Israel and the Palestinians
By Philip Harris Feb. 23, 2017
Stating that the Israeli Palestinian issue is unique is the worlds biggest understatement. In this specific conflict there are many factors to weigh and discuss. Israel has been attacked by almost every single one of its neighbors more than once. The current capitol of Israel is Tel Aviv but has sets its sight on Jerusalem. Jerusalem has been claimed by the Israelis and the Palestinians as their eternal capital. These claims are the exact fuel that is keeping this conflict going everyday.
Israel was established in 1948 after World War II, but has fought a few wars of its own since 1948. After all the invasions and wars created by Israels Arab neighbors, Israel advanced its troops to better defensible lines and those lines are the borders we see today. The border of Israel in 1948 was a huge terrain disadvantage that Israel recognized. When the Six Day War in June of 1967 began, Israel expanded its territory to better defensible positions. This made perfect sense to the Jewish democracy surrounded by enemies that want to wipe her off the map.
There have been small wars and conflicts since Israel has been created. Example being Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy that fought a war with Israel in 2006. Hezbollah is based in Lebanon but receives most of its supplies, weapons and money from Iran. The number one sworn enemy to Israel is Iran and its terrorist proxy armies like Hezbollah. Iran and Hezbollah regularly call for the destruction and annihilation of Israel in speeches and social media. Iran even writes with pen on the missiles it is illegally testing “death to Israel and U.S.”. That is an alarming rhetoric coming from an extremely unstable region of our planet.
Now that we covered Iran and it’s proxies, lets head to the southern edge of Israel and explain whats going on there. The Palestinians, since the creation of Israel has said Israel is on its historic and eternal homeland and the borders needed to be moved. Israel of course says close to the same. What does Israel and the Palestinians do now? That question has been a thorn in the side of nearly every single American President since the 1960’s. Israel even tried to allow them access to the Mediterranean sea through the ?Gaza strip but backfired in their face. The Gaza strip has been blockaded and attacked multiple times by Israel for being ran by not the Palestinian Authority (PA Government), but Hamas. Hamas is a known and designated terrorist organization.
The most recent actual war was a small one but just as vital to this conflict as all. Operation Protective Edge began in July of 2014, when numerous rockets were being fired at civilian populations inside Israel. Not only was Hamas firing rockets at non combatants, they were digging tunnels that reach into Israeli territory to kill, kidnap, scare and terrorize Israel itself. This terrorism coming from the Gaza Strip was unacceptable to lives of Israelis and its military. The operations main stated goals were to prevent rockets being fired at Israel from inside Gaza and for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) to dismantle the terror tunnels Hamas spent million of civilian aid money on. Israel completed its destruction of as many terror sites, tunnels and rocket depots by August of 2014.
The IDF, and the way it reacts to errant mortar fire and rocket fire from either Syria, the Gaza strip or the Sinai (where ISIS now has a presence) has quite the deterrent effect on those terror organization. There are stories and reports coming from Syria almost on a weekly basis that the Israeli Air force (IAF) has attacked a weapons convoy sent by Iran headed for Hezbollah or that the IAF has destroyed more tunnels in Gaza or rockets.
Israel has stated many times that it has red lines and if they are crossed, the Israeli military will react and react very harshly to those attacks with reciprocal attacks of its own. ISIS has just in the past few weeks concreted its presence in the Sinai peninsula and has fired rockets at Israel from there. Hamas has been trying to defeat Israels anti tunnel systems and keep tunneling into Israel while flying unmanned drones over Israeli airspace. Lastly Iran and Hezbollah have made it their goal to wipe Israel off the map withing 25 years.
With this hostility literally surrounding Israel, the military and leadership coming from Tel Aviv must be on their toes to ensure they make very few mistakes in the middle east chessboard. Or even better, Israel and the new Trump administration Washington D.C. has something brewing that will keep Israel’s enemies on its toes as well. The wold is just waiting to see what the next step to this conflict will be. The solution to the Israeli and Palestinian issues has many governments thinking. Thinking about what? That is still yet to be seen.