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  • Allied Voices for Israel (AVI)

Israel-Hamas War Info Sheet

Updated: May 16

What Brought us to this Point?

a) Historical Context

  • Jews have lived in the Land of Israel for thousands of years.

  • Many empires have controlled land at different points throughout history.

  • The Ottoman Empire controlled the territory until the end of World War I. By 1921, the British Empire gained control of the region and administered the British Mandate until 1947. In 1947, the British handed over control of the territory to the newly formed United Nations (UN).

  • In November 1947, the UN voted on partition of the land of Palestine, granting part of the land to the Jews for a Jewish State, and part to the Arabs for a Palestinian State. The British withdrew in May 1948.

  • On May 14, 1948 Israel declared independence, and the modern State of Israel was born. The Arabs in the land never declared independence, and still do not have a state of their own as a result.

  • The ensuing year involved multiple conflicts with surrounding Arab nations leading to changing borders and governing situations for the individuals living there (Arabs and Jews alike). For example, the Egyptians occupied Gaza in 1949, and maintained military control over the territory until 1967, when Israel conquered it during the Six Day War. Israel held that territory until its unilateral disengagement in 2005. Egypt never sought to recover control over Gaza. As another example, Jordan administered the West Bank from 1949 to 1967, when it was also conquered by Israel in 1967. In 1988, Jordan relinquished any claims to the West Bank, which remains under Israeli administrative and military control to-date.

  • In 1994, Israel implemented the Oslo Accords in Gaza. This was an agreement made with Palestinian leadership to bring Palestinians under Palestinian control. The idea was to negotiate a more permanent solution within five years, giving assent to Palestinian self-rule and recognizing the Palestinian Authority (PA).

  • The Oslo Accords ultimately failed when the Palestinians consistently refused to live up to their obligations under the same, and when incessant terror attacks began after Yitzchak Rabin’s assassination in November 1995. When countless efforts to revive the peace process ultimately failed, the PA launched the Second Intifada in 2000.

  • Within Gaza, democratic proceedings have been limited. In 2005, Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza, granting authority over the entire territory to the PA. After a year of a unity government between the PA and Hamas, Hamas staged a coup in June 2007, taking full control of the Gaza Strip, brutally murdering PA allies in the territory. Over 600 Palestinians were killed in the fighting with Hamas and Fatah between January 2006 and May 2007.

  • Hamas’ power has been acknowledged in certain ways by Israel, such as indirect coordination of utility services, like water and electricity.

  • In more recent years, there has been a series of escalations of the conflict from Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), another terror group. There have been three rounds of escalations with PIJ and four rounds of escalations with Hamas.

  • Each of these rounds of violence ended with negotiations and concessions by Israel . The terrorists established a pattern of activity where Hamas could get Israel to make concessions and negotiate through acts of terror and violence. Of note, in 2011, Hamas released Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier who they kidnapped and held hostage for five-years, in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian terrorists.

b) What is Hamas?

  • Hamas was founded in 1987. It is an Arabic acronym meaning the “Islamic Resistance Movement.” The sole purpose of Hamas is the destruction of Israel.

  • Hamas is designated as a terrorist entity by Canada, the United States, the European Union, and dozens of other countries. It is a fundamentalist Islamic resistance movement that aims to destroy Israel.

  • Hamas is also a political entity that assumed control over Gaza in 2007.

  • Iran and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) provide Hamas with material and financial support and Turkey reportedly harbors some of its top leaders. Its political leader, Ismail Haniyeh, lives in Doha, Qatar.

  • In its founding charter, Hamas calls for the destruction of Israel and Jews worldwide and the establishment of an Islamic society in Israel’s place.

  • For more on Hamas, click here.

c) What is Hezbollah?

  • Hezbollah is a terrorist organization based in Lebanon. Like Hamas, its goal is to destroy Israel. Hezbollah is Arabic for “Party of God.”

  • In its charter, Hezbollah claims that its struggle “will only end when Israel is obliterated.”

  • Like Hamas, Hezbollah receives funding and materials from Iran and the IRGC.

  • Experts agree Hezbollah has become a formidable threat due to the support of the IRGC and is allegedly stockpiling over 150,000 guided rockets and 100,000 trained terrorists. The Lebanese government has allowed Hezbollah to grow in size and influence over the last 20 years.

What Happened on Oct. 7, 2023?

a) Beginning of the War

  • On Saturday, Oct. 7 at 6:30am, Hamas launched hundreds of rockets into Israel and capitalized on the ten minutes when Israelis ran to bomb shelters to infiltrate the physical barrier between Israel and Gaza.

