The images pouring out of the Middle East are shocking: bloody bodies, parents holding their children’s lifeless bodies, plumes of smoke engulfing cities. As the conflict between Israel and the Palestine group Hamas rages on, many are wondering if officials will be able to secure a ceasefire before things escalate into a full-blown war.
While Israel’s iron dome continues to block many of Hamas’ rockets, Israel’s air strikes on Gaza have been extremely deadly. Over the weekend, a rocket aimed at a Hamas militant leader stuck a home, killing 10 people—including three generations of one family. The brutal attack capped the deadliest day in the conflict thus far.
After a night of sustained Israeli strikes by air and sea and a morning of rocket attacks on Israel, the Health Ministry here said on Monday that the Palestinian death toll in six days of conflict had risen to 91 with 700 wounded, including 200 children, as the assault ground on unrelentingly despite efforts toward a cease-fire.
The casualties — 19 people reported killed since midnight local time — included Palestinians killed in strikes by warplanes and a drone attack on two men on a motorcycle. Another drone attack killed the driver of a taxi hired by journalists and displaying “Press” signs, although it was not clear which journalists hired it, Palestinian officials said.
On Sunday, Israeli forces attacked two buildings housing local broadcasters and production companies used by foreign outlets. Israeli officials denied targeting journalists, but on Monday Israeli forces again blasted the Al Sharouk block used by many local broadcasters as well as Britain’s Sky News and the Al Arabiya channel.
The attack, apparently aimed at a computer shop on the third floor of the building, sparked a blaze that sent plumes of dark smoke creeping up the sides of the building. Video footage showed clouds of gray smoke billowing from the high-rise building as the missiles struck home.
An Israeli bomb pummeled a home deep into the ground here on Sunday, killing 11 people, including nine in three generations of a single family, in the deadliest single strike in six days of cross-border conflict. Members of the family were buried Monday in a rite that turned into a gesture of defiance and became a rally supporting Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers.
Although President Obama has urged Israel to avoid a ground invasion of Gaza, he has supported the Jewish’s state right to “protect itself“. However, many argue that Israel’s advanced technology, resources, and well-trained army makes this conflict extremely one-sided, an opinion backed up by the growing Palestine death toll.
Egypt has stepped up to attempt to broker a cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas, but all eyes will be on the region to see if a stop to the conflict will come about soon.