Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

About the conflict

What they want

ISRAEL: Demands an end to rocket fire from Gaza and a halt to weapons smuggling into Gaza through tunnels under the border with Egypt. It also wants international guarantees that Hamas will not rearm or use Egypt's Sinai region, which abuts both Gaza and southern Israel, to attack Israelis.

HAMAS: Wants Israel to halt all attacks on Gaza and lift tight restrictions on trade and movement in and out of the territory that have been in place since Hamas seized Gaza by force in 2007. Israel has rejected such demands in the past.

Key player: Egypt

Egypt's new Islamist government is expected to play a key role in maintaining a deal. The crisis has thrust Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi into the spotlight as he plays a difficult balancing act. Morsi belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas' parent movement, and clearly sympathizes with the Islamic militant group. At the same time, he relies heavily on U.S. aid and is trying to preserve a historic peace agreement with Israel.

U.S. stance

The United States considers Hamas, which has killed hundreds of Israelis in suicide and other attacks, to be a terror group and does not meet with its officials. The Obama administration blames Hamas for the latest eruption of violence and says Israel has the right to defend itself. At the same time, it has warned against a ground invasion, saying it could send casualties spiraling.

History of clashes

While violence is a near constant between the Palestinians and the Israelis, there have been several notable protracted clashes between the two in recent history.

December 1987: A clash in the Jebaliya refugee camp in December 1987 sets off a Palestinian uprising, known as the intifada, that lasts until 1993 and claims the lives of more than 2,000 Palestinians and 192 Israelis. The militant Islamic group Hamas is formed early in the uprising.

September 2000: The second Palestinian uprising erupts after Ariel Sharon, then the leader of Israel's opposition, visits the site in East Jerusalem known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif, and to Jews as Temple Mount, which contains the al-Aqsa mosque. A rising number of suicide bombings leads Israel in June 2002 to begin construction on a security wall. In September 2005, Israel withdraws its troops and 8,500 Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip.

November 2008: Palestinians resume rocket and mortar fire into Israel after an Israeli incursion. On Dec. 19, Hamas declares the truce over. On Dec. 27, Israel launches an offensive known as Operation Cast Lead. By the time Israel ceased fire on Jan. 18, 2009, more than 1,300 Palestinians and 14 Israelis were dead.

Times wires

About the conflict 11/20/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 10:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. A boat lays on its side off the shore of Sainte-Anne on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, early Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017, after the passing of Hurricane Maria. [Dominique Chomereau-Lamotte | Associated Press]
  2. 7.1 magnitude quake kills at least 149, collapses buildings in Mexico


    MEXICO CITY — A magnitude 7.1 earthquake stunned central Mexico on Tuesday, killing at least 149 people as buildings collapsed in plumes of dust. Thousands fled into the streets in panic, and many stayed to help rescue those trapped.

    A woman is lifted on a stretcher from of a building that collapsed during an earthquake in Mexico City, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. [Rebecca Blackwell | Associated Press]
  3. FHP seeks semitrailer truck driver that left fiery wreck on I-75


    TAMPA — The Florida Highway Patrol is looking for the driver of a semitrailer truck that sped off from an Interstate 75 crash that left another car burning on Tuesday afternoon.

    Troopers were looking for the driver of a semitrailer truck that sped off from an accident scene on Interstate 75 in Tampa on Tuesday afternoon that caused a car to catch fire. [Courtesy of Florida Highway Patrol]
  4. Joe Maddon gets warm reception in return to the Trop

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The night was arranged to honor former Rays manager Joe Maddon in his first visit back to the Trop, and the standing ovation from the bipartisan crowd and scoreboard video tribute seemed proper acknowledgments of his hefty role in the Rays' success during his nine-year stint.

    Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon (70) talks with reporters during a press conference before the start of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.
  5. Three-hour police standoff ends, thanks to a cigarette


    TAMPA — A man threatening to harm himself was arrested by Tampa police on Tuesday after a three-hour standoff.