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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs