Although thousands of rockets have been fired into Israel from Lebanon and the Gaza Strip (12,000 rockets since Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005), violence recently escalated to an extreme high with the assassination of Ahmed al-Jabari, the leader of Hamas’s military wing, by an IDF air strike. Ahmed’s death remains a victory for the citizens of Israel as millions of individuals in the south regions of Israel hide in shelter awaiting more rocket attacks from Hamas. Rockets have even reached Tel Aviv to the north. In the past two days, 3 Israelis and 13 Palestinians have been killed by the rocket and counter-offensive attacks. Prime Minister Netanyahu states that,
No government would tolerate a situation where nearly a fifth of its people live under a constant barrage of rockets and missile fire, and Israel will not tolerate this situation… Israel is prepared for a “significant widening” of its Gaza offensive.
Hamas is an Islamist Resistance Movement classified by the Israelis as a terrorist organization. This group operates amongst the palestinians living in Gaza similarly to Hezbollah operating within Lebanon,thus making it difficult for the IDF to eliminate the terrorist threat and not innocent people. The increased military action put forth by both sides doesn’t help the attempt to stabilize the region and lessen the violence and death. It is interesting to notice how both Israeli’s and palestinians want the killings to stop, though it is the actions of the terrorist actors, who are the minority, that causes this continued violence.
The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood.
-Otto Von Bismarck
It is very understandable as to why the IDF has increased vigilance in Gaza especially with the rise in rocket fire aimed towards Israel. It also proves problematic to combat the terrorists in Gaza. This is because Hamas uses children as human shields and keeps their rockets stored in densely populated areas as to prevent Israeli attacks. Some of these areas include schools, hospitals and places of worship. The media will never present a pro Israeli stance on this issue, claiming that Israeli soldiers simply kill innocent people without cause. Although there are civilian casualties on both sides, this certainly is not the case.
When the world looks at the Middle East, what do they see? A region in utter chaos and instability? A region that strives for peace though takes no steps to achieve it? A place where death is the norm and violence is never-ending? In a place where everyone considers themselves “right” or “just,” how can this problem ever be solved? Hopefully, this assassination doesn’t lead to another all out war. If it does however, histroy shows it may only last a few days.