HOUSTON – KPRC 2 spoke with US Ambassador David Satterfield, the current director of Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy about his insight on the conflict happening in Israel.
Satterfield also explained how the conflict unfolded over the years and what prompted the attack. Watch the full video below for the full interview.
On Saturday, during a major Jewish holiday, the Hamas terrorists stormed from the blockaded Gaza Strip into nearby Israeli towns, killing dozens and abducting others in an unprecedented surprise attack.
The conflict already has killed hundreds on both sides, The Israeli military said more than 900 people have died in Israel since Saturday’s incursion. In Gaza and the West Bank, 765 people have been killed, according to authorities there.
WHAT PROMPTED THE ATTACK?
Hamas officials cited long-simmering tensions, including a dispute over the sensitive Al-Aqsa Mosque sacred to both Muslims and Jews. Competing claims over the site, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, have spilled into violence before, including a bloody 11-day war between Israel and Hamas in 2021.
In recent years, Israeli religious nationalists — such as Itamar Ben-Gvir, the national security minister — have increased their visits to the compound. Last week, during the Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot, hundreds of ultra-Orthodox Jews and Israeli activists visited the site, prompting condemnation from Hamas and accusations that Jews were praying there in violation of the status quo agreement.
Hamas also has cited the expansion of Jewish settlements on lands Palestinians claim for a future state and Ben-Gvir’s efforts to toughen restrictions on Palestinian prisoners in Israel.
Tensions escalated with recent violent Palestinian protests. In negotiations with Qatar, Egypt and the United Nations, Hamas has pushed for Israeli concessions that could loosen the 17-year blockade on the enclave and help halt a worsening financial crisis.