The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a decades-old struggle, has caused immeasurable suffering and the destruction of millions of people’s lives throughout both Israel and Palestine. Dating back to the late 19th century when Jewish immigration to Palestine increased, tensions rose between both groups; The Jewish immigrants wanted all the land since it was their holy land, while the Palestinian civilians living there just wanted to continue living in the land they had been living in for several hundreds of years. With the establishment of Israel in 1948 and subsequent wars, Palestinians have faced displacement, loss of land, and several other horrors.
In an attempt to remedy the conflict, in 1947, the UN General Assembly Resolution 181 pushed for the partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem as an international city. Instead, the Israeli government created the Gaza Strip and West Bank as Palestinian territories—four times smaller than the land that they were originally inhabiting. The Israeli occupation of these Palestinian territories has resulted in several human rights violations. They restrict Palestinian movement through several checkpoints in the West Bank, first implemented during the Second Intifada, and have implemented a complete blockade of the Gaza Strip since 2007, restricting the movement of both people and goods between Gaza and the West Bank. This blockade has severely limited access to basic necessities like food, medicine, and clean water, to two million Palestinians, one million of which are children. Prior to the October 7th Hamas attack, one million Palestinian children lacked access to food and clean water. The people of Gaza have lived in constant fear for their safety and in constant food insecurity.
On October seventh, 2023, everything changed. Frustrated with the terrible living conditions, Hamas, a Palestinian terrorist organization, unleashed an unquestionably horrific and deadly sneak attack, killed 1,400 Israeli civilians, and kidnapped an additional 240 civilians. Since then the IDF, or Israel Defense Forces, has killed over 10,000 Palestinians in Gaza in a barrage of airstrikes, and has left over 350,000 Palestinians displaced. Israel has also ordered a “complete siege” on Gaza, cutting off electricity and blocking food and fuel from entering the region. Next, the Israeli government calls for the people of Palestine to evacuate the Gaza Strip or face military violence, despite their lack of access to food and medicine, and having no fuel to get out of Palestine. Additionally, Egypt, which borders Gaza, had made it clear that they would not be allowing refugees into the country at this point, demonstrating that the Israeli government had trapped the Palestinians in an impossible situation. Forced to evacuate but with nowhere to go, Israel deliberately trapped these Palestinians and have them waiting for their deaths. On October 17th, Israel all but comes mask off about this genocide. They bombed the al-Ahli Hospital in the middle of Gaza, which was being used to shelter thousands of displaced Gazans. At least 500 of them were killed. President Netanyahu deflects all blame of the attack, and claims the explosion was caused by Hamas bombing their own civilians. This horrific situation continues to this day; more Israeli citizens are killed or kidnapped by Hamas, while exponentially more Palestinians are murdered by the IDF, majority of which are children. These children have been forced to witness horrific crimes against humanity, like their siblings and friends being blown up in front of them by and unexpected Israeli airstrike. This is an inhumane occupation which will only end in the genocide of the Palestinian people—which is being swept under the rug similarly to the Armenian genocide—unless the international community unanimously condemns Israel and calls for the siege to end. In the meantime, it is important to stand with both the Israeli and Palestinian citizens, as they are all facing hardships and extreme violence. Both antisemitic and Islamophobic hate crimes have been on the rise, and it is important to stand against hate from both sides, and it is important to side with humanity during these trying times.
Here are some ways that you can help:
- You can donate to organizations such as Mercy Corps or Doctors Without Borders that provide on-the-ground aid through supplies like food, water, and medicine.
- Contact your local congress representative and call for a ceasefire.
https://undocs.org/A/RES/181(II) https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2022/country- chapters/israel/palestine https://www.ochaopt.org/content/gaza-strip-humanitarian-implosion https://abcnews.go.com/International/timeline-surprise-rocket-attack-hamas-israel/story?id=103816006 https://www.pbs.org/newshour/world/live-updates-whats-happening-in-the-israel-hamas-war-as-calls-for-pause-in-fighting-grow#:~:text=Hamas%20kidnapped%20about%20240%20people,according%20to%20Palestinian%20health%20officials.