Posted on May 21 2021
By Larry Marotta
On Monday, May 17, 2021, U.S. President Joe Biden called for a ceasefire in the ongoing fighting between the country of Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that controls the Gaza Strip. The White House said that in a telephone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Biden "expressed support for a ceasefire" that would put an end to fighting. While Biden affirmed that Israel had a right to defend its citizens against attack, he also urged Israel to "protect innocent civilians" while doing so. As of May 18, 12 people in Israel have been killed by rocket attack by Hamas, two of whom were children. In Gaza, more than 200 people have been killed, about 60 of whom were children.
Gaza is a narrow strip of coastal land on the Mediterranean Sea, bordering both Israel and Egypt. Israel captured Gaza in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. More than half of Gaza’s population consists of Palestinians, people who traditionally lived in the Middle Eastern region called Palestine. Palestinians are primarily of Arab descent.
When writers discuss the reasons behind the fighting, the word complicated is frequently used. Understanding the conflict between Israel and Hamas is indeed embedded in the very complicated history of the Middle East, specifically in the geographic region of Palestine.