In recent weeks, tensions have escalated between Israel and Hamas, leading to concerns about a potential ground invasion of Gaza by Israel. However, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has stated that Israel has "absolutely no intent" to govern Gaza again. Blinken emphasized that going back to the status quo is not an option, given Hamas' previous actions. Israel also does not desire to run Gaza themselves.
The conflict began on October 7 when Hamas militants launched a surprise attack, killing over 1,300 people and abducting hundreds more. In response, Israel has initiated a counterattack, resulting in casualties among the civilian population of Gaza as well as Israeli fatalities.
Israel has imposed a blockade on Gaza for almost two weeks, restricting the flow of food and medical aid to prevent supplies from reaching Hamas. This has led to dire conditions for the 2.3 million people living in Gaza, with concerns of a humanitarian catastrophe and potential starvation.
Over the weekend, Israel intensified airstrikes in preparation for a ground invasion. However, amidst these escalating tensions, aid trucks were finally able to enter Gaza on Saturday after being initially blocked near the Egyptian-controlled Rafah border crossing.
The future governing structure for Gaza remains uncertain. Gaza was previously controlled by Egypt and was occupied by Israel during the Six Day War in 1967. Hamas took control of Gaza in 2006 after Israel withdrew, but a blockade by Israel and Egypt continued. How the region will be governed after the conflict concludes is yet to be determined.
Blinken stressed the need to find a solution that prevents Hamas from repeating its actions while also avoiding a return to Israeli governance of Gaza, which Israel does not want or intend to pursue.
As tensions continue to rise and the potential for a ground invasion looms, the international community is closely watching the situation, with hopes for a peaceful resolution that safeguards the well-being of both Israelis and Palestinians.