Alert Sign Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on

Alert Sign Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience


Gaza violence


Your Name:

Recipient Email:

Palestinians look at their destroyed homes following Israeli air strikes on the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah. — Photo by AFP

There is no better way for Benjamin Netanyahu to win the January election than to have yet another murderous go at Gaza. Dozens of Palestinian Gazans and three Israelis have been killed in four days of rocket exchanges between Palestinian militants and Israel as reports mount that the Likud government has called 75,000 reservists for a ground assault.

What has piqued Israel is the extended range of Palestinian rockets, some of which Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system failed to intercept, for one of them hit Jerusalem. Mr Netanyahu, however, could strengthen his claim to another term as prime minister because Israeli strikes have killed Ahmad Jabari, Hamas’s military commander, and destroyed hundreds of Fajr missiles supplied by Iran to Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

The issue before the international community is to move fast and stop Israel from launching yet another invasion of the kind it did in 2008-09. That invasion had flattened Gaza’s cities and killed 1,417 people, most of them civilians. Of the war crimes committed by Israel, the most barbaric was the use of phosphorus shells on civilian targets as confirmed by international human rights organisations and the UN. There is every possibility that Israel may repeat this performance and, as always, will get away with it because of its overwhelming military advantage, its utter disregard for the laws of war and its diplomatic clout with the US and the European Union. While Russia accused Israel of disproportionate use of force, President Barack Obama said he supported Israel’s right to “defend itself”, and asked Egypt and Turkey to use their influence to end the rocket war. With Egypt under a Muslim Brotherhood leadership and Turkey still sore over the peace flotilla attack, it is unlikely Mr Netanyahu will listen to them. Israel has no intention of quitting occupied Palestinian territories, the 2005 ‘disengagement’ of Gaza being a fraud, because Israel continues to control the strip’s air, land and sea exits. So long as Gaza remains occupied, the Palestinian people will continue to fight for freedom, and in this lie the roots of the violence now in evidence.

For more in-depth coverage on the Gaza-Israel conflict including stories, features, analysis and multimedia, visit: In-depth coverage: Gaza-Israel conflict

Comments (6) Closed

Tess Nov 18, 2012 04:48pm
Cora, I see it is a little convenient for you to disregard that Gaza is a cage. The people of Gaza can't fish in their own waters more than 15 m off the coast. They are not free to trade with any country or region. There would be no reason to dig tunnels at the Eygpt crossing if they were allowed to live like normal human beings. Whatever they eat or consume is what Israel sends their way. It is in fact a very lucrative colony for the people of south Israel, who sell their good at three times the price to Gazans. One commonly hears pro-Israeli Americans ask what would US do if Mexico started throwing rockets their way. The question never asked is, what would Mexicans do if American turned Mexico into a Gaza cage? Would they illegally pour in? Would the Mexican youth attack? Tell me, what else should unemployed poor boys of Gaza do? You say Gaza is a third side, but this third side is not allowed an ounce of human dignity by the "civilized" west. You say that Hamas has not accepted Israel's right to exist. First of all, has Israel accepted Palestine's right to exist? And secondly, you should know, that when Hamas first came into power, they agree to a 100 year truce. That was a very obvious face saving way of recognizing Israel's right to exist. Israel typical response was to reduce the number of trucks carrying goods in o the Gaza cage from 4000 a day (when gaza was their colony) to 400 a month. This is so in line with their policy of "Never Again" - crushing the enemy to the point that he completely surrenders. Kipling said "No question is ever settled till it is settled right". A whole nation was turned into a refugee camp when Israel was created by the imperialist West. Till that injustice is addressed and dealt with, the Arabs will continue to feel about the western nation of Israel, same as the West would feel if there was an Arab nation in their midst. Israel doesn't even want to so much so as compensate those whose homes and lands they built their country on.
James anthison Nov 19, 2012 04:04am
Americans & Israeli's are always using that lame excuse of weapons of mass destruction when they decide to crush a nation, we have seen it in Iraq. But i am quiet surprised of the ridiculous statement of the President of US that Israel has its right to defend. Israel has initiated all this stuff and they have occupied Jureslum and now terrotries of Palestine, So i think Hamas has the right to defend itself. and also other muslim states should support them in restoring the freedom of Palestine & Jureselum.
Saeed Nov 18, 2012 02:14pm
This shameful lie has been perpetuated by the Zionist hasbara over and over. The suffering of innocent Gaza civilians, the killing and maiming if innocent men, women and children goes unabashed. This is apartheid at its worst, indeed should be classified as a genocide of an entire nation. Palestinians dispossessed of their ancestral land, herded into a ghetto and then starved and bombarded to make them extinct. The brutal Zionist state is responsible and should be held accountable and brought to justice.
Cora Nov 18, 2012 04:59am
It is a little convenient for you to disregard 3 months of rocket attacks launched from Gaza at Israel which caused this "yet another murderous go at Gaza". It is also convenient that you fail to mention the reason Israel controls the import into Gaza is because Hamas says that Israel has no right to exist and should be wiped from the map in a jihad. I am not saying Israel's response is perfectly reasonable in its proportions, I am in-between Russia's disproportionate use of force and the USA's right to defend itself. But to ignore the actions of Hamas that led to this is ignorant. The west bank agrees with a 2 state solution but doesn't negotiate and Gaza believes that Israel should not exist, yet all the blame rests with Israel? Until all 3 sides (yes i think Gaza is its own side) sit at a table and make the effort there will not be peace. Say what you will but Israel has been at the table since day one.
Beg Nov 19, 2012 02:42am
Cora imagine if you are resident of Gaza with five kids and then all kids are killed in airstrips by Israel. Would you still say that hamas attacked even if it is right does this justify indiscriminate bombing of children. If you think all children are equally precious then you would not dare to write such comment
Muhammad Nov 19, 2012 01:53am
I completely disagree with the views of Cora. Israel is responsible for the Palestinian problem in the first place, by occupying the Paletinian lands, which is basic cause of the problem. Israel has upper hand militarily and has been agressive all along. Its response to every little action by the aggrieved party has been out of proportion. To prove my point just look at the number of people killed in Israel and Gaza. The history shows that the people of none of the parties will have peace if they continue to maintain the present positions. "Might is right" has never worked.