Why is Palestinian Group Hamas Attacking Israel? Explained

The Palestinian armed group Hamas, and the Israeli forces have been engaged in an ongoing conflict for decades due to a complex web of political, historical, and territorial disputes. In the early morning of October 7, Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel by land, air, and sea. To retaliate, Israel declared war and bombarded the Gaza Strip, killing over 400 people and injuring more than 2300. 

Gaza is being heavily bombed at the moment. Video from today’s bombing. #GazaUnderAttack #Gaza #IsraelPalestineWar#Palestine #Hamas #Palestinian #IsraelUnderAttack #Israel #Mossad pic.twitter.com/DXopDBWY76

— Shashank Singh (@RccShashank)
October 9, 2023

Here’s what has happened so far:

Timeline of Hamas-Israel Conflict 2023

  • In the early morning of October 7, Hamas- the armed group from Palestine, launched “Operation Al-Aqsa Flood” against Israel. 
  • The first volley of missiles was launched at 6:30 a.m. local time (03:30 GMT). According to the group, they had fired over 5,000 rockets. 
  • The attacks took place on the Jewish festival, Simchat Torah which occurs at the end of the week-long Jewish festival known as Sukkot, or the Feast of Tabernacles.
  • Hamas fighters then breached the border between Gaza and Israel. They drove into southern Israel and occupied Israeli villages and towns along the border, murdering troops and civilians and kidnapping others.
  • Israel has confirmed the intrusion of Hamas group fighters into their territory as well as their attacks via land, air, and sea. 
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Related | What is Hamas and it’s role in Israel- Palestine Conflict?

How did Israel retaliate?

  • As a retaliation against Hamas, the Israeli forces have also launched the “Operation Iron Swords” in the Gaza Strip.
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that “the enemy will pay an unprecedented price.”
  • Israel also shut off power to Gaza and said that it would stop sending gasoline and supplies to the besieged region.

Which regions were attacked?

 

Hamas launched 5,000 rockets and attacked via land, air, and sea. According to reports, the rockets were launched as far north as Tel Aviv, Israel’s cultural and commercial capital. The group also dispatched its fighters to the south of Israel.

According to Israeli media reports, Hamas gunmen opened fire on civilians in Sderot, a city near Gaza. If images circulating on social media platforms are to be believed, there are also fights in city streets as well as gunmen in jeeps wandering the countryside. According to the Israeli army, dozens of fighter planes are attacking Hamas sites in Gaz and numerous villages in the southern part of the country are mired in gun fights.

Source: UN | A map depicting the territories occupied by Israel.

What is the death toll?

 

In the conflict that follows a year of rising violence in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank, at least 700 Israelis and 413 Palestinians have been killed, and tens of thousands have been displaced.The combined death toll has risen up to 1100, making this the deadliest conflict in history between the two.

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Why has Hamas attacked Israel?

 

The root cause of Hamas’ attacks on Israel can be traced back to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the years of occupation and oppression faced by the Palestinian people. Additionally, Hamas perceives itself as a resistance movement fighting against what it sees as Israeli oppression and the violation of Palestinian rights. The lack of a resolution to the conflict, including the ongoing Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories, has fueled frustration and desperation among Palestinians, leading some to support and join Hamas. 

According to a spokesperson for Hamas, the atrocities in Gaza against the people of Palestine need to be stopped. Additionally, attacks on holy sites such as the Al-Aqsa are one of the reasons why the armed group launched the surprise attacks.  Hamas believes that the international community’s failure to hold Israel accountable for its actions has only intensified their determination to resist and fight for their rights. 

How are the global powers reacting to the conflict?

 

  • At least 3 American citizens have been killed in the attacks. The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that they have received reports that several Americans are among the dead, and “we’re working very hard to verify those reports.” Meanwhile, hundreds of people in North America have taken to the streets to protest against Israel. 
  • US President Joe Biden assured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that “additional assistance for the Israeli Defence Forces is now on its way to Israel, with more to follow over the coming days.” 
  • India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, expressed solidarity with Israel and condemned the “terrorist” attacks. 
  • Britain’s Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak stated that the nation stands “unequivocally” with Israel. 
  • Following Israeli airstrikes in response to Hamas assaults, the UN World Food Programme has urged for the development of humanitarian corridors to transfer food supplies into Gaza. 
  • Iran, which has been a supporter of Palestine for years, stated, “Iran supports the legitimate defence of the Palestinian nation,” President Ebrahim Raisi said on national television. 
  • Josep Borrell, the European Union’s foreign policy leader, voiced sympathy with Israel.
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Source: tiengtrunghaato.edu.vn

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