In the days following air strikes by Israeli forces on Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, Israel has begun to launch their ground operation. Tanks and troops started to advance into Gaza. The purpose of this ground offensive, being the same reason why they started the air strikes in their Operation Cast Lead, is in response to attacks and to secure areas within the Gaza strip from which rocket fire has been launched into southern areas of Israel. Those rocket attacks by Hamas have increased since as well.
All of the fighting in this latest conflict, including Sunday’s ground assaults, have brought the death toll to over 450 primarily Palestinian deaths. This current bout between Israel and Hamas came days after a six-month truce ended because Hamas choose not to renew it, blaming Israel for their participation in the Gaza Strip blockade. Israel in turn said it was in response to the continued monthly motar and rocket attacks as well as weapons smuggling which were supposed to have stopped according to cease-fire terms.
This is just the tip of the iceberg if you consider the problems that Israel has had with Palestinians for decades. The Gaza Strip is a strip of land bordering Egypt and Israel. While claimed as a de facto government of led by the political organization Hamas, it isn’t recognized internationally as part of any sovereign country. Israel controls the strips airspace, territorial waters, and essentially the inflow and outflow of resources. Jewish Israel and Arabian Palestinian have been in conflict for years, likely beginning in response to European anti-semitism which would eventually put Jews in Palestine, historically an area they could identify with. As if tensions and conflict spawned from that point weren’t enough, when Israel declared its independence that started one of several wars throughout the years with neighboring Arab nations.
Not for nothin’, but with incidents such as this, it doesn’t look like Jews and Arabs will ever get along, or at least co-exist peacefully in the Middle East. There have been several attempts at peace, but currently the Hamas control Gaza Strip will not recognize Israel as a nation. And as long as they do not, fighting will likely continue. Palestine has had pockets of civility toward Israel, but those organizations are no longer in power there and much of the world will not recognize the current government as they are deemed terrorist organizations. Terrorist would seem the appropriate label as they continue to attack a neighboring nation. But according to them, they are in a religious war against a people and nation that they cannot recognize as which. It seems a difference of opinion, primarily centered on religious belief.