On March 14, a Palestinian was stabbed, a shop set ablaze, and cars near Hebron were stoned. On March 20, an 11-year old girl was run over en route to school.
Moreover, Israel announced 500 new settlement units and intensified home demolitions in response to the killings, despite no evidence linking them to Palestinians.
On March 21, Israeli air attacks again shelled and bombed Gazan civilian sites, wounding 15 civilians, including two women and two children. Dozens of homes, seven stores, several cars, a municipal building, a metal workshop, and a plastic waste recycling facility sustained total, heavy or partial damage.
On March 22, more attacks killed four, including two children, wounding 11, including eight children, three seriously. Members of the al-Quds Brigades were also targeted near the Abdul Aziz al-Rantisi mosque in eastern Gaza City, killing four.
On March 24, Israeli warplanes conducted two more attacks, targeting a Rafah city training site, causing heavy damage. No deaths or injuries were reported. In addition, according to the SAFA News Agency, air strikes hit a tunnel east of Rafah's Salah Al-Din gate. Four missiles were also fired at a Hamas military site in southern Gaza City, and Israeli attacks destroyed electric lines in several neighborhoods.
Israeli radio claimed Gaza launched rocket and mortar shells prompted the response. Islamic Jihad took responsibility, saying it acted "in retaliation for the ongoing Israeli aggression." Hamas says it's committed to a truce provided Israel stops attacking. Otherwise, it maintains its right of self-defense.
According to the International Middle East Media Center:
"Israeli politicians are said to be considering a further escalation, perhaps resulting in a 'Cast Lead 2.' " Given Washington's war on Libya, besides ongoing ones in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, plus numerous Middle East uprisings, an Israeli offensive now seems unlikely. But don't rule it out later at a more opportune time.
More War Ahead?
Most often, Israel uses real or contrived provocations to unleash violence or wage war. A March 23 Jerusalem bombing might, in fact, have been one if a major assault was planned. The incident at a crowded bus stop killed one, injuring 30 or more others, three seriously. Haaretz reported a likely explosive device "hidden in a bag next to a telephone pole." On March 24, Ma'an News said Israeli police will remain "on high alert," following the attack. An unnamed official claimed "authorities know who was behind" it, the usual suspects for sure.
For nearly 44 years, the above incidents and occasional intense conflict highlight daily Occupied Palestine life. It reflects sustained harshness and brutality, but instead of condemning and demanding it stop, Washington generously rewards it, at the same time attacking targets of opportunity like Gaddafi in pursuit of imperial aims.
Always, innocent civilians suffer most, including women and children, the main casualties of wars and violence, the hidden victims little discussed, considered, or bothered about in mainstream reports, supporting the worst of imperial slaughter and destruction.
As a result, thousands of Palestinians globally endorse a third Intifada, inspired by other regional uprisings for democratic change. In early March a new Facebook page was created supporting it saying, "Palestine will be freed and we will free it."
Within days, the page had nearly 140,000 "Likes" toward a one million goal, then maintaining momentum for many more - a global groundswell for ending occupation and democratic change for an oppressed people long denied it. It's coming because popular energy drives it toward fruition, but not easily, quickly, or without more pain and suffering, what Palestinians have long endured.
A Final Comment
On March 22, Palestinians got more reasons to act after the Knesset passed two discriminatory laws. One called the Acceptance to Communities Bill lets small Galilee and Negev communities maintain racist admissions committees to exclude potential Arab and other unwanted residents from living on Israeli confiscated land.