Israel–Hamas war

Source From Wikipedia English.

An armed conflict between Israel and Hamas-led Palestinian militant groups has been taking place chiefly in the Gaza Strip since 7 October 2023. Clashes have also occurred in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, and with Hezbollah along the Israel–Lebanon–Golan Heights border. The fifth war of the Gaza–Israel conflict since 2008, it is part of the broader Israeli–Palestinian conflict, and the most significant military engagement in the region since the Yom Kippur War 50 years earlier.

Israel–Hamas war
Part of the Arab–Israeli conflict and the Israeli–Palestinian conflict
Map of the Gaza Strip and part of Israel. The part of Israel surrounding the Strip is marked as evacuated. Some parts of the Strip is marked as under Israeli control, and the remainder is marked as under Hamas control.
  Gaza Strip under Palestinian control
  Gaza Strip under Israeli control
  Furthest Israeli advance in Gaza Strip
  Evacuated areas inside Israel
  Maximum extent of the 2023 Hamas-led attack on Israel
  Areas of Gaza subject to Israeli evacuation orders



See here for a more detailed map.

See here for a list of engagements.
Date7 October 2023 – present
(8 months, 2 weeks and 3 days)
Location
Status Ongoing
Belligerents

Israel–Hamas war - Wikidata Israel
Commanders and leaders
Units involved
See Order of Battle
Strength
State of Palestine 37,000 Israel 529,500
Casualties and losses

Gaza Strip:

  • 37,431+ killed
  • 10,000+ missing
  • 82,777+ wounded
(3,000+ amputees)
  • 9,312+ detained
  • 1,900,000 displaced.

West Bank:

  • 540 killed
  • 5,000+ wounded
  • 7,350 detained.

Militants inside Israel:

  • 1,609 killed.
  • 200+ captured.

Syria and Lebanon
  • Lebanon:
    • 457 killed
    • 100,000 people displaced in Lebanon
  • Syria:
    • 240 killed

Per Israel:

  • 840 civilians killed
  • 762 security forces killed
  • 1 missing
  • 13,586+ wounded
  • 251 captured or abducted

Per Hamas:

  • 636 soldiers killed.
  • 3,611 to 7,306 soldiers wounded.

Displaced:
200,000–500,000 initially, down to 60,000 by early 2024.
Casualties in Egypt
  • 2 Egyptian border guards killed
    9 border guards and 6 civilians injured in Egypt

The war began when Hamas-led militant groups launched a surprise attack on Israel on 7 October. An estimated 3,000 militants breached the Gaza–Israel barrier and attacked Israeli civilian communities and military bases. Several thousand rockets were concurrently launched into Israel. During this attack, 1,139 Israelis and foreign nationals were killed, including 766 civilians and 373 security personnel. In addition, 251 Israelis and foreigners were taken captive into Gaza. Hamas said its attack was in response to the continued Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, the blockade of the Gaza Strip, the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements, as well as alleged threats to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the plight of Palestinian refugees and prisoners.

After clearing militants from its territory, Israel responded by launching one of the most destructive bombing campaigns in modern history, surpassing the bombing of Dresden, Hamburg, and London combined during World War II, before commencing a large-scale ground invasion on 27 October with the stated objectives of destroying Hamas and releasing the hostages. Since the start of the Israeli operation, more than 35,000 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed, of which the UN estimates at least 56% are women and children. 10,000 others are missing and presumed trapped under rubble. The war has been the deadliest for Palestinians in the entire Arab–Israeli conflict. Nearly all of the strip's 2.3 million Palestinian population has been forcibly displaced, and over one hundred thousand Israelis remain internally displaced. Israel's tightened blockade cut off basic necessities and its attacks on infrastructure have led to a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, including a collapse of the healthcare system and an impending famine. By early 2024, Israeli forces had damaged or destroyed more than half of Gaza's houses, at least a third of its tree cover and farmland, most of its schools and universities, in what has been called 'scholasticide', hundreds of cultural landmarks, and dozens of cemeteries. Israel's ground invasion initially focused on northern Gaza, which it had reoccupied by January 2024. After a seven-day truce involving exchange of captives, Israel moved south to attack Khan Yunis on 3 December. On 24 May, the International Court of Justice ruled that Israel must immediately halt its Rafah offensive.

The war has had significant international repercussions. Large protests have occurred across the world, primarily in support of Palestine. Israel's actions have been denounced in the Muslim world and much of the Global South. In December 2023, South Africa brought a case before the International Court of Justice that accuses Israel of committing genocide in Gaza. Israel has received significant support from its traditional Western allies, most notably the United States, which has provided Israel extensive military aid throughout the war and has vetoed multiple UN Security Council ceasefire resolutions. Meanwhile, the Axis of Resistance, an alliance between Iran and several state and non-state actors, has attacked American military bases in the Middle East, and the Yemeni Houthi movement started attacks on commercial ships they alleged were linked to Israel, incurring a US-led military response.

Background

 
Israeli and Palestinian deaths preceding the war before the 2023 Hamas-led attack on Israel, of which most were civilians.

In 1967, following the Six-Day War fought between Israel and a coalition of Arab states (primarily Egypt, Syria, and Jordan), Israel occupied the Palestinian territories, including the Gaza Strip which had formerly been occupied by Egypt. A process of Arab-Israeli normalization began in the 1970s, with the fourth and final war between Arab states and Israel ending in 1973 and an Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty signed in 1979. In 1987, the First Intifada, a popular uprising by the Palestinians against the Israeli occupation, began. The conflict lasted five years and ended with the Oslo Accords, creating the Palestinian National Authority and dividing the West Bank into three administrative areas. Following the failure of the subsequent peace talks at the Camp David Summits in 2000, violence once again escalated during the Second Intifada, which ended with the Sharm El Sheikh Summit and Israel's withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 and subsequent blockade. The Israeli closures, together with repeated conflicts, resulted in high levels of poverty, unemployment, and low economic development.

Hamas, an Islamist militant group, won the 2006 Palestinian legislative election and a subsequent battle in the Gaza Strip between it and Fatah, which led to Hamas taking over governance of Gaza in 2007, and further escalating tensions with Israel. Israel, along with Egypt, imposed a blockade that significantly damaged Gaza's economy, citing security concerns as the justification. International rights groups have characterized the blockade as a form of collective punishment, while Israel defended it as necessary to prevent weapons and dual-use goods from entering the territory. The Palestinian Authority has not held national elections since 2006.

Since 2007, Israel has been involved in numerous military confrontations with Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups in Gaza. There have been four previous major hostilities between Israel and Hamas: in 2008–2009, 2012, 2014, and 2021. Hamas's tactics included tunnel warfare and firing rockets into Israeli territory, whereas Israel generally conducted airstrikes in Gaza. Israel also conducted ground invasions of Gaza in the 2008–2009 and 2014 wars. In 2018–2019, there were weekly organized protests near the Gaza-Israel border involving thousands of Gazan participants. The protests were met with violence by Israel, with hundreds killed and thousands injured by sniper fire. Surveys in 2023 of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank before the war indicated that a majority supported the use of "armed struggle", the creation of "militant groups", and an intifada ("uprising") against the Israeli occupation. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported roughly 6,400 Palestinians and 300 Israelis were killed in the wider Israeli–Palestinian conflict from 2008 through September 2023 before the start of this war.

The Gaza Strip's economy declined greatly due to the blockade, with a 30% drop in real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) within a year. By 2015, the unemployment rate had risen to 45% (compared to the pre-blockade level of 10%). In 2023, UNRWA statistics for Gaza reported 81% of people living below the poverty level, and 63% being food insecure and dependent on international assistance. Israeli economic policies vis-à-vis Gaza, particularly the blockade, have been described by Harvard researcher Sara Roy as having resulted in the "de-development" of the Gazan economy, which she describes as "the systematic dismantling of a normal economy and its rational functioning." According to an analysis in The Independent, the Gaza blockade created hopelessness among Palestinians, which was exploited by Hamas, convincing young Palestinian men that violence was their only solution. Daoud Kuttab wrote that Palestinian attempts to solve the conflict via negotiations or non-violent boycotts have been fruitless.

Hamas has been designated as a terrorist organization by a number of states and regional blocs, particularly Israel's Western allies including the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Australia and the European Union. Other UNSC permanent members, including China and Russia, do not regard Hamas as a terrorist organization. A 2018 attempt to condemn Hamas for "acts of terror" at the United Nations failed to achieve the two-thirds majority requirement set in place for the vote, with 87 votes in favor, 58 votes against, 32 abstentions and 16 non-votes.

In February–March 2021, Fatah and Hamas reached agreement to jointly conduct elections for a new Palestinian legislative assembly, in accordance with the Oslo Accords. Hamas committed to upholding international law, transferring control of Gaza to the Palestinian Authority and to allowing it to negotiate with Israel to establish a Palestinian state along the 1967 ceasefire lines, with East Jerusalem as its capital. According to Menachem Klein, Israeli Arabist and political scientist at Bar-Ilan University, Mahmoud Abbas subsequently cancelled the elections under pressure from Israel and the United States. Soon after the 2021 Israel–Palestine crisis exploded, the Al-Qassam Brigades started planning the 7 October 2023 operation.

Hamas motivations

Hamas officials said shortly following the attack that it was a response to the Israeli occupation, blockade of the Gaza Strip, Israeli settler violence against Palestinians, restrictions on the movement of Palestinians, and imprisonment of thousands of Palestinians, whom Hamas sought to release by taking Israeli hostages.

