This is an evolving story, and all facts are correct at the time of publishing.
The Israel Hamas war is the latest escalation in an ongoing conflict that has been running since last century.
Why is Israel at war with Hamas? On Saturday 7th October 2023, the Palestinian Islamist militant group Hamas launched an unprecedented attack on Israel. Over 2000 rockets were launched; fighters entered communities near the Gaza Strip; inhabitants were killed and taken hostage. The Israeli Defense Forces declared a state of war and launched air strikes in retaliation.
There has been constant tension between Hamas and Israel over the past few decades, and several wars have been fought since the former took control of the strip. This latest attack came without warning.
For background, Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007. Home to around 2.3 million people, the Gaza Strip is a territory between Israel, Egypt, and the Mediterranean Sea. With Egypt, Israel has blockaded the strip since Hamas took power. Israel controls the airspace over Gaza; Egypt controls who passes in and out through its border with Gaza.
So, what is happening in Israel right now? At the time of reporting, the Israeli foreign ministry has reported 700 Israelis killed in the attacks. The Palestinian Health Ministry has reported 413 deceased Palestinians.
There’s no simple way to explain or make sense of a complicated conflict that has been playing out in the region for more than 70 years. The one thing that never changes, with any war, are the helpless civillian victims.
The hapless revellers at the Supernova music festival in Israel whose celebrations turned into a massacre are just one example… the orphaned children, the women who are disproportionately impacted by armed conflict, the families torn apart, the list goes on…
It is hard to stand by and watch, but if you do want to help, these are the organisations who are active on the ground to support the victims of war.
How to help in the Israel Palestine war from Australia
The United Nations: Aims to maintain international peace. DONATE HERE.
World Vision: Provides support for those affected by humanitarian emergencies. DONATE HERE.
Carter Center: Seeks to prevent and resolve conflicts, enhance freedom and democracy, and improve health. DONATE HERE.
International Medical Corps: Relieves suffering for those affected by conflict. DONATE HERE.
International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement: Aims to prevent or reduce human suffering, wherever it is found. DONATE HERE.
Doctors Without Borders: Provides humanitarian medical care in conflict zones. DONATE HERE.
Save the Children: Protects and provides resources to children affected by conflict. DONATE HERE.
International Rescue Committee: Provides solutions for those affected by conflict. DONATE HERE.