News / Middle East

Calmest Year in Decade on Gaza-Israel Frontier but Tensions Persist

Calmest Year in Decade on Gaza-Israel Frontier Despite Continuing Tensionsi
X
November 12, 2013 11:10 AM
It has been one year since Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza engaged in an eight-day exchange of bombings and rocket attacks in which about 180 people were killed and 1,000 wounded. Analysts say, since then, Gaza has been calmer than at any time in the past decade, although neither side has lowered its guard. VOA’s Scott Bobb has this report from Gaza City.

Calmest Year in Decade on Gaza-Israel Frontier Despite Continuing Tensions

Scott Bobb
It has been one year since Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza engaged in an eight-day exchange of bombings and rocket attacks in which about 180 people were killed and 1,000 wounded. Since then, analysts say, Gaza has been calmer than at any time in the past decade, but neither side has lowered its guard. 
 
A year later, the rubble has been cleared from the air strikes that Israelis called Operation Pillar of Defense; for eight days, Israeli planes and artillery pounded 1,500 targets in Gaza. More than 170 Palestinians were killed, many of them civilians, and more than 800 were wounded.
 
During the same period, Hamas militants fired 1,500 rockets into Israel, reaching the outskirts of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv for the first time. Six Israelis were killed and 200 wounded.
  
Israeli officials say the past year has been the calmest in more than a decade, and indeed the calmest since the Second Intifada Palestinian uprising, which ran from 2000 to 2005. The violence since then peaked with a three-week incursion by Israeli ground troops nearly five years ago, in which more than 1,000 people were killed.
 
Despite setbacks from the conflicts, Hamas remains committed to its goals.
 
"Heroes, thousands of them above ground and thousands underground, are preparing quietly for the battle to liberate Palestine," said Ismail Haniyeh, the group’s leader in Gaza.
 
Analyst Talal Okal thinks Gazans see any ceasefire as temporary.
 
“Everybody in Gaza, everybody, is expecting a new war by the Israelis.  It is a matter of time, you know, a matter of justifications,” explained Okal.
 
The director of Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs, General Yossi Kuperwasser, does not foresee another conflict soon but does say that Hamas remains a threat.
 
“It is still a terrorist organization committed to the struggle and the destruction of Israel, committed to terrorist activities. And we have to continue to keep a very close eye on what’s happening in Gaza on a daily basis,” said Kuperwasser.
 
Israeli officials say they are most worried by Hamas’s growing ability to build rockets inside Gaza and the increasing size and range of these missiles.

You May Like

Photogallery US to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Expanded Ebola Effort

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Obama is to announce troop deployment, other details of US plans to fight Ebola outbreak More

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid