I woke up early on the morning of Saturday, Oct. 7, to a cascade of alerts on my phone. Hamas had launched an untold number of rockets into Israel from Gaza and had made incursions into southern Israel. Israel had responded by saying it was at “war.”

My colleagues and I – in the U.S. and abroad – quickly got to work, scanning news websites in the U.S. and Israel, monitoring television reporting and determining what stories we wanted to do. Then we started chasing down scholars to write those stories. Being that busy, battening down the hatches and focusing on work, enabled us to be productive at a time when the news was filled with horrible images that tugged at the emotions of anyone who saw them.

Here are some of the stories we have produced over the past five days:

As 300,000 Israeli reservists gather near the Gaza border in anticipation of an expected ground assault, it’s clear this war is nowhere near over. The Conversation will stay on this story, providing you with context and analysis that can help deepen your understanding of the forces at play.

Naomi Schalit

Senior Editor, Politics + Democracy

The 1973 Yom Kippur War proved a watershed moment in Middle East conflict and Israel’s politics. Daniel Rosenblum/Keystone/Getty Images

Hamas assault echoes 1973 Arab-Israeli war – a shock attack and questions of political, intelligence culpability

Dov Waxman, University of California, Los Angeles

Failings leading up to the Arab-Israeli War of 50 years ago cost the then Israeli prime minister their job. Could history repeat?

Destruction from the latest siege of Gaza. Ashraf Amra/Anadolu via Getty Images)

The Gaza Strip − why the history of the densely populated enclave is key to understanding the current conflict

Maha Nassar, University of Arizona

The enclave abutting Israel has been described as the world’s ‘largest open-air prison.’ Conditions have deteriorated for the population there under a 16-year blockade.

Pictures are put together on a pavement beside candles during the ‘Jewish Community Vigil’ for Israel in London on Oct. 9, 2023. AP Photo/Kin Cheung

Israel has no good options for dealing with Hamas’ hostage-taking in Gaza

James Forest, UMass Lowell

An estimated 150 hostages were taken by Hamas in Israel and brought back to Gaza. The government of Israel faces tough choices in dealing with the crisis.

The Israel-Hamas war: No matter who loses, Iran wins

Aaron Pilkington, University of Denver

The Palestinian fighters who launched deadly attacks into Israel on Oct. 7 are not Iranian puppets – but they are doing the work Iran wants done.

Often in error but still seductive: Why we can’t quit election polls

W. Joseph Campbell, American University School of Communication

The unusual candidacy of former President Donald Trump has made election polling especially appealing, more than a year from the election. But consumers beware: Those polls may be wrong.

Health on the ballot as Argentina poised to elect ‘anarcho-capitalist’ bent on slashing social protections

Eric D. Carter, Macalester College

Argentinians will vote in a new president on Oct. 22, 2023. But the front-runner’s plans to slash health funding might find resistance.

Claudia Goldin’s Nobel Prize win is a victory for women in economics − and the field as a whole

Veronika Dolar, SUNY Old Westbury

Goldin is showing the world that economics is about more than just finance.

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