In July 2014 fighting broke out between in Gaza between Israel and Hamas. Tensions had risen the previous month after three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and found dead a few weeks later. Israel had accused Hamas for the crimes but they denied it. Israel arrested many Palestinians within a few days, most of whom which were Hamas. The conflict officially began on July 8, 2014 when Israel started a military launch in response to the Hamas for launching rockets the night the bodies of the teens were found. In less than a month more than 1,000 Palestinians, who were mostly civilians, were killed.
Within 50 days from the beginning of the conflict in Gaza there were crimes against humanity committed from both Israel forces and Palestinian armed groups. Over 2,000 Palestinians died, about 11,000 were wounded, 19,000 homes were damaged, and about half a million became displaced. Israel forces deliberately attacked civilians with the use of artillery and tank shells in residential areas, air strikes on homes, attacks on schools, hospitals, and ambulances. The Palestinian groups fired rockets and mortars and also fired weapons in residential areas. In some instances there were warnings of attacks but there wasn't enough time to evacuate.
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A year after the Gaza conflict people were still struggling to rebuild their lives. Thousands of people were left without access to basic amenities and unable to leave because of the siege that has now been going on for over a decade. Construction materials were also blocked from coming in. Around 20,000 Palestinians were living in makeshift tents and cargo containers. Two thirds of the population were still waiting for some type of aid.
Two years after the war in Gaza many of the schools had yet to be rebuilt. About 187 government schools were damaged, and three of those were completely destroyed. Many of the schools had not started rebuilding yet because of the restrictions from raw materials coming in or due to a lack of funding. It's left 94 percent of the schools using a double shift system of a group of students going to class in the morning and then another group going to class in the afternoon. In order to meet the local demand, 130 new schools would have to be rebuilt. Some schools are operating under unstable conditions; ceilings with holes, broken walls, and broken windows.
Throughout 2016 there was violence between Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza, as well as West Bank and Israel. There were several attacks back and forth with the Palestinians killing 11 Israelis and injuring another 131 and Israeli security forces killing 94 Palestinians and injuring another 3,203. Homes and property were also destroyed. The movement in and out of the Gaza Strip was still restricted and has left families separated with little access to medical care, education, and employment opportunities and perpetuating a cycle of poverty.
By September 2016 the U.N. estimated 160,000 children in Gaza needed psychological aid from the past wars. World Vision was a charity clinic in Gaza that helped children with depression and postwar shock. It closed down that previous August due to the official of the charity being accused for diverting millions to the Hamas fighters instead of using it for humanitarian assistance for Gaza. Muhammed Sultan, who ran the World Vision clinic, said the program was effective and that it helped kids change their mentality. It helped them cope with their trauma and fear into living a more normal life. Sultan condemned World Vision for not doing their own investigation before shutting down; the center was still needed for the children.
In 2017 the humanitarian crisis in Gaza worsened. In June Israel decided to cut the electricity supply to the Gaza Strip to just two to three hours a day. The restriction on electricity has impacted the heath sector, providing basic services, and access to clean water. Prior to the latest power cuts, there was already a restriction on electricity and it had been rationed to 4 hours a day the previous 2 months and 8 hours a day before that. Without sufficient electricity people living in Gaza have had to resort to using bottled water to cook, clean, and shower, which is expensive when many are living in poverty.
In 2017 the clashes between Israelis and Palestinians continued. In June Israel bombed at least three locations in Gaza in response to a rocket fired from Palestinian territory. It caused damage but no one was killed. A Hamas spokesperson said Israel was making false claims of the rocket fire so they could justify their attacks. In October Israeli forces fired five missiles destroying a tunnel in the Gaza Strip. At least 7 Palestinians were killed and 9 were wounded. Israel was claiming the tunnel led to its territory.
In December 2017 President Trump announced that the US was formally recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and that the embassy was going to be moved there from Tel Aviv. Afterwards the Hamas leader Ismail Haniya said the decision was a declaration of war against the Palestinians. Protests in Gaza began soon after, furthering the divide between Israelis and Palestinians. A few Palestinians were killed and almost 800 were wounded from Israeli air strikes; the air strikes were in retaliation for the Hamas air rocket launches.
The violence and tensions in Gaza have continued. In the middle of December 2017 there were protests and Israeli military forces shot a few Palestinians. At the end of December there were Israeli air strikes in response to rocket launches that struck Israel; no casualties were reported. At that time according to the Palestine Red Crescent Society 15 people had died and around 2,000 were wounded since Trump's announcement. Last week two teenagers died after being shot by Israeli soldiers and three were injured. There has also been rock throwing between youth on the Gaza border.