THUNDER BAY – It is not a ground war, yet. However the situation in the Middle East is heating up with the Israelis targeting potential rocket launching sites in the Gaza, and the continued firing of rockets into Israel. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has renewed his appeal for an end to the ongoing violence in Gaza and Israel, strongly urging the parties to achieve an immediate ceasefire. On Sunday, the Secretary General said, “I am heading to the region to appeal personally for ending the violence and contribute to ongoing efforts to that end.”
The new wave of violence in Gaza and Israel – which includes rocket attacks against Israel from Gaza, and Israeli airstrikes on Gaza – has resulted in several people being killed or wounded on both sides. Ban said that he is “deeply saddened” by the reported deaths of more than 10 members of the Dalu family, including women and children, and additional Palestinian civilians killed as a result of the ongoing violence in Gaza.
He is also alarmed by the continuing firing of rockets against Israeli towns, which has killed several Israeli civilians. “This must stop,” he stated, strongly urging the parties to cooperate with all efforts led by Egypt to reach an immediate ceasefire.
The United Nations human rights chief earlier this weekend urged all parties in Gaza and Israel to pull back from an “increasingly dangerous confrontation” and respect their obligations under humanitarian law to protect citizens, according to her spokesperson.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, “is following the unfolding situation in Gaza and southern Israel with considerable alarm,” her spokesperson, Rupert Colville, told reporters in Geneva. “She is appalled that once again civilians are losing their lives, including three Israeli citizens killed in their apartment by one of the hundreds of rockets fired over the past week as well as several Palestinian children, including a baby, and also a pregnant woman and some other civilians killed in Gaza,” he said.
The new wave of violence in Gaza and southern Israel – which includes rocket attacks against Israel from Gaza, and Israeli airstrikes on Gaza – has resulted in several people being killed or wounded on both sides.
The Israelis have done some leaflet bombing runs advising residents in areas that have been attacked to get out. These leaflet drops have been reported as early as Friday. As well there are additional reports that cellular phones in the Gaza region have received similar warnings set as text messages.
A blogger in Gaza, Rana Baker, has recorded, and posted recordings she states are from Israeli warships and planes.
Rana also recorded two separate clips of attacks from Israel’s warships and, again, the continuous buzzing of surveillance drones over her house.