Fighting between the Israelis and Palestinians is once again taking center stage. There does not appear to be an end in sight for the escalating violence between Israel and Palestinian militant groups in Gaza. Before the weekend, the death toll reached 30 casualties; 27 Palestinians and three Israelis.
Although Israel promised a lull in its assault to make time for a diplomatic solution to the conflict, neither side halted its barrage of rockets.
Dooah, a 14-year-old Palestinian girl who lives in Gaza City, was wounded when rocket shrapnel hit her as she went to a wedding. "All I remember is the flash of red light," she said.
Both sides accuse the other of deliberately targeting civilians, then claim innocence for themselves. Israel insists it is carefully selecting its targets by focusing on buildings that symbolize Hamas' rule in Gaza.
"There is one basic difference between us and our enemies. They deliberately target civilians and deliberately hide behind civilians, and we do everything in our power to minimize civilian casualties while we exercise our legitimate right of self-defense," said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
With tensions escalating, Israel has called up 16,000 reserve troops and stationed forces near the border with Gaza, indicating that they may be preparing for a ground offensive.
1. Where is Israel?
2. Who are the Palestinians?
3. What do you know about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict?
1. Do you think this conflict can be solved militarily or diplomatically? Why?
2. Do you think the U.S. should step in to help solve the crisis? Why or why not?
3. Why is this conflict so important to stability in the Middle East?