Mohammad Deif, the head of the Qassam Brigades, said on 7 October that the Hamas attack was in response to what he called the "desecration" of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and Israel killing and wounding hundreds of Palestinians in 2023. He called on Palestinians and Arab Israelis everywhere to "expel the occupiers and demolish the walls." He said, "As the Israeli occupation maintains its siege of the Gaza Strip and continues its crimes against our Palestinian people showing utmost disregard for international laws and resolutions amid US and Western support and international silence, we have decided to put an end to all of that and announce a military operation "Al-Aqsa Flood" against the Israeli occupation".

Despite the 7 October attacks emanating from the Gaza Strip, most of the reasons Mohammed Deif gave for the attack were events in the West Bank and Jerusalem, such as Israeli settler violence and the expansion of the Israeli settlements. "The Israeli occupation has seized thousands of dunums of Palestinian territory and uprooted Palestinian citizens from their homes and lands to build illegal settlements while providing cover for colonial settlers to rampage through Palestinian towns villages and attack and terrorise the Palestinian citizens".

A likely additional motive of Hamas was to prevent a diplomatic normalization between Israel and Arab countries that was gaining momentum with the Abraham Accords.

Long term goals of Hamas

The long-term goals of Hamas are disputed. Hamas has repeatedly called for the destruction of Israel, notably in its 1988 charter. Bruce Hoffman has argued that Hamas' 1988 charter lays out aims that are antisemitic and "genocidal" in nature. In 2017, Hamas replaced its old charter with a new one that removed antisemitic language and stated that its struggle was with Zionists, not Jews. However, the revised charter did not formally repudiate or revoke the previous one, with Hamas co-founder Mahmoud al-Zahar saying that it is not a substitute for its founding charter. The 2017 charter accepts the idea of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders. However, the new charter indicates that Hamas will accept the peace agreements only provisionally, without relinquishing a claim to the entirety of Palestine nor recognizing Israel.

The attack was also seen[who?] as a resolution of internal tensions within Hamas as to whether the group's main goal is governing the Gaza Strip or fighting against Israel. Internal strife in Israeli society caused by protests against the judicial reform encouraged Hamas to go ahead with its attack.

On 21 January 2024, Hamas released an 18-page English-language document reiterating its previously stated rationales and framing the attack in a wider context as a struggle against colonialism, describing its actions as "a necessary step and a normal response to confront all Israeli conspiracies against the Palestinian people". It said that "maybe some faults happened" during the attacks "due to the rapid collapse of the Israeli security and military system, and the chaos caused along the border areas with Gaza" and that "[if] there was any case of targeting civilians it happened accidentally". The timing of the release raised questions; sources in Gaza, including those aligned with Hamas, told Haaretz that the document was designed to contend with criticism of the heavy price Gazans have paid for the attacks on Israel.

Israeli policy

Benjamin Netanyahu has been Israel's prime minister for nearly the entire 15 year period preceding the war, with the exception of the 18 months from June 2021 to January 2023 when Naftali Bennett and later Yair Lapid took office. The Netanyahu government has been criticized within Israel for having championed a policy of empowering the Hamas government in Gaza by, for instance, granting work permits to Gazan residents, facilitating the transfer of funds to Hamas and maintaining relative calm. By the conclusion of Netanyahu's fifth government in 2021, the issuance of work permits to Gazans reached approximately 2,000–3,000. Later, under the Bennett-Lapid government, this number significantly increased to 10,000, and since Netanyahu's return to power in 2023 the number rose again to 20,000. These workers were accused of spying on Israel and being complicit in the October 7 attack. After the attack, the Israeli war cabinet granted additional 8,000 work permits to West Bank residents, despite concerns about their vetting and potential security risks.

In addition to granting workers permits, millions of dollars from Qatar have been transported into Gaza, escorted by Mossad, Israel's intelligence agency, intended for Gaza's power plant, infrastructure projects and monthly stipends for impoverished Palestinian families, while Israeli officials were aware that Hamas might divert the funds to acquire weapons and rockets.

These strategies towards Hamas have been criticized as having backfired in light of the attacks on 7 October 2023. Critics cautioned that such policies may have strengthened Hamas's power in Gaza while weakening Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, thus sabotaging a two-state solution. This criticism has been echoed by several Israeli officials, including former prime minister Ehud Barak and former head of the Shin Bet internal security service Yuval Diskin. The Palestinian Authority and Saudi Arabia were also critical of Netanyahu's government allowing Qatar to deliver suitcases of money to Hamas in exchange for maintaining the ceasefire. Netanyahu's strategy towards the Palestinian issue has been described as that of "divide-and-conquer". A Times of Israel op-ed argued after the Hamas attack that Netanyahu's policy to treat the Palestinian Authority as a burden and Hamas as an asset had "blown up in our faces". Netanyahu himself has criticized opinions on his responsibility for the 7 October attacks, stating "Did people ask Franklin Roosevelt, after Pearl Harbor, that question? Did people ask George Bush after the surprise attack of November [sic] 11?" referring to the 11 September 2001 terror attacks.

Numerous commentators have identified the broader context of Israeli occupation as a cause of the war. The Associated Press wrote that Palestinians are "in despair over a never-ending occupation in the West Bank and suffocating blockade of Gaza". Several human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, B'Tselem and Human Rights Watch have likened the Israeli occupation to apartheid, although supporters of Israel dispute this characterization.

2023 Israeli-Palestinian escalation

Over the course of 2023, before the October 7 attack, 32 Israelis and two foreign nationals had been killed in Palestinian attacks. At least 247 Palestinians had been killed by Israeli forces. Increases in settler attacks had displaced hundreds of Palestinians, and there were clashes around the Al-Aqsa Mosque which sits on the Temple Mount, a contested holy site in Jerusalem.

In August 2023, 1,264 Palestinians were held in administrative detention in Israel, without charge or trial, the highest number in three decades. Israel says this tactic is necessary to contain dangerous militants.

Tensions between Israel and Hamas rose in September 2023, and the Washington Post described the two "on the brink of war". Israel found explosives hidden in a shipment of jeans and halted all exports from Gaza. In response, Hamas put its forces on high alert, and conducted military exercises with other groups, including openly practicing storming Israeli settlements. Hamas also allowed Palestinians to resume protests at the Gaza–Israel barrier. On 13 September, five Palestinians were killed at the border. According to the Washington Post, the Palestinians were attempting to detonate an explosive device. Al-Jazeera reported that a Palestinian Explosives Engineering Unit was working to deactivate the device. On 29 September, Qatar, the UN, and Egypt mediated an agreement between Israel and Hamas officials in the Gaza Strip to reopen closed crossing points and deescalate tensions.

Simon Tisdall argues that an uptick in Israeli–Palestinian violence in the West Bank in the first half of 2023 had portended war, and stated that Netanyahu's "refusal to contemplate any type of peace process" added "fuel to the smouldering fire" in the context of "the relentless expansion of illegal Israeli settlements". Prior to the attack, Saudi Arabia warned Israel of an "explosion" as a result of the continued occupation, Egypt had warned of a catastrophe unless there was political progress, and similar warnings were given by Palestinian Authority officials. Two months before the attacks, King Abdullah II of Jordan commented that Palestinians have "no civil rights; no freedom of mobility".

Israeli intelligence failure

Israeli intelligence officials initially stated that they had no warnings or indications of the 7 October attack by Hamas, despite Israel exercising extensive monitoring over Gaza. However, in the weeks and days preceding 7 October, the US intelligence community produced at least two assessments based partly on Israeli intelligence warning the Biden administration of an increased risk for Hamas-initiated violence. Egypt said it warned Israel days before the attack, "an explosion of the situation is coming, and very soon, and it would be big". Israel denied receiving such a warning, but the Egyptian statement was corroborated by Michael McCaul, Chairman of the US House Foreign Relations Committee, who said warnings were made three days before the attack.

According to a New York Times report, Israeli officials obtained an approximately 40-page document detailing the Hamas battle plan for its 7 October attack more than a year prior to the actual event. The document described operational plans and targets, including the size and location of Israeli forces, and raised questions in Israel as to how Hamas was able to learn these details. The plans included a large scale rocket assault prior to invasion, drones to knock out surveillance cameras and gun turrets that Israel deployed along the border, and gunmen invading Israel with paragliders. The Times report's authors wrote, "Hamas followed the blueprint with shocking precision". They also claimed the document circulated widely among Israeli military and intelligence leaders who largely dismissed the plan as being beyond Hamas's capabilities, though it was unclear if political leaders were informed. In July 2023, a veteran analyst with the Israeli signals intelligence unit warned other intelligence experts that Hamas was conducting exercises for an assault. A colonel within the IDF's Gaza Division concluded that no real threat was imminent.

The Financial Times and Politico reported that alerts from the signals unit were ignored partly because they originated from lower-ranking female soldiers. Furthermore, these warnings contradicted the Israeli government's belief that it had effectively contained Hamas by blockading Gaza, bombing its military capabilities, and permitting Qatar to channel hundreds of millions of dollars in aid money to Gaza. The upper echelons of Israel's political and military leadership subscribed to the narrative that Hamas had moderated and was seeking to avoid a full-scale war.

In June 2024 it was reported that a document titled "Detailed End-to-End Raid Training" was given to the Israeli public broadcaster Kan. The document was compiled within the IDF’s Gaza Division less than three weeks before 7 October, warning that Hamas was training for a large-scale hostage-taking operation. Estimates within the document suggested Hamas aimed to seize 200-250 hostages.

