The Student News Site of St. Charles East High School, 1020 Dunham Road, St. Charles, Illinois 60174


The Student News Site of St. Charles East High School, 1020 Dunham Road, St. Charles, Illinois 60174


The Student News Site of St. Charles East High School, 1020 Dunham Road, St. Charles, Illinois 60174


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Israel-Palestine conflict rages on amid the end of a temporary humanitarian pause

On Oct. 7, 2023, Hamas conducted surprise attacks against Israel from the Gaza Strip. In response to the attacks, Israel’s cabinet formally declared war on Hamas. 

Hamas is a Palestinian and Islamic nationalist movement that has controlled the West Bank and Gaza Strip since 2007 when they seized the region. Sheikh Ahmed Yassin founded Hamas in 1987 during the first intifada, where tensions between Israel and Palestine were cause for protests and rallies across the Middle East. The first intifada (uprising) was the name given to a period in which Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza violently protested Israeli occupation. The history of the relationship between Israel and Palestine is long and complicated. Recently, according to AP News, “Israel’s new far-right government was working to cement Israeli settlements in the West Bank despite Palestinian opposition.” 

Advocacy efforts in the United States have been seen across many American college campuses in the form of protests. According to BBC News, Columbia University is just one college that has experienced protests on campus on both the pro-Israel and pro-Palestine sides. “Though the two sides stood just yards apart, the ideological distance between them seemed insurmountably wide, and only grew more pronounced as the evening progressed,” stated reporter Kayla Epstein of BBC News. 

On Nov. 24, Hamas and the Israeli government agreed to a temporary humanitarian pause that would allow for an exchange of hostages between the nations. International pressure on both nations for some form of ceasefire has remained constant, as shown by the resolution adopted by the UN Security Council on Nov, 15, which called for “urgent and extended humanitarian pauses” in Gaza. 

Like most resolutions, this one did not come without struggle. Since the start of the war on Oct. 7, the council had been previously unable to reach an agreement on a potential ceasefire in Gaza after reluctance to call for a ceasefire by the United States and the United Kingdom. After revisions to the final draft of the resolution, it was able to pass with the United States, United Kingdom and Russia abstaining from voting. 

The temporary “pause” was extended past its initial ending date, and lasted until the early morning hours of Dec. 1. According to CNN, by the end of the temporary pause in fighting, 105 Israeli hostages had been released from Gaza and 240 Palestinians had been released from Israeli prisons. The released hostages also accounted for other nations, including 23 Thai citizens, one Russian citizen, and one Filipino citizen. 

In light of the end of the temporary humanitarian pause, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has spoken out regarding the worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza. In his Nov. 30 press release, Blinken stated that “[The United States’] immediate focus is working with our partners to extend the pause so that we can continue to get more hostages out of Gaza and more assistance in.” 

Blinken also spoke on the significance of minimizing life lost in Gaza, urging the Israeli government to move towards a plan that avoids casualties of innocent Palestinians. In the press release, he stated “In my meetings today with the prime minister and senior Israeli officials, I made clear that before Israel resumes major military operations, it must put in place humanitarian civilian protection plans that minimize further casualties of innocent Palestinians.”

“That means taking more effective steps to protect the lives of civilians, including by clearly and precisely designating areas and places in southern and central Gaza where they can be safe and out of the line of fire. It means avoiding further significant displacement of civilians inside of Gaza.  It means avoiding damage to life-critical infrastructure, like hospitals, like power stations, like water facilities. And it means giving civilians who’ve been displaced to southern Gaza the choice to return to the north as soon as conditions permit,” Blinken stated.

As of right now, fighting has resumed in Gaza. Efforts by international entities to push another temporary ceasefire continue to be made. According to Al Jazeera, a Qatari news outlet based in Doha, the United Nations Security Council met on Dec. 8 to further discuss the best course of action regarding the war. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the only Arab country on the council and has released a statement to the UN on the matter.

“The situation in the Gaza Strip is catastrophic and close to irreversible. We cannot wait. The Council needs to act decisively to demand a humanitarian ceasefire,” the UAE said in the statement.

The United States was in attendance at the meeting, along with The United Kingdom and Russia, who had all abstained from voting on the last proposal for a humanitarian pause in the region. 

At the Dec. 8 meeting, no resolution was passed. According to Reuters News, an international news agency, The United States was the only country to reject the UAE’s proposal of a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, with the United Kingdom abstaining from voting.

More updates to come. 

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About the Contributor
Sophia Smallwood
Sophia Smallwood, Editor in Chief
Sophia is a senior at East and loves to travel. A two-time published author, she loves to write in her free time. Sophia plans to pursue psychiatry in her future.

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