and other essential commodities to the blockaded territory in a demonstration that under international law adds up to a war crime. 

Yet, what unfurls in the coming days has its seed in history. For a long time, Western media outlets, academics, military experts and world leaders have portrayed the Israel-Palestine conflict as obstinate, complicated and deadlocked. 

Here’s a simple guide to one of the world’s longest-running conflicts: 

Jewish country in Palestine

After the Ottoman Empire was crushed in World War I, Britain oversaw Palestine, which was inhabited by a Jewish minority and Palestinian Arab majority that made up more than 90 percent of the population. The international community requested that Britain create a Jewish country in Palestine, which heightened tensions between the two groups. A European power guaranteed the Zionist movement a country. 

Between 1923 until 1948, the British Mandate facilitated mass Jewish immigration – a significant number of the new occupants were escaping Nazism in Europe – and they likewise confronted fights and strikes. Palestinians were frightened by their nation’s changing socioeconomics and English seizure of their properties to be given over to Jewish settlers. 

Fight against British colonialism  

Heightening tensions ultimately prompted the Arab Revolt, which endured from 1936 to 1939. In April 1936, the recently framed Arab National Committee approached Palestinians to launch a general strike, keep tax installments and blacklist Jewish products to fight British imperialism and growing Jewish immigration. The half-year strike was fiercely quelled by the British, who launched a mass arrest campaign and did correctional home teardowns, a practice that Israel continues executing against Palestinians today. 

Palestinian peasant revolt 

The second period of the revolt started in late 1937 and was driven by the Palestinian peasant resistance movement, which targeted British forces and imperialism. By the latter half of 1939, Britain had massed 30,000 soldiers in Palestine. Towns were besieged via air, curfews forced, homes obliterated, and managerial confinements and rundown killings were widespread. 

The British worked together with the Jewish settler community and formed armed groups and a British-driven “counterinsurgency force” of Jewish fighters named the Special Night Squads. Inside the Yishuv, the pre-state settler community, arms were furtively imported, and weapons facilities laid out to expand the Haganah, the Jewish paramilitary that later turned into the core of the Israeli armed force. In those three years of revolt, 5,000 Palestinians were killed, 15,000 to 20,000 were injured and 5,600 were detained. 

Jewish leaders announce establishing of Israel in 1948 

In 1948, unable to end the strife, British experts pulled out and Jewish leaders announced the establishing of Israel. Numerous Palestinians protested, and a conflict resulted. Adjoining Arab nations mediated with military power. Countless Palestinians escaped or were driven from their homes in what they call Al Nakba, or “The Catastrophe”. 

Hamas came into being in 1987 

Throughout the years, Israel and Palestine have been involved in a few clashes, some minor, some of disastrous extents that prompted the deaths of thousands. 

In 1987, Hamas or Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiya, a political group with military capabilities, was launched by Palestinian cleric Sheik Ahmed Yassin as a political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, a transnational Sunni Islamist organisation. 

The two Palestinian uprisings, or ‘intifadas’, significantly affected Israeli-Palestinian relations, particularly the second, which ended the 1990s peace process and introduced another period of conflict. Both the intifadas had the contribution of Hamas. 

Israel-Palestine relation worsens after July 2000 

U.S. President Bill Clinton convened the Camp David Summit on July 11, 2000, uniting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat for escalated last status negotiations, yet it ended in no stogies, further worsening relations between the two countries. 

Hamas asks West Bank, Arab nations to join fight 

Hamas has approached its warriors in the West Bank and the Arab and Islamic worlds to join the fight against Israel. Considering the most recent conflict, pressures among Israelis and Palestinians in East Jerusalem, Gaza, and the West Bank are high. 

Israel and Egypt maintain tight control over Gaza’s borders with an end goal to keep Hamas from acquiring weapons. This has prompted a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, with many individuals battling to get basic necessities like food and water. 

Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank claim that they are suffering because of Israeli actions, like the blockade of Gaza, the development of the West Bank barrier, and the obliteration of Palestinian homes. 

Israel fights that it is simply acting to safeguard itself from Palestinian violence, referring to the way Hamas has fired several rockets into an Israeli area and that Palestinian militants have carried out attacks on Israeli civilians. 

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