Conflict & Justice

Israeli violence along Gaza and Syrian borders escalates


A Palestinian youth points to the damaged roof of a building following an Israeli military air strike in Rafah town in the southern Gaza Strip, on November 11, 2012. The flare-up which began November 10, was one of the most serious since Israel's devastating 22-day operation in the Gaza Strip over New Year 2009, has culminated in six Palestinians being killed and 32 injured by Israeli strikes after militants fired on an Israeli jeep, wounding four soldiers, medics and witnesses said.


Said Khatib

Violence is escalating in the Gaza border area with continued fire between Israel and the militant-led Palestinian territories, while a mortar stike hit Israel from Syria today, prompting return fire from a nation on high alert, reported BBC News

As of noon today, over 50 mortars and rockets had hit Israel from Gaza within 24 hours, said The Telegraph, killing six Palestinians on Saturday.  

The  exchange of fire has been ongoing since Israel fired into Gaza after Palestinian militants fired a missile at an Israeli soldiers patrolling the Gaza, wounding four soliders, Bloomberg Businessweek reported

"The world needs to understand that Israel will not sit idly by in the face of attempts to attack us," said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today, referring to the conflict in Gaza. He also suggested the country may "intensify the response," reported the Financial Times

The miliant group Hamas pointed the finger at Israel, accusing them of starting the conflict.

"The occupation's targeting of civilians was a grave escalation that must not pass in silence," spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said, the Jerusalem Post reported, adding that "resistance must be reinforced in order to block the aggression."

More from GlobalPost: Gaza: Israeli fire kills 4 Palestinians, wounds 20

The violence come just two months ahead of Israel's elections, and threatens to flare up into a major confrontation as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that Israel would ramp up their response should the violence continue, the Associated Press reported

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak also said the country would not allow "the grave events on the border" to "go unnoticed," according to CNN

More from GlobalPost: Syrian mortars fired into Golan Heights: Israel

Meanwhile, Israel's military today said they had fired warning shots ito Syria over the mortar incident, marking the first such move from the nation since the region's 1973 war, said BBC.

The shell from Syria did not cause any casualties, but it is the latest instance of spill-over from the ongoing battle between the Syrian army and rebel groups, the Los Angeles Times reported.

As for the Golan Heights, though some analysts argue Israel is reluctant to get involved in Syria's conflict, others worry tensions on that border could reach a boiling point as well, the Los Angeles Times reported. 

“If Israel got involved, it would be good for Bashar since he could say he’s protecting the Arab nation,’’ said Moshe Moaz, a Syria expert at Hebrew University. “But I think both sides are going to be very careful not to be dragged into something that will escalate. If Bashar really upsets Israel, Israel could do something very serious to teach him a lesson.”