Israel Gaza war: History of the conflict explained

The Palestinian militant group Hamas launched an unprecedented assault on Israel on 7 October, with hundreds of gunmen infiltrating communities near the Gaza Strip.

More than 1,400 Israelis were killed, while the Israeli military says more than 220 soldiers and civilians, including women and children, were taken to Gaza as hostages.

More than 7,000 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed in air and artillery strikes carried out by the Israeli military in response, according to the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza. Israeli troops have also massed along the Gaza boundary and Palestinians are bracing themselves for a major ground operation.

Israel has also cut off electricity and most water and stopped imports of food and medicine, although it has allowed in several dozen aid lorries through Egypt’s Rafah crossing since Saturday.

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