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Summer recap of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

By Zach Kahn
Correspondent

On July 30, CNN reported that roughly 5,000 rockets had been fired between both Israel and Hamas during the past few months. And unless something changes soon, that number will continue to

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discusses the future of Israel.
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discusses the future of Israel. (AP Photo)

increase.

Throughout the summer, there has been a steep death toll. Sixty-four Israelis and roughly 2,000 Palestinians have been confirmed dead as of Aug. 21, according to CNN. While these numbers may seem lopsided, there is more to this story than what meets the eye.

According to a CNN report, Hamas has fired roughly 3,500 rockets into Israel as opposed to the 1,300 air strikes from the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). With the fate of the country at stake, Israel was forced to make a move. On July 8, Israel initiated Operation Protective Edge. The goal of the operation was to deter rocket attacks from Gaza and the West Bank.

Part of this protective action was the creation of an air-defense system called the Iron Dome. The Iron Dome has intercepted many of Hamas’s rockets in the air that would have inflicted damage on the citizens and properties of Israel.

With the constant threat of an attack, the IDF retaliated. Consequently, in an effort to eliminate Hamas, there have been a substantial amount of Palestinian casualties.

In response to global scrutiny regarding killing innocent Palestinians, there have been reports that a substantial amount of the deaths came when civilians acted as human shields.

“The policy of people confronting the Israeli warplanes with their bare chests in order to protect their homes has proven effective against the occupation,” Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri told a Palestinian television station. “We in Hamas call upon our people to adopt this policy in order to protect the Palestinian homes.”

Still, the world remains polarized about Hamas’s activities in the Middle East. According to CNN, many governments, including those of Israel, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Jordan, Egypt, Australia and Japan, consider Hamas a terrorist organization. In contrast, Iran, Russia, Turkey, China, South Africa and many Arab nations have not condemned Hamas, which took over Gaza in 2007.

With Hamas currently at large, a wide range of opinions exist regarding how to stitch peace in the region.

“Hamas needs to be removed from power — they are known as a terrorist organization internationally that is intent on destroying Israel,” junior psychology major Michael Levi said. “(Palestinian President) Mahmoud Abbas should take control of the region since, in the past, he has shown a desire for peace.”

At the moment, however, neither side is budging. There have been numerous cease-fire agreements, but each one has been violated by Hamas. In response, Israel will keep defending itself until peace is achieved or until there is no more Israel left to defend.

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