Deadly attack in southern Israel sparks retaliation, tension and more violence in Israel and the Gaza Strip.
|After several Israeli soldiers were killed near Eilat, Israeli airstrikes hit the Gaza Strip in retaliation, killing several civilians [GALLO/GETTY]|
The ongoing deadly Israeli air strikes on Gaza, and the exchange of home-made rockets fired from Gaza, has drawn mixed reactions from Palestinians in the besieged Gaza.
First, seven Israelis were killed in two attacks on buses in southern Israel, according to Israeli medics.
The attacks began when gunmen fired at an Israeli bus that was traveling near the Egyptian border.
Palestinians deny any involvement in the attack.
Then, Israel blamed Gaza’s Popular Resistance Committees for the attack and retaliated with Israeli missiles killing 15 Palestinians, with 55 injured, including 12 women, 15 children, three elderly and one ambulance worker.
On Saturday, Israeli sources said one Israeli was killed and about a dozen injured in southern Israel in a barrage of Palestinian home-made rockets fired from Gaza.
The deadly attacks have gotten little international reaction, but regional reactions from the Arab League have condemned the attack on Gaza and called for an immediate stop to the attacks and military operations against Gaza. However, the Jordanian government, through Abduallah Abu Rumman, condemned Israel for its “military escalation and operations in Gaza that have killed civilians as well as Egyptian officers”, urging an immediate halt to the strikes in order to avoid regional instability.
Yaser Othman, the Egyptian representative to the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, said that Cairo was “in contact with all parties to restore the truce in Gaza”.
Al Jazeera asked a number of Palestinians in Gaza Strip for their reactions to the ongoing attacks on Gaza.
This is what they said:
Ahmed Al Najjar, 27-year-old documentary film producer:
I see these attacks as the first Israeli nail in the coffin of our bid for UN state recognition in September.
What is happening in Gaza right now is a message from Israel to the world that no political force can impose anything on Israel, including the US administration.
All in all, what we are going through, from violations of rights, is the accumulation of international silence since the birth of our plight until today’s Israeli bombing.
Moreover, on the timing of the Israel attacks, everyone notes that Israel is targeting us, a civil population, even in the holy month of fasting and worshipping … this brings Israel’s claim of religious sanctity and rituals into question.
Kholoud Al Massri, 23-year-old university graduate:
I think in such a situation of frequent Israeli attacks on Gaza, firing rockets towards Israel seems to be our only means of resistance, when the rest of the world has abandoned us to face the illegal occupation alone.
Amina Oudeh, 61-year-old housewife:
I think Egypt will succeed in restoring the truce and end the blood-shed, and this will be at the cost of the Egyptian soldiers murdered by the Israelis.
However, Israel has always been looking for trouble, and today’s attack adds to the ominous image of the occupation.
Sahar Salem, 24-year-old labourer:
If an Israeli is killed on the moon, Israel would attack Gaza for revenge. By continuous terror attacks on neighbours, Israel thinks it can bring peace to its people, but in fact it only brings more hatred toward them.
As for the home-made rockets fired on Israel, that is meaningless, because they hit the poor, marginalised areas of Israel that the government of Israel doesn’t care about. I hate that the poor and marginalised everywhere are always the less fortunate and the most likely to suffer.
Hisham Jaber Abdelhadi, 37-year-old unemployed labourer:
I see how the lack of international reaction could be taken as encouragement for Israel to go on. However, one gets tired of sending appeals to the world. The world is busy with Syria and Libya and in Gaza we only have God to watch over us.
Moayyad Abu Imran, 34-year-old engineer:
I think this time, Israel is not aiming to kill for the sake of killing, but for more. Two main reasons: first, to thwart the Palestinians’ application for statehood on September. And secondly, for Netanyahu to export his internal economic crises and failure in dealing with the Tel Aviv protests.
Now, protesters are home, and Netanyahu’s goal has been achieved: to split the protesters by making them do their military call-up.
Wafa Yussef, 29-year-old public health employee:
I think what is happening now is the expected result since Israel was looking for a way out of its internal crisis, and an effort to prevent Palestine from declaring itself as a country at the UN in Septmember. So the Gaza Strip, as usual, has to pay the price.
As regards the Arab League: as Palestinians we are not used to expecting too much from the Arab League, but I think this time we should expect more from the Arab peoples to support us, and not just our leaders.