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  • Isabel Caldera

What Seems Like a Never-Ending Conflict

Israel and Palestine

Israel and Palestine, 3 words, 3 words that enclose so much dispute that even their sole pronunciation entails the potential of being judged. Just when our attention was turned elsewhere, in things of little importance most likely, headlines read, “Mideast Tensions Escalate from Israeli Forces Lighting Up”. Israel conducted fire strikes on the Gaza Strip after Hamas fired rockets at southern Israeli cities. Most Hamas rockets were stopped or fell short against Israel’s missile defense system. Once again violence turns into deaths. Dozens are dead including children, and who is to blame?

Hamas fired the rockets in response to the Israeli police storming the al-Aqsa mosque using tear gas, rubber bullets, and stun grenades. This was a response to Palestinians throwing rocks at Israeli police as part of several day’s protests over an anticipated decision of the Supreme Court of Israel on the eviction of six Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah. The tension between both groups is decades old, but more recently, included a month-long Gaza war that began in July 2014. More than 120 Palestinians and 17 police officers were injured praying in a mosque during Ramadan while 67 soldiers and 6 Israeli civilians died. We could even go further back to the 1920s when it all began, or revisit the 1947-48 civil war, and always find more death and heartache.

This conflict has thousands of layers to uncover and if I were to explain it all in this article, it would at least be 100 pages long. To make matters worse, religion is involved. I am in no place to say who is right or who is wrong, and I’m not sure if there even is an answer to this question.

I sat down with an anonymous person to hear what they had to say. The first thing that struck me was being able to understand the degree of bias that there is around the subject. It is difficult to be objective when passions run high and prejudices exist. Right now, humanitarian aid seems to be the priority; the anonymous person and I agreed. But what comes next? What is the road to peace? Hamas is an extremist group, depending on who you ask. The anonymous person said that we have learned something from these past days of ongoing violence, and that is that Hamas won’t stop even if Israel has technology such as the iron dome. So what can be done?

The solution we hear the most in the news is the two-state solution, and it is the solution I see the most potential in. But first, we must resolve the issues surrounding Gaza and the West Bank. Nothing can be done if the sacrifices are not made. Nothing can be done if deaths and violence are still prevalent. Ultimately, nothing can be done if there isn’t willingness to reach a settlement from both sides. In the current state of the conflict, I don’t see a foreseeable solution, yet the ceasefire has been a step in the right direction. I cannot say for certain what will happen next, but I still have hope that one day Israel and Palestine can coexist and thrive in peace.

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