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

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora