War in Gaza, It’s Not [Only] About the 3 Kidnapped Teens

Although the Arab-Israeli conflict is a constant news story waiting to blow up into a full blown crisis at any moment, like the current Operation Protective Edge, which many link to the kidnapping and death of the 3 Israeli teens Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Sha’er and Naftali Frenkel, it is important to remember that in reality the conflict never ends, it just disappears from the front pages.

Recent articles show the history of Operation Protective Edge stemming from the kidnapping of the 3 Israeli teens.

The Month That Brought Gaza Back To The Breaking Point

June 12

Three Israeli teens — Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Fraenkel, and Gilad Shaer — attempt hitchhike back to their homes. All three go missing. The youth are studying in Jewish settlements in the territory, the oldest age 19, the other two only 16.

Timeline Of Events In Gaza and Israel Shows Sudden, Rapid Escalation

Although Israel’s offensive started July 8, this set of clashes started bubbling last month when a set of kidnappings and murders in the West Bank and Jerusalem set fire to the Israel and Gaza tension tinderbox. 

continued

June 12, 2014

The tipping point of the latest clashes between Israel and Gaza, by most accounts, was the kidnapping of three Israeli teens in the West Bank. The West Bank is sprinkled with Israeli settlements, which is why the teens, Eyal Yifrach, 19; Naftali Fraenkel, 16 and Gilad Shaar, 16, were in disputed Palestinian territory.

In the hours following the news, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Palestinian Authority, the newly sworn in unity government comprising of both Hamas and Fatah members in the West Bank, was responsible for the attacks.

But a look at other headlines show that the conflict was as always burning in the background until it exploded with the kidnapping of the teens, which many critics of Israel view as only an excuse to break up the unity Hamas/Fatah government which Israel opposed from the beginning.

Rockets Fired From Gaza Draw Airstrikes From Israel

APRIL 21, 2014

JERUSALEM — Seven rockets fired from the Gaza Strip landed in southern Israel on Monday morning, prompting Israeli airstrikes that hit at least one training site of Hamas, the militant Palestinian faction that rules Gaza.

The exchange of fire between Palestinian militants and Israeli forces, as Jews celebrated the last day of Passover, was the most significant clash in more than a month. Combined with recent violence in the Old City of Jerusalem and in the West Bank, the exchange increased tensions as Washington was struggling to salvage peace talks before a deadline next Tuesday.

Two Hamas security officers were slightly injured by one of the three airstrikes in the early afternoon, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry. No injuries were reported in Israel. One rocket damaged a road in the Israeli border town of Sderot, one of several communities where residents were warned to be on alert as they went about their holiday barbecues, hikes and prayers.

Israel launches fresh air strikes on Gaza

24 Dec 2013 17:19

A three-year-old Palestinian girl was killed and at least six other people wounded in a series of Israeli air and tank strikes on the Gaza Strip, medical sources said.

Medics named the girl as Hala Abu Sabikha from the central Gaza Strip, noting “three other members of her family were wounded” on Tuesday.

Emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said six people had been wounded in a series of strikes, which came in response to the shooting to death earlier of an Israeli repairing the security fence separating Gaza from Israel.

continued

The Israeli army said aircraft, tanks and infantry “targeted terror sites in the Gaza Strip” in retaliation for the shooting of the Israeli.

“The sites targeted were a weapon-manufacturing facility and a terror infrastructure in the southern Gaza Strip, a terror site and another terror infrastructure in the central Gaza Strip and a concealed rocket launcher in the northern Gaza Strip,” an army statement said.

Two Are Wounded After Israel Orders Airstrike in Gaza

JAN. 19, 2014

JERUSALEM — The Israeli military said it carried out an airstrike in Gaza on Sunday aimed at eliminating an Islamic Jihad operative responsible for recent rocket fire against southern Israel, part of a growing cycle of border clashes in recent weeks that reflect the fragility of the 14-month cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinian coastal enclave.

A Palestinian man who was riding a motorcycle was seriously wounded in the missile strike, and a bystander, a boy of 12, was also hurt, according to a Health Ministry official in Gaza. There was no immediate confirmation from Gaza that the motorcycle rider was Israel’s intended target, though a website close to Islamic Jihad said the wounded man was a member of the group’s armed wing.

continued

In 2013, nearly 50 rockets were fired out of Gaza into southern Israel, and the Israeli Air Force carried out 10 attacks, striking 24 sites, according to the military. So far this year, 12 rockets have been launched, and Israel has carried out six airstrikes, hitting a dozen targets.

The conflict never ends, it’s just that sometimes it gets big enough for the media to decide to pay attention.  If only they got the story right when they decided to pay attention, we would all be better informed.

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