Israel–Saudi normalization talks

At the time of the attack, Israel and Saudi Arabia were conducting negotiations to normalize relations. Amid the negotiations, in early August, Israeli PM Netanyahu rejected a Palestinian state. Nevertheless Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed bin Salman said normalization was "for the first time real". This was an apparent reversal of Saudi policy, articulated in the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, when Saudi Arabia had offered Israel normalization with the whole Arab world if Israel allows the creation of a Palestinian state. Israeli and other officials involved in the negotiations confirmed that the Saudis were considering normalization with Israel without the creation of a Palestinian state. Many Palestinians worried that Israeli-Saudi normalization would cost them their last significant leverage for Palestinian statehood. Most in the US foreign policy establishment believed Palestinian statehood "no longer matters in the Middle East". On October 4, three days before the Hamas attack, US diplomat Dennis Ross said Palestinian statehood "is not an option" in the Israeli-Saudi talks.

On October 21, US President Joe Biden said the aim of the 7 October attacks was to disrupt the normalization talks. According to Menachem Klein, Israeli normalization with other Middle Eastern states, including Saudi Arabia, threatened to leave the Palestinians "isolated and weak". On 7 February 2024, Saudi Arabia stated that diplomatic relations with Israel requires an independent Palestinian state on 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Events

7 October attack

Clockwise from top:
  • Approximate situation on 7–8 October
  • A blood-stained home floor in the aftermath of the Nahal Oz attack
  • Aftermath of Hamas rocket hit on the maternity ward of Barzilai Medical Center
  • Satellite view of widespread fires in Israeli areas surrounding the Gaza Strip
  • Footage of Israeli soldiers securing the area after the Re'im music festival massacre

The attack took place during the Jewish holidays of Simchat Torah and Shemini Atzeret on Shabbat, and one day after the 50th anniversary of the start of the Yom Kippur War, which also began with a surprise attack. At around 6:30 a.m. IDT (UTC+03:00) on 7 October 2023, Hamas announced the start of what it called "Operation Al-Aqsa Flood", stating it had fired over 5,000 rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israel within a span of 20 minutes. Israeli sources reported that at least 3,000 projectiles had been launched from Gaza. At least five people were killed by the rocket attacks. Explosions were reported in areas surrounding the strip and in cities in the Sharon Plain including Gedera, Herzliya, Tel Aviv, and Ashkelon. Air raid sirens were activated in Beersheba, Jerusalem, Rehovot, Rishon LeZion, and Palmachim Airbase.

Hamas employed tactics such as using aerial drones to disable Israeli observation posts, paragliders for infiltration into Israel, and motorcycles, which was unusual for Hamas. Palestinian militants opened fire on Israeli boats, while clashes broke out between Palestinians and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) along the Gaza perimeter fence. In the evening, Hamas launched another barrage of 150 rockets towards Israel, with explosions reported in Yavne, Givatayim, Bat Yam, Beit Dagan, Tel Aviv, and Rishon LeZion. Simultaneously, around 3,000 Hamas militants infiltrated Israel from Gaza using trucks, motorcycles, bulldozers, speedboats, and paragliders. They took over checkpoints at Kerem Shalom and Erez, and created openings in the border fence in five other places. Hamas militants also carried out an amphibious landing in Zikim.

Militants killed civilians at Nir Oz, Be'eri, and Netiv HaAsara, and other agricultural communities, where they took hostages and set fire to homes. 52 civilians were killed in the Kfar Aza massacre, 108 in the Be'eri massacre (a loss of 10% of the kibbutz's population) and 15 in the Netiv HaAsara massacre. In Sderot, gunmen targeted civilians and set houses ablaze. In Ofakim, hostages were taken during Hamas's deepest incursion. In Be'eri, Hamas militants took up to 50 people hostage. At least 325 people were killed and more injured at an outdoor music festival near Re'im and Hamas took at least 37 attendees hostage. Israeli authorities screened graphic bodycam footage of the Hamas attack for journalists, which included an attempt to decapitate someone and a still image of a decapitated IDF soldier. Around 240 people were taken hostage during the attacks, mostly civilians. Captives in Gaza included children, festivalgoers, peace activists, caregivers, elderly people, and soldiers. Hamas militants also reportedly engaged in mutilation, torture, and sexual and gender-based violence, including rape and sexual assault by Hamas or other Gazan militants.

A briefing in The Economist noted that "the assault dwarf[ed] all other mass murders of Israeli civilians", reasoning that "the last time before October 7th that this many Jews were murdered on a single day was during the Holocaust." Hamas stated that its attack was a response to the blockade of the Gaza Strip, the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements, rising Israeli settler violence and recent escalations at Al-Aqsa. Intelligence and security officials from multiple Western countries, along with Hamas political officials, asserted that the 7 October attack was a calculated effort to create a "permanent" state of war and revive interest in the Palestinian cause.

Initial Israeli counter-operation (7–27 October)

Clockwise from top:
  • Approximate situation on 9 October
  • Aftermath of a Hamas rocket hit on the maternity ward of Barzilai Medical Center, a hospital in Ashkelon, Israel, on 8 October 2023
  • Building in the Gaza Strip being destroyed by Israeli missiles
  • Wounded child and man receive treatment on the floor at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City
  • Remains of the Sderot police station, following recapture by IDF
  • Destruction of a residential building in Gaza by an Israeli airstrike

After the initial breach of the Gaza perimeter by Palestinian militants, it took hours for the IDF to start its counter-attack. The first helicopters sent to support the military were launched from the north of Israel, and arrived at the Gaza Strip an hour after fighting began. They immediately encountered difficulty in determining which outposts and communities were occupied, and distinguishing between Palestinian militants and the soldiers and civilians on the ground. The helicopter crews initially sustained a high rate of fire, attacking approximately 300 targets in 4 hours. Later on the crews began to slow down the attacks and carefully select targets. According to Haaretz's journalist Josh Breiner, a police source said that a police investigation indicated an IDF helicopter which had fired on Hamas militants "apparently also hit some festival participants" in the Re'im music festival massacre. The Israeli police denied the Haaretz report.

A subsequent Israeli investigation claimed that militants had been instructed not to run so that the air force would think they were Israelis. This deception worked for some time, but pilots began to realize the problem and ignore their restrictions. By around 9:00 am, amid the chaos and confusion, some helicopters started laying down fire without prior authorization.

The attack appeared to have been a complete surprise to the Israelis. Prime Minister Netanyahu convened an emergency gathering of security authorities, and the IDF launched Operation Swords of Iron in the Gaza Strip. In a televised broadcast, Netanyahu said, "We are at war". He threatened to "turn all the places where Hamas is organized and hiding into cities of ruins", called Gaza "the city of evil", and urged its residents to leave. Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant conducted security assessments at IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv. Overnight, Israel's Security Cabinet voted to act to bring about the "destruction of the military and governmental capabilities of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad". The Israel Electric Corporation, which supplies 80% of the Gaza Strip's electricity, cut off power to the area. This reduced Gaza's power supply from 120 MW to 20 MW, provided by power plants paid for by the Palestinian Authority.

The IDF declared a "state of readiness for war", mobilized tens of thousands of army reservists, and declared a state of emergency for areas within 80 kilometers (50 mi) of Gaza. The Yamam counterterrorism unit was deployed, along with four new divisions, augmenting 31 existing battalions. Reservists were reported deployed in Gaza, in the West Bank, and along borders with Lebanon and Syria.

Residents near Gaza were asked to stay inside, while civilians in southern and central Israel were "required to stay next to shelters". The southern region of Israel was closed to civilian movement, and roads were closed around Gaza and Tel Aviv. While Ben Gurion Airport and Ramon Airport remained operational, multiple airlines cancelled flights to and from Israel. Israel Railways suspended service in parts of the country and replaced some routes with temporary bus routes, while cruise ships removed the ports of Ashdod and Haifa from their itineraries.

Israeli blockade and bombardment

 
Aftermath of an Israeli airstrike on the El-Remal area of Gaza City, 9 October 2023

Following the surprise attack, the Israeli Air Force conducted airstrikes that they said targeted Hamas compounds, command centers, tunnels, and other targets. Israel employed its artificial intelligence Habsora ("The Gospel") software with a new and superior capacity to automatically generate targets to be attacked. Two days after the surprise attack, Israel said that 426 Hamas targets had been hit, including destroying Beit Hanoun, homes of Hamas officials, a mosque, and an internet hub. Israel also rescued two hostages before declaring a state of war for the first time since the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Defense Minister Gallant announced a "total" blockade of the Gaza Strip, cutting off electricity and blocking the entry of food and fuel, adding "We are fighting human animals and we are acting accordingly". This drew criticism from Human Rights Watch who described the order as "abhorrent" and as a "call to commit a war crime". Later, Gallant changed his position of a complete blockade after receiving pressure from US President Joe Biden and a deal was made on 19 October for Israel and Egypt to allow aid into Gaza. The first aid convoy after the start of the war entered Gaza on 21 October 2023, while fuel entered Gaza only in November.

The IDF later deployed C-130 and C-130J transport aircraft to retrieve off-duty personnel from abroad.

As a part of a bombing run targeting Hamas command centers and weapon caches, the IDF stated that it had bombed the Nukhba forces—a Hamas special forces unit that is thought to have led the attack on Israel.

Human Rights Watch accused Israel of using white phosphorus munitions over Gaza on 10 and 11 October, stating that it violated international law. Israel denied the allegations.

Evacuation of Northern Gaza

 
The line in black represents the IDF's boundary at Wadi Gaza for evacuation of the northern Gaza Strip.

Almost a week after the initial attack on Israel, on 13 October, the IDF issued an evacuation warning for communities north of the Wadi Gaza. All Palestinians in that region, including those in Gaza City, were given 24 hours to evacuate to the south. The Hamas Authority for Refugee Affairs responded by telling residents in northern Gaza to "remain steadfast in your homes and stand firm in the face of this disgusting psychological war waged by the occupation".

