Teen Views " Gaza: Sides agree to cease-fire, but conflict remains | SkyHiNews.com

Teen Views " Gaza: Sides agree to cease-fire, but conflict remains

Open Book Staff
Middle Park High School
Grand County, Colorado

On Dec. 27, 2008, Israeli Defense Force (IDF) carried out an assault on Hamas strongholds in the Gaza Strip. Airstrikes and rockets struck Hamas buildings and the surrounding area, destroying numerous buildings and lives in less than 30 minutes.

Sheikh Ahmed Yassin founded the Hamas militant group, established in 1987. Since its establishment, Hamas has called for the destruction of Israel. In 2004, Yassin was killed in an Israeli airstrike, and Ismail Haniyeh took over as the new prime minister. In 2007, Hamas gained military control of the Gaza Strip and has continued to oppose any peace agreement between Israel and Palestine.

Between 2001 and 2003, foreign councils estimated that Hamas has been responsible for multiple terrorist attacks against Israel, which resulted in approximately 500 Israeli deaths in hundreds of different attacks. Israel declared Hamas a hostile group, and has attempted to blockade it from receiving any military help in order to ensure that it would stop all rocket and terrorist attacks in Israel.

Recently, that same number of casualties has now taken its place and vastly increased on the Palestinian side in the attacks carried out by Israel against Hamas.

For the past three weeks, the IDF has launched intensive strikes against Hamas causing chaos and destruction along the strip. On Jan. 3, Israel launched a ground offensive, letting soldiers march across the border. Over 70 targets that the IDF believed to be apart of the Hamas terrorist sites were attacked.

In response, Hamas has launched several rockets and mortars into Israel, according to the Israeli army.

On Monday, Jan. 19, both Israel and Hamas agreed to cease-fire as apart of a truce supported by many surrounding nations and the U.N. The devastating attacks on the Gaza Strip have left the Hamas government and military weak as Israeli troops marched back across the border. With an estimate of over $2 billion dollars in damage, there is no doubt that many of the people living Gaza have been left homeless amongst the rubble throughout the strip.

The current estimation of Palestinian deaths over that 22-day conflict was 1,300, with thousands more injured. The recorded death toll of Israelis was 13. Even as both groups had agreed to a truce, many of the Hamas members continue to be defiant, arguing that its conflict with Israel has yet to be resolved.

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