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 around 1,200 civilians, and taking 253 hostages, as part of what it called “Operation Al-Aqsa Flood”.

In response to the assault, Israel conducted air strikes against Hamas in Gaza and on 28 October launched a ground attack to “destroy Hamas’ governing and military capabilities and to bring the hostages home”. Hamas continues to fire rockets into Israel.

Ongoing hostilities are also taking place between Israel and Iran-aligned Hezbollah in Lebanon and northern Israel. Other Iran-aligned groups in Syria and Iraq have conducted attacks against US forces, killing three troops in Jordan in January, drawing a US response. From Yemen, the Houthis have launched attacks on shipping in the Red Sea.

Citing Israeli authorities and the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health, theUN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs(UNOCHA) says that since 7 October, more than 1,200 Israelis and foreign nationals have been reported killed and 5,432 injured. At least 32,623 Palestinians have been reported killed and about 75,092 injured across Gaza and Israel (as of 29 March 2024). 

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) estimates1.7 million of Gaza’s 2.2 million population are now displaced. 

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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