Gaza Strip Attacks Hitting Close to Home

Gaza

Attacks occurring from both Israel and the Gaza Strip are hitting close to home for some civilians. Although rocket fire is coming in from both sides, the attacks are too close for comfort for those trying to live a normal life. With daily launches of rockets taking place for about a week, both civilians and military forces must stay aware of the escalating tension between Israel and Palestine.

BBC News reported Israel saw 90 rockets coming in from Palestinian forces on Saturday alone. Even though Israel is firing back and targeting Hamas military personnel, civilian casualties appear to be unavoidable including the death of a 17-member family. The U.N. estimates about 77 percent of causalities in Gaza has been toward civilians.

The BBC reported on Sunday that Hamas security headquarters and police stations were destroyed in Tel al-Hawa in South Gaza, but nearby homes also fell victim to the damage. Israeli troops were also reported as entering Hamas facilities where rockets have been fired. According to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) there was an exchange of gunfire but naval commandos were able to get home safely with minor injuries.

IDF also stated leaflets were dropped onto the city of Beit Lahiya located in northern Gaza to warn residents of a possible incoming airstrike. Residents were warned to leave or seek shelter since staying near Hamas facilities was considered dangerous. Although the IDF reports 1,320 “terror sites” have been struck, senior officials believe Hamas militants still possess thousands of rockets. For this reason, the IDF is considering sending in more ground troops and warning civilians to leave.

The Gaza Strip attacks are hitting close to home for some civilians, and the U.N. is noting both Hamas and Israel forces are in violation of international laws prohibiting the targeting of civilians. Though worldwide pressure is calling on Israel and Palestine to cease fire, Israel stated it will not cease fire until incoming rockets stop.

U.N.  senior official, Navi Pillay is in charge of human rights and stated Israel must refrain from any air strikes which threaten civilian life according to international law. Pillay reported many children have died as a result of Israeli air strikes and this causes the U.N. to reconsider whether Israel is abiding by “international humanitarian law and international human rights law.” Pillay added all sides should refrain from targeting densely populated areas.

The National Post reported Israel also fired two rockets into Lebanon in response to an attack. Israel claimed to have fired back at a “source of fire.” Officials believe militant groups from Lebanon are responding to attacks taking place in the Gaza Strip.

Attacks in the Gaza Strip is also hitting close to home for some civilians staying in Israel near the Gaza Strip, but who came from the U.S. Just like anyone near the borders of Israel and the Gaza Strip, they face imminent danger from hundreds of rockets flying near both sides of the border.

According to a report by CBS Local News in Denver, Dan Saliman went to East High School in Denver, Colorado but now lives in Kibbutz, a small farm community located along the border with Gaza. Saliman lives there with family, although he has a son, Noam who lives in Morrison, Colorado. CBS News reported Saliman claims he can hear the rocket fire, explosions, and sirens, and that he and his family must often take shelter. Though injuries have been minimal on Israel’s side, Noam expressed concern for his family’s safety.

Dr. Sarah Woznick is another person near the line of fire. According to CBS News, Dr. Woznick worked at the University of Colorado Hospital but is currently in Gaza volunteering for a program called Doctors Without Borders. She stated she can hear air strikes taking place and has been close to the attacks too.

Though attacks from Israel and Hamas militant groups have been mainly airborne,  things may change if Israel sends ground troops into the Gaza Strip again. If this happens, attacks on both sides of  the border are going to hit even closer to home for these civilians.

By Liz Pimentel

Sources:
BBC News
CBS News
National Post
CBS Local News (Denver)

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