Daily Video

July 8, 2014

Israeli and Palestinian teen deaths escalate tensions in the Middle East


Tension has escalated between Israelis and Palestinians after the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens set off a revenge killing of a Palestinian teen. Since then, both sides have protested the violence, and Israel and Palestinians have traded rockets across the Gaza border.

Tension has recently been high in the region, with the breakdown of peace negotiations in April, a stalled prisoner negotiation and the recent rise of the ISIS militant organization in Iraq and Syria.

Israel blamed Hamas, the Islamic militant group that rules Gaza, for the deaths of the three teenagers, then began a bombardment of the area that killed eight Palestinian militants.

Back in Jerusalem and the West bank, Jewish Israeli extremists enraged by the killings kidnapped and brutally murdered a Palestinian teenager by burning him alive.

“Authorities say that three people confessed (to the crime) today. And it has really set off some soul-searching in Israel. I think there’s just a lot of shock because of the brutality and how grisly this killing was,” said Josef Federman of the Associated Press. “Even the nation’s top leaders, Shimon Peres, the president, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, called the family, the boy’s parents, today to express his condolences and just told them how shocked he was and how ashamed.”

Since the rocket bombardment, Hamas has vowed revenge, though it is unclear what their next steps will be.

Warm up questions
  1. Where is Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip?
  2. What do you know about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict?
  3. What are ways that people solve land disputes?
Discussion questions
  1. Which specific events seemed to have increased tension between Israeli and Palestinian leaders?
  2. Who should be responsible for negotiating peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians?
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