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Israeli-Palestinian conflict live updates: Netanyahu declares war after Hamas attack

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By taahtaha43

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been an ongoing struggle between Israelis and Palestinians over land rights in the region. Recent violence has seen tensions escalate dramatically, with Israeli PM Netanyahu declaring war against Palestinian militant group Hamas after rocket attacks from Gaza. This article will provide a detailed overview of the latest updates in this long-running conflict.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict dates back over 70 years to the creation of Israel in 1948. Disputes over borders, shared holy sites in Jerusalem, Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories, and the right of return for Palestinian refugees remain key issues fuelling hostility. Periodic violence and failed peace processes have defined the conflict.

Background of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

The roots of the conflict lie in Jewish immigration to historic Palestine under the Zionist movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Growing Jewish settlement and calls for a Jewish homeland led to tensions with the Arab population. After World War II, the UN partitioned a history of the israeli palestinian conflict tessler pdf into separate Jewish and Arab states in 1947.

The State of Israel was proclaimed the following year, which Palestinians refer to as “al-Nakba” (the Catastrophe). Surrounding Arab nations then invaded Israel but were defeated. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were displaced into refugee camps. This laid the groundwork for future territorial disputes.

Recent Escalation in Violence

Tensions in Jerusalem have risen sharply in recent weeks over Israeli restrictions on gathering at holy sites during Ramadan and attempts by settlers to evict Palestinian families. Nightly clashes took place between Israeli police and Palestinians at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

Hamas then fired hundreds of rockets towards Jerusalem and other cities after issuing an ultimatum for Israeli forces to leave the Al-Aqsa Mosque area. Israel responded with deadly airstrikes on Gaza, flattening high-rise buildings and killing top Hamas commanders. This outbreak of violence is the worst fighting since the 2014 Gaza war.

Netanyahu Declares War on Hamas

In response to the rocket attacks which killed 7 Israelis, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared war on Hamas, the militant group controlling Gaza. Netanyahu stated “Whoever attacks us will pay a heavy price” and that Hamas “made a serious mistake”.

The Israeli military called up 5,000 army reservists and amassed troops and tanks near Gaza. Airstrikes on Gaza continued, destroying Hamas tunnels and infrastructure. The UN warned both sides that “indiscriminate targeting” may amount to war crimes. Hamas and Israel exchanged fire for 10 days, the worst violence since 2014.

Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Israeli-Palestinian conflict live updates

International Reaction

The international community has mostly urged both sides to de-escalate tensions and avoid civilian casualties. However, Israeli-Palestinian conflict Israel’s actions have faced criticism. Egypt and the UN worked intensively to broker a ceasefire, finally agreed to on May 20 after 11 days of fighting.

What we know

  • The Palestinian militant group Hamas launched a surprise and unprecedented land, sea and air attack on Israel, which its leader said included firing about 5,000 rockets.
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded saying the country was at war with Hamas and that reservists would be called up to boost the armed forces. “The enemy will pay a price it has never known before,” he said.
  • At least 40 Israelis have been killed, health officials said. Palestinian media reported six had died in the Gaza Strip.
  • Social media videos show militant fighters driving around israeli palestinian conflict muffin and firing weapons. One group was seen driving an Israeli military vehicle.
  • The bloodshed is the most significant escalation of tensions between Hamas and Israel in years. Hamas said the violence was revenge for the “desecration” of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, and a response to Israel killing and wounding hundreds Palestinians this year.
  • NBC News’s Raf Sanchez is reporting from Ashkelon, Israel.


Biden was briefed on the events in Israel earlier this morning

President Biden was fully briefed about the unfolding events in Israel earlier Saturday morning, a White House official told NBC News.

The White House will provide a full readout of any calls the president makes in response to the attacks, a separate senior official said.

Another official indicated the White House and National Security Council were surprised by the attack. 

Israeli death toll reaches 40

At least 40 people have died as a result of militant attacks and rocket fire, Israel’s emergency medical service Magen David Adom has confirmed.

In a statement, a spokesperson said that the service had also treated “hundreds” of people for injuries, from minor to serious.

Helicopters, mobile ICUs and bulletproof ambulances had been mobilized for treatment, they said, and were evacuating patients to hospitals across Israel.

The Palestinian Health Ministry has not confirmed any death toll for Gaza so far.

Conflict comes amid no U.S. ambassador in Israel

The deadly action between Israel and Hamas comes as there is no American ambassador in Tel Aviv.

Tom Nides announced his resignation as ambassador to Israel in May. The Biden administration announced last month that Jack Lew, former White House Chief of Staff and Treasury Secretary, would be nominated to the post but he has not been confirmed by the Senate.

