Gaza-Israel Conflict (2008-2009)

A six month truce between Hamas and Israeli ended on 19th December 2008; Hamas refused to extend the truce as Israel had not lifted the Gaza Strip blockade, nor had they ceased raids in Gaza and Hamas then resumed its rocket and mortar attacks on Israel. On 27th December 2008 Israel launched its military operation (codenamed Operation Cast Lead) with the stated objective of defending itself from Palestinian rocket fire and preventing the re-arming of Hamas. Hamas demands that Israeli attacks are ceased and that the blockade is lifted.

As of 14th January 2009, 13 Israelis (including 3 civilians) and 1,024 Palestinians are estimated to have been killed, the Palestinian fatalities including 100 women and 311 children.

On the first day of the Israeli operation, the Israeli Air Force bombed approximately 100 targets in Gaza within 4 minutes, including Hamas bases, training camps and headquarters, as well as civilian infrastructure including schools, mosques and houses. Israel claims that it is not targeting civilians and that the civilian infrastructure that was attacked contained hidden weaponry and personnel.

Hamas has intensified its mortar and rocket throughout the conflict, targeting cities up to 40km away. These attacks have resulted in civilian injuries and damage to infrastructure.

On January 3rd 2009 the Israeli Defence Forces ground invasion began, using mechanised infantry, armor and artillery units, supported by armed helicopters, entering Gaza. Both parties have claimed that this war will be a fight to the bitter end.

International reactions to the conflict have included calls for an immediate ceasefire. In response, Israel announced daily three-hour ceasefires, which neither party has respected. The UN and the Red Cross welcomed the move, but have criticized it as inadequate.

On 8 January 2009, the UN Security Council approved Resolution 1860 calling for an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of Israeli troops, with 14 of 15 member states supporting the resolution and one abstaining (the United States). Both Hamas and Israel have rejected the call for a ceasefire.

What I'm mostly trying to draw your attention to here is not the diplomacy but the casualties; Israel have murdered hundreds of civilians, most of them children, and injured a total of almost four and half thousand people. Disproportionately, Palestinian defence has taken a total of 13 lives, most of them soldiers, and injured a total of 163 people. Also, Israel have killed innocent bystanders such as a Ukrainian woman and her child who were in Gaza at the time as well as foreign journalists covering the fighting.

Obviously I haven't covered all the details of this conflict so feel free to draw attention to anything I've missed you think is important.

My final message is this: Stop pitying yourselves over your pathetic teenage issues; everyone has them. Start focusing on how good you have it and don't take your situation for granted. Imagine living in constant fear of immediate death and compare it to your situation. Do you really have that much to complain about? I honestly believe that if more people took a positive outlook on life the world would be a much, much better place so please take into consideration what I've said.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.
Posted on January 15th, 2009 at 05:51am

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