The Palestine and Israel Conflict – Explained


Tensions between Palestine and Israel have increased in the last few months.

Suhani Bhanvadia, Section Editor

What has been a prevalent conflict over the last 100 years has now exploded. As the conflict between Israel and Palestine has always been intensifying, the issue escalated even more during the months of April and May, including some of the worst violence seen during the last number of years. While tensions were always high between Israel and Palestinians in the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Gaza due to Palestinians being evicted from their homes, the conditions began to worsen during the month of Ramadan (a holy month on the Islamic calendar that began mid-April).

The turning point was marked when the Israeli police entered the Al Aqsa Mosque and fired stun grenades while the Palestinians threw stones. The Israeli government claims that the police fired in response to the Palestinians throwing stones while the Palestinians claim they were doing so in self-defense after the Israeli police fired first. According to CNN, the conflict ended with some Israeli officers and hundreds of Palestinians injured. Following the event, Hamas, the militant group in control of Gaza, fired rockets towards the outskirts of Jerusalem. This prompted the Israeli government to fire back at Gaza with airstrikes that killed dozens of people.

In support of Gaza, Palestinians in Israel and their advocates began protesting. Violent riots and protests have surfaced as Arab and Jewish citizens clashed. However, the US State Department condemned the Hamas attacks and claimed that Israel had a right to self-defense. Since the initial airstrikes, according to CNN, “hundreds more rockets have been fired by Palestinian militant groups from Gaza and Israel has stepped up its artillery and airstrike bombardment of the territory.” Not only have both sides escalated their artillery, but Israel has also fueled fears of invasion of Gaza by calling reservists.

According to New York Times, in an attempt to reduce tensions, Israel prohibited Jews from entering the Al Aqsa Mosque. However, the police attacked again while Palestinians who had anticipated another attack used stockpiled stones. The second clash was then broadcasted across the globe.

Later, on May 11 in Tel Aviv, while both Jews and Arabs protested attacks on Gaza, Israel hit two buildings they claim to have been used by Hamas. Due to the Israeli military being more advanced compared to Hamas, Israel continued their attacks on Gaza.

The UN warned the situation was escalating to an “all-out-war.” Hannah Bucklin (11) adds that “[she] hopes the situation calms down soon. While the conflict has been prevalent for a long time, hopefully, conditions improve at least to some extent.”