The military wing of Hamas struck Israel with 16 missiles on Thursday and 5 others on Friday. On the other hand, the Israeli warplanes raided various targets in Gaza. About 10 Palestinian were killed in 2 days by the Israeli artillery fire and air raids.
Israel will use "all necessary force" to stop Gaza fire and harm to Israeli civilians, the country's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Voice of Israel radio station Thursday evening.
The Palestinian Authority warned Israel not to start a new military action 'war' on Gaza. In West Bank, Palestinians are concerned about the Hamas-Netanyaho endless violence.
For this, I'd like to share two questions with peacemaker's community:
- Why don't the international community pay more attention to the situation in Palestine/Israel?
- Is Gaza going to be a war zone in the coming days?
Regarding the international community: a lot of international effort has gone into trying to negotiate some kind of a peace settlement. For example, Bill Clinton made it a major effort of his second term in office. All these efforts have come up against the unwillingness of one or both of the parties involved -- Arafat, Netanyahu, Sharon, Hamas. Politicians like problems they can solve. They like to go into election campaigns with missions accomplished, not with a record of dead-end failure.
Is that a rhetorical question? to start out with, Israel should stop expanding settlements and Netanyahu (or more likely, his successor) should offer to meet with Abbas with no conditions. Israel should also start finding ways to give Jews in the settlements an incentive to move back within the 1948 borders. Arabs have to stop the hostile rhetoric that Jews feel is genocidal. Both sides must feel they have a future -- for the Arabs a future with self-determination and for Jews a future with peace and security.
Aside from the responsibilities of political leaders, people have to meet and talk, not shouting slogans across barricades, but in peaceful situations where they exchange ideas, share food and sing and dance together. We know that there are crazy bigoted fanatics on both sides who will do terrible things, but it's important for all of us to know that these are (I hope) the exception and not even a large minority.
Your suggestion that Israel needs to start finding ways to give Jews in the settlements an incentive to move back within the 1948 borders is a great idea.
A magnificent peace gesture.