On 7 October 2023, the Palestinian group Hamas, officially designated a terrorist group by many countries including Israel, the United States, the European Union, and the United Kingdom, commenced an armed assault against Israel. It launched several thousand rockets into Israel and conducted attacks in border areas, killing hundreds of civilians, and took a reported 244 hostages, as part of what it called “Operation Al-Aqsa Flood”.

In response, Israel’s military forces have been conducting air strikes against Hamas in Gaza. On 28 October, the Israeli Government announced that the “second stage” of its response would begin, with ground attacks in Gaza with the aim of “destroy[ing] Hamas’ governing and military capabilities and to bring the hostages home.” Hamas continues to fire rockets into Israel.

The UN has said residential buildings are among the sites targeted by Israel and has raised concerns for the humanitarian situation in Gaza. There has also been rocket fire from Hezbollah in Lebanon against northern Israel and air strikes by Israel against Hezbollah.

This is the fourth high-level conflict between Hamas and Israel since Hamas took control of Gaza in 2007.

This reading list provides links to Commons Library papers, Committee reports, parliamentary material and UK Government press releases related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during the current parliament. It also includes material on issues related to the current conflict, such as Iran’s influence in the Middle East and Hezbollah’s position in Lebanon. 

This paper will be updated regularly. 

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