Kickapoo High Quarterly


Kickapoo High Quarterly


Kickapoo High Quarterly


What’s Going On in Israel?

A brief summary of the conflict between Israel and the Hamas.
Photo by courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

   As the game of battleship between Israel, Iran and Palestine continues, many Americans are wondering what this war entails, and how the US is involved. Between the hostages, terrorism, and the smoky skies, here’s the basics about the relentless attacks in the Middle East.

   The conflict between Israel and Palestine dates back all the way to the early 20th century. On November 2, 1917, Britain’s foreign secretary Arthur Balfour wrote a letter addressed to Lionel Walter Rothschild, a notable member of the Jewish community. The letter was short, consisting of just 67 words, but the contents of this letter had a lasting effect.

   The letter committed the British government to “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” and to facilitating “the achievement of this object.” This letter is known as the Balfour Declaration.

   A British Mandate was instated in 1923 and lasted until 1948. During this time, Britain assisted mass Jewish immigration to the newly created state of Israel. Many immigrants were fleeing Nazism in Europe, where they also faced protests and strikes. Palestinians were alarmed by their country’s changing demographics and British land confiscation, just to be handed over to Jewish settlers.

   Escalating tensions led to many revolts after the Mandate. By 1947, the Jewish population ballooned to 33% of Palestine, but they only owned 6% of the land.

   According to, Between 1947 and 1949, over 500 Palestinian villages, towns, and cities were destroyed by the Jewish people. An estimated 15,000 Palestinians were killed, including in several massacres. The Zionist movement captured 78% of historic Palestine. The remaining 22% was divided into what are now the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip. Around 750,000 Palestinians were removed from their homes. This series of events was called the Nakba, which means “catastrophe” in Arabic. Israel announced its establishment in 1948.

   Israel and Palestine have since been at odds with each other, with various hiccups along the way. In 1987, four Palestinians were killed after an Israeli truck collided with Palestinian workers. This sparked the first Palestinian Intifada (uprising), which led to the establishment of the Hamas movement, a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood that engaged in armed resistance against the Israeli occupation. During the first Intifada, over 1,000 Palestinians were killed, and over 175,000 Palestinians were arrested.

   This leads us to today. On October 7, militants from Gaza fired thousands of rockets upon Israeli towns, and sent troops deep into Israeli territory. Hamas gunmen killed more than 1,400 people. The victims included both soldiers and civilians. They then took 199 hostages.

   The Israel attacks were unprecedented in schemes and scale. Also, Israel has never faced a terror attack of this magnitude that has resulted in this many casualties. While Hamas has taken Israeli hostages before, it has never before taken dozens at once, including children and the elderly.

   Many people have wondered how Gaza has initiated such a powerful and swift attack on Israel. Well, Iran is widely considered to be one of the biggest financial backers of the Hamas. Last month, President Biden sent six billion dollars to Iran as part of a prisoner swap. The money was meant to be used for humanitarian aid, but many have theorized that the billions of dollars have been used to fund the attack on Israel.

   If this is true, then it would make the whole situation even more confusing when you take in the fact that Israel is the largest recipient of US foreign aid, which technically means that the US has funded both sides of this war. Again, who knows if this is true. But what it means is that it would just put more money in the pockets of the people pulling the strings.

   As of October 17, thousands of both Palestinians and Israelis have been killed. Most recently, an Israeli strike has killed more than 500 Palestinians at Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City.

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About the Contributor
Keegan Bukovatz, Opinion Editor