Gaza and Israel


The Gaza Strip is bordered on one complete side by Israel. Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea are on the other sides. It is a dense area with over 1.8 million people living there. These two neighbors, Gaza and Israel, have been in conflict since 1996 (actually earlier, but I will discuss this in a bit) when the Gaza Strip barrier was erected. The barrier is an attempt to keep out the people of Gaza due to the conflict. It is nearly impossible for a Gazan to enter into Israel for work or medical issues. Some work permits are allowed, but very few. The Gaza Strip is run by the Hamas and the Hamas refuse to recognize the state of Israel.

It is difficult to understand or know who has caused this ongoing conflict between Gaza and Israel. Exploring all the written materials on the conflict takes days and seems to only create more confusion. You hear of Hamas rejections of peace attempts, airstrikes from both sides, and kidnappings from both groups. Hope for cease-fire ebbs and flows, but it never really occurs. However, the whole situation actually dates back to 1947 and the United States Partition Plan for Palestine. The resolution declared proposed boundaries for each state. The plan also called for the removal of British forces.

The plan was accepted by Israel, but not by the Arab leaders. They were ready to prevent the partition will military actions. When Israel declared the Jewish State, the Frist Arab-Israeli War began in 1948. Move forward to 1967 and the Six Day War. During that war Israel grabbed the Gaza Strip. The UN stepped in and Israel withdrew. The next battle was in 1973, and then in 1974 the PLO was created, then in 1987 there was war, and then exchanges of aggression for every year after up until now.

Both areas are war weary, but both are insistent that they are in the right. From July 8 to August 28 alone there have been well over 5,000 airstrikes on Gaza, over 2000 people killed in Gaza, and 66 Israeli soldiers killed. The Hamas appears to be losing its support in Gaza and Israel has enacted Operation Protective Edge. Each side says it is defending itself against the other and merely trying to stay alive. When will a disagreement between Israel and the Gaza Strip that actually began in 1948 stop?

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