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The Student News Site of The Village School

The Viking Press

The Student News Site of The Village School

The Viking Press

The Israeli-Hamas War: What is it? What do Village Students think?

Student observing the Palestinian and Israeli flag on a laptop.

The conflict raging between Hamas and Israel in recent news has people worldwide, including at The Village School, asking: What is Hamas? What are their beliefs? Their purpose and end goal? Is this conflict between Palestine and Israel? Or Hamas and Israel? 

The Palestine and Israel dispute is decades long. The history behind both sides’ acts of violence dates way back to the time of  the Ottoman Empire from 1897 to 1917. However, tensions intensified due to the influx of Jews after World War II and exploded for the first time in 1948. According to the Council of Foreign Relations, on May 14th, 1948, the Israeli Declaration of Independence was created following the United Nations partition of Palestine in 1947. This declaration, and the end of the British Mandate, sparked the first Arab-Israeli war between Israel and five Arab nations (Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria). This war ended in 1949 with Israel’s victory but in the process, 750,000 Palestinians were displaced in what is known as the Nabka. Today, the disputed territory is divided into three parts; the state of Israel, Gaza (controlled by Hamas), and the West Bank. In order for you to determine your own truth behind Hamas and what they are fighting for, you must first be wary of Hamas’s history.

In 1988, Hamas published its charter, calling for destruction of Israel. According to article 13 of the Hamas Charter: “there is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals, and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.” Their current goal is to establish an Islamic Palestinian state by eradicating Israel. Throughout the decades that this conflict has been going on, Hamas, the governing body of the Gaza strip, has had multiple failed attempts of attacking Israel. Prior to the most recent attack on Israel, Hamas stole billions of dollars of aid from the international community, supposed to be going to the construction of schools, hospitals, and the economy, to build rockets. On October 7, 2023, Hamas launched a massive surprise attack on Southern Israel, killing 1,2000 people and taking over 240 hostages (latest counts). After the attack, Israel officially declared war on Hamas. As of November 30th, 2023, according to the relief web, more than 15,000 people have been killed in Gaza. According to OCHA services, In Gaza of those killed, 40% are children, 22% are women, and 4% are elderly. As stated by Al Jazeera, these deaths were attributed to the 25,000 bombs fired by Israel on Gaza from October 7th to November 30th. On November 23rd, a ceasefire deal was made between Israel and Hamas and has been extended until November 30th.

The Village School, with families from a variety of different cultures, is an extremely diverse community with a diverse range of opinions on the conflict. “My heart goes out to both sides,” said Asmaa Alaoui Ismaili, a French teacher originally from Morocco. Madam Alaoui has friends in the West Bank and Gaza. She hears from the families who live there and how both sides are being affected. “I grew up with Muslims and Jewish people  in Morocco and they used to celebrate Eid with us” she said.“I am deeply devastated and what I see from both sides, it is really sad, seeing the bloodshed.” Madam Alaoui believes peace should be restored and she even spoke to a Palestinian woman who lost 30 members of her family in Palestine due to these events. “This is impacting the whole world, you feel this is a sad time for everybody” said Madam Alaoui. 

“I think this conflict doesn’t influence the relationships between students. I prefer not to discuss politics as a child because it is hard for the appropriate understanding. I just try to respect every opinion” said freshman Nicole Mikhailovna Zhukova, an Israeli student. “Our school is very diverse, the existence of multiculturalism makes the school extraordinary. The fact that the school organizes Marches of Nations greatly unites the students, makes it clear who is from where, who was what culture, etc. It helps a lot when you know that you are not alone in your nationality.”

“I would want Palestine to be its own country,”said sophomore Yasmin Aboukhamis, a Palestinian student. She elaborates, “from my perspective, Israel is attacking Palestinian civilians, not only Hamas members, so it is more both states fighting each other rather than just Hamas and Israel.” Aboukhamis has family in North Palestine who have fortunately not been affected. Her heart is very close to this conflict as she says, “we were going to go to Palestine this December to help out little kids, and it is really sad to see that this situation prevented me from doing that.”

Although this conflict is very heavy and intense, it is shown that the people at The Village School are handling this situation with awareness and maturity. During the March of Nations, both the flags of Israel and Palestine were present. Though community members may have different interpretations of the conflict, one perspective is universal: the conflict is devastating and peace must be secured. Now you have some simplified information on the conflict, I urge you to continue researching in order to have productive dialogues.



Israel: Almost 10,000 rockets fired from Gaza since October 7. (2023, November 8). The Economic Times. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/israel-almost-10000-rockets-fired-from-gaza-since-october-7/articleshow/105064500.cms

National Counterterrorism Center | FTOs. (n.d.). Www.dni.gov. https://www.dni.gov/nctc/ftos/hamas_fto.html#:~:text=The%20group%20 is%20 committed%20to

Office of the Historian. (2019). Milestones: 1945–1952 – Office of the Historian. State.gov. https://history.state.gov/milestones/1945-1952/creation-israel

Public Health Situation Analysis (PHSA) on Hostilities in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) – 05 November 2023 – occupied Palestinian territory | ReliefWeb. (2023, November 6). Reliefweb.int. https://reliefweb.int/report/occupied-palestinian-territory/public-health-situation-analysis-phsa-hostilities-occupied-palestinian-territory-opt-05-november-2023#:~:text=As%20of%20November%205%2C%202023

Martínez, Andrés R. “Here’s a Timeline of Saturday’s Attacks and Israel’s Retaliation.” The New York Times, 8 Oct. 2023, www.nytimes.com/2023/10/08/world/middleeast/timeline-gaza-israel-attacks-hamas.html

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About the Contributor
Sheza Khan
Sheza Khan, Writer
Hello! My name is Sheza Khan and I am a writer for the viking media. This is my second year on the viking press. I chose journalism because I like learning more about the society around us and expressing my opinions about it. Some other interests I have besides journalism are basketball, piano, singing, and art.

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