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Why is Israel attacking Gaza: Your cheat-sheet to this 100-year-old conflict

Rescuers and firefighters put out a fire amid the destructionb following an Israeli air strike on Gaza City, on August 5, 2022. - The Israeli military said today it launched air strikes on Gaza, which were witnessed by Palestinians in central Gaza City. (AFP)Premium
Rescuers and firefighters put out a fire amid the destructionb following an Israeli air strike on Gaza City, on August 5, 2022. - The Israeli military said today it launched air strikes on Gaza, which were witnessed by Palestinians in central Gaza City. (AFP)

  • The Israeli military on Friday confirmed that they had unleashed air strikes on Gaza, which were witnessed by Palestinians in central Gaza City

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The Israeli military on Friday confirmed that they had unleashed air strikes on Gaza, which were witnessed by Palestinians in central Gaza City. "The IDF (Israeli military) is currently striking in the Gaza Strip. A special situation has been declared on the Israeli home front," a statement said. According to reports several people have lost their lives in the attack including a child. Local people have confirmed to Reuters that 44 people got wounded in the strikes. 

Days ago Israel arrested a senior PIJ member in the occupied West Bank. The Gaza-based PIJ had threatened to hit back by bombing central Israel.

PIJ together with Hamas and six other factions are members of the Alliance of Palestinian Forces, which rejects the Oslo Accords and whose objective is the establishment of a sovereign Islamic Palestinian state. PIJ rejects a two-state solution and promotes the military destruction of Israel.

Here are ten points to understand the century-old conflict between Israel and Gaza

 

-Tension started building in the area known as Palestine after Britain took charge post defeating the Ottoman empire ruler in the First World War. The British were tasked with establishing a ‘national empire’ here for Jewish people

-The land was inhabited by Jewish minority and Arab majority. For the Jews, this was their ancestral home, however, the Arabs also claimed the land

-Jews started pouring in, in numbers to escape execution especially after the Holocaust and the Second World War. This is when the conflict between the Arabs and the Jews began. Following this UN UN voted for Palestine to be split into separate Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem becoming an international city in 1947. However this plan could not be implemented due to opposition from the Arabs

-After the British left, Jews declared the land as Israel, which was objected to by Palestinians and war broke out. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were forced out of their homes in what they call Al Nakba, or the “Catastrophe"

-The war concluded in a ceasefire, Israel controlled most of the territory. Jerusalem was divided between Israeli forces in the West, and Jordanian forces in the East.

-Another war broke out in 1967. In this Israel occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, as well as most of the Syrian Golan Heights, Gaza and the Egyptian Sinai peninsula. Palestinian refugees and their descendants live in Gaza and the West Bank, as well as in neighbouring Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Neither they nor their descendants have been allowed by Israel to return to their homes - Israel says this would overwhelm the country and threaten its existence as a Jewish state.

-Israel claims the whole of Jerusalem as its capital, while the Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state

-Conflict emerged with the election of the Islamist political party Hamas in 2005 and 2006 in the Gaza Strip and escalated with the split of the Palestinian Authority Palestinian government into the Fatah government in the West Bank and the Hamas government in Gaza and the following violent ousting of Fatah after Fatah lost the election to Hamas

-Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel, Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, and the joint Egyptian-Israeli blockade of Gaza have exacerbated the conflict

-Over the years, Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank have maintained that they are suffering because of Israeli actions and restrictions. Meanwhile, Israel says it is only acting to protect itself from Palestinian violence. The threatened eviction of some Palestinian families in East Jerusalem has also caused rising anger

-Conflict points include – what should happen to Palestinian refugees; whether Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank should stay or be removed, whether the two sides should share Jerusalem, and whether a Palestinian state should be created alongside Israel

-The situation now entails high tension running between Israel and Palestinians living in East Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank. Gaza is ruled by the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which has fought Israel many times

-Days ago, Israel arrested a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) commander, following which Gaza-based PIJ had threatened to hit back by bombing central Israel

-The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it was striking sites linked to the PIJ. They include the high-rise Palestine Tower in Gaza City, hit in a loud explosion which left smoke pouring from the building. Four PIJ militants - including the commander, Tayseer Jabari - and a five-year-old girl have been among those killed since the strikes started, local health officials say

-The strikes risk igniting yet another war in the territory, which is ruled by the Islamic militant group Hamas and is home to about 2 million Palestinians. The assassination of a senior militant appeared likely to draw rocket fire from Gaza, pushing the sides closer to all-out war
 

(With inputs from agencies)

 

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