Clashes between Israel and the Gaza Strip have been occurring with increasing severity for the past six days. Though the initial aggressor remains unclear, rockets and gunfire have been exchanged on both sides, resulting in over 50 injuries and approximately 15 dead. Gaza fired some 155 rockets on Israel, and though militant groups are directly responsible it is not clear how much culpability Hamas has in the situation. In turn, Israel opened gunfire on the Palestinians, killing seven civilians and injuring more.Israel is also alleged to have carried out attacks on central Gaza using warplanes.
On Monday night both sides, with the aid of an Egyptian mediator, unofficially agreed to stop firing on each other. But, they warned, fighting would resume if they were attacked again.
Ismail Haniyeh, prime minister of Hamas, commended the tacit ceasefire. “They showed a high sense of responsibility by saying they would respect calm should the Israeli occupation also abide by it,” he said.
Ironically enough, not two minutes after this “agreement” had been struck, there were two rockets fired into Israel(according to Haaretz). Indeed, despite Monday night’s attempt at peace, fighting continued on into Tuesday, with three Israeli strikes in Gaza and one reported Palestinian rocket.
Press Tv reports that a large-scale Israeli attack on Gaza is in the works, but that has yet to be confirmed.
To be certain,Israel blames Hamas for these attacks, even though Hamas has not directly stated that they are behind them. Israel is encouraging the international community to cut ties and financial aid with and to Hamas. Prime Minister Netanyahu recently accused Hamas of “encouraging the fire and coordinating it between the different organizations.”
The Israeli government also addressed the lack of PLO involvement, saying that Prime Minister Abbas’ “silence proves again that we’re in a three-state reality.”
The violence is drawing the attention of the international community, with both Egypt and the European Union attempting to stop to fighting.
What role, if any, can and should the international community play in this conflict and others like it? What do you make of the “three-state reality” comment? What steps can be taken to prevent conflicts such as these from erupting in the future?
Press Tv focused on the Israeli aggression and violent acts
Haaretz focused on the statements made by Israeli politicians and the danger faced by Israeli civilians
Al Jazeera focused on the “agreement” made and the desire from both sides for peace