Home Politics Breakdown: Timeline of Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Breakdown: Timeline of Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

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Editor’s Note: Given the recent controversy surrounding Ohio University Student Senate President Megan Marzec’s video, TNP would like to provide some transparency to all who are currently forming opinions on the issue.

TNP does not have an official opinion on the international conflict relating to the involvement of the U.S. or the university. As the video has brought national attention to OU, we want to provide as many of the facts surrounding events that have taken place in Gaza Strip and West Bank to further understand the context—a context the student body has now been placed into—and the reaction behind it.

Despite the conflicts’ long and complicated history, we have provided a basic timeline of the events dating back to June 2, as the date marks the beginning of the escalation of the recent violence. Among a number of other international sources, we primarily used the International Business Times’ and The Telegraph’s timelines of the events leading up to the recent ceasefire agreement on Aug. 26. We have also interviewed experts providing viewpoints from both sides of the issue to give you the most accurate depiction of what has happened and what is still happening.

Timeline:

June 2: The swearing in of a new Palestinian government is the first step after a pact between Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was signed. The alliance between Hamas—a military movement that has dominated the Gaza Strip since 2007—and PLO intended to unite the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The new government is mostly formed of lawyers, businessmen and academics, who are not connected with Hamas. However, because Hamas has been deemed a terrorist group that refuses to recognize Israel and is backing the PLO, Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu shuns the new Palestinian government.

June 12: A kidnapping of three Israeli teenage boys from the West Bank while they were hitchhiking home causes increasing tensions.

June 13-14: Israeli authorities arrest more than 20 Palestinians, a part of a “crackdown” on Hamas, in their search for the missing teens.

June 15: Prime Minister Netanyahu makes a statement saying he holds the President Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine responsible for the wellbeing of the boys, also claiming he knows the kidnappings were done by Hamas.

“These teenagers were kidnapped and the kidnapping was carried out by Hamas members. Hamas denials do not change this fact. And this attack should surprise no one because Hamas makes no secret of its agenda. Hamas is committed to the destruction of Israel and to carrying out terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians–including children.”

ISIS, as well as other terrorist groups, have claimed responsibility for the kidnappings, but the claims were never confirmed. Hamas applauds the action but has not claimed responsibility.

June 16: As retaliation for the crackdown on Hamas, the military group starts to open fire into Israeli territory. Hamas fires a total of four rockets into Israel, and the Israeli state carries out six air strikes on Gaza Strip.

June 30: The bodies of the Israeli teenagers are found, leading the Israeli air force to strike 34 “terror targets” in Gaza. Four hundred Palestinians are arrested and six killed. Forty rockets are fired into Israel.

At this point, major incidents have caused an escalation of violence on both parts.

July 2-6: The Israel Defense Force (IDF) increases fire, killing at least nine Hamas members.

July 7: Israel begins the “Operation Protective Edge,” Israel’s military strategy against Hamas.

July 8: The U.S. formally condemns Hamas’ acts of aggression, saying Israel has the right to protect itself. Israel prepares 40,000 reservists to go to war.

July 9: It has been 48 hours since the IDF launched “Operation Protective Edge,” and the death toll in Gaza has climbed to 64 people. One hundred eighty rockets were fired into Israel, hitting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

July 18: Almost 1,200 rockets have been fired at Israel.

The violence escalates on both sides of the conflict, with more than 2,100 people dead. There were 68 Israeli deaths, 65 being soldiers. At least 70 percent of Palestinians lost were civilians.

August 26: There is a ceasefire agreement between the militants in Gaza Strip, but the wounds inflicted by both countries remain raw.

Viewpoints:

Ohio University Professor Caitlin Ryan has studied the conflict between Israel and Palestine for 4 years and wrote her PhD dissertation on the matter. She believes such a deep-rooted dispute cannot be boiled down to right and wrong, black and white. She said she has visited the area, seen what was happening and still has no absolute truth.

“There are a lot of perspectives on what the truth is of this conflict, and as such, it makes it really difficult to say that there are absolute facts or that there is one absolute way of seeing this conflict.”

One view on the conflict is the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, the movement Student Senate President Megan Marzec advocated for in her video. The movement campaigns “against Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights,” according to the BDS website.

“BDS is not directed at the Jewish people or individual Jews; it is directed at the apparatus of the Israeli state and the practices of the Israeli state,” Ryan said, offering perspective on the movement. “And as such, I think that it is inherently problematic to refer to the BDS as an anti-Semitic movement, because it negates the very real instances of anti-Semitism that do exist in the world…There are very real instances of action or speech that is proven by a real hatred of the Jewish people and I think that over using the phrase anti-Semitism is dangerous because it overlooks something that is very real.”

Ryan urges the student body to start thinking more critically.

“We really, as a society, need to think critically about this issue and that is not to say that you can’t stand in solidarity with Israel, that you can’t stand in solidarity with the Jewish people, but that criticism with the Israeli state does not make one an anti-Semite…You can support BDS and still agree that Israel has a right to exist, as BDS is not challenging the right of Israel to exist.”

Daniel Koren is the News Editor of Shalom Life, a Toronto-based publication covering the “day-to-day happenings of the Jewish world and Israel,” different perspective on BDS after writing an article about Marzec’s video.

“It seems there are a growing number of people, particularly university students, who have joined (BDS) in only criticizing Israel, perhaps without fully understanding the context, or the situation they have found themselves in,” Koren said.

“Israel has continuously been accused of committing ‘genocide’ and of inflicting ‘war crimes’ against Palestinians, when the reality is that much of the blame is to be put on Hamas, who, during the war, used human shields—as published in their combat manual for Hamas militants—and also sent rockets from crowded civilian areas, including schools and UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) institutions,” Koren continued. “Israel had also sent leaflets and warned residents of impending strikes, which is unprecedented in modern warfare.”

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