• Hamas is a Palestinian militant group that controls the Gaza Strip, and is classified by the U.S. government as a terror organization.
• Israel and Hamas have been locked in a conflict for more than a decade.
• Israel has gone to great lengths to target militant sites in Gaza, including airstrikes and ground operations. Hamas has fired rockets and conducted other attacks against Israel.
• The current round of violence was sparked by the attempted eviction of Palestinians living in East Jerusalem and clashes between Israeli police and Palestinians in the Al Aqsa Mosque.
• Since the current round of violence began in May 2021, more than 250 Palestinians, including at least 66 children, and twelve Israelis, including two children, have been killed.
• Efforts for a ceasefire have so far been unsuccessful. The United Nations, European Union and other international bodies have called for an immediate end to the fighting.
• International law requires that all parties take measures to protect civilians. Each side is accused of war crimes.
• The cycle of violence has escalated in recent weeks and days, leading some experts to worry about an all-out conflict.