The Israel/Palestine conflict has hardly been simmering but whatever lid was on the pot is about to be blown off completely.
At least 52 Palestinians and two Israeli soldiers have been killed today in fighting in Gaza with Palestinian doctors stating that at least eight were children and only 16 were militants. Hamas have been responsible for firing over 20 rockets a day into Israel.
The raid follows comments from Israel's Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai that Palestine was facing a 'holocaust'.
The Israeli raids began after a rocket fired by Hamas militants killed an Israeli student in Sderot on Wednesday and was replied with by raids that have killed over 80 Palestinians since. With reports of Israel troops gathering on the Gaza border, the threat of full-scale attack on Gaza is a likely scenario.
Israel's leaders have been under pressure from some quarters to launch a ground invasion while a recent opinion poll has indicated a majority of Israelis (63%) favour a truce with the Islamist movement Hamas who were elected into power in 2006. The elections result made a mockery of the US talk of "spreading democracy” who immediately showed that they had no intention of honoring the will of the Palestinian people.
Two years on and with Palestinian leaders calling for international protection and Mahmoud Abbas demanding an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, there really is something stirring in the Middle East air and our minds return to Jenin in 2002 when Israeli troops stormed a West Bank town to stop rockets being fired into its cities.
The Jenin Inquiry, a group of 12 internationals from the US, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, and Norway conducted detailed, in-depth investigation into what happened for 15 horrific days in April 2002 while The Israeli military tried to restrict the ability of the media and international organizations to establish the detail of just what went on in the refugee camp.
Then full horror of Israeli atrocities is available here
Almost two thirds of Israelis want their leaders to just talk and Hamas have made numerous offers to the Israeli leadership for peace talks in June 2006
Sept 2007 and March 2008.
We have been here so many times before. The invasion will go ahead and the news of innocent Palestinian deaths will filter out followed by calls from the rest of the World (except USA & UK) to stop the carnage and Israel will pull out with condemnation ringing in its ears.
I have very little love for Hamas, an organisation as vile and as murderous as can be imagined, but find it impossible to feel anything but disgust and anger at an Israel that acts with such disregard for human life while blatantly defying every UN security council ruling against them, continues an illegal occupation of another people and hands out collective punishment while playing the part of the victims.
Are we really just going to look away while Israel fulfills its promise of a holocaust in Palestine?