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Israel-Hamas War Rages Forward

Israel+and+Palestine+flags.%0ACreated+by+Sean+Martino.
Israel and Palestine flags. Created by Sean Martino.

Conflict arose on the morning of Oct. 7, as Palestinian militant group Hamas carried out attacks on Israel. More than 1,400 Israeli citizens were killed and many more taken hostage that morning. Israel responded by launching strikes into Palestine, killing more than 5,000. Some intelligence also believes that Israel could be preparing to move ground forces into Gaza. Gaza is a strip of land controlled by Palestine, yet it is bordered by Israel to the East. This conflict has arisen into a major worldwide news story with new updates every day.

Mr. Andrew Simon is a history teacher at the high school. He discussed the background that surrounds the conflict.

“Hamas entered Israel because Hamas is a terrorist organization that doesn’t think Israel has a right to exist.  They’ve controlled the Gaza Strip since the mid-2000s, and they use this as a base of operations against Israel.  Until October 7, their attacks were largely based on the firing of rockets, which Israel is able to deflect with their “Iron Dome” defense system,” said Simon.

While there has often been tension between these two countries due to proximity and cultural differences, there has not been a major conflict between the two since 2021. The Oct. 7 attacks were revealed to have been planned and practiced meticulously by Hamas. 

Mr. Chris Gallagher is a history and political science teacher at the high school. He spoke on the causes behind the war.

“Both groups believe they have a claim to the same land. Hamas represents the Palestinian claim, but Hamas is an extremist group. This was viewed as a terrorist attack, which sparked such a militarized response from Israel,” said Gallagher.

Israel is a predominantly Jewish country, and the attack was launched on Simchat Torah which is a significant Jewish holiday. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to respond as he mobilized military units.

This war has also affected other countries, specifically their economies. Economists are fearing that energy prices will rise substantially and trade routes will be disrupted if the war escalates any further. Oil prices are a particular concern, as the oil industry is already struggling to deal with the war in Ukraine. Israel has said they do not wish the conflict to escalate, but they will retaliate to the level they see fit. 

Simon also spoke on the impacts that the conflict has within the United States.

“In the U.S. we’ve seen a rise in anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic language and actions. Hateful language is being thrown around the internet and high profile Jewish Americans are getting hate mail. The security apparatus of our government is on alert for possible attacks,” said Simon.

Battle has been raging for nearly a month now. Both sides have suffered losses, yet are persistent on continuing. Many innocent Palestinians and Israelis are living in fear, as they are constantly surrounded by military units. If history is any indication, there is no telling when a resolution to this conflict will be found. 

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About the Contributor
Sean Martino
Sean Martino, Opinion Editor
Sean Martino is a senior editor in his second year of Journalism. Martino has been a Sports Editor in the past and is now an Opinion Editor. He is looking forward to working with the wonderful Prowler staff for the second year in a row. He enjoys the collaboration and the excitement that comes with being in The Prowler. Martino is a member of the RCHS baseball team and is involved in various other clubs within the school. He likes to spend his free time traveling the hills of Rockbridge County and supporting local eateries such as Don Tequila’s and Cookout. He also considers himself a passionate sports fan, and loves to watch his favorite teams. Following graduation, he is planning to attend a four year university to further his studies. 

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