Gaza: a part of Palestine
Palestine: a “sovereign” (in quotation marks because this isn’t true) state that can’t do anything without Israel’s say so. It is, for all intents and purposes, an area whose size, economy, and sovereignty is dictated by Israel
Israel: nation that was created after WWII in promised land according to the Old Testament (of the Bible)/Torah
Palestinians: people who live in Palestine who are Arab (much more to this, but this description is correct for a short explanation)
PLO: Palestinian Liberation Organisation
Fatah: one of the major political parties in the PLO; fairly moderate, ran as a political party with the rights and health of Palestinian citizens in mind
Hamas: the other major political party in the PLO; considered a terrorist organisation by Israel and other nations, has publicly stated the desire to eliminate Israel, specifically has a religious purpose
Islam: a religion that is moderate but has extremists just like Christianity does (see this for reference)
Judaism: see above for description
Description of Situation in Gaza:
First off, the Palestinians (though they never had an official nation there) lived where Israel is today, first—that is, before Israel became a nation. After WWII Israel was created in spite of the already existent population. These people were put into areas, now collectively known as Palestine, that have been shrinking since their inception. This is already breeding grounds for some animosity. As a matter of fact, it would be accurate to say that it’s existed since the nation of Israel became a thing in the late 1940s.
The Palestinian government is normally ran by either Hamas or Fatah, but recently the two parties have shared the responsibility. Okay, so Hamas is funded by many Islamic groups who too dislike Israel’s existence (eg Iran, etc). As such, the donations and support of Hamas is directly tied into how hard they are perceived to fight for their cause and (coincidentally) how much news coverage they get out of it
Now with Iraq in shambles because of ISIS (get more information here), Hamas hasn’t been getting coverage on news outlets, therefore less funding … along with the fact that Israel isolates Palestine in general economically.
Because of this, Hamas (and others not worth mentioning) has recently been launching more rockets, enough to make Israel want to retaliate. On top of that, someone kidnapped (and killed) some Israeli kids. Israel thinks it’s Hamas—Hamas denies it—but it really doesn’t matter because most people believe it to be Palestinians anyway. Anyway, Israel feels like it has to retaliate.
On top of this, Jewish colonists (Israelis who live in what is Palestine under the support of the Israeli government) killed a Palestinian kid in retaliation for the death of the kidnapped Israeli kids. These colonists are also known to generally disrespect, humiliate, and attack Palestinians with or without provocation. Generally, they live to stir some shit up.
So shit gets bad.
Rockets fly from the clearly inferior Palestine, angry at how everything has turned out; Israel launches much superior missiles in response. Check the casualty toll for yourself. It seems pretty one-sided, but both sides stake a claim to why they’re fighting.
Israelites say they must protect themselves in a hostile area (true, most states and countries in the Middle East hate that they exist; surely Israel would’ve been wiped out already if not for the backing of the UK and the US) while Palestinians and many Arabs say that Israel invaded their home without any consultation (this is true, the state was established by the UK, predominantly, after WWII). The situation is complicated and three religions make their way into the playing arena as well: Islam, Judaism, and Christianity.
The other half of the PLO, Fatah, is trying to calm the situation considering the lives being lost. This can only be accomplished if both Hamas and Israel agree to do so. Egypt has stepped in recently to try and broker negotiations for a cease-fire from both parties.
Anyway, this is more or less the situation in Gaza.
"If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing."