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Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Previously published Jun 2. 2021

Previously published Jun 2. 2021

After eleven days of intense fighting, Israel and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire.


On Thursday, May 20th, Palestinian groups announced that the ceasefire will begin at 2:00 AM on Friday (23:00 GMT Thursday), while Israeli officials said negotiations as to when the ceasefire begins were still ongoing because the ceasefire did not enter into effect. Moreover, because the two sides were not in complete agreement about when it was to happen, there were concerns of intense, last-minute conflict before the ceasefire entered into force. However, no such thing occurred, and thus far, the ceasefire has held fast.


President Biden has commended Israel for bringing the conflict to a quick end, assuring Prime Minister Netanyahu of the US’s continued military support for Israel. Secretary of State Blinken reiterated the US position, saying that “We believe strongly that Israel has a right to defend itself,” and that “this false equivalence between a terrorist group—Hamas—that is indiscriminately launching rockets at civilians and Israel, which is responding to those attacks, I think we have to be very, very wary of. That’s—it’s a false equivalence.”


This particular episode of the conflict began after Israeli police raided the Al-Aqua mosque in Jerusalem. Tensions had been high throughout the Islamic holy month of Ramadan: two Palestinians were shot dead after firing at an Israeli military base, a Palestinian man killed an Israeli teenager, and a Palestinian teenager was killed after clashing with Israeli forces. The conflict came to a head, and the result was eleven days of the most intense fighting between Israel and Palestine seen in the last seven years. The total death toll comes up to 248 Palestinians and 12 Israelis.


President Biden still maintains that the two-state solution—a coexistence of a separate Israel and Palestine—is where his support lies. At the same time, he declared that “until [Palestine] says unequivocally they acknowledge the right of Israel to exist as an independent Jewish state, there will be no peace.” This is an important reminder that the two-state solution and peace in the region require cooperation from both sides.



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Riva Mikhlin, Blog Editor

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