Israelis want another war
A recent poll has revealed more than half of Israelis approve of another attack on Gaza – despite widespread international condemnation of last year's offensive which killed more than 1,300 Palestinians.
It was always Jeff Gafni’s dream that his son Yuval would follow in his footsteps. The 67-year-old paratrooper has fought in the Israeli army most of his life. Last year his son joined him on the Gaza battlefield. Neither one of them believes it was the last time.
“There is no kind of magic to finish it. The only way is to do it the same way they did last time – maybe deeper, and that means more causalities on both sides and maybe for a longer while,” Jeff Gafni.
Carl is a professional blogger who has dedicated his writings to calling for another Israeli attack on Gaza.
“I think that outside of Israel a lot of people don’t realize how much dissatisfaction there was with the end of last year's war. It stopped very abruptly and ended too soon. There were stories going around here in January of last year that the Obama administration asked that it ended before the inauguration,” Carl says.
Sixty-seven percent of Israelis agree – a recent opinion poll, conducted by Independent Media Review Analysis center, asked them what Israel should do about the ever-growing number of underground smuggling tunnels between Gaza and Egypt. Most respondents said strike again – and criticized their government for not already having done so.
“We have a policy in Israel right now of allowing Hamas to run their factories, smuggle in weapons, prepare devices which can reach Tel Aviv now and beyond and continue in all of these efforts,” says Dr Aaron Lerner from the Independent Media. “With an army which is being trained by Iranians, the question is – is this a proper policy?”
Many Israelis are also calling for eradicating tunnels to Gaza, but for Palestinians the tunnels provide a lifeline to the outside world. As a result of the Israeli siege, the only way most Gazans can get supplies is through the elaborate underground network.
“There are about 3,900 workshops and factories in Gaza, 95% aren’t operating. This is because of the blockade, difficulties at checkpoints, and the brutal war. Those businesses provided jobs for 35,000 workers. Here, everything depends on whether you have a job. The workshops were manufacturing export goods. Now, we don’t export anything and don’t import anything,” says Omar Al Ejla, President of the Palestinian Federation of Aluminum Industries.
Last week Israel submitted a 46-page report to the United Nations. It claims its forces abided by international law during last winter’s onslaught. However, a UN action team claims the opposite – it says the army struck civilian targets, such as the only operational mill in Gaza, where the remains of an aircraft-dropped bomb were found.
Inna Michaeli from Israel’s Coalition of Women for Peace says the international community should put pressure on Israel:
“As long as Israel is not pressured by the international community and it does not search for other ways to solve its problems, of course there will be another war.”
Israel and Hamas have until Friday to submit the findings of independent investigations into their actions and report back to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. If they fail to do this, they could face war crimes proceedings. Yet even before that, it appears Ban Ki-moon might soon be dealing with another conflict on his hands.