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With the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, 750,000 Palestinians who fled fighting —or were forced out—were not allowed back to their homes and became refugees. Since 1967, Israel has occupied The West Bank and Gaza, controlling the lives of millions of Palestinians. Three-quarters of the Palestinians in Gaza are the descendants of refugees who lived in what became Israel in 1948.  

For the last 7 years, the people of Gaza have been living under an illegal Israeli siege with devastating restrictions on the movement of people and the flow of food, fuel, and all other critical materials. Since 2008, Israel has initiated 3 large-scale military assaults on Gaza using F-16 jet fighters, Apache helicopters, and in '08-'09, white phosphorous. Hamas has responded with inferior weaponry, launching rockets at Israel.

Over 2,592 Palestinians and 61 Israelis have died (as of July 28, 2014) in these vastly disproportionate assaults, with thousands more injured and disabled. The overwhelming majority of casualties have been Palestinian civilians, particularly women and children.

Palestinians have endured statelessness, occupation, dispossession and a lack of basic rights, while Israel has steadily taken more and more of their land and denied their freedom.

Learn more about this unfolding history, and how it impacts events today:



Alternative information sources

Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU) Up-to-date news and analysis as well as detailed historical backgrounders and Fact Sheet index

972 Magazine  Independent news and commentary from Israel and Palestine

Ha'aretz Israeli news

Ma'an News Agency Independent Palestinian news wire service

Electronic Intifada Independent online news publication and educational resource focusing on Palestine 

Mondoweiss Middle East news and analysis primarily from progressie Jewish perspective 

Human Rights Groups and Data

B'Tselem The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)

Gisha Legal Center for Freedom of Movement


Animated 6-minute Israel-Palestine 101 video Jewish Voice for Peace  

Primer Middle East Research and Information Project