News / Middle East

Civilians Fear Mideast Violence Could Turn Into Full-scale War

Civilians Fear Mideast Violence Could Turn Into Full-Scale Wari
X
Zlatica Hoke
July 09, 2014 1:24 PM
Violence in the Middle East is escalating at a time when there are no new peace talks in sight. Israeli and Palestinian leaders have condemned the brutal deaths of three Israeli teenagers and one Palestinian teen, and have vowed to punish those responsible. But both sides also seem to be gearing up for more fighting. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Zlatica Hoke

Violence in the Middle East is escalating at a time when there are no new peace talks in sight.  

Israeli and Palestinian leaders have condemned the murders of three Israeli teenagers and one Palestinian teen, and have vowed to punish those responsible.  

But both sides also seem to be gearing up for more fighting. Israel has announced plans to deploy 40,000 reservists to its border with the Gaza Strip where Hamas leaders vow to fight Israeli occupation.  

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel will use air and ground forces to put an end to daily rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip.

Palestinians run following what police said was an Israeli air strike on a house in Gaza city July 9, 2014. At least 23 people were killed across Gaza, Palestinian officials said.Palestinians run following what police said was an Israeli air strike on a house in Gaza city July 9, 2014. At least 23 people were killed across Gaza, Palestinian officials said.
x
Palestinians run following what police said was an Israeli air strike on a house in Gaza city July 9, 2014. At least 23 people were killed across Gaza, Palestinian officials said.
Palestinians run following what police said was an Israeli air strike on a house in Gaza city July 9, 2014. At least 23 people were killed across Gaza, Palestinian officials said.

"We will not tolerate rockets on our cities and villages, and therefore I ordered a significant enlargement of the Israel Defense Forces operation against Hamas terrorists, and against the terrorists of the other terror organizations in the Gaza Strip," he said. "I did this only after all efforts that were carried out to return to calm were not answered and Hamas chose an escalation."

Palestinians accuse Israel of continued aggression. A spokesman for Hamas, the hard-line group that controls the Gaza Strip, also expressed a determination to fight.

"We will continue to defend our people against these crimes," said Sami Abu Zuhri. "We warn the occupation not to continue its crime against our people and we assure that the resistance is ready to defend [against] this aggression."

Residents on both sides of the Israel-Gaza border fear the conflict could escalate into a full-scale war.

Israelis take cover in a stairwell as an air raid siren, warning of incoming rockets, sounds in Tel Aviv July 9, 2014.Israelis take cover in a stairwell as an air raid siren, warning of incoming rockets, sounds in Tel Aviv July 9, 2014.
x
Israelis take cover in a stairwell as an air raid siren, warning of incoming rockets, sounds in Tel Aviv July 9, 2014.
Israelis take cover in a stairwell as an air raid siren, warning of incoming rockets, sounds in Tel Aviv July 9, 2014.

"Every time one side escalates, the other side does too," said Abdel Naser Sharab, a Gaza City resident. "This has affected people's lives, especially since it's Ramadan and people are fasting. Life has become paralyzed because people are afraid.  Now that we are in a war atmosphere, people stay at home and listen to the news. It's a difficult situation."

The Israeli government has urged citizens living near the border with Gaza to stay close to bomb shelters.  Residents of Re'im ran to shelters when they heard bombing.   

"Tonight we had a very noisy night because the Palestinians sent so much rockets to the Israeli side and we had many problems with citizens who were scared," an Israeli emergency worker said. "They are out of shelters where we are living." 

The United States has condemned the rocket attacks and called for de-escalation. But Washington has no influence in Gaza, especially after declaring Hamas a terrorist group.

"Of course, the United States has a strong relationship with Israel, but the lack of relationship and influence on the other side is extremely limiting," said Steve McInerney of Project on Middle East Democracy. "And I think the influence the United States could have to bring about a cease-fire is not very likely."

  • Palestinians run following what police said was an Israeli air strike on a house in Gaza City, July 9, 2014.
  • Smoke and debris rise after an Israeli strike on the Gaza Strip seen from the Israeli side of the Israel Gaza Border, July 9, 2014.
  • Mourners carry the bodies of Palestinians during their funeral in the town of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip, July 9, 2014.
  • Israelis run towards a bomb shelter as a siren sounds warning of incoming rockets in the southern city of Ashkelon, July 9, 2014.
  • An Israeli looks at damage to his home in a kibbutz near border with the Gaza Strip, July 9, 2014.
  • An Israeli border police officer surveys the damaged caused to a structure after it was hit by a rocket, near the border with the Gaza Strip, July 9, 2014.
  • Smoke and fire rise from an Israeli missle strike in Rafah, Gaza, July 8, 2014.
  • A police officer gestures as Palestinians inspect the remains of a car which police said was targeted in an Israeli air strike in Gaza City, July 8, 2014.
  • Palestinians gather around the remains of a car which police said was targeted in an Israeli air strike in Gaza City, July 8, 2014.
  • Palestinians search through the rubble of a house destroyed by an overnight Israeli airstrike in Gaza City, July 8, 2014.
  • Palestinians try to salvage what they can from the rubble of a house destroyed by an overnight Israeli airstrike in Gaza City, July 8, 2014.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has made reviving the Mideast peace process a top priority. He shuttled tirelessly between July of last year and April of this year to bring the sides together for talks.

While some progress was made, Israeli and Palestinian leaders hit a growing number of stumbing blocks that kept the two sides apart.

The current outbreak of violence, the worst in the area since 2012, erupted soon after the last round of peace talks was declared dead. 

You May Like

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ali baba from: New york
July 09, 2014 7:10 PM
I am not surprised . The real victim are the women and children . They did not instigate the violence and they suffer a lot. does the people who killed three teens understand the consequence of their action? Sooner or later the entire middle East will fight to each other. Sunni against Shia. Palestine Against Israeli. Sudanese against each other or against south Sudan . It is a mad world .It is the world of extremist . It is the world of Muslim fanatic whom believe that war is the best way to achieve its objective regardless the consequences. regardless of destruction. regardless of woman and children whom trapped in the cycle of violence. How many crime is committed with the name of God?

by: Horrible from: islamabad
July 09, 2014 5:57 PM
Barbisim needs not any comment. They are the worst and beasts targetting to kill the innocents.The US must stop their barbaric attacks on civilians in the populas areas in Gaza strip.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More