The statement by Israel faced widespread backlash; with numerous agencies, such as Doctors Without Borders, the World Health Organization, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, among others, condemning the order as "outrageous" and "impossible" while calling for an immediate reversal of the order.

As a part of the order, the IDF announced a six-hour window from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. local time on 13 October, for refugees to flee south along specified routes within the Gaza Strip. An explosion at 5:30 p.m. along one of the safe routes killed 70 people. Some sources attributed it to an IDF airstrike, while CNN said the cause was unclear. The Jerusalem Post said open-source analysts believed the explosion originated from a car on the ground, but the cause was unclear. The Financial Times carried out an investigation, concluding "analysis of the video footage rules out most explanations aside from an Israeli strike", although it was "difficult to conclusively prove whether these blasts came from an IDF strike, a potential Palestinian rocket misfire or even a car bomb".

The IDF stated Hamas set up roadblocks to keep Gaza residents from evacuating south and caused traffic jams. Israeli officials stated this was done to use civilians as "human shields", which Hamas denied. A number of countries and international organizations condemned what they called Hamas's use of hospitals and civilians as human shields.

According to an unnamed Israeli official, Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar left Gaza City using a vehicle associated with a humanitarian relief mission.

17 October

Clockwise from top:
  • A man carries the body of a Palestinian child killed during the shelling of 17 October 2023
  • The impact crater
  • Aftermath of Al-Ahli Arab Hospital explosion

On 17 October, Israel bombed in areas of southern Gaza. Ministry of Health officials in Gaza reported heavy overnight bombing killing over 70 people, including families who had evacuated from Gaza City in the north. One of the airstrikes killed a senior Hamas military commander Ayman Nofal. In the afternoon, an Israeli strike hit a UNRWA school in the Al-Maghazi refugee camp, killing six and injuring 12.

Late in the evening, an explosion occurred in the parking lot of the Al-Ahli Arabi Baptist Hospital in the center of Gaza City, killing hundreds. The cause of the explosion was disputed by Hamas and the IDF, and the ongoing conflict prevented independent on-site analysis. Palestinian statements that it was an Israeli airstrike were denied by the IDF, which stated that the explosion resulted from a failed rocket launch by Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The PIJ denied any involvement. An independent analysis by Human Rights Watch indicated that the evidence pointed to a misfired Palestinian rocket as the cause, but stated that further investigation was required.

On 18 October, President Biden said the Pentagon had independently concluded that the explosion was not caused by Israel, but by "the other team", based on data from the Defense Department. Over the next few days, Canadian, British, and French officials announced that their respective intelligence agencies concluded the cause to be a failed Palestinian rocket and not an Israeli airstrike. In its article dated 2 November, CNN stated that multiple experts said "they believe this to be the most likely scenario – although they caution the absence of munition remnants or shrapnel from the scene made it difficult to be sure. All agreed that the available images of evidence of the damage at the site was not consistent with an Israeli airstrike."

Invasion of the Gaza Strip until the truce (27 October – 24 November)

Clockwise from top:
  • Israeli soldiers preparing for the ground invasion of the Gaza Strip on 29 October
  • Israeli military during ground operations on 31 October
  • Israeli military during ground operations on 1 November
  • Armored IDF D9R bulldozer around 16 November 2023
  • Israeli tanks during operations on 31 October

On 27 October, the IDF launched a large-scale, multi-pronged ground incursion into parts northern Gaza. The IDF was building up a force of over 100,000 soldiers in the cities of Ashkelon, Sderot and Kiryat Gat. Clashes between Hamas and the IDF were reported near Beit Hanoun and Bureij. Israeli airstrikes targeted the area around the al-Quds hospital, where around 14,000 civilians were believed to be sheltering in or near the hospital. Associated Press reported that Israeli airstrikes also destroyed roads leading to the Al-Shifa hospital, making it increasingly difficult to reach. The following day, the IDF struck at densely-populated Jabalia refugee camp, killing 50 and wounding 150 Palestinians according to the Gaza Health Ministry. According to Israel, a senior Hamas commander and dozens of militants in a vast underground tunnel complex were among those killed. Hamas denied the presence of a senior commander on the scene. The nearby Indonesia Hospital's surgical director said they had received 120 dead bodies and treated 280 wounded, the majority of them women and children. The attack resulted in several ambassador recalls. According to The New York Times at least two 2,000-pound bombs, the second largest type in Israel's arsenal, were used.

External videos
  Gazan child speaks of having to carry decapitated body after Israeli strike on Jabalia (via The Irish Times)
External videos
Instagram videos by Ahmed Hijazi of the Al-Shifa Hospital strike shown in the Visual Investigations report published by The New York Times. Contains graphic images of severe injury.
  A video of the airstrikes and immediate injuries.
  Shows dead and injured in the aftermath.

On 31 October, Israel bombed a six-story apartment building in central Gaza, killing at least 106 civilians including 54 children in what Human Rights Watch called an "apparent war crime." On 1 November, the first group of evacuees left Gaza for Egypt. 500 evacuees, comprising critically wounded and foreign nationals, would be evacuated over the course of several days, with 200 evacuees already waiting at the border crossing. On the same day, the Jabalia refugee camp was bombed for a second time. The IDF released what it stated was an intercepted call between Hamas operatives and the head of the Indonesia Hospital, where they discuss diverting some of the hospital's fuel supply to Hamas.

On 3 November, the Gaza health ministry stated that Israel struck an ambulance convoy directly in front of Al-Shifa Hospital, killing at least 15 people and injuring 60 more. The IDF acknowledged having launched an airstrike, adding that a "number of Hamas terrorist operatives were killed in the strike", which a Hamas official described as "baseless". The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said one of its ambulances was struck "by a missile fired by the Israeli forces" about two metres from the entrance to al-Shifa hospital. The PRCS said another ambulance was fired on about a kilometre from the hospital. The next day, a UNRWA spokeswoman confirmed reports that Israel had conducted an airstrike against a UN-run school in the Jabalia refugee camp. According to the Gaza health ministry, the attack killed 15 and wounded dozens more.

Fighting continued through the middle of November and on 18 November Israeli strikes killed more than 80 people in Jabalia refugee camp. On 22 November, Israel and Hamas reached a temporary ceasefire agreement, providing for a four-day "pause" or "lull" in hostilities, to allow for the release of 50 hostages held in Gaza. The deal also provided for the release of approximately 150 Palestinian women and children incarcerated by Israel. The agreement was approved by the Israeli cabinet in the early hours of the day; in a statement, the Israeli Prime Minister's Office stated Israel's intention to continue the war.

Duration of the truce (24 November – 1 December)

Following the introduction of a Qatari-brokered truce on 24 November, starting at 7:00 am Israel time, active fighting in the Gaza Strip ceased and some of the Israeli and foreign hostages were released by Hamas in exchange for the release of some of the Palestinian political prisoners held by Israel. The truce was announced for a period of four days, but was extended for a longer period.

From 24 to 30 November, Hamas released hostages and Israel released prisoners. On 27 November, Qatar announced that an agreement between Israel and Hamas to extend the truce by two days had been reached. Both Israel and Hamas accused each other of violating the truce on 28 November.[citation needed] On 30 November, in a "last-minute agreement", Hamas released eight hostages in exchange for the release of 30 imprisoned Palestinians and a one-day truce extension.

Resumption of hostilities (1 December 2023 – 6 May 2024)

 
Israeli Merkava tank in a Gaza street, 4 January 2024

Continuation of operations in Northern Gaza (December 2023 – January 2024)

The truce expired on 1 December, as Israel and Hamas blamed each other for failing to agree on extension. The disagreement centered on "how to define soldiers versus civilians and how many Palestinian prisoners Israel would release for its hostages". The remaining Israeli hostages include a year old baby, his 4 year old brother and their mother, 13 women aged 18–39, and 85 men, some over 80. Thousands of Palestinians remain in administrative detention. A Hamas official said that after the exchange, the only remaining hostages were "soldiers and civilian men who served in the occupation army", and refused to exchange them until "all our prisoners are freed and a ceasefire takes hold". US National Security Advisor Kirby said "Hamas agreed to allow the Red Cross access to these hostages while the pause was in place", which "didn't happen and is still not happening". The Palestinian Prisoners' Club said 240 Palestinian prisoners were released as part of the ceasefire deal, another 240 Palestinians were incarcerated. Released Palestinian prisoners reported mistreatment including beatings, overcrowding, food deprivation, and suspension of access for the Red Cross. Released prisoners were forbidden to speak with the media and threatened with fines.

Israel adopted a grid system to order precise evacuations within Gaza, released a map, and dropped leaflets with a QR code. Israel was criticized for the map being hard to access due to lack of electricity and internet connectivity, and for causing confusion. Some evacuation instructions have been vague or contradictory, and Israel has struck "safe" areas it had told people to evacuate to.

Law experts said they had not seen significant changes in how Israel waged war, due to its warnings to civilians appearing ineffective and it being unclear if anywhere in Gaza is safe. Amnesty International said "US-made weapons facilitated the mass killings of extended families". Amnesty found no evidence of military targets at the sites of the strikes, or indication occupants were affiliated with Hamas, prompting it to request airstrikes be investigated as possible war crimes. Decomposed babies were found in Al-Nasr Children's Hospital in north Gaza, two weeks after its forced evacuation. US Secretary of Defense Austin warned against replacing "a tactical victory with a strategic defeat" if Israel does not work towards protecting Palestinian civilians. The US State Department said it was too early to definitively assess whether Israel was heeding calls to protect civilians.

