Israel-Gaza conflict: EU pushes for ceasefire but ordinary Israelis back Benjamin Netanyahu and want bombardment to continue
US Secretary of State John Kerry has offered help to secure a Gaza truce
Monday 14 July 2014
With the current operation's death toll in Gaza reaching 169, mostly civilians, according to the Gaza health ministry, international pressure is beginning to mount on Israel to move towards a ceasefire. The EU said on Monday that it was in contact with “all parties in the region” to press for an immediate halt to the hostilities a day after US Secretary of State John Kerry offered help to secure a Gaza truce, Reuters reported.
But judging from a random sample of Israelis at a falafel restaurant and an ice cream parlour in the middle class Beit Hakerem neighbourhood of Jerusalem, Israelis are ready to keep going and are worried that if the army stops now, without Hamas decisively defeated, the rocket problem will resurface soon.
“We can't stop now or the same thing will happen again a year from now,” said Adi Eliav, a 49-year old building contractor between bites of falafel. Near him a television flashed on the screen the latest news of Hamas rocket attacks - “eight year old boy lightly wounded in Ashdod” “Rockets against Ashkelon, Gan Yavne and Lachish” and “Interceptions in Ashdod.”
“We can stop when we've eliminated all their stores of rockets and hurt them in a way that it will be hard for them to come back. We're not there,” Mr Eliav said. But asked whether he favours a ground incursion into Gaza, as right-wing politicians are advocating, he concedes: “I'm hesitant. My hesitation is that I don't want Israel Defence Force soldiers to be harmed. So I think it's best to continue [bombardments] from the air. I don't think these bombardments should be escalated though, we should be careful not to harm civilians.”
Mr Eliav credits Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with managing the war effort well. “I'm not usually among his fans, but he's been reasonable, he's showing restraint. He did not decide on a ground operation.”
READ MORE: Three Israelis admit burning teenager to death
Middle East debate is more about fashion for revolutionary tourism than real politics
Frankfurt police let anti-Israel protesters use their megaphone
Ofer Shemtov, 28, who buys and sells real estate, said that “going towards a ceasefire now means accepting that this will happen again and that Hamas will improve its capability.”
“I'm sure there will be international pressure [to stop] but the government has to stand against this pressure,” he said.
“As sad as it is, there is no solution,” he added. “This is because the nature of this war is that it's not over territory, but rather that they want to finish us off.”
A protestor holding a portrait of Mohammed Abu Khder, a 16yr old Palestinian from east Jerusalem who was kidnapped and killed in a suspected revenge attack (AFP)
Yaacov Levy, a retired bus driver, said: “I'm willing to stop on one condition and that is that the leading countries in the world take out all the missiles from Gaza. I'm sure that if they stop now, it will happen again,” he said.
“They should go to a ground operation only if they are willing to take it all the way and take out all of Hamas's weaponry,” he added.
Asked about Mr Netanyahu's performance, Mr. Levy said: “I'm very satisfied. He is making decisions from his head, not from his [heart]. He will do what is necessary, but at the right time.”
But Tamar Paikes, an artist, said: “Netanyahu is always blaming and never taking responsibility for anything.”
“We should go to a ceasefire because using force didn't lead us anywhere. It's like a violent family that just deteriorates to more violence.” she added.
READ MORE: Video explains Israeli ‘knock on roof’ missile warning
Israeli air strike destroys home for the disabled
Netanyahu blames Hamas for civilian casualties in Gaza
Hamas leaders have said a ceasefire must include the release of prisoners arrested in Israel’s West Bank sweeps, an end to Israel’s Gaza blockade and a return to a 2012 truce agreement. Hamas wants Egypt to ease restrictions at the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza.
Hamas kept up its rocket barrage on Monday and also sent a drone into Israel that was shot down by a Patriot missile, the army said, adding that it was checking whether the drone carried explosives.
Hamas said its armed wing had sent several locally-made drones to carry out ''special missions'' deep inside Israel, Reuters reported.
Two rockets fired from Gaza were reportedly intercepted over the Tel Aviv area late on Monday after a lull during the morning. Ninety rockets were fired at Israel during the day, bringing the total since the start of the war to 1,050, an army spokeswoman said The airforce mounted a hundred strikes on targets in Gaza, she added.
Andreas Lubitz: Who is Germanwings co-pilot who 'locked out captain and crashed flight 9525'?
Germanwings crash: The poignant final photograph taken by Iranian journalist on doomed flight after watching Barcelona play Real Madrid
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Cate Blanchett loses temper during interview: 'That's your f**king question?'
Jeremy Clarkson calls on trolls to leave producer Oisin Tymon alone: 'None of this is his fault'
- 1 JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Video shows what happens when lava is poured onto ice
- 5 Cate Blanchett loses temper during interview: 'That's your f**king question?'
£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity to...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Trainee Managers are required to join the UK's...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will maximise the effective...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + uncapped commission : SThree: Hello! I know most ...