Israeli Declaration of War Highlights Ongoing Tensions in the Region

A building destroyed by Israeli strikes in Gaza City on Saturday.Credit...Samar Abu Elouf for The New York Times

The militant Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip have carried out an unprecedented, multifront attack on Israel, firing thousands of rockets and sending dozens of fighters into Israeli towns as far as 15 miles away, killing at least one person and injuring 15 others12345. Here are the key takeaways from the article:

The Attack

  • The attack is the biggest in recent years, with thousands of rockets launched into Israel from Gaza and dozens of militants entering Southern Israel5.
  • Unlike the series of clashes with Palestinian forces in Gaza over the last three years, this appears to be a full-scale conflict mounted by Hamas and its allies, with rocket barrages and incursions into Israel proper, and with Israelis killed and captured1.
  • The escalation came during the Jewish sabbath and at the tail end of a series of Jewish holidays, during which Israel has restricted Palestinian exits from Gaza123.

The Response

  • Israel declared "a state of alert for war" and called up reserves after the attack12345.
  • The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said that it had launched a counterattack against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip12345.
  • Given that dozens of Israelis have died so far and more have been taken hostage by Hamas, an Israeli invasion of Gaza cannot be ruled out1.

The Historical Context

  • Hamas and Israel have fought four wars since 2007, when the extremist group seized the coastal enclave and Israel and Egypt launched a land and sea blockade14.
  • After the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and the conflict of 2006, an internal struggle between the Fatah movement of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the more radical, Islamist Hamas movement ended with Hamas taking control of the territory in 2007, prompting Israel to try to isolate Gaza even further14.

The Future

  • It remains to be seen how the attack will impact the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas12345.
  • The attack is a reminder of the ongoing tensions in the region and the challenges facing efforts to achieve lasting peace12345.


The attack by Hamas militants on Israel is a significant development that highlights the ongoing tensions in the region. Israel's response and declaration of "a state of alert for war" underscore the seriousness of the situation. It remains to be seen how the issue will be resolved in the future, but it is a reminder of the challenges facing efforts to achieve lasting peace in the region.