Sunday, December 29, 2013


An Israeli Beduin from Rahat, Shukri abu Latyef (22), was shot dead last Tues while working as a civilian on the Gaza border fence. The sniper who killed the Israeli has been identified as Mohammed abu Hamsha, who had sought entry to Israel recently for humanitarian reasons, in order to improve his eyesight, but luckily he was refused, although many others are allowed in for medical reasons. In retaliation, IAF planes attacked six sites in Gaza destroying terrorist training camps and missile launching sites of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Israeli PM Netanyahu announced that Israel will not accept the "drizzle" of attacks from Gaza and holds the Hamas government of Gaza responsible for all cross-border attacks. There were several other incidents, including missiles fired from Gaza and one from Lebanon into Israel, as well as approaches to the Israel border fence by groups of irregulars (terrorists without uniforms).

There are two explanations given for the upsurge of attacks. One is that whenever there are peace negotiations underway, however much the PA rejects all possible compromises, the extremists get nervous and try their best to undermine any agreement. The other explanation is that since things are so desperate in Gaza, with economic ruin because of the tunnels to Egypt being closed by the Egyptian military, and the recent rainstorm that flooded large parts of Gaza, the authorities there use the external threat of Israel as a distraction for the population, they actively seek to provoke Israel into responding. Israel does respond and it is a larger response than the original attack, but Israel also seeks to contain the conflict and not get into a full-scale military confrontation with Hamas that would be an excuse for a third intifada.

As a response to the killing, the IDF also closed the border crossing, where fuel for Gaza's one power station is transported by trucks. As a consequence, the power station closed down again, leaving Gaza without electricity. There are also shortages of food, water and medical supplies. Before anyone complains reflexively about Israel, remember that it is Egypt that caused this desperate situation by closing the tunnels and closing its Rafah border crossing with Gaza. Where are the demonstrations against Egypt for causing Palestinian suffering?


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