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The Ongoing Struggle in Palestine

For many years, the situation in Palestine has been a cause of continuous tension and worry; it is still a very complex and multidimensional problem. Geopolitical tensions, historical grievances, and human rights concerns have all been focused on the Palestinian territories, which include the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It is essential to consider the historical background, recent advancements, and the viewpoints of the many parties involved in this protracted war to comprehend what is happening in Palestine now.

Photo Credit: AFP

From a Historical Angle

Photo Credit: Robert Dawson

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict traces its roots to the late 19th and early 20th centuries when Zionist movements emerged, seeking a Jewish state in ancient Palestine. This led to tensions that escalated after World War II when Israel was established in 1948, displacing Palestinians and giving rise to the Nakba, or “catastrophe.”

In 1947, the UN proposed a partition plan for Palestine, leading to conflict. Arab rejection and Jewish militia attacks sparked a full-scale war in 1948, displacing over half of the Palestinian population. The UN called for refugee return and compensation, yet Palestinian rights remain unfulfilled.

The 1967 Six-Day War exacerbated the situation as Israel gained control over the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem, leading to ongoing tension and conflict. 

Ever since 1948, to this day, Israel has declared war 16 times in the Middle East, killing and displacing more than 5 million Palestinians.

Today, Palestinian refugees are scattered across the Middle East, facing displacement from Israeli settlements, evictions, land confiscation, and home demolitions.

Present-Day Advancements

Photo Credit: Reuters 

Palestine’s position is still complicated and has a number of unresolved issues.

1. Israeli Settlements: One of the main points of dispute remains the establishment of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. These settlements are seen by the Palestinians and a large portion of the global community as a major obstacle to peace and a breach of international law.

2. Gaza Strip: The Gaza Strip, controlled by the Palestinian group Hamas, has experienced recurrent conflicts with Israel, leading to casualties and suffering on both sides. People’s daily lives have been impacted by the humanitarian situation in the region, which has been made worse by Israel and Egypt’s siege of Gaza.

3. East Jerusalem: This controversial topic still exists because both Israelis and Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as their capital. Violence has previously been sparked by the growth of Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem and tensions around the Al-Aqsa Mosque site.

4. Diplomatic Efforts: The Oslo Accords and the two-state solution are examples of international initiatives attempting to address the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Nonetheless, there have been obstacles in the way of these attempts, and there is still no guarantee of permanent peace.

Human Rights Concerns

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Concerns regarding the situation in Palestine have been expressed time and time again by human rights organizations. They document abuses committed by Palestinian terrorist organizations and Israeli security forces that result in limits on freedom of movement, arbitrary detentions of civilians, and casualties. Access to essential amenities, including clean water and healthcare, is also a problem, especially in Gaza.

The circumstances in Palestine remain unstable and complex, with no simple arrangements. Tending to the worries of Israelis and Palestinians, guaranteeing basic liberties are regarded, and pursuing a tranquil goal keep on being basic difficulties. As the global local area intently screens occasions in the district, the journey for an enduring and just goal remains a first concern, offering a superior future for the two Israelis and Palestinians.

What has been happening since October 7th, 2023 

Photo Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90

During the early morning hours of Saturday, October 7, residents of the West Bank were startled by the sudden sound of explosions. Initially, the cause of these disturbances remained a mystery, but as reports began to surface, it became evident that Gaza fighters had seized control of the Beit Hanoun crossing. This crossing represented the sole route through which Gaza residents could, on exceedingly rare occasions, access the remainder of historic Palestine when permitted by the occupying authorities.

Soon, social media channels started buzzing with information, indicating that the imposing barrier constructed by Israel around the Gaza Strip, effectively imprisoning its 2.3 million inhabitants, had been breached.

Since the events of October 7th, Israel has launched a series of military actions against the Gaza Strip, resulting in a devastating loss of life, including numerous casualties among children and the elderly. The region has severely disrupted basic necessities such as electricity, water, food, and vital medical assistance. Furthermore, there have been reports of forced displacements from homes and the bombing of educational institutions, healthcare facilities, residential buildings, and even ambulances, among other distressing developments.

What you can do to help

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa 

1. Educate Yourself: Learn about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, its history, and the current situation to understand the complex issues involved.

2. Advocate: Raise awareness about the issue by sharing information, articles, and documentaries. Engage in discussions and advocate for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

3. Support through Donations: You can make a difference by offering financial support to humanitarian organizations and NGOs that extend aid to Palestinians in need. Visit our website to find a fundraiser where you can click the link to help Gaza.

5. Consider Participation in Boycotts and Divestments: Explore the possibility of getting involved in movements and initiatives that endorse boycotts and divestments from companies and products linked to the Israeli occupation. You can also utilize resources like the website “Bdnaash” to check whether the products you use support Israel, helping you make informed decisions about your consumer choices.

Written by: Farah Nimer

REEL Foundation