The war between Hamas and Israel: the latest news about the battles and analysis of the history of the conflict - ForumDaily
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The war between Hamas and Israel: the latest news about the battles and analysis of the history of the conflict

The number of dead and injured in Israel and the Gaza Strip is constantly growing. The number of Israeli deaths rose to 900, and more than 2,6 were injured. In Gaza, 704 Palestinians were killed, about 4 were injured, reports with the BBC.

Photo: IStock

Many of those killed in Israel were killed in their homes and on the streets, as well as in the open air. Among them are dozens of military and police officers.

At least 85 of those killed in Hamas attacks were Israeli soldiers, according to the Israel Defense Forces' chief spokesman. The Jerusalem Post writes that according to unofficial data, about 750 Israelis are considered missing.

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Hamas representatives previously said they were “open to discussing a truce with Israel,” the movement said in a statement quoted by Al Hadath TV channel. But then information appeared that the representative of the Palestinian Hamas movement, Hussam Badran, denied the fact of negotiations on the exchange of prisoners with Israel.

“This is not the time to talk about negotiating any deal, prisoners or otherwise,” Badran said.

The head of the Hamas politburo, Ismail Haniyeh, said that the group will not negotiate with Israel about the hostages taken until the end of hostilities.

“We have informed all parties who have approached us regarding enemy prisoners held by the resistance that these negotiations will not begin until the end of hostilities,” he said. “And they will fight only at the price that the resistance agrees to.”
Israeli estimates indicate that between 100 and 150 people are being held captive by Hamas.

UN condemns blockade of Gaza

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant announced on October 9 the beginning of a complete blockade of the Gaza Strip. As Energy Minister Israel Katz clarified, the supply of electricity and fuel was interrupted on October 8, and the water supply stopped on October 9.

On October 10, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk appealed to all states with influence in the region with an urgent request to take measures to defuse the “powder keg” in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.

He stressed that international humanitarian law and human rights must be respected in all circumstances.

International humanitarian law prohibits depriving people of what they need to survive, Turk said.

“The imposition of a blockade that puts the lives of civilians at risk by depriving them of goods necessary for survival is prohibited under international humanitarian law,” he said.

Any restrictions on the movement of people and goods for the purpose of carrying out a siege must be justified by military necessity, otherwise they may amount to collective punishment.

“All parties to the conflict must respect international humanitarian law. They must immediately cease attacks against civilians and attacks that are expected to result in a disproportionate number of civilian deaths, injuries or damage to civilian objects,” Turk said.

“I call on the Palestinian armed factions to immediately and unconditionally release all civilians who have been captured and are still being held. Hostage-taking is prohibited by international law,” the High Commissioner said.

Turk believes it is especially important that every person deprived of their liberty in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel is treated humanely. The World Health Organization (WHO) said all its medical supplies in the Gaza Strip have been used up.

Nowhere to run

The Rafah crossing on the border with Egypt is the only place through which Palestinians could leave Gaza, and it is now inaccessible and dangerous.

On October 10, Israeli army aircraft carried out strikes near the Rafah checkpoint. The checkpoint is currently suspended. The Palestinian news agency Safa also reported that two checkpoint officers were wounded in the attack.

It has long been difficult for ordinary citizens to escape from Gaza, especially since the Israeli response began. For most, the only option is schools under the auspices of the UN. The UN says these temporary shelters are already 90% full and cannot accommodate more people.

What is Hamas

On October 7, the Palestinian militant group Hamas carried out an unprecedented attack on Israel, its militants infiltrating populated areas near the Gaza Strip, killing residents and taking hostages.

Hamas is the Palestinian Islamist militant group that rules the Gaza Strip. Hamas was founded in 1987 following the outbreak of the First Palestinian Intifada, or the Palestinian uprising against Israeli control in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

In its charter, the movement aims to destroy the state of Israel, reports with the BBC.

Hamas initially had two main directions: the military struggle against Israel, waged by its paramilitary wing, the Iz ad-Din al-Qassam brigades, and the development of social support for the Palestinians. But since 2005, when Israel withdrew its troops and settlers from Gaza, Hamas has become a participant in the political processes in the Palestinian Authority.

In 2006, they won parliamentary elections and strengthened their position, ousting their rivals in the Fatah movement of President Mahmoud Abbas.

Since then, Hamas has been involved in several military clashes with Israel, which has imposed a blockade of the Gaza Strip to isolate the group and force it to stop attacks on Israeli territory.

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Hamas is supported by Iran, which funds it, and provides weapons and training.

Israel has also attacked Hamas from the air on more than one occasion. Israel, the United States, the European Union and Britain, as well as other states, have designated Hamas as a whole or its paramilitary wing as a terrorist group.

What is the Gaza Strip

The Gaza Strip is a 41 km long and 10 km wide area between Israel, Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea. It is home to approximately 2,3 million people and has one of the highest population densities in the world.

Israel controls the airspace over Gaza and its coastline and decides who can move in and out of border crossings and what goods. Likewise, Egypt controls who travels in and out of its border with Gaza.

Why are Israel and Hamas fighting?

There has been constant tension between Israel and Hamas, but the militant attack on October 7 came without warning.

Hamas fired thousands of rockets into Israel, and dozens of its fighters crossed the border and invaded Israeli communities, where they killed more than 700 people and captured many more.

Israel immediately launched air strikes and said it was attacking militant targets in Gaza. More than 400 people died there.

As BBC international editor Jeremy Boven writes, this is the most ambitious operation Hamas has ever launched in Gaza, and the most serious cross-border attack Israel has faced in many years.

Militants in several places broke through the fence separating Gaza from Israel.

The unprecedented attack came a day after the 50th anniversary of the 1973 Egyptian-Syrian surprise attack that started the great war in the Middle East.

Israeli intelligence failure

Considering the combined efforts of Israel's domestic intelligence agency, the Shin Bet, its external spy agency, the Mossad, and all the assets of the Israel Defense Forces, it is frankly astonishing that no one anticipated the attack or took action if there was a warning about it.

Israel has perhaps the most extensive and best-funded intelligence services in the Middle East, with informants and agents inside Palestinian militants, as well as in Lebanon, Syria and elsewhere.

Along the fence on the border between Gaza and Israel there are cameras, motion sensors and regular army patrols. It was believed that a fence with barbed wire should prevent exactly the kind of border breach that occurred during this attack. But Hamas militants simply bulldozed it, punched holes in the wire, or entered Israel by sea and paragliders.

What is Palestine and what do these events have to do with it?

The West Bank and Gaza, known as the Palestinian territories, as well as East Jerusalem and Israel have all been part of the land known as Palestine since Roman times.

These were the lands of the Jewish kingdoms in the Bible, and the Jews view them as their ancient homeland. Israel was declared a state in 1948, although those who do not recognize Israel's right to exist still call the land Palestine.

Palestinians also use the name Palestine as an umbrella term for the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

What could happen next

Hamas commander Mohammed Deif called on Palestinians and other Arabs to join the militants' operation to "destroy the Israeli occupation."

The big question now is whether Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem or elsewhere in the region are heeding his call, says Yolanda Nell, a correspondent for the BBC in Jerusalem.

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Israel certainly sees the potential for a war that could unfold on multiple fronts. The worst-case scenario is that the powerful Lebanese militant group Hezbollah could join in.

The Israeli military ordered a massive reinforcement of troops. In addition to intensive air raids on Gaza, Israel has also indicated that it is planning a ground operation there.

As ForumDaily wrote earlier:

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