Gaza War Began in 2008 Essay

Pages: 10 (3469 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 12  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: History - Israel

SAMPLE EXCERPT . . .
Because of Israel's failure to effect any change as a result of the 2006 war against Hezbollah, the state of Israel was eager to demonstrate its capabilities in the new field of Asymmetrical war. [4: Page 5, Cordesman, Anthony. The Gaza War: A Strategic Analysis. Center for Strategic and International Studies, March 3rd, 2009. http://csis.org/files/media/csis/pubs/090202_gaza_war.pdf]

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When Hamas reiterated its proclamations that the state of Israel did not have a right to exist in 2008, Israel took it upon itself to launch a pre-emptive strike on Hamas in Gaza, which was characterized by three things. First, the border crossing was overrun by Israeli troops, bringing the economy of Gaza to a standstill. Israel also threatened the cutting off of water and electricity in Gaza. Hamas responded by launching rocket attacks into South Israel, but most of the rockets missed their targets and the show of force was met with the second wave of Israel's attack on Hamas, strategic airstrikes starting on December 27th. These airstrikes proved extremely deadly and damaging to several cities in Gaza, killing over 1,000 men women and children.[footnoteRef:5] Israel continued its attacks into the night, using high-tech night vision technology and the cutting of power of city blocks in order to intimidate and hinder the command structure of Hamas paramilitary leadership. Hamas retaliated with Iranian-made rockets which shot further and further into Israeli territory. [5: Page 43, Cordesman, Anthony. The Gaza War: A Strategic Analysis. Center for Strategic and International Studies, March 3rd, 2009. http://csis.org/files/media/csis/pubs/090202_gaza_war.pdf]

Essay on Gaza War Began in 2008 Assignment

The Palestinian people of Gaza were held in the crossfire of the state of Israel against the non-state actors of Hamas, many of whom were foreign fighters. The airstrikes lasted for three entire weeks, causing massive damage to infrastructure and homes in the Gaza Strip. Israel had total air supremacy and faced no threat from land-based reprisals. Due to the close proximity of Israeli air fields, sorties were carried out routinely and Gaza was systematically pummeled by Israeli air power.

According to reputable foreign media present during the Gaza Massacre, such as the Guardian[footnoteRef:6], civilians were targeted and killed by unmanned drone rockets. "In a report released today, a medical human rights group said there was "certainty" that Israel violated international humanitarian law during the war, with attacks on medics, damage to medical buildings, indiscriminate attacks on civilians and delays in medical treatment for the injured." said a witness to the Gaza Massacre, as reported by the Guardian. Further studies by anti-war groups have found even more evidence to the cruel actions of the Israeli Defense Force. Haaretz, a Jewish media organization, had admitted to actions unbecoming of the highest international standards.[footnoteRef:7] [6: Chassay, Borger. "Guardian investigation finds Israeli War Crimes in Gaza," The Guardian, March 24, 2009. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/mar/23/israel-gaza-war-crimes-guardian] [7: Incriminating Evidence of Israeli War Crimes in Gaza | WarIsACrime.org.Web. 01 Nov. 2011. .]

Israel used white phosphorus munitions in their airstrikes, which is a highly toxic substance, and dropped these bombs on Palestinian cities. Deadly Tungsten from white phosphorus creates cancerous tumors in humans, and are believed to be even more deadly than depleted uranium munitions. The use of white phosphorus bombs is banned by the international community, and Human Rights Watch[footnoteRef:8] was extremely upset at the fact that Israel had decided to use this particular type of weapon against a civilian population, proclaiming Israel's involvement in the Gaza Strip as overwhelming force, far more than necessary to accomplish the objectives Israel had laid out. [8: Rain of Fire: Israel's Unlawful Use of White Phosphorus in Gaza, Human Rights Watch, March 25, 2009. http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/2009/03/25/rain-fire]

