Potential for “a full-scale war” between Israel and Palestine

Hundreds of Palestinian protestors have been wounded in clashes with the Israeli police, this conflict has impacted the capital city of Israel, Jerusalem; the Gaza Strip and Tel Aviv- another city within Israel. 

Why has this happened?

This has came from Israel’s military occupancy over Palestinian life, which has lasted for half a century- so far. The forever rising tension finally hit its breaking point on Monday, resulting in more than 20 deaths in Gaza following fighting between militants and Israelis.

The Trump administration, along with Israeli parties, looked to solidify the country’s control over Palestinian territories, which could’ve brought a solution to the friction that has lasted around 50 years.

The Palestinians, whose last parliamentary ballot was in 2006, were refused a re-election by Mahmoud Abbas- the unpopular and semi-autonomous 85-year-old leader. Yet an Israeli election in March furthered the far-right grip, bringing a party of Jewish ultranationalist into parliament.

Following the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, last month, the Palestines have complained of what they say are unnecessarily severe restrictions by Israeli police, who prevented them from partaking in an unofficial tradition that takes place after evening prayers. Amongst this there was an increase in communal violence- detailing street harassment and several attacks between Jews and Palestinians. 

Hundreds of far-right Israelis marched down city streets chanting “death to Arabs” and confronted Palestinians.  

Is conflict within religion inevitable? 

Chaplain Michelle Parkman, gave her own thoughts surrounding the supposed connection between religion and violence.

“As a Christian minister I believe all faiths have a foundation that is built on love. Sadly  humans take that foundation and build rules that I don’t think were ever meant to be what they have become – whatever faith and belief. The events that we are seeing in our newsfeed at the moment are based on hundreds of years of history which I can’t even begin to understand except to pray for peace.”

Sunny Gardner, a first-year student at Plymouth Marjon University, is also of Christian faith, he suggests that religion caused “more harm” in the past with the incentive of “money and power throughout history”. Gardner also explored the positives of Christianity’s foreign relations with the “charity and missionary work in third-world countries”.

“Fundamentally, it has changed from what it was” he added.

What has happened?

Over 1,000 rockets have been fired by Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups in the Gaza Strip toward Israel- targeting the likes of Tel Aviv and Beer Sheva. Most of the rockets have been intercepted by Israel’s missile defence system but at least 20 have managed to get through, leaving devastating effects on infrastructure and killing or wounding innocent civilians.

Israel then responded with hundreds of air strikes on Gaza, a costal strip where militants have embedded themselves within civilian population- they later started an offensive on foot. This has came from the Israeli Defence Forces announcing that ground troops “were attacking in the Gaza Strip” with the United Nations warning that this violence could further escalate into a “full-scale war”.

It is reported that 65 people have been killed in Gaza and seven in Israel, including one soldier- with the death toll rising.

What could happen in the future?

No signs of progress have been made after a call for a cease-fire by Egypt officials, Israel are planning to stage a ground invasion of the Hamas-ruled territory after lining up 9,000 reservists. Israeli residents living within three miles of the Gaza border have been told to evacuate to shelters after Eilat, Israel’s main tourist attraction, was targeted on Thursday. 

This has potential to be more devastating than the fighting of 2014 where 2,205 Palestinians, over half being civilians, were killed.

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