Hamas And Gaza Strip:
Israel’s military has launched strikes against militant targets in the Gaza Strip, a day after rockets were fired from the Hamas-ruled territory.
- The cease-fire, brokered by Egypt and other mediators, has been fragile. The militant Hamas group says Israel did not take serious steps to ease the blockade it imposed on Gaza with Egypt’s help when the Islamic movement seized control of the coastal enclave in 2007.
- 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.