SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

November 22, 2012

North Shore Jews rally around Israel

(Continued)

HaLevi said he cannot understand why world opinion would turn against Israel, after it has endured 1,300 rockets strikes since January, not including the latest round of violence.

“It’s just getting down to basics,” Lipsker said. “This is a country that has made so many concessions to try and establish peace with its neighbors, and it seems all they get in return is more abuse.”

Lipsker said the irony of the rocket attacks is they are taking place from Gaza, from which Israel withdrew several years ago in the name of peace. He feels Israel is justified in its attack on Hamas militants — no government would stand by and allow for rockets to be fired on its cities, Lipsker said. Israeli citizens have been traumatized by the missile attacks, so much so they now have an app for their smartphones that tells them when a rocket is launched and how much time they have to make it to a shelter.

According to various reports, the latest round of rocket attacks and airstrikes between the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and Israel revolves around the Islamic militant group’s persistent launching of rockets into southern Israel in the face of Israel’s embargo of the strip of land along the Mediterranean Sea, where 1.7 million people live. It echoes tensions that flared in 2008 and 2009 when Israel led a short-lived ground offensive into Gaza.

While enduring continued rocket attacks, Israel last week targeted and killed a top Hamas military leader amid a series of airstrikes. Hamas retaliated by launching more rockets toward Israeli cities, forcing civilians to scramble to bomb shelters.

“This fellow,” Lipsker said of the Hamas leader who was killed, “has been a mastermind of terror with blood on his hands. An absolute butcher.”

The Israeli Defense Forces have been targeting military operations, but reports are more than 100 civilians have been killed and hundreds more injured. At least three Israeli civilians and a soldier have died, according to reports, and dozens wounded. The rocket attacks have been blunted by Israel’s anti-missile system known as Iron Dome.

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