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A War Explained:

Hamas bombs Israel on October 7th
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Hamas fired over three thousand missiles from the Gaza Strip at several Israeli cities on October 7th, resulting in around 1400 deaths.

Hamas is an Islamic militant group in control of the Gaza Strip. The Gaza Strip, a narrow piece of land just 25 miles long and around 5 miles wide, is a disputed territory between the Islamic Palestinians and Jewish Israelis. It is officially within Israel’s borders yet is controlled by Hamas and occupied by 2.5 million Palestinians.
Historical Context
The conflict over the entire territory of Israel has lasted centuries because according to ancient texts, it is the Holy Land and thus several religions and ancestries value it; however, in modern history, most of the conflict comes from when the UN mapped out the country’s borders after WWII.
“Israel’s boundaries were determined by the United Nations when it adopted the partition resolution in 1947. In a series of defensive wars, Israel captured additional territory. On numerous occasions, Israel has withdrawn from these areas,” said The Jewish Virtual Library in response to myths about Israel’s borders.
Another key location, the West Bank, is a region of Israel home to over 450,000 Israelis who live in settlements that the local Palestinians do not consider to be legal. This region is regarded as a disputed territory by the Israeli government because different ethnic groups in the region have drastically different views about the Israeli settlements’ legality.
Happening Now
An oversimplification of the situation would be that Hamas broke through once-secured borders, murdered over one thousand Israelis, and took around 220 hostages – including some Americans and other foreign nationals – out of Israel and into Gaza, according to a Reuters report.
Israel has responded with military force and other measures.
“An Israeli ground assault on the densely-populated [West Bank] would make freeing hostages much more difficult,” warned Qatar officials.
Currently, the US and Qatar are leading mediation talks, yet there is no sign of a ceasefire coming. Clashes are intensifying in the West Bank and the threat of humanitarian crises looms.
The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) shut off water and electricity in the Gaza Strip as well as started its own bombing campaign as soon as possible after Hamas’ sneak bombing.
“At least 6,546 Palestinians had been killed by Israeli bombardments since [October 7th], including 2,704 children. Of the total, 756 had been killed in the previous 24 hours, half of them children,” said Gaza’s health ministry in a statement.
One major event occurred since the initial bombing that has many spectators and protestors concerned. Alongside the high death toll, many were left injured and displaced by the attacks. Towns are destroyed and shelters and hospitals are over capacity. On October 17th, a hospital was subjected to a bombing resulting in over 400 deaths. The United States, United Kingdom, and France are all saying the explosion was a result of a misfired missile from people in Gaza.
“We were operating in the hospital, there was a strong explosion, and the ceiling fell on the operating room. This is a massacre,” said Dr. Ghassan Abu Sittah to ABC News. Sittah is a physician in Gaza for the humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders, who was at the hospital during the blast.
As of October 26th, Israel launched a targeted raid with tanks in Gaza and has rejected all international calls for a ceasefire and President Biden’s advice to “pause” its military offense to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza. A possible resolution is far from sight and the future of this war is uncertain.

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