The initial air strikes were followed up by a ground invasion by Israeli troops into Gaza on January 3rd, 2009.[footnoteRef:9] Israel brought 10,000 men into battle in the Gaza Strip once the air-land campaign began. Very specific rules of engagement in order to ignore civilians yet capture enemy combatants were in effect. Israel used its bombers to clear Hamas vehicles from Gaza City, and then surrounded the city before beginning the IDF's urban invasion. Israel was criticized for not allowing media into the Gaza City conflict, this denial of camera is a tactic learned from the 1983 conflict in Lebanon, which was damaging to Israel's reputation. Hamas military leaders changed clothing out of fatigues and into civilian clothes in order to confuse Israeli airstrikes, but the leaders of Hamas now admit that this was a mistake, as the Palestinian people believed that members of Hamas had fled, and therefore ruined the intelligence and supply chain on which Hamas was relying. [9: Page 33, Cordesman, Anthony. The Gaza War: A Strategic Analysis. Center for Strategic and International Studies, March 3rd, 2009. http://csis.org/files/media/csis/pubs/090202_gaza_war.pdf]

The Israeli's eventually signed a ceasefire on January 17, with the expectation that Hamas would follow suit within 24 hours by not firing rockets into Israel. Hamas responded by stating that Israel must remove its entire IDF land forces from Gaza within a week, or else missiles would continue to pour onto Israeli cities. Egypt served as the mediator in this conflict, and a tentative peace between Israel and Hamas was reached on January 18, 2009. All aid into Gaza was halted by Israel, in order that Hamas would not be distributing the aid, and therefore be receiving credit from the populace. This tactic is intended to discredit Hamas' post-Gaza War success, and to show the international community that Israel is not as cruel as it had been portrayed[footnoteRef:10], despite the immense invasion which had just ended. Politically, nothing was achieved from this conflict, however in the aftermath, President Barack Obama called for a permanent peace in the region, a topic which the previous American president had avoided. Prospects of peace in the region will be at the exclusion of Hamas, and possibly the entirety of the Gaza Strip, depending on how peace will look after an agreement has been reached.[footnoteRef:11] [10: 'Israel Committed War Crimes in Gaza' - JPost - International." Web. 01 Nov. 2011. .] [11: Time to Believe Gaza War Crimes Allegations - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News." 01 Nov. 2011. .]

The attempt by pro-Palestinian relief groups to break the barricade of Israel with a Flotilla ship full of supplies in 2010 was halted by an aggressive helicopter strike by Israel against the Flotilla. Despite there being absolutely no weapons being brought aboard the Flotilla, Israel still felt as though the threat of allowing just one floating craft into Gaza meant hundreds more would be in tow, with weapons for the people of Gaza trailing the legitimate aid ships only bringing food and supplies. Unarmed members of the ship's crew were killed by Israeli shock troopers, and the raid ship was steered away from the Gaza Strip and naval confrontations have been avoided since. The Flotilla left out of Turkey, and the interception of the ship led to a Turkish condemnation of Israeli interference in the Mediterranean Sea, and bolstered the public opinion against the legality of Israeli's blockade on the Gaza Strip. Due to the intense actions by the Israeli Defense Force, international condemnation came down on Israel. The future of the Palestinian people seems to be on a better path today as a result, as Israel realizes that it cannot hold onto world public opinion forever, and that someday a permanent two-state solution must be made if peace is to be reached this generation.

Egypt had a key role in the 2008 Gaza War, in that Mubarak did absolutely nothing to protect the Hamas fighters. Egypt was firmly against any sort of conflict in the Palestinian territories, and Israel and Egypt's security understanding had been that Egypt would stay out of any conflict. Hamas, being an Islamic political group, was very much against the secular Mubarak, who himself had suppressed Islamic groups within Egypt for over 30 years. Iran was the key benefactor to Hamas, as it has been with Hezbollah in Lebanon. Iran supplied Hamas with weapons and rockets, as the conflict progressed, further firing rockets were used. The United States and Europe, as usual, were in favor of Israel on any action in the region, and therefore there was very little support for the ordinary Palestinian citizen, who is unable even to enter the West Bank without special permission from Israel to cross the border.

It is impossible to say what will happen in the future of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, but massive changes have come out of the Arab Spring movement, most significantly with Egypt in a post-Mubarak world. American aide to Egypt was over 1 billion dollars a year, and the Mubarak regime was happy to be in control of Sinai, with little concern for the plight of the Palestinian people. The Egyptian military essentially allowed Israel to invade and control the territory of Gaza without any sort of protest against Israeli occupation. Now, however, with… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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