After illegally occupying Palestine for years, Israel was surprised by a series of rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip last Saturday. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack and says it fired about 5,000 rockets. The Israeli government then declared war on Hamas. There have been attacks on both sides over the past five days, which have cost the lives of hundreds of people. In this article, FunX summarizes a number of major developments in the war for you.
Hamas’s rocket attacks on October 7 hit Tel Aviv, one of the largest cities in Israel. During the attacks, dozens of Hamas fighters crossed the heavily guarded Gaza Strip border. Fighting takes place mainly in southern Israel. The Palestinian resistance movement hopes to put an end to the occupation of Palestine. “The enemy occupying Gaza wants to surprise us and escalate aggression against our people in the Gaza Strip, on top of the settlements and aggression that continues in the West Bank. They want to uproot our people and drive them out of their land.” , said Hamas leader Ismail Haniya. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu then declared war on Hamas. “Our enemy will pay a price never seen before.”
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant called up as many as 300,000 reservists to go to war against Hamas. In response to the resistance movement’s attacks, dozens of Israeli army aircraft carried out attacks in the Gaza Strip that same Saturday morning. Fearing a large-scale ground offensive, thousands of Palestinians decided to flee. According to the United Nations (UN), at least 137,000 people have left their homes in Gaza, where some 2 million people live. Many are hiding in UN basements and schools. Netanyahu called on Gaza residents to flee, which is practically impossible because Egypt and Israel keep their borders closed.
Hamas’s surprise attacks were condemned by several countries, including the Netherlands. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, called on Hamas to stop the violence as soon as possible. “Civilians should never be the target of an attack. I call for an immediate cessation of violence and appeal to all parties and key countries in the region to de-escalate to avoid further bloodshed.”
The United States, Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom issued a joint statement condemning Hamas’ attacks and expressing their support for Israel. The US has even started supplying ammunition to the Israeli army. In any case, Turkish President Erdogan has indicated that he wants to act as a mediator to end the war between Hamas and Israel.
Shortly after Saturday’s outbreak of violence, news emerged that Hamas had captured Israelis. Saleh al-Arouri, one of the leaders of the resistance movement, told Al Jazeera in a statement that Hamas had captured enough Israelis to free all Palestinian prisoners in Israel. “To our prisoners, I say: your freedom is near. What we now have in our hands is enough to free you. The longer the battle lasts, the higher the number of prisoners will become.”
Meanwhile, Israel has declared a full siege on Gaza, and the government has immediately stopped delivering basic necessities to the enclave. For example, the water supply has been cut off, and electricity, fuel and food are no longer supplied to the residents of the Gaza Strip. As a result, thousands of Palestinians spent three nights in fear without any relief while airstrikes were carried out on Gaza. Hamas then announced that an Israeli prisoner would be executed for every home destroyed in Gaza.
UN Volker Türk yesterday condemned Israel’s siege of the Gaza Strip. He says Israel’s blockade, which has prevented basic supplies from being delivered, is against international humanitarian law. “Imposing a blockade that endangers civilian lives by cutting them off from essential necessities is prohibited under international humanitarian law.”
The Israeli army announced on Monday that it has regained full control of the Gaza border. As far as we know, no Hamas fighters have crossed the border since Monday. So far, the unrest in Israel and Gaza has cost the lives of at least 1,000 Israelis and at least 700 Palestinians. At least 2,600 people have also been injured on the Israeli side and around 4,000 on the Palestinian side. It is still unclear how long the war will last, but it is expected to be a long battle.
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