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Learn about the history of the conflict that preceded October 7, and Israel's peace efforts in the region.

About Israel

  • There are 16 million Jews worldwide today. Source: Jewish Virtual Library
    - 74% of the 9.7 million people in Israel are Jewish. Source: Times of Israel
    - 2.4% of the more than 332 million people in the United States are Jewish. Source: Pew Research
  • The modern state of Israel, which was established in 1948, is the size of New Jersey. Source: History.com
  • Israel is the homeland for the Jewish people – Jews were indigenous to the land dating back to the Biblical times. Source: AJC
  • There has been a continuous Jewish presence there, despite being under the control of various empires such as the Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines. Source: AJC
  • Britain governed the land after the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1917 and ruled it under British law until 1948. Source: Hey Alma
  • Zionism is the movement supporting a homeland for the Jewish people. The vast majority of American Jews consider themselves Zionist. Source: ADL

About Hamas and Gaza​

  • Israel withdrew all of its citizens and soldiers from Gaza in 2005 in another attempt to create peace in the region. Source: ADL
  • Nearly 5 million Palestinians live in Gaza and the West Bank combined. Source: State.gov
  • Hamas is the governing authority in Gaza. Source: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Hamas is classified as a terrorist organization by the United States and European Union. Source: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Hamas, which is backed by Iran, explicitly seeks Israel’s destruction and the murder of Jews – a as stated in its charter and repeatedly reiterated by its leaders – and seeks to rule the entire territory “from the river to the sea.” Source: AJC
  • Purposely killing and kidnapping innocent civilians are war crimes; members of Hamas are not freedom fighters, they are terrorists. Source: AJC

October 7, 2023

The attack on Israel by the terrorist group Hamas was the deadliest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust: Source: CNN

  • 1,200+ civilians killed, including Holocaust Survivors, children, and parents Source: CNN
  • 4,500+ civilians tortured and wounded Source: Oct7map
  • 240+ kidnapped to be used as human shields – from the elderly to infants – and including Arab Israelis Sources: Times of Israel, Times of Israel

In a cruel and murderous rampage, the terrorist group Hamas infiltrated Israel and:

Since October 7th, the terror group fired over 10,000 rockets toward Israel’s major population centers. Source: Economic Times

The Aftermath of October 7, 2023

  • Like every country, Israel has the right to defend its sovereignty and its citizens from terrorism, rocket fire, and incursions.
  • Israel has gone to great lengths to help innocent Palestinians out of harm’s way, including working with the United States and others to create a safe humanitarian passage “corridor” (Source: Times of Israel) which hundreds of thousands of innocent Palestinians have used to take refuge (Source: Times of Israel). In coordination with that, Israel has allowed nearly 1,500 aid trucks into Gaza to provide the innocent civilians with necessary food, water, and supplies (Source: Times of Israel)
  • Israel has provided irrefutable evidence (Source: Jerusalem Post) that Hamas built an elaborate tunnel network that runs underneath hospitals, mosques, and schools throughout Gaza – including the largest hospital in the territory, al-Shifa. Video footage from the hospital obtained by Israel shows Hamas bringing kidnapped Israelis to al-Shifa on October 7th (Source: Times of Israel), which is widely recognized as a war crime (Source: Human Rights Watch) – as is using civilian human shields and firing rockets indiscriminately at Israeli cities and civilians from civilian centers as Hamas also does (Source: International Humanitarian Law).
  • Hundreds of Members of Congress, Governors, and local officials have joined President Biden and leaders from around the world condemning the attacks and supporting Israel. Source: White House

About Israel’s Peace Efforts​

  • Israel has created peace and normalization with five Arab countries in the region. Source: Stand With Us
  • Israel entered into peace accords with the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) – now known as the Palestinian Authority (PA) – through the Oslo Accords signed in 1993 and 1995. Source: ADL
  • The PLO/PA is the recognized authority of the Palestinian people. Source: ADL
  • Israel has accepted proposals related to a two-state solution on five different occasions while the Palestinians have rejected each one including an offer of 93.5% of territory in the West Bank and Gaza and a share of East Jerusalem. Source: Jewish Virtual Library
  • Iran also supports the terrorist organization Hezbollah (Southern Lebanon) and – as a new development – the Houthis (Yemen), both of which are regularly attacking Israel with drones and missiles. Source: AJC
  • Today, Hezbollah has more than 150,000 rockets pointed at Israel. Source: AJC