Dr. Baher Ghosheh is a native of Jerusalem and former Middle Eastern studies professor at PennWest Edinboro.

Dr. Ghosheh shared some recent historical context for the 2023 conflict.

He said there were elections in Palestinian territories that brought Hamas to power in 2007. In turn, Hamas gained control of Gaza, the Palestinian authority had control of the West Bank.

He said after that one election Hamas continued to rule, adding that since the there have been five major conflicts between Israel and Hamas. He said Hamas is calling for the destruction of Israel, and recreation of a Palestinian state.

According to Dr. Ghosheh, the recent Hamas attack happened as the United States was hoping to facilitate an alliance.

“Saudi Arabia and Israel were on the point of a breakthrough in relations, that’s what we wanted, but I think could throw a wrench in that process. However, I think it could also be a motivating factor to resolve the issue once and for all,” Dr. Ghosheh said.

Dr. Ghosheh said growing up in Jerusalem, Christians, Jews and Palestinians lived in peace. He believes it’s possible for people in that region to co-exist again in the future.