Israel and Palestine Could Go to War

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Garrett Duncan, Contributor

The conflict between Israel and Palestine goes back to 1967 when Israel began to occupy Palestine.  The problems stem from the fact that this is a military occupation, and the difference between the two areas’ religions.  Palestine is majority Arab, while Israel is majority Jewish.  Palestinian groups have been trying to resist the Israeli takeover for years, and the newest group to try to fight Israel is Hamas.  Hamas is a terrorist organization, and they are well known from the times they kidnapped and killed children.  They attack civilian targets and use public areas as their main bases so that attacks on them would harm innocents.  (NPR)  However, they have the support of the Palestinian public because they are the only group fighting for Palestine’s freedom at the moment.

Recently Hamas has been ramping up its attacks on Israel by firing missiles at Israel, usually from places in the Gaza strip.  There have also been riots in Israel from Arabs who believe that the Jewish leaders of Israel have been treating them unfairly.  This has forced Israel into a state of civil war, with the government using emergency powers to stop riots.  On May 12, Hamas used the civil unrest in Israel to launch more rockets, most of which were stopped by the Iron Dome defense system used by Israel to stop rockets in mid-air.  (Wikipedia Iron Dome)  Despite the Iron Dome’s defense the rockets still killed five people.  (NBC)

After this attack, Israel’s military prepared to counter attack.  On May 13, Israel used air strikes and missiles of their own to attack areas they believed had Hamas presence.  (CNBC)  This killed tons of civilians, bringing the world’s attention to what was happening.  Israel continued attacking targets, sometimes without much probable cause.  Their continued airstrikes killed huge amounts of civilians.  (CNN)  In one case, Israel attacked a building being used by AP News to spread information of what was happening in the conflict.  They gave the journalists and reports one hour to evacuate before destroying the building.  This will make it harder for news to spread about what is happening.

However, with Hamas’s tactics, it is impossible to stop civilian damage problems completely.  Hamas is too dangerous to Israel to allow them to continue attacking over and over, and they put their bases near civilians on purpose to make Israel look bad when they attack Hamas.  Soon Israel may attack by land and send their military into Palestine.  The prime minister of Israel said, “(Israeli soldiers) unlike Hamas, take special precautions to tell people ‘Leave the building, leave the premises.’”  (New York Times)  He sees it as a situation in which Hamas attacked them first, hitting their cities with missiles, and they are just defending themselves.  When pressed more on the issue he said, “They’re sending thousands of rockets on our cities with the specific purpose of murdering our civilians from these places,” he said. “What would you do?”  (New York Times)  Israel has his Hamas in its airstrikes, even though some of its strikes are questionable.

Hamas does not plan on stopping until Israel does, and their deputy leader had this to say about a peaceful arrangement: “If there will be one it will be reached with our conditions, not Israeli conditions,”  (New York Times)  There will be no end to the fighting until one side concedes, either with Israel allowing Palestine to be a free state with no Israeli influence, or until Palestine surrenders completely, and accepts Israeli rule.

Neither of these groups plans on stopping, and a full ground war is a possibility in the future.