Following the unexpected and devastating attacks on Israel by the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which have resulted in the deaths of over 1,200 Israelis and some Americans, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that they are now at war. From the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian militant group organised the massive, thoroughly planned terror strike on Israel. On Saturday morning, Gaza militants launched several missiles towards Israeli communities before storming the heavily defended border barrier with Israel and launching a massive ground invasion. Hundreds of people, both civilians and troops, were killed, and hostages were taken by Hamas militants.
As the fight continued in the streets, it took Israeli forces more than two days to regain control of the situation. On Monday, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said that it had regained control of all Israeli communities near Gaza’s southern border following a cessation of hostilities with Hamas. It was a shocking and unexpected offensive on the part of Hamas and Islamic Jihad and an enormous failure on the part of Israel’s intelligence services; both will have lasting effects and consequences. Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, announced the Palestinians would pay a hefty price for their attacks.
With no compromise, Israel declared war against Hamas.
On October 10th, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant declared that Israel was going on the offensive against Hamas and that they would do it without holding back or making compromises. While declaring war on Hamas, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu pledged to “destroy Hamas military capabilities” with all of Israel’s resources. As Saturday evening drew to a close, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) assessed that between 200 and 300 Palestinian militants were still inside Israel. There were a total of eight “points of engagement” where the IDF was attempting to take control back from militants. The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza also reported on Monday that hundreds of people had been killed in Gaza, including dozens of children.
More so, as Israeli military operations against Hamas continue, the IDF has urged civilians in Gaza to evacuate their homes immediately for their safety. In preparation for what may be a ground invasion of the enclave, Israel has closed all crossings between Israel and Gaza. Now that Israel has ordered a “complete siege” of the Gaza Strip, its nearly 2 million residents have been shut off from essential resources such as water, fuel, electricity, and food. According to the Gaza Health Ministry, at least 950 Palestinians, including at least 140 children, have been killed in Israel’s retaliatory attacks against the Gaza Strip. The ministry reported on social media that at least 5,000 more people, mostly women and children, were injured in the blockaded Palestinian area.
Who are the Hamas, how did they start, and what is their motive?
Hamas is an Islamist group with a military arm that emerged in 1987 from the Muslim Brotherhood, a Sunni Islamist group founded in Egypt in the late 1920s. Like most Palestinian political parties and factions, the group believed Israel was an occupying power, thereby seeking its destruction. In contrast to other Palestinian organisations, Hamas has consistently rejected attempts to negotiate with Israel. It rejected the 1993 Oslo Accords, which offered an independent Palestinian state in exchange for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) giving up violent action against Israel. In the West Bank, controlled by Israel, the Accords also set up the Palestinian Authority (PA). Over the years, Hamas has taken claim for several attacks on Israel, leading the United States, the European Union, and Israel to classify it as a terrorist organisation.
Human Rights Watch also said the region is like an “open-air prison.” Over half of its people live in poverty and are insecure in terms of food, and almost 80% of its people depend on humanitarian aid. Multiple wars have been fought between Hamas and Israel. Before the recent one on Saturday, the last war was in 2021. It lasted 11 days, and 250 death in Gaza and 13 in Israel was recorded. As the battle gets intense, it’s unclear who will be in charge of Gaza if the Israeli government succeeds in destroying Hamas’s political and military wings. Since 2007, this group has held power in the Gaza Strip, and some analysts are concerned that the impending destruction could energise a new generation of Gazans.
Can the ongoing war impact Nigeria economy?
Indications are increasing that Nigerians will feel the economic impact of the conflict between Israel and Hamas in the days ahead. As local refineries lack refining products, Nigeria imports most of the petrol it requires. While neither Israel nor the Palestinian territories produce oil, the Middle East provides nearly a third of the world’s supply. Although oil prices reportedly spiked due to worries that the situation in Israel and Gaza might get out of hand to the point where it disrupted output from the Middle East, Dr. Billy Gillis-Harry, the National President of Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria (PETROAN), disregarded the notion that the conflict would impose any additional burden on the country beyond the increase in the cost of crude.