Palestine, officially recognized as the State of Palestine by the United Nations and other entities, is a de jure sovereign state in Western Asia, claiming the West Bank and Gaza Strip with Jerusalem as the designated capital. In practice, partial administrative control is held only over the 167 “islands” in the West Bank and the interior of the Gaza Strip, with its administrative center currently located in Ramallah.
The entirety of the territory claimed by the State of Palestine has been occupied since 1948, first by Egypt and Jordan and then by Israel after the Six-Day War in 1967. Palestine had a population of 5,051,953 as of February 2020, ranking 121st in the world.
After World War II, in 1947, the UN unilaterally adopted a Partition Plan for Mandatory Palestine, recommending the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states and an internationalized Jerusalem. This partition plan was accepted by the Jews but rejected by the Arabs. The day after the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Israel, known as the State of Israel on May 14, 1948, neighboring Arab armies invaded the former British mandate and fought Israeli forces.
Later, the All-Palestine Government was established by the Arab League on September 22, 1948, to govern the Egyptian-controlled enclave in Gaza. It was soon recognized by all Arab League members except Transjordan. Although the jurisdiction of the Government was declared to cover the whole of the former Mandatory Palestine, its effective control was limited to the Gaza Strip. Israel later captured the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria in June 1967 during the Six-Day War.
On November 15, 1988, in Algiers, Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), proclaimed the establishment of the State of Palestine. A year after the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, the Palestinian National Authority was formed to govern areas A and B in the West Bank, comprising 165 “islands,” and the Gaza Strip. Gaza would later be governed by Hamas in 2007, two years after the Israeli disengagement from Gaza.
The State of Palestine is recognized by 138 of the 193 UN member states (Israel is recognized by 164) and since 2012 has the status of a non-member observer state in the United Nations. Palestine is a member of the Arab League, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the G77, the International Olympic Committee, and other international bodies.
If we look back at the pages of history, conflict, violence, and war are all tragic. Those who start them lose the moral high ground. We experienced this in 1971 when we were fighting for Bangladesh’s independence from the brutal yoke of Pakistan’s army.
We all share one Earth where we live with our families. Why do these wars continue? Why is there hatred among us humans? Why can’t we live in peace and harmony? After all, we all have the same destination, which is the shallow grave when the time comes. Even if you win the war, one day you will end up in the grave with your body eaten by worms. So, while we still have this one life, why can’t we choose peace and love instead of killing each other? Why is there so much hatred in our hearts, and who puts it there?
But hostilities between Israel and Gaza have stretched into more days with no sign of abating. Israel bombed the home of Hamas’s chief in Gaza.
The Islamist militant group Hamas began its rocket assault after weeks of tensions over a court case to evict several Palestinian families in East Jerusalem, and in retaliation for Israeli police clashes with Palestinians near the city’s Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site, during the holy month of Ramadan.
Nearly 3,000 rockets have been fired from Gaza towards Israel as the two countries entered the seventh day of continued violent protests.
This is a sad event in this particular nation, very disturbing and distressing to the civilians and innocents. Pride, power, and principles are shown by one party, strongly backed by America, which is seen by some as the most uncivilized society across the world.
Hamas has been carrying out a very intense attack in terms of the rate of fire in retaliation to the Israeli assault.
The army has also claimed that Israel is facing the highest-ever rate of rocket attacks. Gaza authorities have also reported a record daily death toll of 33, caused by the Israeli airstrikes, officials claimed.
In fact, Gaza’s retaliation has come after Israel’s airstrikes, which killed 17 people, taking the death toll in Palestine to 174 people, of which 47 are children. The number of casualties is increasing every day.
Meanwhile, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Quds Force commander has also lent support to the Palestinian community and has termed the strikes by Israel as “crimes.”
The commander made a phone call to the Islamist factions’ officials and assured Tehran’s support for all the Palestinians facing attacks by Israel.
Brigadier General Ismail Qaani talked to the head of Hamas’ political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, and the secretary-general of the Islamic Jihad group, Ziyad al-Nakhalah.
He assured the leaders that Iran “stands alongside the nation of Palestine” and “praised the development of Palestinian resistance and its capabilities in defending the people of Palestine.”
Qaani also said his force supports “the Palestinians’ right to confront the aggression and crimes of the Zionist enemy.”
Currently, diplomats from the United States, United Nations, and Egypt are attempting to restore peace, but little progress has been made so far.
Both Israel and Hamas have pledged to continue firing into each other’s territories. Recently, Israel destroyed a 12-story building housing the offices of the Associated Press and Al Jazeera.
The Israeli military insists that the al-Jala building remained a legitimate military target with Hamas’s offices and that warnings were sent out to civilians to leave the building before the attack. The AP said in a statement, “We have had no indication Hamas was in the building or active in the building.”
Following the destruction of the building, Hamas fired rockets at Tel Aviv and other Israeli towns. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “The country is still in the midst of this operation; it is still not over, and this operation will continue as long as necessary.”
The American administration run by President Joe Biden called Netanyahu and reaffirmed US support for Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas and other groups.
Israel sees all of Jerusalem as its eternal and indivisible capital, while the Palestinians want the eastern section as the capital of a future state. Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem is unrecognized internationally.
Israel should be held accountable for war crimes, and the International Criminal Court could play a role. An international protection mechanism for Palestinian civilians is now a dire emergency.
Support for Palestine is increasing as the Israel-Gaza conflict continues. With the conflict escalating every day, many have lost their lives.
Citizens all over the world are holding rallies in support of the Palestinians. Protesters around the world wave Palestinian flags and shout “Free Palestine,” with others chanting “Israel is a terror state.”
Noam Chomsky has rightly analyzed that there are always new twists, but in essence, it is an old story, tracing back a century and taking new forms after Israel’s 1967 conquests and the decision 50 years ago by both major political groupings to choose expansion over security and diplomatic settlement, anticipating (and receiving) crucial U.S. material and diplomatic support all the way.
For what became the dominant tendency in the Zionist movement, there has been a fixed long-term goal. Put simply, the goal is to rid the country of Palestinians and replace them with Jewish settlers cast as the “rightful owners of the land” returning home after millennia of exile.
Successive Israeli governments have been trying for years to push Palestinians out of the Holy City of Jerusalem, and the latest round of Israeli attacks aligns with that goal. To understand the roots of the current escalation and the possible threat of all-out war, one must examine the U.S.-backed, foundational Israeli government policy of using strategies of “terror and expulsion” to expand its territory by killing and displacing Palestinians.
We pray for the comfort, protection, and provision of those families affected by this war.