Over the last week, the gamut of divisive opinions on the situation in Gaza has been represented and expressed freely on this blog. What tends to happen is that people tend to take “sides.” As simplistic as it might seem, my perspective lies on the side of “sustainable peace.” This should absolutely be the main imperative for all political leaders and representatives in the region. But as this onslaught continues, the more obscure the possibility of peace seems to become. I have personally observed the situation over the last two decades and have never before felt such an overwhelming sense of hopelessness. Where on earth does the peaceful solution lie? Half the population of Gaza are teenagers and children..They are trapped. There is nowhere for them to safely avoid the bombardment. As time passes, the numbers of the dead and wounded will continue to rise exponentially while the hospital facilities and basic services will cease to function. What kind of future can both sides hope to have after this kind of armageddon?
- A prospective ceasefire in Gaza fell apart Friday morning when two Israeli soldiers were killed in fighting inside Gaza and a third was suspected captured.
- Subsequent Israeli strikes killed at least 62 Palestinians in east Rafah, where the capture was reported, and 19 in south Rafah later in the day, according to the Gaza health ministry.
- “I think it’s going to be very hard to put a ceasefire back together again,” US president Barack Obama said. He condemned Hamas.
- Obama said that “innocent civilians in Gaza caught in the crossfire have to weigh on our conscience and we have to do more to protect them.”
- 1,600 Palestinians have been killed and an estimated 8,750 wounded in the conflict so far, the ministry said.
- Israel continued striking Gaza Friday night. Rockets continued to fly into Israel, the army said, and air raid sirens were reported in Ashkelon and elsewhere.
- The Israeli army named the missing soldier as Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, 23. Sixty-three soldiers have been killed in the conflict.
- Hamas political officials denied knowledge of a captured soldier. One said, “Even if it was true, the military leadership are the only ones authorized to report such an event.”
- Israeli forces killed two Palestinians in clashes in the West Bank on Friday, Palestinian medical officials said.
- An estimated 250,000 Gazans have sought refuge in UN shelters, UNRWA said, warning of an imminent collapse of its support network.