What’s Happening With Israel and Hamas?

PHOTO: A map of Israel and its surrounding areas.
Courtesy: ABC News

Over the past couple of weeks, I’m sure you’ve heard about a major conflict between Israel and a group known as Hamas.

But do you really know what’s going on? If not, we’re here to help! Here’s an explainer.

What is Israel? Israel is a country in the Middle East and is the world’s only Jewish-majority state.

What is Hamas? Hamas is a Palestinian organization which has governed over the Gaza Strip of Palestine after winning elections in 2007. They do not accept Israel as a real country and had recently formed a unifying government with Fatah, the group which governs over the West Bank. This conflict has put a hold on those plans.

TIMELINE

Three Israeli teenagers killed. Courtesy: NBC News

June 12th – Three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped while hitchhiking in the West Bank, which is one part of Palestine (the other part being Gaza which is one of the most densely packed parts of the world).

June 30th –  The teenagers were found dead and Israel accused Hamas of kidnapping and killing them. Hamas denied those accusations but that didn’t stop Israel from arresting members of the organization.

Palestinian teenager killed. Courtesy: SMH Australia

July 2nd – A Palestinian teenager was kidnapped and killed in retaliation which caused tensions to rise even further.

During this timeframe, rockets from Gaza and air strikes from Israel were fired back and forth between Israel’s armed forces and Hamas. It was the first time both sides fought each other in 2 years.

July 26th – Israeli police admit that Hamas was most likely not involved with the killing of three Israeli teenagers.

August 5th – After 1,865 deaths in Gaza  (mostly women and children) and 67 Israeli deaths (mostly troops), Israel and Hamas agreed to a cease-fire which would last for 72 hours beginning today.

For more information, check out our sources at ABC News and The Washington Post.