On October 7, Hamas launched a massive military operation into Israeli territory. The shooting of thousands of rockets into Israel was followed by an attack by land, air and sea, with fighters penetrating deep into territory under Israeli control. They attacked military installations and temporarily took over various settlements. The death toll among Israelis has exceeded 1,200, including more than 120 soldiers; dozens of Israeli hostages were also taken into the Gaza Strip.
The planning of the operation took somewhere between a few months and two years, per different accounts from Hamas leaders. The depth and magnitude of the attack were unprecedented and took Israel by surprise. It was a reaction to changing regional dynamics and growing Israeli aggression.
As expected, this attack attracted a fearsome reaction from Israel, which has initiated Operation ‘Iron Sword’ against the Gaza. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned Israel’s military operation – following Saturday’s mass breach by the Palestinian group – is only the start of a sustained war to destroy Hamas and “change the Middle East”.
Hamas officials cited long-simmering tensions, including a dispute over the sensitive Al-Aqsa Mosque sacred to both Muslims and Jews. Competing claims over the site, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, have spilled into violence before, including a bloody 11-day war between Israel and Hamas in 2021.
The conflict pits Israeli demands for security in what it has long regarded as a hostile region against Palestinian aspirations for a state of their own.
Israel’s founding father David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the modern State of Israel on May 14, 1948, establishing a safe-haven for Jews fleeing persecution and seeking a national home on land to which they cite deep ties over generations.
What is the background of Israel-Palestine issue?
Hamas, like many groups in the Middle East, remains resentful of the creation of Israel after the Second World War, something promoted largely by Western powers.
Hamas and other Palestinian groups believe that territory was effectively stolen from the rightful owners and occupiers – the Palestinian people.
However, supporters of Israel say the area is the ancestral homeland of the Jewish people, who were exiled following an invasion by the Babylonian Empire more than 2,500 years ago and the subsequent occupation of the region by the Romans.
Britain took control of the area known as Palestine after the ruler of that part of the Middle East, the Ottoman Empire, was defeated in World War One.
The land was inhabited by a Jewish minority and Arab majority.
Tensions between the two peoples grew when the international community gave Britain the task of establishing a “national home” in Palestine for Jewish people.
For Jews it was their ancestral home, but Palestinian Arabs also claimed the land and opposed the move.
Between the 1920s and 1940s, the number of Jews arriving there grew, with many fleeing from persecution in Europe and seeking a homeland after the Holocaust of World War Two.
Violence between Jews and Arabs, and against British rule, also grew.
In 1947, the UN voted for Palestine to be split into separate Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem becoming an international city.
That plan was accepted by Jewish leaders but rejected by the Arab side and never implemented.
14 May 1948 : British Mandate Palestine (Under British Control) was divided between Israel and Arabs.
15th May 1948 : Egypt, Transjordan, Syria, and expeditionary forces from Iraq entered Palestine. The invading forces took control of the Arab areas and immediately attacked Israeli forces and several Jewish settlements
But after 9 months of war, Israel ended winning the war against Arabs and regained the UN Proposed Jewish State and took over 60% of the Arab State as well.
5th June 1967 (6 Days war) : 6 Arab Nations closed Straits of Tiran and was ready to destroy Israel. But again the Israel Intel was too strong and they launched a series of preemptive airstrikes against the collation of Arab countries. Again after the end of the war, Israel captured Golan Heights, Gaza and West Bank.
The war ended in 6 days.
1979: Israel voluntarily hands the Sinai back to Egypt, returning land conquered in a defensive war.
1993 OSLO Peace Accords : Israel and Palestine tried to settle the dispute with the help of the US. But could not reach the solution. Israel was ready to accept the 2 state solution. But peace process failed.
2000: Israel offers Yasser Arafat recognition of a Palestinian state in all of Gaza and 94% of the West Bank with East Jerusalem as its Capital. Arafat rejects it and launches the Second Intifada.
2005 : Unilateral withdrawal of Israeli forces and civilians from Gaza
The unilateral disengagement process began in August of 2005 and by September, around 9,000 Jews living in 25 settlements were evicted and the Israeli troops completely withdrew from the Gaza Strip to the Green Line — a 1949 Armistice Line drawing boundaries between Israel and its Arab neighbours.
2006 : A year after Israel withdrawal, Palestine voters elected Hamas (Terrorist Organisation) to rule Gaza.
This led to a brief Civil War within Palestine. Now Hamas had the control of Gaza and Fatah was governing the West Bank.
2008: Israel offers Mahmoud Abbas once again recognition of a Palestinian state in all of Gaza and 94% of the West Bank with East Jerusalem as its Capital and even offered to dismantle all their settlements. And once again, the Palestinians reject it.
2010-2021: Hamas launches periodic rocket attacks against the state of Israel and builds terror tunnels in order to kidnap and murder Jews while using the people of Gaza as human shields against the IDF.
2023: Hamas commits the worst act of mass murder against Jews since the Holocaust.
Since 2006, The Hamas have used terrorism as their state policy. So if you go through the whole history, you will find its was the Arab world which started the war everytime but ended up loosing territory to Israel. Even after 2005 Peace process, the Gaza voters choose a terrorist organisation to rule them.
Hamas Ideology : The group calls for establishment of an Islamic Palestinian state that would replace the current state of Israel and believes in the use of violence to carry out the destruction of Israel .