The ongoing conflict within the Gaza Strip, West Bank and Israel-Lebanon border being fought between the country of Israel and Palestine’s militant group, Hamas, has shown no signs of stopping anytime soon.
The conflict between the two countries originally began on Oct. 7, 2023, when the Hamas-led Palestinian militant movement launched an attack targeting Southern Israel from the Gaza Strip.
This unexpected barrage included the force of missiles as well as an approximate 3000 Hamas militants invading the border between Gaza and Israel.
As an effect of the attack on the border by Hamas militants, it has been predicted that more than 800 Israeli civilians and around 200 soldiers have been killed from this incident alone. It has also been estimated nearly 240 Israeli citizens and foreign nationals were taken by Hamas militants as captives or hostages to the Gaza Strip.
Hamas leaders have since made public their reasons for launching said invasion, stating that the attack was a result of a long building anger for Israeli policy. More specifically the Israeli occupation, restrictions on the movements of Palestinians as well as the blockage of the Gaza Strip.
USD coordinator for international studies and political science professor Timothy Scorn gave his explanation for Hamas’ reference to the The Gaza Strip.
“The Gaza Strip has essentially been an open-air prison for decades. People are rarely allowed in or out, products of any kind are limited when going in, the only airport and seaport have been destroyed by the Israelis, and the poverty and unemployment levels are very high,” Schorn said. “Unfortunately, the convergence of all of this enables extremists and that’s exactly what happened. A person can understand all of this without approving of Hamas’ attacks.”
After the attack on the border of both Palestine and Israel, the Israeli military responded by conducting extensive airstrikes as an attempt to run Hamas militants out of the country.
This counterattack consisted of a bombing campaign that included a total of 6000 bombs to be dropped onto targets located within Gaza causing substantial damage to the city as well as creating an emergency humanitarian crisis. The lives of Gazan citizens including men, women and children are considerably in extreme danger due to the airstrikes that still continue to take place within the city.
Due to these airstrikes, little to no medical assistance is available to those who are still located in Gaza, as well as a short lasting supply of other necessary resources, including food, water and shelter.
As the war in Gaza continues to become more and more substantial as the days prolong, Schorn believes an end to this conflict will not be easy, nor likely anytime in the near future.
“Conflict can only be resolved when there is real courage and commitment on both sides,” Schorn said. “When either side is hijacked by extremism or is dictated to by extremists from the other side, resolution is unlikely, if not impossible. It is also helpful when there is a truly honest broker from the outside that can help each side navigate the waves and has the moral and political authority to push each side and keep them on track and on task. That is absent here.”
Schorn continued to share his insight on what he feels is to come for the survivors in moving forward from this tragic conflict.
“Each generation of Israelis and Palestinians carry the scars of conflict and trauma with them. This particular conflict will be the most difficult for Israelis since the 1973 war,” Schorn said “For Palestinians, Gazans expect to be bombed regularly. The children on both sides will not know normal for some time, especially in Gaza.”
However, this does not necessarily mean that there is no hope to come from these conflicts, as many organizations are working both internally and externally to offer support to those currently facing the confinements of this war.
“The two organizations that I have the most faith in are the International Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders. They are certainly in need of assistance and certainly the Red Cross operates on both sides,” Schorn said. For more information regarding ways to help aid to those facing constraints caused by the war between Israel and Hamas, visit https://www.redcross.org.