8 facts about Israel-Gaza conflict and why SA withdrew its Israeli ambassador

8 facts about Israel-Gaza conflict and why SA withdrew its Israeli ambassador

The South African government has officially recalled Ambassador Sisa Ngombane from Israel following the killing of Palestinian protestors at the Gaza border by Israeli security forces.

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In a statement, the government said it condemned in the strongest possible terms the act of violent aggression carried out by Israeli armed forces.

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The government said it would withdraw Ambassador Ngombane indefinitely in protest of repeated incursions by the Israeli Defence Force members into the Gaza strip. The South African government has called on Israel to withdraw and bring to an end the violent and destructive occupation of Palestinian territories.

Briefly.co.za gathered that Israeli security forces shot and killed scores of Palestinian protestors at the Gaza border on Monday. The protestors were demonstrating against the controversial opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem.

EWN.co.za reported that Monday was the deadliest day in the Gaza conflict since 2014. Palestinian Health officials claim that 52 people were killed and more than 2,200 were injured.

The protests were sparked by US President Donald Trump’s controversial decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This in effect means the US recognises Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Palestinians seek to have East Jerusalem as the capital of the state which they hope to establish in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Israel, meanwhile, considers the entire Jerusalem which it captured in the 1967 war as its eternal and indivisible capital. The international community has never recognised this claim and the US’s move is seen by many as the country taking sides in the conflict.

Briefly.co.za brings you 8 crucial facts to understanding the ongoing conflict in Gaza between Israel and Palestine.

1. Modern-day Israel was established in 1948 after millions of Jews fled Europe following the horrors of the Holocaust. The newly created United Nations proposed splitting what was a Palestine into two states. Israel was officially ‘born’ on 14 May 1948, the new state and its Arab neighbours went to war after just one day.

2. When the 1948 war ended the Gaza strip was controlled by Egypt and the West Bank by Jordan.

3. In 1967 the infamous six-day war broke out. Israel occupied much of the Palestinian territories and hoped to exchange some of these lands in return for the Arabs recognising Israel’s right to exist. It was during this war that Israel annexed Jerusalem and claimed the city as its capital.

4. Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005 shortly before Hamas was elected and took control of the region in 2006. Much of the world calls Hamas a terrorist organisation. Hamas refused to recognise Israel and vowed to return Palestinian’s to their former home country.

5. Israel has since then held Gaza under a blockade and has control of the border. Life for the 1.5 million Palestinian’s in the Gaza strip is incredibly difficult. Aid groups claim that while food is allowed in, many families suffer from malnutrition.

6. Hamas has launched several rocket attacks against Israel, each is met with an equal and even more devastating bombing campaign.

7. Violence in Gaza through the years: n the years since Israel withdrew its troops in 2005, Gaza has seen several Israeli offensives. Israel says these were aimed at putting a stop to rocket fire.

In 2008, Israel sent soldiers into Gaza. An estimated 1,300 people, many of them civilians, were killed in Gaza before a ceasefire was declared; 13 Israeli soldiers also died.

In 2012, at least 167 Palestinians and six Israelis were killed during an Israeli operation. After eight days a ceasefire was declared with both sides promising to stop attacks.

Most recently in July 2014, authorities said over 2,200 people were killed - most of them Palestinians - and many more injured, during 50 days of violence. A ceasefire was agreed between Israel and Hamas on 26 August.

8. Many countries, most notably the United States, have over the years tried to negotiate peace between Israel and its Arab neighbours, but today we are as far away from a peace deal as we were in 1967.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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