top of page

The Global Consortium of Political Analysts

The Israel and Palestine Conflict

Updated: Dec 31, 2023

On October 7, 2023, the armed wing of Hamas, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, carried out a surprise offensive against Israel. The group launched over 3,000 rockets from the Gaza Strip while approximately 2,000 ground forces broke through Israeli barriers and crossed into the country. The initial numbers had over 1,000 Israelis dead and around 100 kidnapped, including foreigners. Israeli forces retaliated, leaving over 2,000 Palestinians dead and more than half of the population internally displaced in the first ten days.

Motivated by Continued Raids and Harassment at al-Aqsa Mosque

According to Mohammed Deif, commander of the Al-Qassam Brigades, operation Al-Aqsa Flood was planned in retaliation for Israel's continued raids of the al-Aqsa Mosque and increasing desecration of the site by far-right Jews who continue to be escorted by Israeli security forces to visit and pray at the site. Although several agreements forbid non-Muslims from praying at al-Aqsa, including an announcement posted at the entrance by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel warning against entering the site, these visits have become increasingly common.

Since the early 19th century, a Status Quo arrangement has characterized the governance of the al-Aqsa compound. Administration of the space is entrusted to the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan as custodian. In 1994, a treaty between Israel and Jordan acknowledged this framework. This arrangement remains recognized by the international community, including the United Nations, UNESCO, the Arab League, the European Union, Russia, and the United States.

Motivated by Regional Balance of Power Concerns

Others argue that Hamas, with the backing of Iran, chose this particular time to stage an attack to disrupt the Saudi-Israeli talks toward an agreement. Such an agreement could "shift the balance of power between Iran and Saudi Arabia…in favor of the U.S.-aligned Saudi Arabia and Israel". One indication of this dynamic includes the gathering of U.S. President Joe Biden and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) leaders during the Jeddah Security and Development Summit in July 2022. During this meeting, President Biden "applauded the key roles played by Jordan and Egypt…and their support for the Palestinian people and institutions". You can find the Final Statement by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs here and the U.S. takeaways here.


bottom of page