News / Middle East

Israel-Gaza Violence Escalates, 4 Palestinians Killed

Smoke trails of rocket fired by Palestinian militants from Gaza Strip towards Israel, October 24, 2012.
Smoke trails of rocket fired by Palestinian militants from Gaza Strip towards Israel, October 24, 2012.
Robert Berger
Violence has flared on the Israeli border with the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, leaving at least four Palestinians dead and several people in Israel and Gaza wounded.

Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepted several rockets fired by Palestinian militants in Gaza. But dozens of other rockets and mortar shells crashed into Israel hitting a number of houses.

Map of Gaza with border crossingsMap of Gaza with border crossings
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Map of Gaza with border crossings
Map of Gaza with border crossings
Eli Nitzan’s house took a direct hit at a farming community in southern Israel.

“There was a loud explosion like I have never heard before and I have heard a lot of explosions,” Nitzan told Israel Radio. “Fortunately the shrapnel flew over our heads, otherwise I would be dead.”

Israel is blaming Iran and the Islamic militant group Hamas that rules Gaza for the attacks.

“Iran is supporting terror attacks now against us in Gaza," said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "We will fight and we will hit them very, very hard, very hard. The way to fight terror is to fight terror, and that we shall do with great force.”

Hamas says Israel started the violence with air strikes targeting Palestinian fighters.

Hamas spokesman Taher al Nunu said Netanyahu is trying to show the Israeli public that he is tough on the Palestinians ahead of elections in January. But al Nunu said the Palestinians are fighting back and will not be pawns in the Israeli election campaign.

Israel launched a three-week air and ground assault on Gaza nearly four years ago to stop Palestinian rocket fire.

Asked if Israel would need another ground operation, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said, “We will do whatever is necessary to stop this wave” of violence.

  • An Israeli police man holds the remains of a rocket fired by Palestinian militants after it hit a community along the Israel - Gaza Border, southern Israel, October 24, 2012.
  • Trails of smoke are seen after the launch of rockets from the northern Gaza strip towards Israel, October 24, 2012.
  • The mother of a Hamas militant mourns during his funeral in the northern Gaza Strip, October 24, 2012.
  • Palestinian relatives carry the body of a Hamas militant killed in an Israeli airstrike during his funeral in Jabaliya, Gaza Strip,October 24, 2012.
  • An Israeli police explosives expert reaches for the remains of a rocket, fired by Palestinian militants in Gaza, after it landed in Israel, October 24, 2012.
  • An Israeli man enters a damaged house after a rocket fired by Palestinian militants from Gaza Strip hit a community in southern Israel, October 24, 2012.
  • An Israeli tank patrols outside the border with the northern Gaza Strip, October 24, 2012.

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by: David from: UK
November 14, 2012 5:38 PM
I find some of the comments staggering both in terms of their bile and their ignorance. Once we become ideologically bound then we revise history and interpret current events in light of our distorted 'truth.' Jew and Arab both have the right to live in this land. The Israeli Govt have not only the right but the duty to protect their citizens .. Jew and Arab ..from sustained rocket attacks.

by: Jack from: USA
October 24, 2012 1:43 PM
To the people complaining about the title, it says 4 Palestinians killed, because no Israelis were killed. Also Palestinians have the right for self-defence, their country was stolen from them and you have the nerve to come her and complain about the title. GTFO of their land and you wouldn't have to deal with this.
In Response

by: Tim durkin-Wright from: nowhere
October 24, 2012 3:20 PM
Israel did get of Gaza at one point, August 2005, (New York Times from 2005 titled, "Israel Lowers Its Flag in the Gaza Strip.)

After three months it was found that the land was being used by Hamas as a platform to launch rockets at Israel.

While i am as Pro-Palestine and agree that the country is indeed Palestinians and that they do indeed have the right to self defence you need to understand that the conflict can not be solved simply by getting out of Gaza.

I also agree people should stop complaining about the title

by: Ruffo from: Maryland
October 24, 2012 1:36 PM
The extremely sad fact is that anti-semitism is alive and well in Europe especially with the post 2nd W.W.expansion. To understand Muslim hate for Jews, the book series by author, Bostom, clearly shows a discouraging pattern by Islamists and in about all their writings including Koran. Read them; enlighten yourself.

