The Sudden Change in Daily Life for Palestinians and Israelis

By Clara Frank

October 20, 2023

While the conflict between Hamas and Israel has been ongoing for the three quarters of a century, the most recent war has amassed the most civilian deaths of any dispute so far. This particular war was started by Hamas, which is an Islamist extremist political group. On October 7th, Hamas launched thousands of rockets towards Israel, instigating a new conflict. Along with the airstrikes, there were Hamas soldiers breaking down the barrier between the Gaza Strip and Israel territory. 

To put into perspective how small the Gaza Strip is, the entire mileage of the strip is only 140.9 square miles. Las Vegas itself is 135.9 square miles. The war is taking place in such a close proximity to civilians that it has had a terrible effect on Palestinians and Israelies alike.  

Palestinian buildings being bombed (Photo credit: Youssef Massoud/AFP via Getty Images)

While both sides engage in conflict it is important to consider the citizens of these territories and how it is impacting their lives. According to CBS News, “The Gaza Health Ministry says at least 500 people were killed Tuesday when an airstrike hit a hospital compound in the center of Gaza City. But Israeli officials deny targeting the hospital and say they believe the blast was caused by a rocket from Hamas or Islamic Jihad that fell short and struck the site.” This hospital was filled with injured citizens of Gaza who had nothing to do with the war. The Palestinians themselves are not attacking Israel. Hamas is the group that instigated the war. 

The United States' role in this conflict has been seen as controversial. Due to the United States’ allyship with Israel since 1949, Biden chooses to stand by them and their decisions. Biden went to Israel and physically stood by their Prime Minister, Netanyahu, although Biden is attempting to help Palestine as well. CBS News writes, “Mr. Biden had also planned to meet with the leaders of Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority on a stop in Jordan, but that meeting was canceled in the wake of the hospital tragedy.” The plan for the visit was to interact with both countries. 

It has been suggested that Israel is committing war crimes because of the high civilian death toll. NPR explains, “You never target civilians, you never indiscriminately fire on a civilian area, you never launch an attack that will have a disproportionate impact on the civilian population, premeditated, planned and deliberate killing of civilians — that's a clear war crime.”  Humanitarian groups like the UN are attempting to aid Gaza. 

The only border of Gaza not controlled by Israel is the border between Gaza and Egypt. This border has been inaccessible, leaving Palestinians without essential supplies. CBS News quotes an Egyptian, “On this side, we have seen so many trucks loaded with water, with fuel, with medicines, with foods. Exactly the same things that are needed on this side of the wall. So these trucks are not just trucks. They are a lifeline. What we need is to make them move, to make them move to the other side of this wall, to make them move as quickly as possible and as many as possible.” The UN sees the crisis in Palestine as a humanitarian crisis, but has no way to address it. As the war continues, tragic events will continue to unfold and more lives will be lost. 

The aftermath of the hospital bombing in Palestine (Photo credit: NDTV)

Works Cited

Karen Gilchrist, Sam Meredith. “Israel-Hamas War Live Updates: Un Working to ‘clarify’ Gaza Aid Deal; Israel to Evacuate City near Lebanon Border.” CNBC, CNBC, 20 Oct. 2023, 

Lawati, Abbas Al, et al. “Israel Is at War with Hamas. Here’s What to Know.” CNN, Cable News Network, 19 Oct. 2023, 

Neuman, Scott. “

What Is a War Crime, and Who Gets Held Accountable? Here’s What You Need to Know.” NPR, NPR, 20 Oct. 2023,