The Conflict –
The Gaza Strip – located between Israel and Egypt – is a frequent site for conflict between Israeli and Palestinian forces for many years. To put this into perspective, Israel has not occupied Gaza since 1967. However, Israel maintains a large proportion of control of the surrounding borders and airspace of Gaza. With this control comes the power to restrict anything that passes through the Israeli controlled borders surrounding Gaza. Israel believes that the tight blockade is a crucial part of keeping Gaza secure.
Palestinians say these restrictions are unacceptable. It is argued that the tight restrictions are causing Gaza’s economic state to decay. The major Islamist – Palestinian militant group known as Hamas has committed to destroying Israel and claiming its position as an Islamic State.
Cross-border conflicts in recent years have claimed the lives of over 1,000 Palestinians and 17 Israelis. These numbers have increased in recent months with increasing tension and crimes between the two groups.
The Weapons -
Hamas and other militants within Gaza have a stockpile of weapons that include rockets with ranges up to 160 Kilometers. Israeli forces have a large quantity of nuclear weapons. In recent years, Israel has launched many operations as an offensive move against Palestinian militant groups. Amidst the fighting and destruction, many attempts have been made to agree on a cease-fire, but none have been successful.
Questions to Consider -
Is it acceptable for Israel to continue to settle on disputed territory such as Gaza and the borders surrounding Gaza?
Is Israel’s nuclear arsenal acceptable to the rest of the world?
Should the U.S. support Israel?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of a U.S. – Israeli alliance?
What role, if any, should the U.S have in finding a solution to the conflict in Gaza?