Gaza: Was Israel's Invasion Justified?
Put yourself in the shoes of a world leader. Your country is under attack from right across the border. You have the ability to fight the small group of attackers in the other country, but they are so effectively dug-in among the local population, it would come at a heavy cost to innocent civilians. What would you do? One of the most violent and complex conflicts of the last half-century is occurring in the Middle East between Israel and Palestine. Israel was created as a homeland for Jewish people who had for centuries been spread across Europe and the Middle East without an actual nation to call their own, often facing intense anti-Semitism which climaxed during the Holocaust. With an influx of people to create the new nation of Israel, tension quickly arose between the new Israelis and the people already inhabiting the territory, the Palestinians. Since creation in 1948, Israel has fought a number of wars with neighboring Arab countries and has been at odds with Palestinians, all while Israeli borders have slowly expanded and Palestinian territory has shrunk. Conflicts still arise today, most recently in 2012 with an eight-day Israeli military campaign in Palestinian-held Gaza called Operation Pillar of Defense. Violence flared again this June with the kidnapping of three Israeli settlers in Gaza and the lobbing of rockets into Israel by the terrorist group Hamas. On July 8, 2014 Israel launched Operation Protective Edge, a large campaign of airstrikes and ground operations against Hamas targets in Gaza. A peace accord was agreed this week that will likely end the 72-day conflict, but tension remains high. Do you think that Israel was justified in undertaking its most recent invasion of Palestinian territory in Gaza?