Advance into Central Gaza (December 2023 – February 2024)

The IDF reported its troops had reached the centers of Khan Yunis, Jabalia, and Shejaiya reporting the most "intense fighting" since the invasion of Gaza began. Intensified bombing pushed Palestinian civilians south to Rafah. On 7 December, Israel detained 150 men in the Gaza Strip, with dozens more detained on 10 December. According to Israel, the detentions followed a mass surrender of Hamas militants. The New York Times reported that the statement about Hamas fighters surrendering was made after video and photos of "men stripped to their underwear, sitting or kneeling on the ground, with some bound and blindfolded" were seen on social media.The Guardian reported that among those in the images were civilians, including a journalist. The ICRC said it was concerned and strongly emphasized "the importance of treating all those detained with humanity and dignity, in accordance with international humanitarian law". The BBC reported that a video of the apparent surrender of weapons was unclear on whether a man is "surrendering" weapons, or just moving them as instructed, suggesting it was performed for the camera, rather than authentic surrender, and it is unknown if the individuals are involved with Hamas, or the 7 October attack. Haaretz reported that Israel believed about 10% of the people shown in the video were affiliated with Hamas, and despite public statements by Israel, this was not a "mass surrender" by Hamas. Amnesty International described the treatment of those detained on 7 December as a violation of international law.

On 8 and 9 December, the IDF released footage of what it said was its soldiers engaging combatants inside schools in Shejaiya. According to the IDF, fighters discovered a tunnel from a school to a mosque. It released footage of armament it stated was on the campus of Al-Azhar University, along with a tunnel shaft leading to a school. The IDF said that, since it designated a humanitarian zone for civilians in the Gaza Strip on 18 October, 116 rockets had been fired from there toward Israel, including 38 falling inside Gaza. The Pentagon announced on 9 December that the Biden administration had authorized the sale of around 14,000 rounds of tank ammunition to Israel without congressional authorization, using emergency powers. On 29 December, it did so again with $148 million worth of artillery shells and related items.

On 15 December, the IDF announced it had killed three of their own hostages by friendly fire. They "mistakenly identified three Israeli hostages as a threat" during operations in Shuja'iyya and fired, killing them. According to an IDF official on 16 December, they were shirtless and carrying "a stick with a white cloth on it" when an Israeli soldier, who declared them to be "terrorists" after feeling "threatened", opened fire, killing two and injuring the third, who was killed by Israeli reinforcements.

Withdrawal from Northern Gaza (January 2024 – February 2024)

 
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Israeli President Isaac Herzog in Tel Aviv, Israel, 9 January 2024

On 1 January 2024, Israel withdrew from neighbourhoods in North Gaza. On 7 January the IDF conducted a targeted missile strike on a car carrying Al Jazeera journalists Hamza Dadouh and Mustafa Thuraya; they and their driver were killed.

Rocket attacks on Israeli cities by Hamas decreased during this period with notable attacks on New Year's Eve and 29 January 2024. On 15 January, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said the most intense fighting in the north of the Gaza Strip had ended, and a new phase of low intensity fighting was about to begin. On 13 January, an Israeli tank fired at a convoy of Paltel repair workers on their way back to Rafah from the Paltel central offices in Khan Younis. Two were killed. The job they completed and the route they took were pre-approved by COGAT.

By 18 January, the IDF stated that Hamas had begun to rebuild its armies in formerly occupied parts of North Gaza. The IDF had previously said that Hamas control over North Gaza was "dismantled" without providing any evidence. By 18 January the fighting strength of Hamas' northern battalions had been significantly restored.

On 22 January, 24 IDF soldiers died in the deadliest day for the IDF since the invasion began. Of these, 21 died in a single incident where Palestinian militants fired an RPG at a tank, and adjacent buildings soldiers were rigging to demolish, which caused the buildings to collapse. The IDF soldiers brought landmines into the empty building for the demolition process. It is unclear whether the collapse of the buildings was due to the primary RPG explosion, or secondary landmine explosions. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and President Isaac Herzog publicly mourned the loss.

Preparations for the attack on Rafah (February 2024 – May 2024)

During February to early May 2024, Israeli preparations to invade Rafah became a dominant issue in public rhetoric made by Israeli officials. In February, Israel stated its next objective would be the capture of Rafah. On 12 February, Israel started the bombing campaign on Rafah. On February 15, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times reported that Egypt was building a refugee camp for over 100,000 people south of Rafah, surrounded by five-meter-high concrete walls. However, the governor of North Sinai Governorate, Mohamed Abdel-Fadil Shousha, denied these rumors in a statement published by Al-Arabiya. On 18 February, Israeli war cabinet member Benny Gantz warned that a ground offensive would be launched in Rafah on 10 March unless Hamas freed all hostages. Gantz added Israel would act in "a co-ordinated manner, facilitating the evacuation of civilians in dialogue with our American and Egyptian partners to minimise civilian casualties".

On 29 February, more than 100 Palestinians were killed and 750 wounded during the flour massacre when Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinians waiting for food aid southwest of Gaza City, with many victims run over by trucks according to accounts. Survivors described it as an ambush, stating that Israeli forces opened fire as people approached the aid trucks, resulting in a rush away from the gunfire that added to the death toll. On 1 March, the US announced they would begin an operation airdropping food aid into Gaza. Some experts called the airdrops performative and claimed they would not alleviate the food situation. During his State of the Union Address, Biden announced a new initiative for providing food and medications to Gaza by sea, setting up a temporary port on Gaza's coast to enable aid delivery.

By 6 March, Israel had completed a new road in Gaza running from east to west. The IDF reported the road was an "active logistical route, constantly maintained during the war". It was intended to be used for mobilization of troops and supplies, to connect and defend IDF positions on al-Rashid and Salah al-Din streets, and prevent people in the south Gaza Strip from returning to the north.

Re-occupation of al-Shifa Hospital and withdrawal from southern Gaza (March 2024 – April 2024)

Israeli forces raided al-Shifa hospital again between 18 March-1 April. The IDF clashed with Hamas in the area. Israeli forces killed Faiq al-Mabhouh, who they said was head of the operations directorate of Hamas' internal security service. Hamas said al-Mabhouh was in charge of civil law enforcement and had been engaged in "purely civil and humanitarian activity," coordinating aid deliveries to north Gaza. News agencies reported that the IDF assaulted and detained al-Jazeera correspondent Ismail al-Ghoul and more than 80 others, including medical staff and other journalists, and confiscated and destroyed media equipment. Al-Ghoul was released the following day, but could not verify the whereabouts of his colleagues. The Committee to Protect Journalists said it was "deeply alarmed and outraged by reports of the assault....Ismail Al-Ghoul...and other journalists while doing their jobs reporting on the Israeli offensive on the hospital".

According to the IDF, senior Hamas leaders were killed during the fighting at the hospital, including Mahmoud Khalil Zakzuk, the deputy commander of Hamas's rocket unit in Gaza City and Raad Thabet, head of recruitment and supply acquisition. Survivors of events at al-Shifa said workers in Gaza's civil government, were receiving their salaries at the hospital, before it was raided. Doctors, members of the civil government and those who refused to evacuate were executed. The IDF said it killed 200 people in and around the hospital. Time Magazine said it provided "no evidence that all were militants." Photos of the hospital after the withdrawal of Israeli forces showed its "walls blown out and frame blackened" by fire. Hundreds of bodies were found on hospital grounds, and Palestinian witnesses reported massacres.

A deputy military commander of Hamas Marwan Issa was reportedly killed in an airstrike in mid-March. On 23 March, 19 Palestinians were killed by the IDF while waiting for humanitarian aid at the Kuwait roundabout in Gaza City. On 25 March, the UN Security Council passed a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, to last for the remainder of Ramadan. The US abstained, all other delegates voted in favor. Israeli military activities in the Gaza Strip remained unchanged following adoption of the resolution. On 28 March, the IDF shot and killed two unarmed men in central Gaza, before burying them in sand with bulldozers. The Council on American-Islamic Relations called for a UN investigation into the "heinous war crime."

On 1 April, 7 aid workers from World Central Kitchen, including British, Polish, Australian, and Irish nationals, were killed in an Israeli airstrike south of Deir el-Balah. World Central Kitchen said their vehicles were clearly marked and their location known to Israel. World Central Kitchen, ANERA and Project HOPE suspended their operations in Gaza. 240 tons of aid from World Central Kitchen was not distributed due to its withdrawal. On 4 April, Israel opened the Erez crossing for the first time since October 7 after US pressure.

On April 7, Israel withdrew from the south Gaza Strip, with only one brigade remaining in the Netzarim Corridor in the north. Palestinians displaced from that city began to return from the south of the Gaza Strip. Israel planned to initiate its ground offensive in Rafah around mid-April, but postponed to consider its response to the Iranian strikes on Israel. On 25 April, Israel intensified strikes on Rafah ahead of threatened invasion. On 5 May, Hamas launched a rocket attack from Rafah towards Kerem Shalom, killing 3 Israeli soldiers.

Rafah offensive begins (6 May 2024 – present)

 
Israel Defense Forces operating in the eastern neighborhood of Rafah.

On 6 May, the Israeli military ordered civilians in eastern Rafah to evacuate to Al-Mawasi, west of Khan Yunis, affecting about 100,000 people. Later that day, Hamas announced that it had accepted the terms of a ceasefire brokered by Egypt and Qatar. The deal included a 6-week ceasefire and exchange of prisoners. However, Israel rejected this deal. Israel responded that the terms Hamas had accepted were "far from Israel's basic requirements", but that it would send a delegation to further negotiate "to exhaust the possibility of reaching an agreement under conditions acceptable to Israel", while the military operation on Rafah would continue in the meantime to "exert military pressure on Hamas".

