A devastating war broke out between Israel and Hamas, a Palestinian resistance group. A series of fights between the Palestinian Arabs and Israeli police forces initiated from the first day of Ramadan in a common mosque around mid-April.
The root cause dates to world war times which started around 1948 after British left the Israel. It seemed like a bloody battle with rocket missiles and deadly airstrikes terrorizing the civilians continuously for 11 days.
Both parties were surprisingly confident in continuing the war. However, they participated in a ceasefire agreement on 21 May responding to suggestions and pressure from powerful nations and international organizations.
How did the Israel-Hamas conflict start?
On May 7, Israeli defense forces raided the al-Aqsa mosque located in East Jerusalem, the conflicted city. The raid conducted on the holiest nights of Ramadan greatly offended the Palestinian Muslims.
Consequently, anti-Israel militants mainly Hamas started firing rockets into the cities of Israel on May 10. And in return, Israel operated airstrikes in the cities of the Gaza strip, a place mostly inhabited by the Palestinian refugees and the Hamas. East Jerusalem, West Bank, and the Gaza strip saw most of the violence.
Casualties of the war
Though Hamas militants fired more than 4300 rockets into Israel, only around ten percent of them were able to cut through. The Iron Dome’s anti-missile system of Israel destroyed the rest of the rockets in the air. But the Israeli military strikes drove Gaza into chaos.
According to BBC news, around 243 people were killed in Gaza by the attacks from Israel. The health ministry of Gaza states that 100 among the dead were innocent women and children. The official death toll in Israel is 12 including 2 children. The victims were mainly from Tel Aviv, Sderot, and Ashkelon primarily affected districts of Israel.
As per the statement by IDF agents, they targeted rocket launch sites, Hamas leaders’ homes, and offices, and tunnels. The catastrophic attack by Israel on May 15 that leveled the massive 13-story Al-Jaala tower was criticized as the building housed the offices of media companies like Al-Jazeera and Associated press, legal firms, and doctors.
In defense, Israel described the building as a center of militants’ operation. And to avoid the killings of innocent journalists, an emergency evacuation notice was sent an hour before the attack.
The brutal war this time extended up to the affluent Gaza areas like the al-Rimal district. The people were petrified by the destruction of three residential buildings with a death toll of around 42. The collapse of these buildings was an unfortunate event that resulted from the targeted attacks on the tunnels network. Israel believes these tunnels are the safehouses for rebels and transportation routes for arms and other materials.
Global concerns to put a stop on Israel-Hamas conflict
The brutality of the war was outrageous from the humanitarian point of view where 2 million people in the Gaza Strip felt insecure about their life. The US, being an ally to Israel viewed the actions of Israel as a defense to save its citizens. But with escalating violence, President Biden later held talks with Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel, and suggested concluding the conflict as soon as possible.
The pressure from the Europe and US and other international committees like the UN lead to a ceasefire finally on 21 May. Moreover, Egypt and Qatar played a crucial role in mediating an agreement to stop the Israel-Hamas war.
Although the ceasefire may be temporary, the people on both sides can have a peaceful sleep with a clear sky above. In contrast, it is long before we see Gaza and its people recover.
Worldwide nations have praised the truce and committed to aid in the relief and recovery programs. China alone promised to allocate 2 million dollars for the relief programs for the Gazan people.