  • According to Colonel (Res) Grisha Yakubovich, there was a movement of leadership and their families leaving Gaza in September, demonstrating that the attack to take place was contemplated and planned well in advance of October 7.

  • Once the border wall was breached, approximately 1,500 terrorists invaded Israel, brandishing all sorts of weaponry, including knives, guns, RPGs, and thermobaric weaponry. This has never before been accomplished by Palestinian terrorists. .

  • (TRIGGER WARNING) These 1,500 terrorists stormed the nearby kibbutzim and cities. Israelis were butchered, murdered, whole families burned in their safe rooms, babies decapitated, and kids and the elderly (including Holocaust survivors) were tortured and abused.

  • (TRIGGER WARNING) Hamas murdered 260 unarmed youth at a dance party, raping many of the girls before killing them.. These acts are akin to ISIS brutality.

  • It is now estimated that over 200 Israeli hostages were taken into Gaza by these militants. To ensure that the kidnapped cannot be removed from Gaza into Egypt or the broader Middle East, Israel has sealed Gaza’s borders and no one can currently go in or out. Israel has further sought to limit Hamas’ operational capacity by severing the electricity supply in Gaza. Israel does not seek to punish innocent Gazans, but rather seeks to return its hostages.

  • Hamas invaded with approximately 1,500 terrorists. The first group was to enter and capture as many people as possible – they took people, weapons, and vehicles. Material removed from the bodies of slain terrorists show that they had maps, and a specific plan to infiltrate border communities, kill children, and take hostages back to Gaza.

  • The second group was to establish a defense line to sacrifice themselves and destabilize the area.

  • The third group is reportedly still “hiding” in Israel. These terrorists may still be hiding until it is deemed safe to launch another wave of attacks on IDF forces. Many of those terrorists have been killed since October 7.

  • There is a world of difference between the IDF and Hamas. Of note, the IDF operates with a moral code, and within the laws of war. The IDF always warns Palestinian civilians if they are conducting an operation, while Hamas urges its civilians to stay put in order to increase the number of casualties and gain sympathy in the international arena. Specifically, on Saturday October 14, the IDF warned the civilians of Gaza to evacuate the North of Gaza in advance of an assault on the territory. They gave those civilians a chance to leave, before facing the brunt of a massive military incursion. No such warning was given to Israeli civilians by Hamas, since those civilians were Hamas’ target.

b) What About the Humanitarian Crisis?

  • According to experts, we are expecting a humanitarian crisis in Gaza as a result of the Hamas attacks and there is only “a short window of legitimacy” to eradicate this terrorist entity. If not, the fighting will continue.

  • It is also important to keep in mind that Israel supplies only 10-12% of the water and electricity to Gaza, which accounts for approximately 45% of the consumption. Israel ceased providing this aid following Hamas’s massacre of women, children, and Israel’s most vulnerable. In recent days, Israel has turned back on their supply of water, in response to being urged to do so by the Americans.

  • It is critical to understand that Hamas has made the situation in Gaza much more dire than it needed to be and the situation for Palestinians in Gaza has gravely worsened as a result of Hamas leadership.

c) How will Israel save the captives?

  • This remains unclear There may be special operations, and/or international pressure. There are numerous foreign nationals detained by Hamas, including from the the United States of America, Germany, Ukraine, France, and Thailand, so Hamas has to answer to many other countries, not only Israel.

  • According to IDF expert Grisha Yakubovich, Israel will only accept bringing all of the kidnapped back home. They will not negotiate.

What Can We Do?

  • Share the truth of the atrocities to give the IDF a longer time to respond with legitimacy.

  • Support your Jewish friends, check in on them, and see how they’re doing. Every single Jewish person is grieving right now as the events of October 7 constituted the largest slaughter of Jews in a single day since the Holocaust.

  • Support Israel through the collection of goods and supplies.

  • Unite with all of Am Yisroel in solidarity.

  • Send messages of support and encouragement to the IDF soldiers.

  • Report instances of anti-Israel and antisemitic hatred online and on the streets.

  • Combat the vile messages at school, in your workplace, and online.

  • Make a statement of solidarity and educate and engage your communities – conversations go a long way.

  • Email your MP and see if they’ve made a statement.

  • Speak to your kids (depending on their age) and find out what they’re learning about the war in school, if the school has issued a statement, etc. If your kids are on campus and that campus hasn’t acted appropriately, send a letter as an ally.

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