Jerusalem: Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, issued its most substantial attack on Israel in years early on Saturday. Hamas launched a barrage of missiles from Gaza and sent fighters across the border, escalating the conflict between the two nations.
Hamas attacked Gaza, and reports of gunfights between Palestinian fighter bands and security forces in southern Israel surfaced.
Notably, this recent upsurge in terrorism comes after a timeline outlining the dramatic escalation of hostilities between Israel and the Palestinians in the congested coastal enclave, home to over 2.3 million people, beginning with Israel’s disengagement from Gaza in 2005.
TIMELINE OF CONFLICT
August 2005: After taking Gaza from Egypt in the Middle East War 38 years prior, Israeli forces unilaterally left Gaza, evacuating settlements and handing the area over to the Palestinian Authority.
January 25, 2006: Hamas won most seats in the Palestinian legislature. As a result of Hamas’ denial of renunciation of violence and recognition of Israel, Israel and the US shut off aid to the Palestinians.
June 25, 2006: In a cross-border operation from Gaza, Hamas militants abducted Israeli army recruit Gilad Shalit, sparking airstrikes and incursions from Israel. After more than five years in a prisoner exchange program, Shalit was freed.
June 14, 2007: In a brief civil war, Hamas seized control of Gaza and drove out West Bank-based Fatah forces supporting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
December 27, 2008: Palestinians hurled rockets at the Israeli town of Sderot in the south, prompting Israel to launch a 22-day military onslaught in Gaza. Before a ceasefire was reached, it was estimated that 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis had died.
November 14, 2012: Ahmad Jabari, the head of the military for Hamas, was killed by Israel. Israeli airstrikes and Palestinian militant rocket fire continued for eight days.
July-August 2014: The kidnapping and murder of three Israeli youths by Hamas sparked a seven-week conflict that claimed the lives of 73 Israelis, including 67 soldiers and over 2,100 Palestinians in Gaza.
March 2018: Palestinian demonstrations started at the gated border between Gaza and Israel. To push back protests, Israeli soldiers began firing. Over several months of protests, there had been more than 170 Palestinian deaths, leading to clashes between Israeli troops and Hamas.
May 2021: Hundreds of Palestinians were hurt in clashes with Israeli security forces at the Al Aqsa compound in Jerusalem, the third holiest site in Islam, following weeks of tension during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
After demanding Israel withdraw security forces from the compound, Hamas unleashed a barrage of rockets from Gaza into Israel. Israel hit back with air strikes on Gaza. The fighting lasted 11 days, killing at least 250 people in Gaza and 13 in Israel.
Aug 2022: At least 44 people, including 15 children, were killed in three days of violence that began when Israeli air strikes hit a senior Islamic Jihad commander.
Israel claims that the attacks, which targeted leaders and arsenals, were a preventative measure against an impending assault by the terrorist movement supported by Iran. Islamic Jihad responded by launching more than 1,000 rockets into Israel. Due to Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system, any significant damage or casualties are avoided.
Jan 2023: Following an Israeli military attack on a refugee camp during which seven Palestinian gunmen and two civilians were killed, Islamic Jihad in Gaza launched two rockets into Israel. The rockets sounded alarms in bordering Israeli communities, but no one was hurt. In response, Israel attacked Gaza with airstrikes.
Oct 2023: From the Gaza Strip, Hamas launched the most substantial strike on Israel in years, employing a surprise offensive that included militants crossing the border and a hefty bombardment of rockets. According to Islamic Jihad, its militants joined the assault.
Israel’s military said it was on a war footing, adding it had carried out strikes targeting Hamas in Gaza and had called up reservists.
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