Headline RoundupOctober 10th, 2023

How History Influenced the Current Israel-Hamas Conflict

Summary from the AllSides News Team

While most Western media voices have supported Israel following Hamas’ deadly attacks, the most prominent counter-narrative argues that Israel’s policies helped motivate the attack. Does this argument have merit, and what could it mean for Israel’s future?

Key Quote: Nearly three dozen Harvard student organizations drew widespread criticism on Tuesday after saying they “hold the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence,” adding, “For the last two decades, millions of Palestinians in Gaza have been forced to live in an open-air prison.”

‘Open-Air Prison’: The Gaza Strip, where Hamas’ attacks originated, is one of the most densely populated places in the world — packing over 2 million people into roughly 140 square miles. Israel has blockaded Gaza since it disengaged from the region in 2007. In Israel’s absence, Hamas has used — or “weaponized,” as some argue — social services to build public popularity. Without potable drinking water, however, many Gazans rely on services from Israel. Since Hamas launched its latest attacks, Israel has cut off vital services and launched airstrikes in Gaza. With such a dense population, ordinary Gazans have few options to escape the violence. 

How the Media Covered It: While no mainstream media outlet argued Hamas was not responsible for its attacks, some questioned why U.S. and Arab leaders “forgot” about Gaza. Left-rated media outlets often covered humanitarian concerns for Gaza’s civilians and published analyses tying Hamas’ attacks to Gaza’s history. Some coverage in right-rated outlets blamed the attacks on purported “appeasement” by the Biden administration; some framed critics of Israel’s Gaza blockade as supporting terrorism. 

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