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Middle East Conflict - Hamas and Israel: Home

Maps of Conflict Areas from the New York Times

General Information / Multiple Perspectives

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The Opposing Viewpoints database provides opinion pieces, academic journals, primary sources, media, and other information that presents a variety of perspectives about the conflict (and other topics as well).

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Follow the U.S. State Department's page on the Israel-Hamas Conflict for the latest information, press releases, and updates from our government. The Bureau of Near-Eastern Affairs also provides fact-sheets and other historical information to provide context for understanding the conflict.

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The Gaza Strip, or simply Gaza, is a Palestinian exclave on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, bordered by Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the east and north. Together, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank make up the State of Palestine, which has been under Israeli military occupation since 1967.


Officially called the Islamist Resistance Movement, Hamas is a Sunni Islamist political and military organization governing the Gaza Strip of the Palestinian territories.


On land with a long history of conflict, the modern State of Israel was established in 1948 in what had been a British Mandate colony in Palestine. It is bordered by Lebanon to the North, Jordan to the East, Egypt to the South, and the Mediterranean Sea to the West.

Palestinian Territories

The Palestinian territories are the two regions of the former British Mandate for Palestine that have been militarily occupied by Israel since the Six-Day War of 1967, namely the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has referred to the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as "the Occupied Palestinian Territory", and this term was used as the legal definition by the ICJ in its advisory opinion of July 2004.


A political term, Zionism is a nationalist movement that emerged in the 19th century to enable the establishment of a homeland for the Jewish people in Palestine, a region roughly corresponding to the Land of Israel in Jewish tradition. Following the establishment of Israel, Zionism became an ideology that supports "the development and protection of the State of Israel".