Hours after Hamas' announcement, Israel ordered a series of airstrikes on Rafah, while the Israeli war cabinet voted to invade Rafah. Later that day, the IDF entered the outskirts of Rafah and approached the Rafah Crossing and Egyptian border. On 7 May, the Israeli military seized control of the Gaza side of the Rafah Crossing bordering Egypt. Haaretz reported that as talks continued, Israel committed to Egypt and the United States that it would limit fighting to the Rafah crossing and transfer control of the area to an American security company. However, the State Department and White House denied any knowledge of this commitment. The previous week, the US had paused a shipment of bombs to Israel over concerns of a Rafah offensive, and on 8 May, US President Joe Biden said that the US would stop sending arms to Israel if it went ahead with a major invasion of Rafah. By 11 May, the Israeli military ordered more residents to evacuate eastern and central Rafah. By 15 May, an estimated 600,000 had fled Rafah and another 100,000 from the north, according to the United Nations. On 24 May, the International Court of Justice ruled that "Israel must immediately halt its military offensive, and any other action in the Rafah Governorate, which may inflict on the Palestinian group in Gaza conditions of life that could bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part."

On 24 May, the United Nations said only 906 aid truckloads had reached Gaza since Israel's Rafah operation began. On 26 May, Hamas fired a barrage of rockets towards Central Israel for the first time in months. Israel bombed the Tel al-Sultan displacement camp in Rafah in an area designated by Israel as a safe zone, killing at least 45 people. The IDF said the strike hit a "militant compound" and killed two senior Hamas officials. The bombing provoked a skirmish between Egyptian and Israeli soldiers at the Gaza border in which one Egyptian soldier was killed. Despite global outrage and calls from government officials from around the world to halt its Rafah offensive, less than 48 hours after the Tel al-Sultan massacre, the Al-Mawasi refugee camp, another designated civilian evacuation zone, was bombed, killing at least 21 people, thirteen of them women and girls. The IDF denied involvement in the attack.

On 31 May, the United States announced a ceasefire framework for ending the war.

On 6 June, Israel bombed a UN-run school sheltering displaced people in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, killing at least 33 Palestinians, including nine children and three women. Israel said that the school housed a Hamas compound. Analyses found that US-made munitions and parts were used in the strike.

On 8 June, Israel conducted an attack on Nuseirat refugee camp which resulted in the rescue of four hostages. The IDF said that the four hostages were found in sound medical condition. This was a joint operation by the IDF, the Shin Bet and Yamam. The United States provided advice and intelligence to Israeli forces during the raid, through its "hostage cell" stationed in Israel. Israeli forces disguised their vehicles as humanitarian aid trucks to infiltrate the camp. The attack resulted in the deaths of 274 Palestinians, including 64 children and 57 women. Witnesses reported that entire residential blocks were wiped out. The operation also resulted in the death of an Israeli officer in Yamam.

On 20 June, the Israeli military's spokesman, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, said that "Hamas is an idea … rooted in the hearts of the people — anyone who thinks we can eliminate Hamas is wrong".

On 21 June, 45 Palestinians were killed in Israeli attacks on Rafah and central Gaza. On the same day at least 22 people were killed in a shelling near the Red Cross office, which is surrounded by refugee tents, and was also damaged. The European Union condemned the shelling and called for an independent investigation into it.

On 22 June, 42 Palestinians were killed in attacks on Gaza City. One Israeli strike in Al-Shati killed 24 people.

On 23 June, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the most intense phase of fighting against Hamas in Gaza was coming to an end, allowing some troops to move to the Lebanese border, where exchanges of fire with Hezbollah have been escalating. He also stated that he was open to a partial deal with Hamas to return some of the hostages but that the war would continue after a pause in order to eliminate Hamas. Hamas said that any deal should include a permanent ceasefire and the withdrawal of Israeli forces out of Gaza, and that Netanyahu's position confirmed his rejection of the ceasefire deal put forward by the US and the recent Security Council resolution.

Other confrontations

Hezbollah in southern Lebanon and the Houthi movement in Yemen have launched limited attacks against Israel, raising fears of a wider regional military conflict. Iranian-backed militias in Iraq and Syria have also traded attacks with the US and IDF. Israel has bombed targets in and around Damascus throughout the war, with an attack on the Iranian embassy in Damascus on April 1 leading to a direct Iranian response. Iran launched a series of retaliatory airstrikes on Israel. Over 100 Palestinians have been killed in confrontations with Israeli soldiers and settlers in the West Bank since 7 October. Settler violence has been heavily criticized by the IDF.

West Bank and Israel

 
West Bank sector of war
  West Bank under Israeli control (Area C)
  Israeli-annexed Jerusalem/East Jerusalem

Amnesty International released a report on 5 February 2024 stating that Israel is carrying out unlawful killings in the West Bank and displaying "a chilling disregard for Palestinian lives" and that Israeli forces are carrying out numerous illegal acts of violence that constitute clear violations of international law.

Even before the war, 2023 was the deadliest year for Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank in 20 years. From 7 to 31 October, B'Tselem said that Israeli forces had killed more than 100 Palestinians while Israeli settlers had killed at least seven, leading to fears that the situation would escalate out of control. About 1,000 Palestinians have been forcibly displaced by settlers since 7 October and almost half of clashes have included "Israeli forces accompanying or actively supporting Israeli settlers while carrying out the attacks" according to a U.N. report. According to the West Bank Protection Consortium, which is funded by the European Union, since the 7 October attacks six Palestinian communities have been abandoned due to the violence.

By 10 October, confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli forces had left 15 Palestinians dead, including two in East Jerusalem. On 11 October, Israeli settlers attacked the village of Qusra, killing four Palestinians. A 16-year-old child was fatally shot by the IDF in Bani Naim, while another person was shot dead by the IDF near Bethlehem. On 12 October, two Palestinians were killed after Israeli settlers interrupted a funeral procession for Palestinians killed in prior settler attacks and opened fire.

On 18 October, protests broke out over the al-Ahli Arab Hospital explosion, with clashes reported in Ramallah. In Jenin, a 12-year-old girl was shot dead by crossfire from Palestinian Authority security forces, and another youth was injured by PA forces in Tubas. One Palestinian was killed in confrontations with Israeli forces in Nabi Saleh, and 30 others were injured across the West Bank. On 19 October, more than 60 Hamas members were arrested and 12 people were killed in overnight Israeli raids across the West Bank. Those arrested included the movement's spokesperson in the West Bank, Hassan Yousef.

On 22 October, Israel struck the al-Ansar Mosque in the Jenin refugee camp, saying that it had killed several "terror operatives" from Hamas and Islamic Jihad who were planning attacks inside without providing evidence. Within a few days Ayser Mohammad Al-Amer, a senior commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad was killed during a clash with IDF in the Jenin refugee camp. On 31 October, the IDF engaged Hamas around Shuweika.

On 1 November, Issa Amro said the situation in the West Bank had become "very hard", noting "All the checkpoints are closed. Israeli settlers and soldiers are acting violently with the Palestinians." The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs warned Israeli settler violence against Palestinians was on the rise.

On 30 November, two Palestinian gunmen killed three and wounded eleven Israeli civilians at a bus stop on the Givat Shaul Interchange in Jerusalem. Hamas claimed responsibility.

On 16 February 2024, a Palestinian gunman shot and killed two Israeli civilians and injured four others in Kiryat Malakhi, Israel. The shooter was killed by an off-duty IDF reservist at the scene.

On 12 April 2024 a 14-old Israeli shepherd was killed and on 16 April 2024 two Palestinians were killed by Israeli settlers in Aqraba.

On 20 April, fourteen Palestinians were killed in clashes during an Israeli raid in the West Bank. Palestinian sources identified one of the victims as a militant, while Israel said that 14 gunmen were killed.

On 13 May, at the Tarqumiya checkpoint, a convoy of trucks carrying food supplies to Gaza was attacked by Israeli settlers, who damaged the trucks and threw supplies on the ground.

In December 2023, a military base at Sde Teiman in the Negev Desert was converted to a detention camp by the IDF. Whistleblowers reported beatings and torture of Palestinian detainees at the camp, as well as amputations of limbs due to injuries sustained from handcuffing. After conditions in the camp came to light in May 2024, Israel's supreme court held a hearing and the IDF began transferring 1,200 of the prisoners to Ofer Prison.

Israel–Lebanon border

 
Northern Israel sector of war
  Israel
  Israeli-occupied Golan Heights
  Hezbollah presence in Lebanon
  Syria
  Areas ordered evacuated by Israel

A series of border clashes occurred along the Israel–Lebanon border. On 8 October, Hezbollah launched an artillery attack on Israeli positions in Shebaa Farms; this was met with immediate retaliation. Skirmishes have occurred every day since, spilling over to the occupied Golan Heights. The clashes resulted in the deaths of 513 Lebanese militants and 15 Israeli soldiers, as well as over 72 Lebanese civilians, 15 Syrian civilians and six Israeli civilians, one Lebanese Army soldier, and the displacement of 100,000 people in Lebanon and 80,000 more in Israel.

Yemen and the Red Sea

 
Houthi attacks on commercial ships in the Bab-el-Mandeb strait

Several strikes against Israel and commercial ships in the Red Sea are thought to have launched by Iran-backed Houthi militants in Yemen. On 19 October, the United States Navy destroyer USS Carney shot down several missiles that were traveling north over the Red Sea towards Israel. On 31 October, Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Saree said that the group had launched ballistic missiles and drones towards Israel, and that they would continue to do so "to help the Palestinians to victory" in an event that has been misrepresented in some news sites as a declaration of war by Yemen. On 19 November, tensions increased when the Galaxy Leader, a cargo ship chartered by a Japanese logistics company with 25 individuals on board, was hijacked by the Houthis using a Mil Mi-17 helicopter.

On 3 December, the Houthis said that they had attacked two ships, the Unity Explorer and Number 9, allegedly linked to Israel, in order "to prevent Israeli ships from navigating the Red Sea". Any ship destined for Israel, according to the group, was a "legitimate target". Saree announced in a post on X that the "horrific massacres" against the Palestinians in Gaza was the reason for this decision and that they will not stop until the Gaza Strip is supplied with food and medicine. Israeli National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi called this development a "global issue" and that Israel is "giving the world some time to organize in order to prevent this" otherwise, the country "would will act in order to remove this naval siege".

Iraq

Since November 2023, the Islamic Resistance in Iraq has claimed responsibility for drone and missile attacks against targets within Israel in retaliation for Israeli attacks on Palestinian civilians in Gaza. The group stated it would continue to "strike enemy strongholds". Strikes were recorded in Eilat, the Dead Sea coastline, the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, the Karish rig, Haifa Bay, Ashdod, Kiryat Shmona, Tel Aviv, Ramon Airport, and in Elifelet.

In late January, the Islamic Resistance in Iraq announced it had entered its second phase of operations which included blockading the Mediterranean maritime routes to Israeli ports and disabling the ports. Since then, the Islamic Resistance in Iraq has launched joint military operations on Israel with the Yemeni Houthis and has consistently targeted ships in Haifa port in coordination.

Syria

On 10 October 2023, Israel exchanged rocket and mortar fire with forces in southern Syria. On 12 October, Israel bombed the Damascus and Aleppo airports ahead of a visit to Syria by Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian. Since 2024, Israel has continued to launch airstrikes at targets in Syria, including in Damascus and Aleppo. Some of its targets include officials and locations associated with Iran such as members of the Quds Force and the Iranian consulate in Damascus.

Iran

On 24 November 2023, a suspected Iranian drone attacked the CMA CGM Symi, owned by Eastern Pacific Shipping, whose principal is Israeli, in the Indian Ocean, according to a US defense official. An anonymous source said the drone was suspected to have been a Shahed-136 drone. The attack caused damage to the ship but did not injure any of the crew.

In December, the US military was reportedly looking to build a maritime task force to protect trade against Iranian harassment.

On 23 December, a suspected Iranian drone attacked the Israel-affiliated oil tanker MV Chem Pluto in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Gujarat. The attack did not harm any of its 20 crew members, but caused a fire that was extinguished. The vessel was reportedly carrying Saudi oil to Mangalore, India.

On 13 April, following an Israeli airstrike on its consulate building in Damascus, Syria on 1 April, Iran launched Operation True Promise, a series of retaliatory airstrikes on Israel, attacking the country from Iranian soil for the first time. On the same day, the IRGC Navy boarded the Portuguese-registered and Madeira-flagged container ship MSC Aries in the Strait of Hormuz via helicopter, and directed it to Iranian territory for "violating maritime law". The ship is leased by MSC from Gortal Shipping, an affiliate of Zodiac Maritime, whose principal is Israeli.

Casualties

 
Palestinian man surrounded by body bags in Jabalia refugee camp

As of 22 June 2024, over 38,000 people (37,396 Palestinian and 1,478 Israeli have been reported as killed in the Israel–Hamas war, including 108 journalists (103 Palestinian, 2 Israeli and 3 Lebanese) and over 224 humanitarian aid workers, including 179 employees of UNRWA.

The vast majority of casualties have been in the Gaza Strip. The death toll reported by the UN OCHA comes from the Gaza Health Ministry. The breakdown of the figures in the UN OCHA report only includes casualties whose identities have been confirmed, while the overall figure is the number of reported deaths. Over 24,000 of the dead have been fully identified by the Gaza Health Ministry; of these, 52% are women and minors, 40% are men, and 8% are elderly of both sexes. Some have speculated that the total death toll in Gaza might be higher than reported, with roughly 10,000 Gazans believed still buried under the rubble. The number of deaths do not include those who have died from "preventable disease, malnutrition and other consequences of the war".

The October 7 attacks on Israel killed 1,139 people, including 764 civilians and 373 Israeli security personnel. A further 251 persons were taken hostage during the initial attack on Israel to the Gaza Strip. A further 479 Palestinians, including 116 children, and 9 Israelis have been killed in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem). Casualties have also occurred in other parts of Israel, as well as in southern Lebanon, and Syria.

Humanitarian crisis

 
Residents inspect the ruins of an apartment in Gaza destroyed by Israeli airstrikes

The Gaza Strip is experiencing a humanitarian crisis as a result of the Israel–Hamas war. The crisis includes both a famine and a healthcare collapse. At the start of the war, Israel tightened its blockade on the Gaza Strip, which has resulted in significant shortages of fuel, food, medication, water, and essential medical supplies. This siege resulted in a 90% drop in electricity availability, impacting hospital power supplies, sewage plants, and shutting down the desalination plants that provide drinking water. Widespread disease outbreaks have spread across Gaza.

Heavy bombardment by Israeli airstrikes caused catastrophic damage to Gaza's infrastructure, further deepening the crisis. Direct attacks on telecommunications infrastructure by Israel, electricity blockades and fuel shortages caused the near-total collapse of Gaza's largest cell network providers. Lack of internet access has obstructed Gazan citizens from communicating with loved ones, learning of IDF operations, and identifying both the areas most exposed to bombing and possible escape routes. The blackouts have also impeded emergency services, making it more difficult to locate and access the time-critical injured, and have impeded humanitarian aid agencies and journalists as well. By December 2023, 200,000 Gazans (approximately 10% of the population) had received internet access through an eSIM provided by Connecting Humanity.

The Gaza Health Ministry reported over 4,000 children killed in the war's first month. UN Secretary General António Guterres stated Gaza had "become a graveyard for children." Organizations such as Doctors Without Borders, the Red Cross, and a joint statement by UNICEF, the World Health Organization, the UN Development Programme, United Nations Population Fund, and World Food Programme have warned of a dire humanitarian collapse. On November 8, UN Human Rights chief Volker Turk described the Rafah Crossing as "gates to a living nightmare."

War crimes

Both Israel and Hamas have been accused of attempted or imminent genocide, and several other war crimes, including sexual violence. A UN Commission to the Israel–Palestine conflict stated that there is "clear evidence that war crimes may have been committed in the latest explosion of violence in Israel and Gaza, and all those who have violated international law and targeted civilians must be held accountable." On 27 October, a spokesperson for the OHCHR called for an independent court to review potential war crimes committed by both sides.

On 29 December, South Africa filed a case against Israel at the International Court of Justice, alleging that Israel's conduct amounted to genocide.

The International Criminal Court confirmed that its mandate to investigate alleged war crimes committed since June 2014 in the State of Palestine extends to the current conflict. On 20 May, ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan announced his intention to seek arrest warrants against Hamas leaders Yahya Sinwar, Mohammed Deif and Ismail Haniyeh, as well as Israeli leaders Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant, for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity during the war.

On 7 June 2024, both Israel and Hamas were added to the list of shame, an annex attached to an annual report submitted by the UN Secretary-General documenting rights violations against children in armed conflict. While past reports accused Israel of grave rights violations against children, the country was never included in the annex.

On 19 June 2024, the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory presented a detailed report to the United Nations Human Rights Council covering the war from 7 October to 31 December 2023, affirming that both Hamas and Israel committed war crimes and that Israel's actions also constituted crimes against humanity.

The report found that the military wing of Hamas and six other Palestinian armed groups, are responsible for the war crimes of intentionally directing attacks against civilians, murder or willful killing, torture, inhuman or cruel treatment, destroying or seizing the property of an adversary, outrages upon personal dignity, and taking hostages, including children. In relation to Israeli military operations and attacks in Gaza, the commission concluded that Israeli authorities are responsible for the war crimes of starvation as a method of warfare, murder or willful killing, intentionally directing attacks against civilians and civilian objects, forcible transfer, sexual violence, torture and inhuman or cruel treatment, arbitrary detention and outrages upon personal dignity. It also found that Israel committed numerous crimes against humanity, including carrying out the extermination of Palestinians and gender persecution targeting Palestinian men and boys. The commission said that they had submitted 7,000 pieces of evidence to the International Criminal Court related to crimes committed by Israel and Hamas, as part of the International Criminal Court investigation in Palestine.

Diplomatic impact

The war sparked a major diplomatic crisis, with many countries around the world reacting strongly to the conflict that affected the momentum of regional relations. At least nine countries took the drastic step of recalling their ambassadors and cutting diplomatic ties with Israel. The war has also resulted in a renewed focus on a two-state solution to the broader conflict. Global public opinion of Israel has dropped during the war as well; a Morning Consult poll published in January 2024 indicated that the United States was the only remaining wealthy country in which Israel had net positive approval.

Negotiations have focused on the possibility of a ceasefire in the war, with Egypt and Qatar serving as mediators in negotiations between Israel and Hamas. The United Nations Security Council passed resolution 2728 in March 2024, demanding an immediate ceasefire and the unconditional release of hostages for the month of Ramadan.

Reactions

Israel

The Israeli government's response to the 2023 Hamas-led attack on Israel has multiple aspects, including a military response leading to the Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip. In October, the Knesset approved a war cabinet in Israel, adding National Unity ministers and altering the government; Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz froze non-war legislation, establishing a war cabinet with military authority.

The IDF's subsequent large-scale bombing and invasion of Gaza led to a humanitarian crisis, mass detentions, and famine. Israel's response was criticized as resulting in war crimes, and it was charged with genocide by South Africa in the International Court of Justice. Settler expansions and officials' controversial remarks heightened unrest, leading to protests in Israel. The Knesset's law criminalizing "terrorist materials" consumption drew criticism.

