The Gaza Strip is a 140-square-mile piece of land occupied by Palestinians bordering the Mediterranean Sea between Egypt and Israel. The area has been a focal point of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and has been on the global radar for decades.
The land was occupied by Egypt until Israel took it over during 1967's Six-Day War. The first intifada, or uprising, was sparked on December 9, 1987, in Gaza when an Israeli truck ran into and killed four Palestinians.
When the 1987 intifada broke out in the Jebalia refugee camp in Gaza, it spread to all areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It lasted, with varying levels of intensity, until 1993 when the Oslo Accords were signed.
A total of 1,376 Palestinians were killed by Israel's security forces. Ninty-four Israeli civilians and 91 Israeli security forces were killed by Palestinians.
The accords created a framework for the Palestinians to establish self-governance, by creating links between the newly formed Palestinian Authority and Israel.
In 2000, a second intifada began and saw Palestinian militants using suicide bombings on Israeli buses, along with other forms of terror. Israel responded with a military crackdown. Between 2000–2005, 3,000 to 4,000 Palestinians were killed by Israeli security forces in the West Bank and Gaza. Six hundred forty-nine Israeli civilians were killed by Palestinians and 301 Israeli security forces perished at the hands of the Palestinians.
In 2013, the United States attempted to continue mediating the peace process between both parties in the West Bank. The peace talks failed, however, after the Palestinian Authority's ruling party formed a unity government with its rival faction, Hamas, in 2014.
Hamas is now considered to be in control of the territory, despite a blockade from Israel that has lasted over 12 years.
Hamas, which was designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. in 1997, served as the Muslim Brotherhood's political arm during the first intifada. The following year in their charter, it called for the destruction of Israel and the establishment of Islam in Palestine.
Hamas condemned the Oslo Accords for the Palestine Liberation Organization's recognition of Israel. During the second intifada, Hamas continued to employ suicide bombing rather than civil disobedience. It has historically been funded by Palestinian expatriates and private donors in the Gulf.
During the most recent clash of the two sides, a cease-fire was agreed upon in November 2019 after two days of violence that left at least 32 Palestinians dead, according to the Associated Press.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it was “raining rockets” across the country, with Islamic Jihad firing one projectile every seven minutes since a senior commander of the terror group was killed by the Israeli military in a targeted airstrike.
Before the cease-fire, there were several major outbreaks of violence and instability. In the summer of 2014, clashes in the Palestinian territories precipitated a military confrontation between the Israeli military and Hamas. Hamas fired nearly 3,000 rockets at Israel, and Israel retaliated.
After another wave of violence between the Israelis and Palestinians in 2015, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced the Palestinians would no longer abide by the Oslo Accords.
The Palestinian Authority's ruling party and Hamas bolstered their relationship in October 2017 by signing another agreement to build upon their recent reconciliation, according to reports. In 2018, Israel carried out its largest attack against Hamas after more than 200 rockets and mortars were fired into the country.
In May 2019, Palestinian militants inside the Gaza Strip fired more than 600 rockets into southern Israel in less than 24 hours, killing at least four Israelis and leaving several more in critical condition.
President Trump and his administration have made brokering the peace process between the two sides a top priority, but have yet to find common ground that both sides are willing to agree to. Trump's decision to relocate the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem was welcomed by Jews but denounced by Palestinian leaders and other Middle East countries. Israel considers the complete and united Jerusalem its capital, but Palestinians want to claim East Jerusalem for their capital after they achieve full statehood.
The president unveiled his two-state solution peace plan during a Tuesday press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calling the deal a "win-win.": "My vision presents a win-win situation for both sides," Trump said. "Today Israel has taken a giant step toward peace."He later tweeted a photo of the proposed state of Palestine.
"This is what a future State of Palestine can look like, with a capital in parts of East Jerusalem," he tweeted.
Trump's peace plan, which Palestine rejected, calls for a two-state solution – with the creation of a future “state” of Palestine.
The plan would require the Palestinians to meet certain benchmarks -- rooting out terrorism, stopping "pay to slay," implementing steps toward free speech and political reforms – to become a state, but Trump promised that they would have U.S. backing if they did. It also calls for the creation of a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem and for more than doubling the amount of territory the Palestinians control.
Fox News' Talia Kaplan, Andrew O'Reilly, and John Roberts contributed to this report