On October 7, the façade of peace in Palestine was shattered when thousands of Hamas fighters entered Israel, tearing down fences erected to cage them and tearing down the complacency of the Western elites who have ignored the plight of the Palestinians for a decade. The figures for casualties are disputed, but there were certainly hundreds killed, including soldiers and civilians. More than 200 prisoners were also taken. Israel was quick to denounce Hamas as a death cult; a terrorist organisation hellbent on killing Jewish people without any wider objective. In reality, Hamas was reacting to two overriding geo-political challenges – a near twenty year blockade of the Gaza Strip and the immediate possibility that relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia would be ‘normalised’, leaving the Palestinians ever more isolated and forgotten.
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