In an interview to the Wall Street Journal on 25 December, Netanyahu said that Israel's objectives were to "destroy Hamas, demilitarize Gaza and deradicalize the whole of Palestinian society". There was broad support in Israeli society for military operations in Gaza.

Palestinian territories

Initially, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas asserted the Palestinians' right to self-defense against the "terror of settlers and occupation troops" and condemned the orders by Israel for residents to evacuate north Gaza, labeling it a "second Nakba". Later, Abbas rejected the killing of civilians on both sides, and said that the Palestinian Liberation Organization was the sole representative of the Palestinians.

International

Significant geopolitical divisions emerged during the war. Much of the Western world provided "strong" support to Israel militarily and diplomatically, including the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany although the strong support is "at odds with the attitudes of Western publics which continue to shift away from Israel", according to Hugh Lovatt, a senior policy fellow with the Middle East and North Africa Programme at the European Council on Foreign Relations. Lovatt says that during the Cold War, Israel sided with the West against the Arab countries supported by the Soviets, and Western leaders generally see Israel "as a fellow member of the liberal democratic club" and that this partially "explains the continued strong Western support for Israel – which has now largely become reflexive". At least 44 nations denounced Hamas and explicitly condemned its conduct on October 7 as terrorism, including a joint statement by the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Germany.

In contrast, the Islamic world and much of the Global South denounced the actions of Israel and its allies, criticizing the "moral authority of the West" and alleging that it holds double standards surrounding human rights. The double standards, in their view, is condemning an illegal occupation in Ukraine while standing firmly behind Israel that has occupied Palestinian lands. Bolivia has cut all ties with Israel as a result of the conflict, while fellow South American countries Colombia and Chile recalled their ambassadors to the country.

The United States, United Kingdom, and Germany have supplied Israel with substantial military and medical aid.

The Israeli government's response prompted international protests, arrests, and harassment.

Evacuations of foreign nationals

Brazil announced a rescue operation of nationals using an air force transport aircraft. Poland announced that it would deploy two C-130 transport planes to evacuate 200 of its nationals. Hungary evacuated 215 of its nationals from Israel using two aircraft on 9 October, while Romania evacuated 245 of its citizens, including two pilgrimage groups, on two TAROM planes and two private aircraft on the same day. Australia also announced repatriation flights. 300 Nigerian pilgrims in Israel fled to Jordan before being airlifted home.

On 12 October, the United Kingdom arranged flights for its citizens in Israel; the first plane departed Ben Gurion Airport that day. The government had said before that it would not be evacuating its nationals due to available commercial flights. However, most commercial flights were suspended. Nepal arranged a flight to evacuate at least 254 of its citizens who were studying in Israel. India launched Operation Ajay to evacuate its citizens from Israel. Ukraine has facilitated the evacuation of around 450 of its citizens from Israel as of 18 October, with additional evacuation flights in the planning for the near future.

Regional effects

According to Daniel Byman and Alexander Palmer, the attack showcased the decline of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the rise of Hamas as a power center in Palestinian politics. They predicted the PLO's further decline if the status quo held. Laith Alajlouni wrote that the immediate effect of the Hamas offensive was to unite Hamas and PLO. However, it may soon lead to conflict between them, possibly leading the PLO to lose control of the security situation in the West Bank, if more militant groups there begin to launch their independent attacks.

Political journalist Peter Beaumont described the attack as "an intelligence failure for the ages" on the part of the Israeli government. The Jewish News Syndicate deemed it a "failure of imagination". A BBC report on the intelligence failure commented that "it must have taken extraordinary levels of operational security by Hamas". US officials expressed shock at how Israeli intelligence appeared to be unaware of any preparations by Hamas. Israeli officials later anonymously reported to Axios that the IDF and Shin Bet had detected abnormal movements by Hamas the day before the attack, but decided to wait for additional intelligence before raising the military's alert level. They also did not inform political leaders of the intelligence reports.

Amit Segal, chief political commentator for Israel's Channel 12, said that the conflict would test Benjamin Netanyahu's survival as prime minister, noting that past wars had toppled the governments of several of his predecessors such as that of Golda Meir following the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Menachem Begin following the 1982 Lebanon War, and Ehud Olmert following the 2006 Lebanon War. Prior to the formation of an emergency unity government on 11 October, Politico described the then-potential move as Netanyahu's opportunity to correct his course and save his political legacy. Citing the Israeli intelligence failure, which some observers attributed to the incumbent government focusing more on internal dissent, the judicial reform, and efforts to deepen Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories, some commentators criticized Netanyahu for putting aside the PLO and propping up Hamas, and described him as a liability.

In an analysis by The Times of Israel, the newspaper wrote, "Hamas has violently shifted the world's eyes back to the Palestinians and dealt a severe blow to the momentum for securing a landmark US-brokered deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia." Andreas Kluth wrote in his Bloomberg News column that Hamas "torched Biden's deal to remake the Middle East", arguing that the deal that was being discussed between Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the United States would have left Palestinians in the cold, so the group decided to "blow the whole thing up". He added that viewed from Gaza, things were only going to get worse, considering that Netanyahu's coalition partners opposed a two-state solution for the conflict. He suggested they would prefer to annex the entirety of the West Bank, even at the expense of turning Israel into an apartheid state.

Economic impact

On 9 November, the Bank of Israel reported that the drop in labor supply caused by the war was costing the Israeli economy $600 million a week, or 6% of weekly GDP. The bank also stated that the estimate does not reflect total damage and did not include damages caused by the absence of Palestinian and foreign workers. In the final quarter of 2023, the Israeli economy shrank by 5.2% quarter-to-quarter due to labour shortages in construction and from the mobilization of 300,000 reservists. While Israel did still see economic growth of 2%, this was down from 6.5% growth in the year before the war. Further consequences of the war were that consumer spending declined by 27%, imports declined by 42% and exports were reported to decline by 18%.

Israel's high-tech factories reported on 25 December that they had been having trouble with electronic imports from China due to recent bureaucratic obstacles, leading to higher import costs and delayed delivery times. Israeli officials also reported that China had refused to send workers to their country during the war against the backdrop of a worker shortage in Israel's construction and farming sectors. China's actions were described as a de facto sanction.

The Water Transport Workers Federation of India, a trade union representing 11 major Indian ports and 3,500 workers, said it would refuse to operate shipments carrying weapons to Israel. The declaration came a few months after one Indian company halted production of Israeli police uniforms due to the war in Gaza.

About 9,855 Thai workers in the agricultural sector, 4,331 workers in the construction sector and 2,997 in the nursing sector left Israel following al-Aqsa Flood. In addition, the prevention of 85,000 Palestinian workers from entering Israel created a shortage of about 100,000 foreign and Palestinian workers.

It has been calculated that the carbon cost in terms of climate impact of rebuilding Gaza would exceed the annual greenhouse emissions of 135 countries.

Media coverage

Criticism from journalists

Over 750 journalists signed an open letter condemning "Israel's killing of reporters in Gaza and criticizing Western media's coverage of the war". The letter said newsrooms are "accountable for dehumanizing rhetoric that has served to justify ethnic cleansing of Palestinians". Signers of the letter were criticized for potentially impeding their organizations' ability to gather news and could face management backlash, Semafor reported that Los Angeles Times journalists who signed the letter were barred from covering the Gaza war "in any way" for at least three months.

On 13 November eleven international news organizations sent a letter to Israel and Egypt, asking for access to the Gaza Strip to cover the war.

CBS reported on 14 December a statement of the International Federation of Journalists noting that "the number of journalists killed in the past two months in the war in Gaza has surpassed the amount killed in the Vietnam War, which lasted two decades". More than 50 Palestinian journalists died. Various dangerous conditions such as airstrikes, lack of food, risks related to lack of clean water and shelter make it such that "Palestine is one of the most dangerous places for a journalist to do their job". Reporters Without Borders filed a complaint with the International Criminal Court under section 8.2.b of the Rome Statute, accusing Israel of committing war crimes against 8 journalists. It also lodged a complaint against Hamas, under section 8.2.a of the Rome Statute for the killing of a reporter covering the 7 October attack.

The Committee to Protect Journalists has accused Israel of targeting journalists reporting from Gaza and their families, saying that in at least two cases, "journalists reported receiving threats from Israeli officials and Israel Defense Forces officers before their family members were killed".

Unsubstantiated reports of certain 7 October atrocities

In the aftermath of the initial Hamas assault, witnesses from the IDF and the Israeli organization ZAKA reported on various media outlets that they had seen bodies of beheaded infants and children at the site of the Kfar Aza massacre. This claim was repeated by the US President Biden and by Secretary of State Blinken with the White House subsequently saying that the President was referring to the reports of beheadings.

However, these stories were later found to be untrue or unverified. In reality, only three babies were known to have died on 7 October, one from a bullet and the other due to complications after birth.

Embedded journalists with Israel

Foreign media such as CNN, ABC, NBC, The New York Times, and Fox News, have limited access to Gaza only in the presence of Israeli soldiers. Vox reported that the news organizations "have to submit all materials and footage to the IDF for review before publication".

Censorship by social media companies

On 20 December, Human Rights Watch issued a 51-page report documenting Meta's pattern of removal and suppression of speech on Facebook and Instagram including peaceful expression in support of Palestine and public debate about Palestinian human rights.

Israel's ban of Al Jazeera

On 5 May 2024, the Israeli government shut down Al Jazeera in Israel and authorized seizing its equipment.

See also

Notes

References

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