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

Jerusalem

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 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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us