A hidden war

A hidden war


A war following the Hamas attacks of October 7 continues to take its toll on civilians. Israel’s stated aim in this conflict was to remove Hamas and bring hostages home. But in this documentary for “In Real Life,” on-the-ground reporting and open-source intelligence show how the conflict has expanded, growing into a campaign of clearing and claiming land — from Gaza to the West Bank.

Hamas fighters first breached the border with Israel at the Erez border crossing. 1,200 Israelis were killed in the violence that would ensue – hundreds were taken hostage including women and children as young as nine months old. The response from Israel was immediate – a full-scale military bombardment of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, one of the most densely-populated areas on earth.

In the 6 months following the attack, the Gaza Health Ministry reports more than 32,000 Palestinians were killed, the majority, women and children. Gaza now faces one of the worst humanitarian crises the world has ever seen. Human rights observers have described the devastation as an Israeli military campaign of “domicide” — the widespread or systematic destruction of homes and civilian infrastructure. Estimates from the United Nations say over 650,000 Palestinians, around 30% of Gaza’s pre-war population, will have no home to return to.

About 60 miles away, in the other area of Palestinian control – the West Bank – an old conflict over land has entered a new phase in the aftermath of the Hamas attacks. Since the start of the war in Gaza, Israel’s military has sharply increased its operations in the West Bank. The UN says more than 100 Palestinian children have been killed by the IDF here since October 7.

After more than 6 months of war, it’s unclear what will happen next. At time of broadcast there was no sign of a ceasefire, or any deal for the hostages. Nearly 1.5 million Palestinians are still displaced and trapped inside Rafah, Some members of the US Congress have urged the White House to start withholding US military support unless Israel does more to reduce civilian harm. But on March 29, the US approved the transfer of thousands more bombs to Israel. Looking ahead, the fear now is a wider war may be coming that brings the Middle East to an unprecedented tipping point.

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