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Hamas-ruled Gaza: No Easy Answers

7 13 22

The most recent round of conflict between Hamas and Israel did not come out of nowhere. Rather, there is historical and contemporary context.

For centuries, Gaza was part of the Ottoman Empire. More recently, until 1967, it was governed by Egypt. Neither occupying power ever considered granting it independence.

Israel came into the picture as a result of the 1967 Six-Day War. In the weeks prior to the outbreak of hostilities, Egyptian and Syrian leaders spoke of a coming battle, with the goal of annihilating Israel.

Israel won this war of self-defense, including seizure of Gaza, as well as the West Bank and the eastern part of Jerusalem, which included the holiest sites of Judaism, from Jordan.

It wasn’t long before Israeli leaders began exploring a “land for peace” proposal, return of the captured lands, including Gaza, with the exception of the Jewish holy sites in Jerusalem, in exchange for a peace deal.

That offer was rejected by the Arab League nations meeting in Sudan on September 1, 1967. “No peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it,” the declaration affirmed.

For the next 38 years, absent a peace partner, Israel administered Gaza.

Realizing this was unsustainable over the long haul, and unable to negotiate an exit, Israel unilaterally left Gaza in 2005, including the forcible removal of several thousand Israeli settlers. By 2007, Hamas displaced the Palestinian Authority, which had run Gaza since 2005, and has governed since.

Herein lies the heart of the problem. Hamas has been designated a terrorist group by the United States and the 27-member European Union. It is an affiliate of........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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