Israel vs Palestine || Behind the war

Israel and Palestine Conflict.
Israel and Palestine Conflict.
Maya Williams

The recent war between Hamas and the Israeli government has left people around the world confused and struggling to find trustworthy sources and reliable research. As a result, the investigation conducted here attempts to provide insight from an objective lens, bring awareness, and spread information.

While many people are focused on the events of the past two months, the roots of conflict between Israelis and Palestinians can be traced back to 1936 after the Peel Commission had been appointed by British prime minister, Lord Robert Peel. The Peel Commission was brought forth as a plan to partition the occupied territory of Palestine, iInto both Arab and Jewish-ruled states, remaining under the British mandate. This commision was later dismissed due to the continuous revolt of the British mandate led by Palestinian Arabs. This revolt was later suppressed by British rule, and the arrangement of a Jewish homeland was set into action.

According to British journalist, Rachel Shabi, After World War II, many Jewish people remained subjected to continuous discrimination and mistreatment. This constant mistreatment evoked a desire in those who craved asylum, a haven shared amongst their community.

The first event that contributed to this Jewish haven was initiated by Great Britain, having claimed the land of Palestine throughout the First World War in 1917. Publically known as the Balfour Declaration, Britain announced its support for the foundation of a Jewish homeland, in Palestine.

However, Mohammed Haddad, a journalist under Al Jazeera states, most Palestinians disagreed with the sentiment of giving their land away, resulting in the Nakba (meaning catastrophe) of 1948, which took place during the Arab-Israeli War, in which five Arab nations (Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Iraq) invaded the state of Israel after they declared independence. In response to this, Israeli forces destroyed hundreds of villages and cities in Palestine, including the death of 15,000 Palestinians and the displacement of 700,000 others.

As a result, countless Palestinians were left homeless and lost touch with their cultural individuality.

With the drastic increase of right-wing extremists, Israeli officials, in reference to international organization Human Rights Watch (hrw.org), the mistreatment of Palestinians hit an all-time high due to them legally being allowed to evict Palestinians off their land and claim ownership over their items. Many Palestinians were subjected to imprisonment and killings, whether due to resistance from the Israeli government or, in some cases, no clear motives were given.

This escalation caused militant groups like Hamas, and other political entities such as the Palestinian Liberation Organization to form. These groups were formed to combat Israeli right-wing-extremism. Based on historical records on history.state.gov, on the 13th of September 1993 the Prime Minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin alongside Yasser Arafat, the president of the PLO, signed the Oslo Agreement, where both Palestine and Israel would’ve been recognized as independent states. However, this was then called off due to the assassination of Israel’s Prime Minister, and the uproar between the Israeli extremists and Hamas who refused to recognize each other as independent states in the event of a two-state solution.

Following these events, Washington Post writer, Ishaan Tharoor states that Palestine was permitted to undergo its next political election in 2006. Having to choose between the PLO and Hamas, Right-Wing Israeli Government Officials began to fund Hamas to cause division within the Palestinian people. The division between the Palestinians would assist the right-wing political party within Israel with their main opposing group being Yasser Arafat’s Fatah Party. A writer for New York Daily News,Erica Pearson,  claims that the Fatah Party formed the heart of the PLO, which supported the liberation of Palestine and acted as a leftist guerrilla group, performing substantial missions during the Cold War.

Subsequently, Hamas won the 2006 election. Referring back to Ishaan Tharoor,  the Israeli Government would then realize that funding Hamas, an anti-Israel militant group, was a consequential mistake. In response to this, according to Human Rights Watch, Israel constructed a blockade on Gaza, many referring to the land as the “World’s Largest Open Air Prison.”

Hamas later took control of the Gaza Strip, imprisoned and then executed Fatah officials. And as explained by a Washington Post writer, Later waged war on Israel in 2006, then carried out war five more times after that. The most notable one according to Al Jazeera was October 7, 2023, when Hamas struck the Israeli music festival, killing nearly 260 people, took in Israeli hostages, and carried out a larger-scale attack on Be’eri, a kibbutz located in Israel.

Hamas mainly relied on cheaply smuggled-in weapons from Iran,  according to Palestinian news site, palestinechronicle.com. The Quassam rockets they use are deemed as inaccurate and prone to malfunctioning, often destructing before they reach the designated location. Other than Hamas, Gaza does not have access to a military or specialized machinery.

As of recently, based on data from online news site, TheGuardian, Israel has almost annihilated the entirety of the buildings in the Gaza Strip, in the act of committing the war crime “Collective Punishment,” as well as the usage of white phosphorus. According to online humanitarian information portal reliefweb.int, over 10,000 civilian casualties as of November 14, 2023, including the bombings of hospitals, churches, and schools,  have occurred.

According to press.un.org, which is a press release for the United Nations, Israel has complete control of what enters and leaves the Palestinian occupation in Gaza , and on October 21 2023, have allowed in 20 trucks stacked with civilian aid and resources. Despite this, according to Al Jazeera, 20 trucks is not a sustainable amount for the approximately 2.2 million residing there, Palestinian journalist, Bisan Owda, states that 20 trucks are what they would usually receive to sustain themselves for one day.

Despite this, Palestinians remain resilient against the constant bombings, and globally countless nations are demanding a ceasefire against the wishes of their governments. In accordance with this statement, the international organization, Jewish Voices For Peace (jewishvoiceforpeace.org), a left-wing Jewish organization, founded in 1996. Where many Jewish voices speak up against Israeli extremism and bring awareness to the liberation of Palestine.

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Maya Williams, Photography Editor
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