Understand the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Understand the reasons for the attacks by the Hamas group in Israel and how the conflicts got to where they are today

Understand the conflict between Israel and Palestine

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Understand the reasons for the Hamas Group's attacks in Israel and how the conflicts got to where they are today

Since October 07th, Israel has been highly attacked by the Palestinian group Hamas, which is against the creation of the Jewish state. This is a conflict that has been going on for decades and probably will not end anytime soon and has several developments. Understand the points right now.


Hamas attacking Israel
Israel was attacked on October 2023, XNUMX (Photo: Reproduction/Vigia)

To understand current conflicts, it is necessary to take a brief step back in time. O State of Israel was officially created in 14 May 1948, through a proposal from the United Nations (UN). This creation was the result of the political Zionist movement, created by the actions of the Austro-Hungarian journalist Theodor Herzl, who was also Jewish.

The result of a time filled with nationalist demands from various nations around the world, Zionism, or the Zionist movement, gained even more strength thanks to the persecution carried out against the Jewish people in Europe. For this reason, Theodor believed that, only with the creation of their own sovereign state, would the Jews be safe.

The first World Zionist Congress was held in 1897 and marked the beginning of the organization of the movement. At this congress, Zionist leaders discussed the idea of ​​establishing a Jewish state in Palestine. The idea gained support from Jews around the world and many settled in Palestine in the following decades, buying land and building communities, putting into practice a policy of colonization. 

Photo of the first world Zionist congress was held in 1897
Photo of the First World Zionist Congress held in 1897 (Photo: Reproduction/SWI)

The problem is that the region was largely inhabited by Palestinian Arabs, which inevitably led to growing ethnic and political tensions.

The movement led by Herzl advocated the creation of a Jewish state within Palestine after so much persecution of this religious group (mainly with the results of the Second World War), something that was always widely rejected. It is worth remembering that the creation of a state just for the Arabs, also in Palestine, was even suggested by ONU, but this idea itself never went ahead.

The two World Wars

After the First World War, which took place from 1914 to 1918, the Ottoman Empire, which dominated Palestine, was defeated, and the League of Nations, organization that preceded the UN, the United Nations, granted the United Kingdom a mandate to administer Palestine and try to appease the issue. The British remained in the region between 1917 and 1948.

Photo from the first world war
The First World War was also related to the creation of Israel (Photo: Reproduction/Internet)

But during this period there was an increase in Jewish immigration to the region, in part due to the growing Zionist movement. And this created tensions between the local Jewish and Arab population, who felt threatened by the arrival of the Jews. 

With increasing international pressure, support for the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine grew greatly. As more Jews arrived and settled in farming communities, tensions between Jews and Arabs increased. Both sides have committed acts of violence since that time.

In the 1930s, the British began to restrict Jewish immigration. In response, Jewish militias were formed to fight local Arabs and resist British rule. Then came the Holocaust, which led many Jews to flee Europe for British Palestine and much of the world was in support of a Jewish state. 

Jews arriving in Palestine after the end of the Second World War
Jews arriving in Palestine after the end of the Second World War (Photo: Reproduction/Superinteresting)

Between 1941 and 1945, Nazi Germany and its collaborators systematically murdered around 6 million Jews across Europe, more or less two-thirds of the Jewish population in the region.

The creation of Israel by the UN

Image of the creation of Israel at the UN
Region was created in 1948 (Photo: United Nations)

Presided by Brazilian Oswaldo Aranha, the commission to create the State of Israel was held at the Queens Museum, which housed the UN General Assembly in New York (USA) until 1950. Even though there was much repulsion, the division of Palestine was approved by 33 votes in favor and 13 against. Brazil participated in the vote and voted in favor, but Mexico and Argentina abstained.

May 15, 1948, the day after the UN vote, was marked by the invasion of the newly created territory by Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Iraq, a moment known as the war of independence or liberation. The Arab-Israeli war continues today, but due to this conflict, the territory planned by the UN was reduced by 50% at the time of Israel's creation.

Photo from May 15, 1948 showing the arrival of Jews in Israel
Photo from May 15, 1948 (Source: UN)

Since then, Palestinian groups against the creation of Israel have tried to retake the space because they are against the creation of a place just for the Jewish population. There is no denying that, despite all the reprisals suffered over the last 75 years, Israel managed to stand out as a great military and technological power.

Beginning of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians

The attack planned by the Palestinian group Hamas on October 07, 2023 is just another chapter in the territorial dispute. One of the most famous is the Six-Day War, which took place between June 05 and 10, 1967. In this part of the conflict, Israel — victorious — took over the West Bank and East Jerusalem, in addition to the Gaza Strip, which at the time was under Egyptian control. . According to data, 500 Palestinians had to leave their homes due to the war.

