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Entrenched interests drove Hamas and Israel to their deadliest impasse
Before becoming what it is today–a shattered urban battlefield at the heart of an intractable war–the Gaza Strip was a refuge. The enclave beside the Mediterranean was one of two areas Palestinians fled to during the 1948 war that established Israel as a state. Today 70% of its 1.8 million residents count themselves as refugees of that conflict, a far higher proportion than in the terraced biblical hills of the West Bank, to which Palestinians also fled in 1948.