A fierce fight broke out recently in West Asia between Israel and Palestinian territories lying within Israel. Both sides have lost people while many in Gaza, a Palestine territory, have lost homes as Israeli rockets rained down, destroying buildings. The fight began nearly two weeks ago between the Jewish nation of Israel and the Palestinian Arabs led by a group called the Hamas. The Hamas is fighting for an
independent nation of Palestine.This is the worst fight to have broken out between the two
bitter enemies since 2014. Trouble started at a holy site in East Jerusalem, a city that both sides call their own. The Palestinians started becoming angry when Israeli soldiers entered an Arab
neighbourhood in East Jerusalem. There is also anger against a move by Israel to move Palestinians out of certain areas in Jerusalem where they will be replaced by Jewish people.
WHY ARE THEY FIGHTING?
The war going on right now is a continuation of many years of conflict (fight) between Israel and Palestine. Palestine was a country in West Asia. After the second World War, it was decided by the most powerful countries in the world then (such as UK and the US) that the Jews who had been hurt by German dictator Adolf Hitler would be given a new home by dividing Palestine into Palestine and Israel, with Israel to be the home of the Jews. The Jews had always considered Palestine to be
their old home but the Arabs who were living in Palestine were not happy. Over the years, Israel has become more powerful and has eaten into the territory of Palestine. Several wars were fought in 1948
and 1967. By this time, the Arabs were crowded into two territories – West Bank and the Gaza strip – which together formed the Palestine nation with the rest of the territory occupied by Israel. A powerful Israel that surrounds the Palestine territories has kept control of the Gaza area, blocking
free movement of the Palestinians who live there. Its navy guards the Palestine coast.
Since 2005, Gaza has been controlled by the Hamas which refuses to recognize Israel as a country and wants Palestinians to be able to return to their old home – and will use violence to
achieve its aims. As a result, Israel and the Hamas have been enemies since. A short war was fought in 2012 and later in 2014.
WHAT NEXT IN GAZA?
The United States (US) and Egypt tried to make peace between Israel and the Palestinians, and finally, on Friday early morning, the fighting ended. So far, 219 people, including 61 children, have died in Gaza, and 12 people including two children, in Israel. For the innocent people caught in the conflict , especially in Gaza, this ‘ceasefire’ (an end to fighting), has not come a moment too soon.
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