About our Israel/Palestine news
Latest news on the Israel-Palestine conflict, including breaking news and updates on peace summits, violence, and military operations.
The catalyst for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict came with the termination of the British Mandate of Palestine and the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948. This immediately led to the 1948 (or First) Arab–Israeli War. Since then, Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Arab relations have been characterised by ongoing conflict.
Since 1949, three major wars between Israel, Palestinian entities, and Arab states have occurred. All whilst relations between the two states have been continually rocked by terrorism, counter-terrorism operations, repeated human rights abuses, and the Israeli settlementation of the West Bank.
On the morning of 7 October 2023, Hamas militants launched an unprecedented surprise attack on Israeli towns near the Gaza Strip, firing thousands of rockets and deploying dozens of fighters. This early morning assault, which occurred during a major Jewish holiday, left hundreds dead and stunned the nation. The Israeli government responded by declaring a state of war against Hamas, initiating a series of airstrikes in retaliation.
The global reaction to this unexpected assault was predominantly one of outrage and condemnation. Key international figures, including foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, vehemently denounced the attacks by Hamas, calling for an immediate cessation of the horrific violence. The attack, which was also praised by Iran, was seen as an attempt to derail the emerging diplomatic ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia, as indicated by the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Blinken highlighted that the groups opposed to Israel normalizing relations with its neighbors were Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office announced that the Security Cabinet had declared the country at war, authorizing "significant military steps" in response to the Hamas assault. The cross-border incursion by Hamas militants led to a death toll of at least 600 in Israel, as reported by various Israeli media outlets. The violence also forced many Palestinians to seek refuge, with over 20,000 people sheltering in UN schools around Gaza by the evening of the attack. The UN agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) reported a rapid increase in the number of displaced individuals, while also noting that three of its schools suffered collateral damage from Israeli airstrikes.