Operation Iron Swords
Operation Iron Swords is the name given by Israel to its military retaliation against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, following a massive surprise attack by the Palestinian militant group on October 7, 2023. The attack, which Hamas called Operation Al-Aqsa Storm, involved firing over 5,000 rockets into Israel and infiltrating Israeli territory with hundreds of fighters. The attack killed at least 22 Israelis and wounded over 500, while also causing significant damage to infrastructure and property.
Israel responded by launching Operation Iron Swords, which aimed to destroy Hamas’s rocket launchers, tunnels, command centers, and weapons depots. The operation involved airstrikes, artillery fire, and ground troops, as well as coordination with Egypt and the United States. The operation also targeted other factions in Gaza, such as Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
The operation has resulted in a high number of casualties and displacement on both sides, as well as a humanitarian crisis in Gaza. According to the latest reports, at least 200 Palestinians have been killed and over 1,000 injured, while at least 35 Israelis have been killed and over 600 injured. Over 100,000 people have been displaced in Gaza, while over 500 buildings have been destroyed or damaged. The United Nations has warned of a severe shortage of food, water, medicine, and fuel in Gaza.
The operation has also sparked international condemnation and calls for a ceasefire. The United Nations Security Council has held several emergency meetings to discuss the situation, but has failed to issue a joint statement due to the veto of the United States. The European Union, Russia, China, Turkey, Iran, and several Arab and Muslim countries have denounced Israel’s actions and urged an end to the violence. Several countries have also offered humanitarian aid to Gaza or mediated between the parties .
The operation has also triggered protests and clashes in various parts of the world, especially in the Middle East and Europe. Thousands of people have taken to the streets to express their solidarity with Gaza or condemn Israel’s actions. Some of these protests have turned violent, resulting in injuries and arrests. There have also been reports of attacks on synagogues, mosques, and other religious or ethnic symbols .
Operation Iron Swords is one of the most intense and deadly conflicts between Israel and Hamas in recent years. It has also raised questions about the prospects of peace and stability in the region. It is unclear how long the operation will last or what its outcome will be. However, it is clear that both sides will need to engage in dialogue and diplomacy to end the cycle of violence and address the root causes of the conflict.