The Untold History of Gaza Strip: What You Didn’t Know

Following the abrupt assault by Hamas on Israel and the intense counteractions that ensued, global discussions centre around the heightened tension in the region. As visuals and videos capturing the conflict spread widely on social media, it is prudent to delve into the historical complexities that underlie the longstanding issues between Palestinians and Israelis.

Israelis Flatten Buildings

Hamas is ruling the besieged Gaza Strip and has begun Operation Aqsa Flood against Israel. Different points of Israel were attacked from land, air, and sea by rockets fired from Gaza. The Israeli Defense Forces declared a state of war on Israel, and the Israeli Prime Minister ordered strikes on Gaza. Israeli forces have attacked and bombarded the besieged Gaza. Israeli raids on Gaza have demolished a tower in the city’s heart and other buildings.

Jews Migration Changed Demography 

The origins of the Palestine-Israeli conflict can be traced back to the conclusion of the First World War, marking the onset of the British Mandate period in the region. In a relatively brief period, the demographic landscape of the area underwent organised changes. During the war, the Jewish population in Palestinian territories constituted only a tiny fraction of the overall demographic makeup. Nonetheless, owing to a historical religious intent among Jews to migrate to Palestine, a notable surge in migration began.

European Jews Migrated to Palestine 

The waves of immigration to Palestinian territories are called Aliyah to Israel. Immigrants of the Alliyah came from Russia, Romania, Poland, Lithuania, and other parts of Western and Central Europe. Thanks to these migrations, tens of thousands of Jews immigrated to Palestinian territories and settled there. Meanwhile, Britain paved the way for establishing a Jewish state in Palestine. 1917, Britain declared it would show a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine.

The Settlers Aimed to Displace Palestinians 

The Balfour Declaration emerged as the culmination of the Zionist Organization’s efforts to establish a Jewish State in Palestine, laying the groundwork for numerous regional conflicts. In 1920, immigrant Jews established the Haganah Zionist military organisation, and in 1931, they founded the Irgun Z’vai Leumi Zionist military organisation to confront Palestinians. The objective of Israeli settlers during this period was to displace Palestinian civilians and establish the State of Israel. This era marked the onset of conflicts in the Palestinian territories, setting the stage for the subsequent Israeli-Palestinian issue.

Balfour Paved the Way for Israeli State 

Amidst the conflicts of the 1920s, many Jews and Arabs lost their lives or sustained injuries. The hostilities persisted until 1948 when Israelis compelled numerous Palestinians to leave their ancestral lands. This displacement followed David Ben-Gurion, the head of the Jewish Agency, declaring the establishment of the State of Israel. On May 14, 1948, the U.S. government officially recognised the newfound nation, having previously endorsed the Balfour Declaration. The subsequent day marked one of the darkest moments in Palestinian history.

Israeli State Occupied Palestine 

On May 15 1948, many Palestinian lands had to leave their land out of fear of torture and massacre. The day is called Nakba Day, referring to the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the destruction of Palestinian society. At least half of the Palestinian population were made refugees, and Israeli forces took around 80% of Palestine. During the following days, the Israeli State continued the systematic ethnic cleansing and expelled more Palestinians to the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

Israel Expelled Palestinians Periodically

Once again, in 1967, Israeli forces forced many other Palestinians to migrate from their land. Israel seized the remaining territories of the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and the Syrian Golan Heights in a war with Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. It is known as Naksa Day, and since then, Israeli settlements rapidly increased in the occupied territories. Israeli State started to settle thousands of Jews in the newly created colonies, while conflicts between exiled Palestinians and Israelis have not ended.

Israel Seized Gaza 

Israel asserted control over the Gaza Strip, and in 1979, a peace treaty with Egypt was signed at the White House. Both parties agreed on a framework for permitting self-rule for Palestinians residing in occupied territories. The Gaza Strip, now an enclave, was permanently taken by Israel. Pinpointing the precise commencement of Gaza’s seizure by Israelis is challenging, but the present land, sea, and air blockade of the region has been in place since 2007.

Gaza Was Economically Isolated 

Israeli economic policies in the besieged Gaza have systematically weakened the region’s economic growth. Israel controlled the freedom of movement of Palestinians in the besieged Gaza. As the pressure was high and the peace process collapsed, Palestinians carried out mass protests known as the second intifada between 2000 and 2005. In return, Israelis launched land and air attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank and the besieged Gaza. Thousands of Palestinians lost their lives, and thousands more were injured during those years.

Besieged Gaza Is an Open-Air Prison 

The conflicts between Palestinians and Israelis continued, and pressures on Palestinian civilians were high. Last year, the UN Human Rights Watch warned that the besieged Gaza has become an open-air prison. Israel’s blockage policies from 2007 have banned most residents from moving out of the besieged Gaza. Besides, Palestinians are forced to struggle to survive in harsh conditions in Gaza. Many children, women, and older people are among the people suffering the blockade.

Israeli Violence Targets Children 

Israel was established and settled by force, and its forceful policies directly affect the lives of civilians, particularly children. Palestinian children are the only children in the world systematically prosecuted through military rather than civilian courts. Israel detains Palestinian children and treats them inhumanely by beating them and doing strip searches. Israel is the only State with a superior military juvenile court system globally.

World Must Defend Palestine Against Israel  

The Palestinian Prisoner Support and Human Rights of Association Addameer reported 2022 that 4,700 Palestinians are in Israeli prisons. The report said that 190 prisoners were children under 18 without being found guilty of any crime. Any expansion of Israeli settlements and more violent attacks against civilians in Palestine is concerning for the underaged, vulnerable Palestinians. Silence of the international community against such savage policies is a crime against cruelty.

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