The conflict between Israel and Palestine is to this day referred to as “the impossible peace,” due to the continuing differences between the two countries. But why is there fighting in Gaza today? For more than 70 years now, the Gaza Strip has been the scene of conflicts and wars. But not everyone knows the reasons for the conflict.
Here is what the Gaza Strip is and where it is located, why there is fighting in Gaza, and what are the reasons for the conflict between Israel and Palestine.
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What is the Gaza Strip and where is it located?
In recent days, a new war has broken out between Israel and the Gaza Strip. With Operation Al Aqsa, the Palestinian islamist organization Hamas launched an unprecedented attack on Israel and initiated a new conflict. It is being fought in Gaza, a territory that has been the scene of discounts and war for 70 now.
The Gaza Strip has a blood-stained history. It has been a ground of conflict for several years now, since World War II.
A 360-square-meter strip of land with at least 1.8 million Palestinian inhabitants that borders Egypt to the southwest and Israel to the east. The latter obtained it in 1967, after the Six-Day War. However, to this day, the Gaza Strip is still disputed between Tel Aviv and Ramallah.
Since 2012, the UN has formally recognized the Strip as part of the State of Palestine. Which according to the Hague Court includes Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
Recognizing the State of Palestine are now 130 countries in the world, including the United States (Israel’s historical ally) and many Western European states.
As of today, the Gaza Strip is under the control of Hamas, which regularly won elections in 2007. The latter, however, is considered a terrorist organization by the United States and Europe. Which do not recognize its jurisdiction over Gaza.
Why is there fighting in Gaza?
While we wonder about the reasons for the conflict between Israel and Palestine, the casualties from the latest attacks are beginning to be counted. At least 300 Israeli dead and 1,800 wounded, and at least 198 Palestinians killed by the Israeli “Iron Swords” operation.
Since World War II, this area has always been the scene of conflicts. But to know the reasons why we must first travel back in time and go to discover the history of the Gaza Strip.
To date there are as many as seven wars on this territory. Thus including the one that just broke out after the Hamas attack. But let’s start from the beginning.
The history of the conflict between Israel and Palestine
Immediately after the end of World War I (with the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire), Gaza became part of the British Mandate of Palestine. In 1947, according to the UN partition plan, Gaza was destined to become a new Arab state.
After the 1948 Arab-Israeli war and declaration of independence, however, the Gaza Strip found itself isolated from Palestinian territory. And it was Egypt that took over the administration of the country. Power it lost after the Six-Day War against Israel (1967).
Israel, therefore, occupied the Gaza Strip for a full 27 years, until 1994. Then, the Oslo Accords provided for a gradual transfer of governmental authority for the Palestinians. Despite the decision, Israel continued to maintain control over the territory.
During the same period, the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization), led by Yasser Arafat, obtained recognition of Palestinian authority in the rest of the country: the West Bank.
The reasons for the conflict between Israel and Palestine
We then come to 2005, when Israel liberated the Gaza Strip, which then came under the control of Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist paramilitary group, which won elections in 2007.
Since this time, the Gaza Strip has been declared “hostile territory” by Israel, practicing numerous embargoes and disruptions of electricity, fuel and essential goods supplies, as well as blocking exports.
To date, the Gaza Strip is a hostile terrain, the scene of numerous clashes, which is why the conflict between Israel and Palestine is referred to as “impossible peace.”
And while the international community remains immobile in the face of the clashes, those who will pay the price will be – once again – civilians.