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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?

 

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Clarification - out of those killed where a senior Hamas official and a number of hamas members who were shooting rockets and 2 or 3 civilians who where in close proximity to the rockets being fired ... All Hamas rockets were targeted at civilians (including one that was aimed and struck and school bus of kids)....
Not all the killed Palestinians were Hamas militants or officials. There were two elderly men, a woman and her daughter. Also, I don't deny the bad effect of the Palestinian missiles on Israel. Both sides have to respect the lives of their people and understand that any military action will lead to more victims. We don't have to be one sided, we must know that both sides suffer !!
I understand and I think it is horrible when civilians die but if a rocket is being shot to civilian areas from a civilian area, you cannot expect no reaction... I blame those who fire rocket, missiles and mortars from home mosques and schools..they are responsible for these deaths...

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. 

 

Naomi, do you have any ideas on how peace could be achieved?

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.

Hello Naomi,

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.

Israelis were given incentives to move into the West Bank. Not all settlers are ideologues or religious fanatics. Many just want an affordable space in which to raise a family.

More ideas some of which will be harder for Palestinians to take: and a lot harder to accomplish: The Palestinians have to give up on the right of return -- at least for those born outside of the 1948 borders of Israel. Arab and Western nations have to invest in Palestine to build Palestinian-owned businesses as sources of employment. Arab leaders have to stop using Israel as a diversion to take the concerns of their people off the problems of their own countries.

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