Just as it seems tensions in the middle Middle East couldn’t get any worse, Israel has once again joined the chaos after being subjected to recent violence.
The trouble began last Thursday after a small group of terrorists snuck into the southern coastal city of Eilat. Upon reaching the city, they opened fire on a city bus wounding ten passengers. One of them then proceeded to detonate a bomb killing himself and a nearby bus driver. Soon after firing at an Air Force helicopter, one of the terrorists began to shoot at two different passing cars, killing a total of five people. Several minutes later, a military jeep arrived, ran over one of the terrorists, leaving only one left. However, armed with enough firepower to kill hundreds, the terrorist was not easy to bring down. The terrorist opened fire on another military jeep hitting all the soldiers and killing one of them. After fleeing the scene, the terrorist was soon tracked down by the police’s counterterrorism unit wherein a gunfight ensued ending in his death.
Although the violence had temporarily ceased, it was not even close to over. Half an hour later, two other terrorists, standing in Egyptian territory began firing at the counterterrorism unit who quickly responded and killed the gunmen. Then, just four hours later, after the Air Force received intelligence concerning the other terrorists locations, they mobilized their units and eliminated the targets with several air strikes in their locations. Soon after, gunshots were fired from the border at Israeli soldiers, one being hit and left in critical condition. In total, the death toll that day amounted to eight people.
Since the end of the initial day of fighting, the level of danger has only risen. Cities in southern Israel have been hit by over 150 rockets, killing and injuring several people. So far, over one million Israelis have needed to use their special “safe” rooms installed in every home and apartment for safety purposes.
Michael Mellul (’12), who had just come to Israel last Thursday, underwent a firsthand experience of the chaos shaking the southern city of Ashdod. “We were all sleeping in our apartment and around 5:00 am Friday morning the siren for the city went off” said Mellul. He went on to say that as they quickly ran into the safe room, they suddenly heard the crash of rockets and bombs in the distance, hitting nearby buildings.
Even during this week’s past holocaust remembrance event in Israel, organized by former TV host Glenn Beck, much of the spotlight was geared towards the ongoing violence in the country’s south. Often comparing the tragic holocaust during World War II to the bloodshed and genocide of today, Beck was brought down to tears begging people to heed his message of once and for all standing up to the terrorism. Even award winning actor Jon Voight, who has always been known as a strong supporter of the state of Israel, was present at the event and had some important words to say. “How have we come to a time when blowing up babies and cutting their throats are acceptable means to a political goal?” Voight asked. “I feel complete contempt for anyone not intelligent enough to see that the media propaganda portraying the Palestinians as victims endangers the state of Israel. We are facing a new Holocaust, and people of all faiths must demand that truth be heard. The Palestinian radicals have only one prayer on their lips: To remove every Jew from Israel.”
Although at this point the past few days have resulted in a developing cease-fire between Hamas and Israel, many Palestinian groups have already broken this cease-fire and will continue destroying Israeli homes and lives. As of now its unclear what will happen, but as the past shows, no matter if Israel chooses to fight back or offer peace once again, its enemies will keep coming back for more.