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A Brief History of Modern Israel's Conflicts

From the Desk of Cheryl Hauer

Information for Discussing Israel’s War with Hamas

Few people actually understand the issues that have led to the current situation. Questions are abounding and when we aren’t prepared to answer with the truth, disinformation takes hold and grows like a cancer.

Important questions we can answer:

What is the difference between an Arab Israeli and a Palestinian?

An Israeli Arab is an Arab whose families accepted Ben Gurion’s invitation upon the foundation of the state of Israel to become citizens of the new state. They are entitled to all the benefits of citizenship and live in harmony with Jewish citizens. Although some have become radicalized, most consider themselves Israelis and support the nation of Israel. The vast majority openly express their preference to live within the Israeli political system rather than under the oppressive Palestinian Authority or Hamas leadership.

Palestinians are those who are non-citizens of Israel whose ancestors lived inside the British Mandate for Palestine. Some live in the West Bank, some in Gaza, some even in Jordan. Most live in those areas that are now under the leadership of the Palestinian Authority (West Bank) or Hamas (Gaza). These are the progeny of the Arabs who were directed by the Arab leadership during the 1948 war of independence to leave their homes and basically become refugees until the Arab forces could destroy the new state of Israel. However, since the loss of that war and the establishment of the state, those Arabs have been forced to maintain their refugee status by those same Arab leaders so that they could be used as a bargaining chip in statehood negotiations and as a means for gathering sympathy for the Palestinian cause in the nations.

Is this war with the Palestinians or Hamas? And who is Hamas?

Israel’s war is not with the Palestinian people per se. It is with Hamas, an Arabic acronym for the Islamic Resistance Movement, and a recognition of the group’s roots and early ties to one of the world’s most prominent terrorist groups, the Muslim Brotherhood, founded in Egypt in the 1920s. The group’s charter vows to annihilate Israel and has been responsible for hundreds of suicide bombings, thousands of rockets into southern Israel, other individual deadly attacks on civilians and Israeli soldiers, and the massacre of Israeli civilians that occurred on October 7, 2023. The U.S. State Department has designated Hamas a terrorist group since 1997. The European Union and other Western countries also consider it a terrorist organization. It is known to follow in the footsteps of ISIS and Al Qaida, both terrorist organizations known for their barbarity, and has spread its net of terror well beyond the Middle East as a proxy of Iran, bringing terror to the United States and Europe.

Is this war an act of vengeance on the part of Israel?

In order to understand the Israeli reaction to the horrific attacks on October 7, it is imperative to understand the history of the conflict. The entire nation of Israel is in mourning, reeling from the ghastly actions of terrorists as they infiltrated the state and attacked defenseless Israelis, torturing them in unheard of ways before murdering 1,400, injuring thousands more and taking over 240 into captivity in Gaza.

It would be almost understandable if Israel’s commitment to destroy Hamas was based on a desire for revenge. But it is not. Jewish law actually forbids war for any other reason than the destruction of evil that threatens their very existence. Countries around the world have acknowledged that Israel has no alternative. If Hamas is not dismantled and destroyed, the gruesome attacks of October 7 will be repeated as Hamas attempts the annihilation of the Jewish people. The bible, however, instructs Israel to destroy the evil that would threaten the existence of the Jewish state. And the nations need to realize that this threat does not end in Israel. The goal of Hamas and other radical Islamists is the destruction of both Jews and Christians and the establishment of global Islamic rule. Israel not just fighting for their own lives, but for the lives of the nations as well.

This conflict did not begin in a vacuum.

The following is a list of the conflicts that Israel has been forced into since the inception of the state in 1948. Understanding this history helps people put the necessity for the destruction of terrorist organizations in Gaza into perspective.

Israel’s Conflicts

  • 1948 War of Independence

  • 1956 Sinai Campaign – terrorist incursions into Israel from Egypt and the blockade of the Straits of Turin

  • 1967 Six Day War

  • 1970-76 War of Attrition - numerous attacks on innocent Israeli civilians from Arab neighbors on the northern, southern, and eastern fronts.

  • 1972 Operation Isotope – Rescue of Sabena Airline hijacked by Islamist terrorists

  • 1972-73 1972, a bloody year. This was the year in which the massacre at Tel Aviv Airport took place (25 travelers were murdered and another 72 were injured); a bomb was discovered on an airplane that was en route from Rome to Israel; terrorists raided the Israeli embassy in Bangkok; hundreds of letter bombs were sent to Jews in Israel and around the world; and it was the year of the brutal Munich Massacre of 11 athletes from the Israeli delegation to the Munich Olympics.

  • 1973 Operation Spring of Youth – Removal PLO from Beirut after brutal attacks on Israeli civilians

  • 1973 Yom Kippur War

  • 1976 Entebbe – Rescue operation of a plane hijacked by terrorists

  • 1978 Operation Litani – Lebanon War to push enemies back behind the Litani River after horrific attack on civilian bus where dozens of defenseless Israelis were brutally slaughtered

  • 1981 Operation Opera – Destruction of Iraqi nuclear reactor

  • 1982-85 Operation Peace for Galilee – First Lebanon War

  • 1987-93 First Intifada

  • 2002 Operation Defensive Shield - Hamas

  • 2000-05 Second Intifada - Hamas

  • 2006 Second Lebanon War - Hezbollah

  • 2008-09 Operation Cast Lead - Hamas

  • 2012 Operation Pillar of Defense - Hamas

  • 2014 Operation Protective Edge- Hamas

  • 2021 Operation Guardian of the Walls - Hamas

  • 2022 Operation Breaking Dawn - Hamas

  • 2003 War with Hamas - Hamas

From well before 1948 until today, Israel has dealt with frequent cross-border attacks where civilians are targeted and murdered. Between 2005 and 2023, hundreds of thousands of rockets have been launched toward Israel mainly by Hamas, killing hundreds, wounding thousands and traumatizing an entire nation. Hamas has repeatedly publicly stated its intention to kill every Jew in the land and claim all of Israel as an Islamic state. Since 2005 when Hamas became the elected ruling party in Gaza after Israel willingly surrendered the strip to the Palestinians under Yasser Arafat’s leadership, it has been a terrorist enclave supported and financed by Iran and by international funds intended for humanitarian aid but confiscated by Hamas. An Israeli cease fire would be nothing short of a surrender to those who will stop at nothing to annihilate the Jewish state and then move forward with their plans to conquer the western world.

Blessings and Shalom,

Issachar Community


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