Israel's five-day offensive against Hamas in retaliation to rocket launches into the Jewish state has now claimed 121 lives. Of the victims, at least 23 are children and at least 24 are women, CNN reported when the death toll tallied 100. Subsequent Israeli response to rocket attacks from Hamas has claimed more lives including eight members of the same family, AP reports. An Israeli tank shell struck a rehabilitation center in eastern Gaza City killing two disabled women and wounding four others, Reuters reports. A 65-year-old man, three other civilians and three militants were killed in another Israeli air strike. A mosque in Central Gaza has been reduced to rubble. The BBC reports of an-eight-year-old Palestinian girl hospitalized with shrapnel embedded in her brain from an Israeli bomb. Another 750 casualties in Gaza are straining limited medical and power supplies. There are rolling power blackouts; a lack of fuel has limited ambulance responses to half of the available units; generator power at hospitals will only last a few more days; medicines have reached a critical shortage; overcrowding at hospitals is forcing patients to be treated on floors. In Israel, a Hamas rocket has injured some seven people. So far no Israel deaths have been reported.
While Israel has full right and responsibility to defend itself from attacks by Hamas, the seemingly indiscriminate retaliations upon Gaza that has killed and injured many civilians including children and women, appear excessive. The overwhelming response by Israel could further radicalized some of its enemies in the region. Thus Israel, though needing to send a strong message that attacks upon its territory will be punished, and will be punished severely; should be cautious as to the extent of the exacting of such punishment. More care and precaution has to be given to the preservation of innocent Palestinian civilians. But in all fairness to Israel, the Jewish state should not have been forced into the precarious position into which it finds itself today.
Hamas must shoulder most blame for bringing this episode of death upon the Palestinian people. In recent conflicts with Israel, as I alluded to yesterday on this Blog, Hamas has lopsidedly been defeated with large numbers of casualties as compared to the Israeli side. In this present conflict, 121 Palestinians have been killed. Hamas has launched some 570 rockets into Israel and as yet, no Israeli has been killed. What lunacy drives Hamas? Is Hamas seeking world sympathy? Is Hamas seeking to invite others into its idiotic non-winnable conflict?
There's no logic, but mere speculation that could be offered to account for Hamas's actions. But we must offer prayers for the Palestinians of innocence. And we must call for an immediate cease-fire of the conflict to avert yet another international humanitarian fiasco like the one playing out in Syria.