Last week’s Israeli raid on a house in the Gaza Strip led to a barrage of missiles and retaliatory strikes from both sides. The situation seems to have calmed down since then, though a rocket yesterday fired from the strip did hit Israel: causing no damage and no injuries. It did however delay for several more hours the resumption of limited amounts of fuel through the border, causing mass blackouts in Gaza City and surrounding areas.
But with the ceasefire already teetering on the brink of collapse, Israeli Vice Premier Haim Ramon has submitted for the consideration of the cabinet a new proposed strategy for future strikes. After a launch, the Israeli military would use heavy artillery to level whichever village the rocket came from. The destruction of civilian villages may prove sufficiently bellicose to be popular in Israel’s upcoming election, but is probably not the best way to continue a ceasefire with the distrustful Hamas government. At the very least, the proposal would reportedly have the military warn the village’s residents in advance of the destruction of their homes.
The ceasefire between Israel and Hamas has been in place since June, and by and large both sides had halted hostilities since then. Both sides have frequently accused the other of violating the ceasefire: Israel over the occasional rocket fire from rival militant factions in the strip, and Hamas over Israel’s nearly weekly decisions to close the border to punish the Hamas government for some slight, which has caused serious goods shortages.
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