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Second place
David Guttenfelder The Associated Press

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Masked Hamas militants prepare to hold a press conference in Beit Lahiya, northen Gaza Strip to discuss the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in July 2006. The people of Gaza started 2006 by electing the militant group Hamas into power in January. The U.S., E.U, and Israel led an international blockade, severing ties and aid to the group which has called for the destruction of the Israeli state. By summer, the Gaza strip was left without many basic needs, salaries of civil servants went unpaid, and the internal security degenerated and open violence spilled the streets. Masked militants stepped up rocket attacks into Israeli territory and on June 25 kidnapped an Israeli soldier. Israel responded with a ground invasion into Gaza coined 'Operation Summer Rain' which killed scores and wrecked the infrastructure. When Israel made their summer foray into Lebanon to battle Hezbollah fighters, the world's attention shifted away from the Palestinian territory that sparked the regional bloody summer. The daily brutal battles with Israel continued and does so to this day.


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