Biden is expected to address the conflict Saturday — either directly or in a statement, a senior administration official said, adding that Israel has not requested any military aid.

Israeli-Palestinian conflict l
Israeli-Palestinian conflict live updates

Saudi Arabia calls for an ‘immediate halt’ to violence

Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry called for an “immediate halt to the escalation between the two sides, the protection of civilians and restraint” in a statement posted to X, which did not mention Hamas.

The ministry added that it had issued “repeated warnings” over the likelihood of escalating violence as a result of “the continued occupation, the deprivation of the Palestinian people of their legitimate rights, and the repetition of the systematic provocations against its sanctities.”

Saudi Arabia has traditionally been a staunch supporter of Palestinian statehood, and has historically provided funding for Hamas. More recently, the state has pursued U.S>-brokered normalization with Israel, which it does not formally recognize.

Hamas says it takes Israeli soldiers hostage

Hamas militants say they have taken Israeli soldiers hostage and moved them to the Gaza Strip.

The al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, shared video on Telegram, saying it had a number of soldiers in its “grip.

NBC News was not immediately able to independently verify that claim, or obtain details. The Israeli military was not immediately available for comment.

Video showed what appeared to be armed militants with rifles driving a pickup carrying several bloodied and bound-up men lying in the back.

Andrea Mitchell: We’ve never seen anything like this in Israel

The early morning assault on southern Israel is not just “unprecedented,” NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell said in an analysis on the “TODAY” show.

Nothing on this scale has ever been contemplated,” said Mitchell, NBC News’ chief Washington correspondent. “This is not something the Israeli government was prepared for.”

Mitchell said she found it especially “remarkable” that Palestinian militants waged a complex assault by land, air and sea.

The chaos now unfolding in Israel represents “a crisis for the U.S. as well as Israel,” Mitchell said.

President Joe Biden and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently met at the United Nations in New York, where they discussed a “broader peace in the region,” Mitchell said. But the latest developments likely mean “that now is completely off the table.”

Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Israeli-Palestinian conflict live updates

Israeli security ministry declares state of civil emergency

Israel’s security ministry has declared a state of civil emergency, granting police heightened arrest and search powers, in order to “prevent riots in hundreds of hotspots throughout the country,” the ministry said in a statement.

Israel’s security minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir and Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai also called on volunteers to join police forces around the country, and for the arming of all police forces, according to the statement.

The ministry also declared a state of emergency in Israel’s prisons, with an emphasis on the nation’s “security prisoners” — majority-Palestinian inmates incarcerated under stricter living conditions and enhanced supervision and deemed threats to national security.

Palestinian president convenes emergency meeting

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas chaired an emergency meeting with various security and civilian officials today, Palestinian public news agency, Wafa reported.

Abbas stressed Palestinians right to defend themselves, “directing that everything necessary be provided in order to strengthen the steadfastness,” the agency said.

Deadliest attack in Israeli-Palestinian conflict in years

With at least 22 people killed, this appears to be the deadliest attack in Israel in years.

Meanwhile, Palestinian media reported that at least six people died in the Gaza Strip.

Reporting from The Associated Press suggested the death toll could be higher, with the news agency saying reporters witnessed the funerals of 15 people who were killed and saw another eight bodies arrive at a local hospital. The agency said it was not immediately clear if they were fighters or civilians. NBC News was not immediately able to independently verify that reporting.

Palestinians have ‘the right to defend themselves,’ Abbas says

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday that Palestinians have the right to defend themselves against the “terror of settlers and occupation troops,” the official news agency WAFA quoted him as saying.

He spoke at an emergency meeting held in Ramallah with a number of top officials from the Palestinian National Authority.

While the Palestinian Authority claims control of the Gaza Strip, Hamas is actually in control. The two are at odds and have clashed violently in the past.

Prospects for Peace

Hopes for a 2-state solution to finally resolve the conflict appear bleak. The last significant peace talks collapsed in 2014. Since then, mistrust has deepened as Israeli settlements expand and Palestinians abandon hope for statehood Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

While the Biden administration and some Arab states seek to revive peace efforts, major breakthroughs seem unlikely in the near term. Both sides remain far apart on key issues. With Netanyahu replaced as prime minister, a shift in Israel’s stance seems possible but uncertain.


In summary, the May 2021 conflict demonstrates that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains a profound security challenge. Core grievances over territory, sovereignty, and human rights continue fueling recurrent violence. While a ceasefire was achieved, establishing a lasting peace remains complex. Lasting progress will require patience, compromise and imagination on both sides.

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