For decades, Israel and Palestine have been embroiled in a protracted conflict over control of the Gaza Strip. This enduring and intricate saga has recently intensified between Jewish and Muslim factions. The ongoing conflict has already resulted in more than a thousand casualties. The situation may further deteriorate as Israel has officially announced a state of war against its adversary.
According to The New York Times, on Saturday, October 7, a large group of Gaza militants crossed into Israeli territory and targeted a significant number of civilians, resulting in casualties. They entered homes and public spaces, also taking captives who were not harmed, effectively detaining these individuals and relocating them into Gaza’s territory against their will.
In reaction, Israel mobilized an additional 300,000 reserve soldiers to bolster the existing forces stationed in the Gaza Strip. This area, which extends along the Mediterranean Sea and shares a border with Egypt, is one of two regions, the other being the West Bank, where substantial Palestinian populations persistently lay claim to residency, despite Israel’s contention that both regions are under its sovereignty.
The individuals behind the recent assault, as reported by Reuters, have maintained a concealed presence since withdrawing from the scene. The ongoing conflict has tragically resulted in the loss of approximately 800 Israeli citizens.
Notably, a mere 85 of these victims were members of the armed forces, underscoring that Palestinians have caused the deaths of several hundred innocent civilians. It’s estimated that around 500 Palestinians have also lost their lives in the conflict.
According to The Times, the intensification of the situation could be intertwined with broader changes in the global geopolitical landscape. The article cites various events, including Russia’s conflict with Ukraine, China’s escalating assertiveness towards Taiwan, India’s heightened legal actions against Sikhs, and developments in Israel, as indicators that political entities are becoming more audacious, seemingly with reduced concern for potential repercussions, in their pursuit of expanded influence and the diminishment of U.S. sway in their respective areas.
After the Holocaust, vast numbers of Jews moved to Israel, where most citizens must be drafted to serve at least 24 months for women and 32 months for men in the military. As long as they are still young and physically capable of fighting, many of those soldiers remain in the reserve.