Unified Palestinian and Israeli flags
Confrontations have been going on since the creation of Israel (Photo: Disclosure)

With this context we see the beginning of the decades-long Arab-Israeli conflict. During this period, many Jews in Arab-majority countries fled or were expelled and arrived in Israel. Palestinian extremist groups, such as Hamas, responsible for the most intense recent attacks and one of the main terrorist groups in the current scenario, have launched rocket attacks against Israel. Meanwhile, extremist Jewish groups such as Lehava also carry out attacks against Palestinian territories.

A Palestine Liberation Organization, or PLO, which had been formed in the 1960s to seek a Palestinian state, fought against Israel, through acts of terrorism.

Flag of the Organization for the Liberation of Palestine
Flag of the Palestine Liberation Organization (Photo: Reproduction/Wikipedia)

Initially, the PLO demanded everything that had been British Palestine, that is, the end of the State of Israel. Fighting between Israel and the PLO continued for years, including a Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 to expel the group from Beirut. In addition to the PLO, Palestine also had several other resistance groups.

Currently, the State of Israel still controls West Jerusalem and the West Bank, with several temples serving Christians, Jews and Muslims. Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005 and, since 2007, the Islamic group Hamas, responsible for last Saturday's attack, has controlled this part of Palestine.

Photo of girl in rubble in Israeli-Palestinian confrontation
Millions of people have already lost homes during years of conflict (Photo: Reproduction/G1)

Many discussions were opened by the world community in the midst of this conflict. The most plausible solution would be the creation of a Palestinian state that coexists with Israel, but both sides have differences that prevent this from moving forward.

Among reasons that prevent the end of the conflict, there is the blockade by Israeli authorities that prevents Palestinians from returning to their homes, which are now part of Israeli territory. The status of Jerusalem is also disapproved by Palestinian authorities, in addition to Israel's security being one of the open issues that Palestinian leaders do not agree on.

Occupation and violence

The State of Israel was only made official in 1948, but anti-Semitism (hatred and discrimination against Jews) has existed in Palestine since 1920. With the creation of the Palestinian National Movement, Jews who arrived in the territory were treated as enemies from day one. This was one of the reasons why the State of Israel was created: precisely to have a comfort zone for Jews in the midst of so much local disapproval.

Confrontation of Israel and Palestine
Conflicts are marked by great violence (Photo: Disclosure)

The 30s and 40s were further marked by the rise of Nazism, and Jews who survived the attacks of Hitler and his allies sought shelter in Palestine. As early as 1948, even though criticized, the creation of Israel also brought problems for the Palestinians.

With the occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, Israeli leaders who commanded the invasion began to implement a somewhat unequal citizenship law: Jews were considered citizens and had rights, but Arabs and Palestinians did not. The war ended in 1949 and resulted in the expulsion of 750 Palestinians who began to live as refugees in a movement known as the “Nakba exodus”. As a result of the expulsion of the Palestinians, Israel increased the territory by 50%.

Boys running in Israel and Palestine clash

The repulsion caused the surrounding area of ​​Israel to be taken over by far-right messianic religious groups that prevent Israelis from leaving the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Experts cite that, unfortunately, such conflicts also brought problems (and dangers) for Palestinians due to the tension and violence of these groups.

Wars in the region

Since the creation of Israel in 1948, the region has witnessed several wars, including the Suez War in 1956, the Six-Day War in 1967, the Yom Kippur War in 1973, and other minor conflicts. These wars often involved neighboring Arab countries and caused great destruction and loss of life.

There were also two intifadas, popular Palestinian uprisings against the Israeli occupation. A First Intifada, started in 1987, was marked by initially peaceful protests that soon evolved into violent clashes with Israeli forces. It reflected the Palestinians' desire to free themselves from Israeli occupation and achieve autonomy.

Image of Israel's first intifada
Image of the First Intifada of Israel (Photo: Reproduction/Monito do Oriente)

Os Oslo Accords in 1993, which were supposed to be the great first step towards Israel's withdrawal from the Palestinian territories and the creation of an independent Palestine, ended the First Intifada, but its political and territorial repercussions continue to impact the conflict to this day.

On the other hand, Second Intifada, that started in 2000 and with the participation of Hamas, it was much more violent and lethal than the first. It was triggered by a series of events, including Ariel Sharon's provocative visit to the Esplanada das Mesquitas. The violence escalated quickly, with Palestinian terrorist attacks and Israeli military responses.

Image of Israel's second intifada
Image of the Second Intifada of Israel (Photo: Reproduction/Cebrapaz)

During this period, the construction of the separation wall by Israel and the expansion of settlements in Palestinian territory also increased tensions. Israel's attempt is seen not as a resolution of conflict, but rather, to manage it.

The battle for Jerusalem

After the Six-Day War, Israel conquered East Jerusalem and the Old City, which includes the Esplanade of the Mosques. Israel unified Jerusalem as its capital, which considers East Jerusalem as occupied territory.

