The world is a confusing place, so let Professor GIF explain the most befuddling topics through the magic of animated GIFs.

IN THIS ISSUE: Three easy facts and sixteen hilarious GIFs explaining the entire Gaza crisis you heard about but don't understand.




Fact #1: Israel and Hamas are fighting because both sides want things they probably can't get.

It's going to be almost impossible to find a lasting diplomatic situation to the Gaza crisis. Like, scary impossible.

(GIF via)

Israel wants a Greater Israel, including the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. So they're actively settling the West Bank in spite of its Palestinian government, and reacting to any pushback strongly.

(GIF via)

Israel also wants to protect its national security at all costs. Missiles fired at it from Gaza run counter to that. The Israelis don't want a bunch of dangerous missiles bouncing around near their border, because bouncing missiles tend to…well…

(GIF via)

Now, the Palestinians are not a monolith. The West Bank is run by the Palestinian National Authority, which is recognized by Israel as a legitimate authority, and controlled by the moderate Fatah political party. Since 2006 Gaza's been ruled by Hamas, a political party with an armed branch, designated a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States, the European Union and others. So some Palestinians want a two-state solution, some want more, and others want peace at any price.

(GIF via)

Within all the Israel/Palestine struggling, there was also a fight between Hamas and Fatah starting in 2006, resulting in Hamas taking over Gaza in 2007. This Palestinian civil war is also known as the "Conflict of Brothers".

(GIF via)

Once in power, Hamas said they wouldn't honor Fatah's previous peaceable agreements with Israel about Gaza. So Israel instituted a vicious land/sea/air blockade of Gaza that continues to this day. Gaza's people depend on secret tunnels that do the seemingly impossible job of keeping the area fed and armed by unusual means.

(GIF via)

So yes, negotiating an end to this mess will be HARD. But how did it go from mess to bloody mess?