Since December 2008 when Israel struck Hamas back after rockets were launched into Israel which started the short war that ended with around 1,400 Palestinians dead along with the harsh blockade of both civilians and military units in the Gaza Strip, there has not been a death until a rocket attack killed a 30 year old Thai foreign-worker in a greenhouse near Ashkhelon. The Ansar al-Suna Brigades, one of al-Qaeda’s affiliates claimed responsibility for this recent and unfortunate rocket attack. The man was part of the foreign labor that Israel ‘bought’ roughly a decade ago when Gaza residents who usually performed these labors were in a civil uproar.
The casualty was not Israeli but the Israeli government struck back anyway with airstrikes bombing four primary targets in the Gaza Strip. Among these targets were the lifeline tunnels that ran to Egypt that people in the Gaza Strip desperately use for their most basic physiological needs. After the airstrikes, Israeli tanks fired into Gaza, no casualty has been reported yet. It is not exactly Hamas that have launched this attack but rahter the other extremist groups. Hamas has increasingly tried to become dormant in order to have international support for raising the “seige on Gaza.”
The government of Israel condemned the rocket attack which provoked a Hamas spokesman, Fawzi Barhoum to retort that Israel had desecrated holy sites and took war upon the Palestinians thus making Israel the root of all the conflicts going on between the increasingly agitated Palestinians and the Israeli government. In a way, Fawzi is correct that Israel is one of the roots of many of the world’s problems today but for more of a different set of reasons than what the spokesman stated.
The rocket attack and the airstrikes merely add even more problems to the already unpredictable Middle East as United States relationship with Israel is beggining to strain due to Israel’s controversial plan to build up 1,600 housing units in the Palestinian part of Jerusalem and no peaceful resolution is seen anywhere in sight for now.
Israel’s ongoing blockade of the 1.5 million people in Gaza has forced its people to be dependent on other countries and organizations which all spends more than 688 million dollars alone per year to aid Gaza’s ihabitants.
After the rocket attack, European Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton on her first visit to the Middle East was reported to have been “shocked” at the attack and has toured Gaza to see how the people were doing. U.N Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon criticized the rocket attack saying “terror and violence against civilians are totally unacceptable”.
(Cover Photo Credit: Reuters)
(Video Source: Al Jazeera)