by: PlanetDan from: new york
October 24, 2012 1:29 PM
Un. be. lievable. This is journalism? "Violence has flared" -- what a bunch of BS!!! There was a clear cause and effect. 1. Rockets fired into Israel. 2. Israel retaliates. Is there a set of guidelines at VOA that prevents these simple facts from being reported? Is there a requirement to obscure facts to minimize blame? Or is it more specific, that Israel cannot be seen as the victim? Or that Palestinians cannot be seen as the aggressors? Or was it because Robert Berger has an agenda? Whatever the case, this is really crappy journalism. VOA should be ashamed.
In Response

by: Dylan Sommer from: Vermont
October 25, 2012 1:15 AM
The Palestinians live in near apartheid like conditions, they cannot move about their own country without papers from Israel, they cannot feed their families because Israel cut their farms off from water supplies with the blast wall, Israel Soldiers have full authorization to kill Palestinians who have been ushered into the virtual cage that is the Gaza strip. After over a million heavily orthodox Jews from Russia moved into Israel in the past twenty years (into a coutnry of only 6 million already) they swayed the vote to Netayahu and his right wing extremist gov't. say what you want about who was right in this instance but the Palestinians only communicate through violence because the international community has given pause to their internal calls for peace. The longer the Israelis try to oppress the Palestinian people the logner their cause will be a rallying call for anti-semintisism across the region.

by: Kevin
October 24, 2012 12:41 PM
I like how people will say the rockets from Gaza aren't a big deal because they miss all the time. Keep lying to yourselves pretending like HAMAS wouldn't use more advanced weapons if given the chance.
In Response

by: PT from: New Jersey
October 25, 2012 9:36 AM
To Dylan Sommer from Vermont:
You are a complete ignoramus bigot on the following statement:

"After over a million heavily orthodox Jews from Russia moved into Israel in the past twenty years (into a coutnry of only 6 million already) they swayed the vote to Netayahu and his right wing extremist gov't."

Did you ever live in Israel? Obviously not, because you are fed only what the media is feeding you. Over 90% of the Russian people who emigrated were not only NOT orthodox Jews, but many of them were not even Jewish. Take the "Mertz" politicial party in Israel which is comprised of numerous ANTI-orthodox Jews and self proclaimed party of the Russian immigrants in Israel. I remember asking one non-Jew from the Russian "empire" in Jerusalem running a moving business how he learned Hebrew: He answered "its just like mathematics". Point being is the Russian immigrants to Israel thanks to almost 80 years of communist and athiest are ANTI-ORTHODOX. You wrote "heavily orthodox" in your statement, try having a clue before you continue the ignoramus anti-semitic nonsense, at least make a claim that has some half truth if you must be a bigot.

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
October 24, 2012 12:12 PM
Is this what the Qatari emir went to Gaza to inspire the Palestinians to do? If after the Qatari emir's visit the blood thirsty jihadists start rocket launch into Israel, what will happen when Ahmadinejad, Tayyip Erdogan or Muhammad Morsi visits the Gaza Strip? Will it be a world war to end the world? If the ICJ could allow Bakassi in Nigeria to be given away without regard to the people, why does the UN hesitate to ask Israel to take the entire land that belongs to it, including the one now occupied by Hamas, let the hamas people relocate to West Bank so that Israel should have its peace? The UN should brace itself to do itself and the world this onerous services even though it may lead to some hard consequences, but the end result will be greater than any loss at all, which is PEACE not only to the ME but the entire world.

by: PJ Haroldson from: USA
October 24, 2012 12:11 PM
The "Rockets" described here are not much more than long distance noise makers. The official IDF figure for the numbers of people actually killed by tens of thousands of these "rockets" (Quassam 1 - see wikipedia) over twenty years is 7. (Caused by heart attacks of elderly due to loud noises). They are certainly a nuisance but nothing like what most people imagine by the use of this term.

by: Rick from: USA
October 24, 2012 11:57 AM
It is only a matter of time when all of Israel's enemies will be utterly, totally and finally destroyed.

by: DAve4321
October 24, 2012 10:53 AM
I love how terrorists file 70 rockets into Israel and the headline is "4 Palestinians Killed" as if they were just civilians going about their daily lives. No mention of the people injured in Israel either.
In Response

by: Stu from: Hastings
October 24, 2012 2:20 PM
If it were announced how many Israel killed at a fancy, it would never have the backing it has today.
In Response

by: ed from: bronx
October 24, 2012 1:35 PM
Maybe we need to re-examine the work "rockets". These seem more akin to "bottle rockets" than "missiles". Another excuse to slaughter innocent civilians. That's how Israel does business.
In Response

by: John from: Arizona
October 24, 2012 12:51 PM
Remember that Israel illegaly besieged Gaza for many years now. Palestineans cannot live their daily life and they have to suffer everyday because of this. Do not act as naive as if the Palestineans have F-16 bombarding Israel.
There should be a solution for this rather than adopting such policies.

by: Makati from: Lisbon
October 24, 2012 10:35 AM
Israel ought to take more active measures to blunt the Islamic advance into Judeo/Christian civilization. Israel is at the forefront of our survival, surrounded by the enemies of humanity they fight alone, I just wish they would have shown more backbone and start inflicting some real damage instead of this antiseptic clinical precision... Europe should encourage Israel to adopt measures Putin would employ...
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