Rockets Strike Israel: Unfolding Conflict and Historical Context

On Saturday, a significant number of rockets were launched from Gaza towards Israel, while Palestinian militants infiltrated Israeli territory, resulting in at least one casualty, as reported by the Israeli military and medical personnel.Starting at 6:30 am, a barrage of rockets descended upon Israel from Gaza, marking a culmination of escalating tensions in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The West Bank, which has been under Israeli occupation since the 1967 Arab-Israeli conflict, witnessed a surge in casualties not seen in years.Hamas, a Palestinian group, took responsibility for the rocket attack on Israel, claiming to have fired over 5,000 rockets. In a statement, the military wing of Hamas, Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, declared, "We decided to put an end to all the crimes of the occupation (Israel), their time for rampaging without being held accountable is over. We announce Operation Al-Aqsa Flood and we fired, in the first strike of 20 minutes, more than 5,000 rockets."

Israeli authorities asserted that Hamas unleashed a barrage of rockets at Israel, while Palestinian militants infiltrated various Israeli locations. 

An Israeli army statement warned that Hamas "will face the consequences and responsibility for these events."Historical Context: Following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I, Britain assumed control of Palestine, inhabited by a Jewish minority and Arab majority. The international community tasked Britain with establishing a Jewish homeland in Palestine, escalating tensions between the two communities.

In the 1920s and 1940s, a significant influx of Jewish immigrants arrived in Palestine, seeking refuge from persecution in Europe and the aftermath of the Holocaust. This influx heightened friction between Jews and Arabs and resistance to British rule.In 1947, the United Nations proposed dividing Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states, with international administration over Jerusalem. While the Jewish leadership accepted the plan, the Arab side rejected it, and it was never implemented.

In 1948, as British authorities withdrew, Jewish leaders declared the establishment of Israel, leading to a war with Palestinian objections and intervention by neighboring Arab nations. This conflict resulted in the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, an event known as Al Nakba, or "The Catastrophe."Over the years, Israel and Palestine have been involved in several conflicts, ranging from minor skirmishes to catastrophic events causing significant casualties.In 1987, Hamas, officially known as Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiya (Islamic Resistance Movement), was founded as a political group with military capabilities by Palestinian cleric Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, representing the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The two Palestinian uprisings, or 'intifadas,' had a profound impact on Israeli-Palestinian relations, particularly the second, which halted the 1990s peace process and ushered in a new era of conflict, with Hamas involvement in both.In 2000, the Camp David Summit convened by US President Bill Clinton aimed to facilitate final status negotiations between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat but ended without a resolution, further straining relations between the two nations.

Hamas has called upon its fighters in the West Bank and the wider Arab and Islamic worlds to join the battle against Israel. The recent conflict has left tensions high between Israelis and Palestinians in East Jerusalem, Gaza, and the West Bank.

Israel and Egypt maintain strict control over Gaza's borders to prevent Hamas from acquiring weapons, resulting in a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, with many struggling to access essential supplies like food and water.Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank argue that they suffer due to Israeli actions, such as the Gaza blockade, the construction of the West Bank barrier, and the demolition of Palestinian homes. 

Israel contends that it acts in self-defense against Palestinian violence, citing the firing of thousands of rockets by Hamas into Israeli territory and numerous attacks on Israeli civilians by Palestinian militants.
Story written by Shaurya

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