A year of escalating tensions between Israel and Palestine

A year of escalating tensions between Israel and Palestine 0

(Dan Tri) – The HamasIsrael conflict broke out on the morning of October 7, but is the consequence of a year of tension between Israel and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which has been under general blockade by Tel Aviv and Egypt since then.

Fire and smoke rose above a building in Gaza City during an Israeli air strike on October 7 (Photo: AFP).

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared the country at war, after members of the armed movement Hamas infiltrated Israel on all sides, in a lightning and surprise attack.

Israel also responded with airstrikes and shelling in the Gaza Strip, where people are worried about a larger and more prolonged military campaign from Tel Aviv.

Violence broke out unexpectedly on the morning of October 7, but it was the consequence of a year of increasing tensions between Israel and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which has been under a joint blockade by Israel and Egypt since 2007.

This year alone, there have been a series of deadly attacks in Israel and the Palestinian territories, marking an escalation of the conflict between the two sides.

Hamas, which is in control of the Gaza Strip, said the offensive was in response to Tel Aviv’s blockade, as well as recent Israeli military offensives in the West Bank and violence at the Palestinian capital.

In principle, Jews are only allowed to visit the temple at certain times and are not allowed to pray in this area.

`Enough is enough,` the leader of the military wing of the Hamas armed movement, Mohammed Deif, emphasized in a message released on October 7.

According to United Nations data, as of September 19, before violence broke out on October 7, at least 227 Palestinians were killed in violent incidents.

There have been several major deadly incidents this year before the outbreak of the current conflict.

September: Growing fears of all-out conflict

Just last month, Israel and Hamas appeared to be on the brink of war.

A year of escalating tensions between Israel and Palestine

Israeli soldiers protect a police headquarters in Sderot, Israel, on October 8 (Photo: AP).

Hamas placed its forces on high alert and held field exercises with other armed groups, including the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Hamas also allowed Palestinians to start protesting again along the separation fence between Israel and Gaza.

`Everything has been quiet but is starting to boil. The pressure is really terrible under water,` said Basem Naim, head of Hamas’s Political and International Relations Department, in an interview.

Summer of violence in the West Bank

Tensions in Gaza follow a summer of violence in the West Bank, where tit-for-tat attacks flared between Palestinian armed groups and Israeli forces and settlers.

Tel Aviv has staged multiple military attacks on the city of Jenin, where it said armed groups were planning to attack Israeli troops and civilians.

A year of escalating tensions between Israel and Palestine

Israeli police deployed security near Ashkelon on October 8 (Photo: AP).

The next day, Hamas gunmen opened fire on a restaurant outside Eli, an Israeli settlement in the West Bank.

Israel then also carried out its first unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) attack in the West Bank since 2006. On July 3, the Israeli military launched its largest operation there in more than two decades.

Israeli officials said they were targeting a Hamas `command center` in the operation that marked the beginning of a `broad counterterrorism effort` that the Israel Defense Forces said would continue

Spring violence erupted in Gaza and the West Bank

Before Israel’s large-scale operation in Jenin in July, the country’s security forces shot and killed a 14-year-old boy on a bicycle as they chased two Hamas members in March, causing a wave of outrage.

In early April, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, worshipers at al-Aqsa barricaded themselves inside the mosque.

About a month later, Israel launched surprise air strikes in Gaza targeting leaders of the armed Islamic Jihad group.

Israel carried out the attacks a week after reaching a ceasefire with Palestinian armed factions.

January: March on Jenin and massacre at synagogue

A year of escalating tensions between Israel and Palestine

Palestinians clashed with Israeli forces after an army raid in the West Bank city of Jenin in January (Photo: AP).

The year 2023 began with bouts of violence, including Israeli military operations in Jenin that led to a shooting that left nine Palestinians dead, Jenin local authorities said.

The raid was carried out on January 26 and the next day, a Palestinian gunman opened fire on a synagogue in East Jerusalem, killing seven people, including children, as they prayed.

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