Cease-Fire Between Israel And The Palestinian Resistance Group Hamas In Gaza:
Egypt is seeking to reach an agreement on a cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinian resistance group Hamas in Gaza.
- The Agreement includes Long-term cease-fire, a prisoner swap, humanitarian aid to Gaza and reconstruction.
- Hamas is a Palestinian Islamist political organization and militant group that has waged war on Israel since the group’s 1987 founding, most notably through suicide bombings and rocket attacks.
- It seeks to replace Israel with a Palestinian state. It also governs Gaza independently of the Palestinian Authority.
- Gaza has been under a tightened Israeli blockade since 2007 in which most basic goods still enter the region under highly restricted measures.
- In May, an Israeli offensive left nearly 260 Palestinians dead and thousands wounded as well as a vast trail of destruction in Gaza. Palestinian resistance groups responded with rocket barrages into Israeli areas, killing at least 13 Israelis.
- The Gaza Strip is an entirely artificial creation that emerged in 1948 when roughly three-fourths of Palestine’s Arab population was displaced, in some cases expelled, during the course of Israel’s creation.
- And most of the refugees, they were sort of scattered across the region in neighboring countries like Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.
- Some went to the West Bank, which came under Jordanian rule after 1948. And a very large number went to the Gaza Strip, which is this tiny little coastal strip between Egypt and what is now Israel. Today, the population of Gaza, about 70% of Gaza’s population are refugees.
- Hamas forcibly took control over the Gaza Strip in 2007. Shortly thereafter, the Israelis imposed a complete closure on Gaza’s borders. They declared Gaza to be an enemy entity. Of course, Gaza is not a state.
- Hamas, of course, is viewed by Israel and by much of the international community as a terrorist organization, including the United States, for their history of attacks on civilians and so forth.
- Israel still occupies the West Bank, and although it pulled out of Gaza the UN still regards that piece of land as part of occupied territory.
- Israel claims the whole of Jerusalem as its capital, while the Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
- The US is one of only a handful of countries to recognise Israel’s claim to the whole of the city.