Entrance to Jerusalem
Jerusalem is disputed by several religions (Photo: Reproduction/BBC)

The site has long been considered sacred by different religions. For Jews, it is the site of the Holy Temple and the city where King David established his capital. For Christians, it is the site of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. For Muslims, it is the site of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, after Mecca and Medina. In short, it is an extremely important place for everyone involved.

The big problem is that both nations (Palestine and Israel) want Jerusalem to be their capital. The international community does not accept that Israel has the place as its capital, and that this must be resolved between Israelis and Palestinians.

Entrance to Jerusalem
Wars marked dispute over Jerusalem (Photo: Reproduction/BBC)

Israel wish that all Jerusalem, including the Eastern part, be recognized as its capital. Meanwhile, Palestinians believe that West Jerusalem should be considered the capital of a future Palestinian state. Jerusalem is often the scene of tensions, clashes and violence. The incidents are often triggered by disputes over access to the Esplanade of Mosques and the construction of Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem. Protests and clashes often occur in mixed Jewish and Arab neighborhoods in the city.

The current conflict between Israel and Hamas

O Hamas was created in 1987 and its name is an acronym for Islamic Resistance Movement. It emerged in the first infantry, also called the uprising, during Israel's occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. In its founding charter, Hamas cited that its two main focuses are promoting the armed struggle against Israel and social well-being.

Hamas attack on Israel
Attacks left at least 700 people dead (Photo: Reproduction/G1)

Considered a terrorist group by nations and economic blocs such as the United States, European Union, United Kingdom and other global powers, Hamas can be considered a global alliance that includes Iran, Syria and the Shiite Islamic group Hezbollah in Lebanon. They oppose the policy adopted in the USA and the Middle East.

In 2007, Hamas' founding charter was updated to state that the fight is not against Jews, but rather against “occupying Zionist aggressors.” Despite this, attacks are constantly made by the Islamic group on Israel.

In 2006 the Hamas managed to win legislative elections in the Gaza Strip in 2006 and expelled the Palestinian authority from the local government. This happened because the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) lost control over the region due to many scandals, such as the paralysis of the peace process and corruption.

What happened since October 07th?

The first Saturday of October 2023 was marked by a surprise attack by Hamas on Israel, with the justification that the Islamic group was claiming territory that initially belonged to Palestine. The event is already one of the biggest attacks suffered in Israel, and more than five thousand bombs were dropped in a single attack.

The current capital of Tel Aviv had damaged buildings and, on Saturday alone, 700 deaths were recorded, including 260 people who participated in an electronic music festival. In Gaza, 560 people died after Israel launched airstrikes in retaliation, according to the Palestinian Authority.

Dead in attack by Hamas group on Israel
People burying those killed in Hamas attacks (Photo: Reproduction/G1)

Israeli military officials compared Hamas' attack to September 11th, 2001 (the attack on the twin towers in New York) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated this Monday that the retaliatory attacks against Hamas in the Gaza Strip in recent days “are just the beginning”. Another soldier compared recent events to the attack of Pearl Harbor, carried out in 1941.

At the time of writing, Israeli authorities confirmed that control of all communities near the Gaza barrier has been regained, but clashes against armed Palestinian men continue to occur. Israel also said that “most” Gaza access points had been closed, mainly with tanks. Missiles were fired towards Israel and explosions were heard in Jerusalem.

Are there Brazilians injured in the Israeli confrontation?

According to Itamaraty estimates, 14 thousand Brazilians live in Israel and another 6 thousand live in Palestine. Official data shows that 2 Brazilians are missing and 1 is injured, but the vast majority live outside the conflict zone. On the right, Rafael Zimmerman can be seen recovering from grenade shrapnel.

Brazilian injured in Israeli conflict against Hamas
On the right, Rafael Zimmerman (Photo: Reproduction/Poder 360)

The Federal Government made itself available to Brazilians who requested to return to the country and a plane from the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) will repatriate these people. There is still no forecast of a ceasefire and President Lula said he is “shocked by the terrorist attacks carried out today against civilians in Israel, which caused numerous victims”. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also released a statement about the conflict:

Brazil regrets that in 2023, the year of the 30th anniversary of the Oslo Peace Accords, there will be a serious and growing deterioration in the security situation between Israel and Palestine. As President of the United Nations Security Council, Brazil will call an emergency meeting of the body. The Brazilian government reiterates its commitment to the two-state solution, with Palestine and Israel living together in peace and security, within mutually agreed and internationally recognized borders. It also reaffirms that the mere management of the conflict does not constitute a viable alternative for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian issue, and that the resumption of peace negotiations is urgent.

Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the conflict in Israel.

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With information: G1 l BBC News Brazil l BBC.COM l RFI l CNN Brazil

reviewed by Glaucon Vital in 9 / 10 / 23.

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