What You Should Know About Gaza


Image from Photo source: Natalie Varghese

Image from Photo source: Natalie Varghese

The argument that Gaza is not an American concern because it does not affect the public directly can be put to bed as a New York crowd in Times Square gathers to protest the atrocities happening in Gaza this very moment.

What You Need To Know About What Is Happening in Gaza:

What Triggered this particular violence?

When Eyal Yifrah, Naftali Fraenkel, and Gilad Shaar, three Israel teens, were found dead Israel blamed Hamas for their murders, despite their denial to any involvement. This event acted as a catalyst to already growing tensions between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

How Often Does Violence Escalate?

This is definitely not the first escalated violence to occur within Gaza. The Gaza War began as early as December 2008 when on the 27th more than 50 jets and helicopters entered Gaza airspace. Israeli forces were responsible for killing over 225 Palestinians and wounding more than 1,000. While this attack is the first in five years the history of Israel’s actions dates back further.

What is Hamas?

Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement, was founded in 1987. It is a Palestinian branch of Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, and considered, to many, including the United States, a terrorist group. In 2006 Hamas won the Palestinian elections, gaining control of all military and government institutions in the Gaza strip. Since 2005 Israel and Hamas have fought several wars.

What is the Gaza Strip?

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A Palestinian region bordering Egypt, Israel, and the Mediterranen Sea Gaza covers 360 square kilometers and is densly populated by about 1.8 million people. The Gaza Strip was captured by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War and transferred to Palestinian Authority in the 1990s. Israel occupied the strip until 2005. Hamas, an Islamic organization, has been controlling Gaza since 2007.  Earlier this year, Hamas and Fatah, signed an agreement to form a united Palestinian government.

What is Life Like in Gaza Now?

In a word, dangerous. Since the eighth of July there have been countless air strikes and raids. The current death toll in the bloodiest conflict in years is rising at 348 Palestinians dead, of these include at least 73 victims under the age of 18. 60,000 civilians have sought sanctuary at UN institutions and as the violence rages, there is no telling what the death toll will total to. This all is layered on top of the economic crisis facing Gaza, whose unemployment rate is soaring at 40%.

What’s happening in Gaza is important. What’s happening is real. Being informed is step one in stopping this crisis.

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