Gaza & Hamas: A Condensed Account of the Ongoing War

Brian Stauffer illustration for Foreign Policy

The 2023 Israel-Hamas War is rooted in history, dating back 57 years. In 1967, Gaza, the largest city in the State of Palestine, was occupied by Israel in the Six-Day War, but the Palestinian National Authority gained authority over the strip in 1993. However, it seems Israeli occupation never ceased in the city. In the aftermath of the 2006 Palestinian elections, Hamas, an Islamist militant group that began as retaliation to Israeli occupation, took power in the strip in an armed conflict with Fatah, another political faction, and furthered tensions between Gaza and Israel.

After this incident, Israel and Egypt began to blockade the Gaza Strip, impacting Gaza’s economy significantly. Though both Israel and Egypt somewhat eased these blockades, they led to declining unemployment rates and GDP within Gaza.

The Start of the War

Since October 7, 2023, the ongoing conflict between Israel and the terrorist group Hamas, which has attacked Israel’s civilians and soldiers multiple times in the past, has been exposed to the international public. The attack first recorded was a surprise attack from the Gaza Strip to the southern part of Israel. From then, Israel retaliated with the constructive usage of bombardment and large-scale invasion of the people in the Gaza Strip. Of the 2.3 million population living in the Gaza Strip, more than 80% have been internally displaced within the region.

Amidst the War

During the first six days of the war, Israel dropped over 6,000 bombs over the Gaza region in retaliation, resulting in thousands of civilian deaths. The bombs have been placed in the most densely populated parts of the Gaza Strip, with Israel stating that their main goal was to use their extensive ground invasion to destroy the Hamas organization and control Gaza afterward. More than 22,000 Palestinians, 9,000 children, 6,200 women, and 61 journalists have been killed in this war in the Gaza Strip. With these large numbers of deaths, reports have stated that there is “no safe place in Gaza.” In addition, Israel also cut off Gaza’s food and water supplies, and no hospitals are in service, with patients also targeted by the bombings.

Protests & Impacts

Throughout this war, the public has begun protesting through social media and calling for a ceasefire, with some taking it upon themselves to hold donations for children within Gaza. These protests have extended to corporations, with Americans targeting companies like Starbucks for supporting the Israeli military.

However, all of this is not enough. Though reposts are greatly appreciated, they cannot do much internationally. Here are a few resources to directly support Palestine during this time: The truth is that while there may not be a reason too blatant to take sides during this war, Israel is on the offensive and has the power to ceasefire, while Gaza is currently helpless without a way out.

Works Cited 

Nctc. “National Counterterrorism Center: FTOS.” National Counterterrorism Center | FTOs, Accessed 2 Jan. 2024. 

United Nations. (n.d.). UNRWA situation report #1 on the Gaza Strip – question of Palestine. United Nations. 

Officer, 2 soldiers killed in clash with terrorists on Lebanon border … (n.d.). 

Hummel, K. (2023, December 29). The path to October 7: How Iran built up and managed a Palestinian ‘Axis of Resistance.’ Combating Terrorism Center at West Point.