The Israeli military and political leadership approved a unique clause today called “40 Aleph,” according to Israeli media. They contend that including such a clause constitutes an official declaration of war. The “40 aleph” clause was implemented during the Yom Kippur War in 1973, precisely fifty years ago. Israel’s citizenry has been forewarned by the command of the Israel Defence Forces that “difficult times” are imminent. According to Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister, the conflict would be “long and difficult.”
The move comes after Hamas militants attacked Israel with 5,000 rockets, continued killing scores of civilians, and engaged in a firefight with the Israeli Defence Forces. Who are Hamas Militants?
The Palestinian Islamist outfit known as Hamas has both a political and an armed wing to its organisation. According to declarations by the group itself, its goal is the destruction of Israel, and it does not acknowledge the existence of the state of Israel. Hamas has been labelled a terrorist group by several countries, including the United States of America, Germany, the European Union, and some Arab states.
In the late 1980s, Hamas was founded as a political movement in direct opposition to the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), which Yasser Arafat, a former president of the Palestinian National Authority, headed.
In recent years, the Qassam Brigades have been responsible for several attacks and suicide bombings directed against Israel. Hamas is composed of many armed factions, including the Qassam Brigades. In addition, political parties and organisations that provide humanitarian assistance are members of the association.
In 1993, Israel and the PLO officially acknowledged one another, which marked the beginning of the Oslo peace process. Hamas has refused to accept this historic agreement and has not ceased its terrorist operations against Israeli land.
During the Second Intifada (2000-2005), Palestinian militant groups such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Al-Aqsa Brigades of the Fatah Movement carried out several assaults against Israeli civilians. These attacks included shootings, car bombings, and stabbings.
The Israeli army entered Palestinian communities that are subject to Palestinian self-government per the Oslo Accords. These communities include Ramallah. According to the University of the Nations statistics, the conflict was responsible for the deaths of 4,228 Palestinians, 1,024 Israelis, and 63 individuals from other countries between September 2000 and July 2007.
Hamas assumed authority over the Gaza Strip in 2007
In the Palestinian parliamentary elections held in 2006, Hamas succeeded and emerged as the victorious party. After years of bloody conflict with the Fatah movement, a social democratic and nationalist organisation that is a component of the PLO, Hamas was finally successfully seizing control of Gaza in 2007.
Since then, a political rift has developed within the Palestinian territory. Hamas now controls the Gaza Strip, while the Palestinian Authority, which Fatah dominates, administers the West Bank territories with some degree of local autonomy.
Following this, Israel determined that Gaza was a “hostile territory” and increased its already broad and continuous isolation of the territory. Egypt, which shares a border with Gaza’s southwest, has assisted Israel in implementing this closure. Egypt and Israel, to a lesser extent, Egypt and Israel exercise control over the land, sea, and air access available to the Palestinian enclave.
The Gaza Strip has one of the highest population densities on the planet. Most people live in poverty and rely on aid provided by humanitarian organisations. Hamas has maintained its strikes against Israel from the Gaza Strip, saying it is acting in “self-defence” with these attacks. To this day, the Israeli army has taken part in four different armed confrontations. These conflicts occurred in 2008-2009, 2012, 2014, and 2021 respectively.
The beginning of the battle in Gaza in 2008
In reaction to Israel’s strategy of imposing a blockade on the Gaza Strip, Palestinian terrorist organisations frequently fired rockets towards Israeli residents and areas near the Gaza Strip. This led to the escalation of tensions that ultimately resulted in the beginning of the Gaza conflict on December 27, 2008. On January 18, 2009, the Israeli military onslaught called “Operation Cast Lead” ended.
Israel and Hamas in Gaza became involved in a second confrontation on November 14, 2012, lasting eight days.
After another year and a half, on July 8, 2014, Gaza continued to fire rockets at Israel, which led to the third conflict in Gaza. The ceasefire took effect on August 26, marking the end of the conflict.
After that, on May 10, 2021, Israel and Gaza were involved in renewed hostilities because Hamas had fired rockets at Jerusalem. The war was preceded by weeks of unrest, most of which occurred in East Jerusalem. The violence around the Temple Mount and the Al Aqsa Mosque and the forced eviction of Palestinian families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood were major contributing factors.
The battle ended on May 21, 2021, with a ceasefire. According to the data compiled by the UN, it resulted in the deaths of at least ten people in Israel and more than 260 people in the Gaza Strip.
On October 6, 2023, Hamas launched an unprecedented large-scale attack against Israel, marking the region’s re-emergence of violent conflict. The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, has proclaimed that Israel is “at war” and has vowed to retaliate severely.