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There are fears that violence will spread beyond the region.

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protests in support of israel and palestine


The Story

Nearly a week into the Israel-Hamas war, there are fears that violence will spread beyond the region.

Tell me more.

Israel placed Gaza under a complete siege and continued airstrikes following Hamas’s deadly attack on civilians in southern Israel on Saturday. Although Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu initially warned Palestinians in Gaza to leave, there is no humanitarian corridor for them to do so. And in speaking about the conflict, a former Hamas leader called for global protests today.

What did he say?

In a recorded statement to Reuters, Khaled Meshaal urged the Arab world to “head to the squares and streets” to show support for Palestinians. He also said, “to all scholars who teach jihad…this is a moment for the application (of theories).” 

What does that mean?

It’s not clear. Social media posts have fanned fears that his latest statement is calling for violence against Jews. But “jihad” is a complex word with a broad meaning that comes down to context. Literally, the word "jihad" means “struggle.” One expert has explained it as “the ‘greater’ jihad is the struggle to be a good Muslim…such as getting out of bed for prayers at dawn.” Another expert has said radicals have used “loopholes” when using the word jihad to justify their violence. This is how the terms “jihad” and “jihadist” have become widely equated with terrorist groups like al-Qaeda, ISIS, and the Taliban. The term still inspires an enormous amount of fear because of past acts of terror committed by terrorists claiming it.

So what's the response?

The White House reportedly has said it’s aware of the calls for protests but is not aware of any credible threats. Some Jewish schools in NYC are reportedly closing as a precaution. Cities across the US, including New York and DC, are boosting security. Meanwhile, CAIR — a Muslim organization — has said there’s been a rise in targeted attacks against students expressing support for Palestinians or because of their Muslim faith. NYPD is investigating at least two other incidents of people being assaulted for showing Palestinian support. Columbia University has closed off to the public after an Israeli student was assaulted.


Things are dark. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has reached new heights, stoking fears across the world. Meanwhile, protests have broken out all week in Jordan, Spain, Brazil, and across the US in support of both Palestinians and Israelis.

things to know

As the Israel-Hamas War unfolds, here is some context on terms you may be hearing in the news, so that you can navigate and understand the latest developments…

The Gaza Strip: The 25-mile-long, narrow enclave borders the Mediterranean Sea, Israel, and Egypt. It’s one of two Palestinian territories — the other being the Israeli-occupied West Bank — and is home to more than 2 million Palestinians. In 2007, Hamas seized control of Gaza from the Palestinian Authority. However, Israel has maintained control of Gaza’s airspace and shoreline — even after withdrawing all of its troops and settlers from the territory in 2005.

A blockade on Gaza: Since 2007, Gaza has been under an Israeli air, sea, and land blockade that restricts the movement of people and goods in and out of the territory. Israel says the blockade — backed by Egypt — is necessary to protect Israelis from Hamas and to stop the flow of weapons. However, human rights groups say the blockade violates international law and some call Gaza an “open-air prison.”

Hamas: The Islamist militant group was founded in 1987. Hamas — the Arabic acronym for the Islamic Resistance Movement — launched Saturday’s attack and controls Gaza. In its founding charter, Hamas called for the annihilation of Israel and replacing it with an Islamic state. The US and EU have designated Hamas a terrorist organization.

IDF: Short for the Israel Defense Forces. The majority of Israelis are required to serve in the military when they turn 18, with men serving 32 months and women serving two years. After that, most are in the reserves and can be called to serve up until the age of 40. Following the Hamas attack, Israel called about 360,000 reservists from around the world.

The Iron Dome: Israel’s missile defense system, which has cost the US nearly $3 billion in investments. The Israeli military says the system has been able to intercept most of the 5,000+ rockets that Hamas has fired at Israel since the attack began Saturday. In the past, the Israeli army and others have accused Hamas of launching rockets from or near schools, mosques, and other residential areas.

The West Bank: The Israeli-occupied area is home to more than 2 million Palestinians. It’s partly governed by the Palestinian Authority. Israel’s efforts to expand settlements in the West Bank have led to rising tensions. There are reportedly more than 130 settlements — with more than 400,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank. 

A complete siege: In this case, Israel is blocking the entry of water, food, and fuel into Gaza. The territory’s only power plant has already run out of fuel. Despite concerns over Gaza’s dwindling supplies, an Israeli official says the siege won’t end until hostages are released.

and also...this

What’s been cut off for the time being…

Iran. Yesterday, outlets reported that the US and Qatar “reached a quiet understanding” to block Iran from accessing $6 billion. The money was released last month in exchange for five US prisoners, with the note that Iran can only use the money for humanitarian necessities. However, the US and Qatar are hitting pause on that after Hamas’s unprecedented attack against Israel, with the GOP criticizing President Biden for the deal. Iran has funded Hamas with about $100 million a year. US officials have said there’s no evidence yet that Iran is directly involved with the assaults, and have not yet tapped the funds. Iran has denied any involvement and has said “the money rightfully belongs to the people of Iran.”

Who didn’t have the votes…

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA). Yesterday, the House Majority Leader withdrew his nomination for speaker after it became clear he had nowhere near the votes for it. That’s because in a closed-door House GOP vote, Scalise won 113 votes and would need at least 217 in a full floor vote. Now, Republicans are back to square one — though Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) could try again.

Who’s betting you think about her...

Taylor Swift. Today, “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” is coming to screens. Best believe the movie is already bejeweled, making $100 million before opening night. Compare that to the previous concert film record holder, “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never,” which made $73 million at the box office. And isn’t it just so pretty to think the “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” is only available Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays — just like a concert. If you’re afraid of breaking some rules, you need to calm down: so make friendship bracelets, take the moment and taste the popcorn out of your popcorn bucket merch, and review AMC’s new set of rules that shake off anything you’ve ever seen before at a theater.

…Oh and speaking of the music world, Bad Bunny is releasing a new album today, “Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va A Pasar Mañana.” We know Kendall Jenner will be listening to it.

Who looks like they’re going along for the ride…

Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell.

What's breaking the fourth wall...


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