An armed conflict between Israel and the Hamas militant group has been taking place chiefly in and around the Gaza Strip since October 7, 2023, with clashes also taking place in the West Bank and the Israeli –Lebanon border. On that day, militant groups launched a surprise attack on southern Israel from the Gaza Strip. The war began when Hamas-led Palestinian militant group targeted Israel in an operation they called "Al-Aqsa Flood" with a barrage of rockets, while around 3,000 militants breached the Gaza–Israel barrier: tortured, raped, burnt alive and slaughtered neighbouring Israeli communities and military bases, resulting in the death of 695 Israeli civilians, 373 soldiers and 71 foreigners, giving a total of 1,139 deaths. An estimated 240 Israeli soldiers, civilians and foreigners were taken to the Gaza Strip as captives or hostages. As a result of the massacre, the IDF went on the attack inside the Gaza Strip, while Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shia Islamist political party and militant group joined the war against Israel from the northern border on a low scale, as both sides fear going into a full out blown war with each other.
During the month of November 2023, 110 out of the 240 hostages were released back into Israel as part of a prisoner exchange deal, which led to the release of 150 Palestinian prisoners as well.