'Israeli attack threatens wider war'

Israel has become accustomed to the minor attacks from Gaza. But during this escalation of the conflict Hamas rockets managed to reach Tel-Aviv for the first time since 1991.

On Saturday the Iron Dome battery intercepted a missile just a few hours after it was deployed in the city.

It was the third straight day that Hamas had launched rockets at Tel Aviv.

The fact that the Palestinians now have missiles of such range could prove to be a red line for Israel. The head of the international action center Sara Flounders told RT, it could lead to another ground war.

RT:Of course, you have been to Gaza many times. What do you make of Hamas militants continuing rocket attacks, which is obviously provoking a harsh reaction from the Israelis, resulting in civilian deaths in Gaza?

Sara Flounders: It’s really a game changer and very significant, that for the first time Hamas is striking back at Israel from Gaza. For the past six decades Israel has hit the Palestinians again and again with impunity. The Palestinian were totally and entirely defenseless.During the time that I was in Gaza, Israeli attacks were almost a daily occurrence. Then there were the major campaigns, such as we saw 4 years ago, which we are seeing repeated now with the threat of a ground invasion. This time though the Palestinians have missiles with sufficient range to reach Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. The can also fire on US-supplied Israeli planes. Of course none of this could take place without Washington’s diplomatic, military and economic support for Israel.

RT:There was a ground invasion by Israel 4 years ago. What did they achieve?

SF: What they achieved was more then 1,400 Palestinian deaths and massive destruction of schools, agriculture, small industries. It was really down to the use of white phosphorus and of all sorts of prohibited weapons. So, this is a severe threat. An in important time for people of the whole world to respond to Israeli terror, which has become so routine that it has became acceptable. And it should never, never be acceptable. What Israel has done to the Palestinian people from the very beginning – from the theft of land and resources to what is going on today against a democratically elected government in Gaza, which is Hamas. Every Israeli threat is a violation and a war crime and should be denounced and opposed in the strongest way. At the same time I do think it’s important to recognize, as the world does recognize, that the Palestinian people have a right to defend themselves. They have a right to defend themselves with rockets, with digging tunnels, with doing all that they can, because they really are the oppressed and landless and displaced people. On the other hand Israel is a superpower in terms of weapons.

RT:You say the Palestinians want to defend themselves and they are indeed defending themselves with rockets apparently being smuggled in from Iran [[though Iran denies the allegation]]. Now that is a serious development. Does it mean Iran could be caught up in all of this and perhaps we are talking about a regional war?

SF: I think that Israel’s attack really does threaten wider war. But Israel is used to being the bully attacking defenseless people as we saw in Lebanon, and now in Gaza. When the opportunity to attack presents itself to Israel, it takes it. The idea of threatening the Palestinian people for defending themselves or claiming that missiles come from Iran, missiles can come from anywhere in the world today and be manufactured also within Gaza. There is certainly the technology, the ability to do this. What has changed it is that missiles are falling in Israel. They are not just falling in Gaza city, they are not just falling on a completely defenseless people. That is what the Israeli’s were used to, and used to doing with the full support of the US.