The conflict between Israel and Palestine has its roots planted deep down in the World War II era, and the conflict between Israel and its surrounding Arab neighbors exponentially longer. The Gaza region, near the Mediterranean Sea, has been long been a hotbed of conflict ever since the Israeli-Palestinian conflict began. Recently, the Israeli and Palestinian governments ended the 50-day Gaza war. The targeting of the Gaza region was due to its role as the home of the Islamic political group, Hamas, which has waged war with Israel since 1981. This attack was Israel’s answer to the many years of being stricken by the Hamas military rockets and missiles. Another goal of the Israel military attacks is to destroy Hamas’s missiles and tunnels that have been dug from the Palestinian region into the Israel, specifically Jerusalem. People coming from Palestine to Israel through the recently discovered tunnels have made many attacks on Jewish civilians. Israel’s Prime Minister once remarked that the Hamas is very similar to the ISIS, which is a terrorist Islamic group. Since September 2000, the body count of dead Israeli citizens is 1,184 compared to that of more than 9,000 Palestinians due to the ongoing killing in the region of Gaza since, according to The Israeli Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights. The number of casualties from the Israeli side dropped significantly since 2005, when the West Bank Walls were raised to separate Israel from Palestinian territory and limit the access to their land. There are more than 2000 Palestinians killed just in 2014, and still the fighting continues. The Israeli government is being warned by its neighbors that these killings should stop. Recently the French officials called the killings in Gaza a “massacre”, while the U.N. secretary-general described Israel’s actions as “crimes”. And while all the international officials are focusing their attention on the actions of Israel, the Israeli officials are focusing on trying to survive being a lonely state surrounded by Muslim kingdoms and countries that are not exactly the friendly neighbors next door. Here are what various members of AIS’ diverse student body had to say on the issue.
Hadeel Al-Wesahi, sophomore: It has been going on for way too long […] Both sides have made many mistakes and they both need to be more mature. There have been so many lives taken and there hasn’t been a solid reason as to why so many killings have happened. If both of the sides can come to a solid reason, fair agreement where both countries get the land they need, then both sides can be neutral and content. This war has been going on for way too long and it really needs to end soon, or else it’s going to blow way out of proportion, even more than it already has.
Davis Davidson, sophomore: If tomorrow Hamas, along with other enemies of Israel and the Jewish people dropped their weapons, peace would break free. If tomorrow Israel dropped their weapons, genocide would break free […] Under the hands of horrifying terror groups such as Hamas Israel is continuously being victimized by incidents of religious discrimination. In life there are truly “good guys and bad guys”, this predicament isn’t any different. The Palestinians are “poor and weak”, while the Israelis comparatively “rich and strong”, changes absolutely nothing when facing the real facts. And those facts are that ongoing violence since July 30th, when three bodies of dead Jewish boys were found in a field near Hebron, was the fault of Hamas alone. Hamas defined into words is an association whose duty and purpose is to destroy Israel. Golda Meir was right then, as she is now, when she said, “The conflict will end when the enemies of Israel start loving their children more than they hate Israel.” It is that simple.
Katerina Landesmann, sophomore: The terror Organization Hamas attacked the Israelis by the firing of rockets. The Hamas intended not to destroy military forces of Israel- for this intent the rockets weren’t accurate enough-, but they intended to attack the civilian population of Israel. Hamas is an organization, which not only wants to destroy the state of Israel, but also to kill all Jews. When subsidies, which are given to Palestine for Infrastructure such as building schools, hospitals and roads by the EU, are getting used up for propaganda against Israel and acquiring weapons, something is seriously going wrong. Israel was then forced to counterattack, but Israel tried not to attack the civilian Palestine population of Gaza, but to destroy the factories, where the rockets were made, their launch pads and to kill the fighters of Hamas. The Hamas located their rockets and launch pads near apartment Buildings and even sometimes in schools, hospitals and Mosques. This shows that they used the civilians of Gaza as human shields. Because of this tactic the Hamas is to be seen as responsible for the many civilian Palestinian casualties and not the Israeli Government.
Muzun Hinai, senior: The current conflict in Gaza is, in my eyes, modern-day genocide of Palestinians. Gaza is a densely populated ghetto in which the Palestinians are forced to live in. The killing of the Palestinian civilians by the masses is a form of genocide. There were more civilian casualties in this conflict than actual militia. Among those killed by the air missiles were children, women, and the elderly. The propaganda that the Israeli Defense Force puts out is highly offensive towards Arabs and provides a misconception of the situation. Does the Israeli government believe that a population of Palestinians would not retaliate if they placed a harsh blockade on the Gaza strip? Due to the blockade, essential medical supplies and food aid cannot be transported to impoverished Gaza. In my opinion, this hatred between people, nations, and religions need to stop in order to achieve cooperation. The offensive propaganda and critical political cartoons produced by parties only sows the seeds for future hatred among the youth of each nation.
Abeer Al-Zayer, junior: To see Abeer’s full opinion keep an eye on KSN Opinion column, where she will be posting her opinion piece on Gaza and Israel conflict very soon.