Another Calm after Another Storm

Another ceasefire between Israel and its terrorist enemies settled-in early yesterday morning, after a weekend of rocket attacks upon Israel and counter-strikes by Israeli forces, which left at least 4 Israelis and 25 Palestinians dead, with many more injured.

The trouble started when on Friday 3rd May a sniper opened fire on Israeli soldiers from the midst of a protest taking place at the Gaza border, wounding two of the soldiers. In response Israel struck several terrorist targets within the Gaza Strip.

Rockets being fired into Israel from GazaRockets being fired at Israel from Gaza (from video posted by the IDF)

That seems to have prompted terrorists in Gaza to start a bombardment of Israel on Saturday, firing large numbers of rockets in a short space of time in an attempt to ‘overwhelm’ Israel’s defensive Iron Dome. As with so many aspects of the conflict, the success of this tactic was disputed, with the Israelis claiming that the Iron Dome system still achieved an 86 percent success rate in destroying the incoming rockets.

By the time the ceasefire was agreed, the terrorists had fired as many as 690 rockets and the Israelis had struck about 350 terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip. Those targets included a cross-border tunnel, militant training camps and weapons stores.

Amid concerns that the violence could flare-up again, Israel has agreed to deliver $30 million in cash to the people in Gaza, so as to alleviate the dire circumstances within the general population. The money comes from Qatar, which has promised to give Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank a total of $480 million after the weekend’s dramatic conflict.

The intention is for that money to go to humanitarian relief, including grants and loans for the Palestinian Authority’s health and education programmes. However, a recurring problem is the misappropriation of aid money by the terrorist groups that dominate both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

As the Muslim festival of Ramadan started on Monday, the people of Gaza seemed understandably pessimistic due to the day being overshadowed by funerals and the awful task of pulling bodies from the rubble of demolished buildings.

On the other side of the border, Israelis are said to be simmering with anger that another traumatic round of fighting has still not resolved the situation. One resident of the Israeli town of Sderot spoke for many when he described the government’s attitude towards Hamas, saying:

“We are too nice with them, like suckers.
We need to make a thorough clean-up there with a firm hand ...”

Meanwhile, Israel as a nation is preparing to remember its fallen soldiers and its victims of terror attacks, starting with a one-minute silence at 8 p.m. this evening.

Over the course of 24 hours, Israel will honour the memory of 23,741 soldiers who died since 1880, the year which saw the start of a significant return of Jews to the land. The country will also honour around 3,150 civilians who have died in terror attacks since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 – four of whom were killed during the latest round of violence.