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The Monarch Times

The Monarch Times

A Matter of Human Rights: Israel-Gaza Conflict

On October 7, Hamas, the Palestinian government that is in control of the Gaza Strip, recognized as a terrorist group by the US, launched a significant attack on Israel. Israeli communities near Gaza were hit with rockets, followed by armed militants attacking civilian areas and abducting people. On the first day, about 200 individuals were kidnapped, including 20 adults over 60 and 30 teenagers/children. Israeli casualties surpassed 1,200 within the initial day of the assault. The war has continued for over a month.

As of November 27, at least 14,800 Palestinians—mostly women and children—in Gaza have been killed by Israeli retaliation according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza. The Ministry of Health reports that since October 7, almost 6,000 Palestinian children have died. This number surpasses the UN’s annual total for children killed worldwide for the last three years in conflict zones.

However, fortunate news has arrived. A ceasefire between Hamas and Israel has come into effect since November 23. Qatar and Egypt were key negotiators in the agreement, with both countries saying they hope it is a step toward a ceasefire and a longer-term solution.

As per the conditions of the temporary truce agreement mediated by the United States, Qatar, and Egypt, Hamas committed to freeing at least 50 women and children who were abducted in Israel during the October 7 attack and have been detained in Gaza. In exchange, Israel agreed to free around 150 Palestinian women and children imprisoned in Israeli facilities and to uphold a cease-fire that had allowed humanitarian supplies to enter the Gaza Strip, which had been heavily bombarded by airstrikes during the conflict.

As of November 27, the truce has been extended for 2 days. Since the beginning of the truce on November 23, 68 hostages held in Gaza have been released, seven weeks after being taken captive. In honoring Israel’s side of the agreement, they have so far released 117 of 150 Palestinians.

After the agreement to a 2-day extension of the truce, Israel’s defense minister declared that after the ceasefire, Israel’s forces would strike harder. According to Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, the operation would also take place throughout the Gaza Strip.

After almost seven weeks of attacks, World Health Organization (WHO) officials say that the situation in Gaza is “catastrophic.”  The lack of internet and communication makes it difficult to deliver and coordinate humanitarian resources and support. WHO and other aid organizations say they will not involve themselves in creating much-needed safe zones until all the parties are in agreement, otherwise they say that they would just be putting more people in harm’s way and widening the crisis.  

Outside of the Middle East, conflicts between civilians throughout the West surrounding the morals of the war persist. The topic of Hamas and Israel remains sensitive after over a month since the beginning of the conflict. Particularly, the United States of America—which contains large Muslim and Jewish populations—still has a major controversy surrounding the war, dividing citizens.

Some Americans are strong supporters of Israel and believe in its right to defend itself against security threats, viewing the relationship with Israel as crucial for regional stability and shared values. Others support a more impartial approach to US foreign policy and stress the significance of Palestinian rights. Regardless of politics, the greatest issue presented by this conflict is one surrounding innocent lives at risk.

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