GAZA: Escalation of Violence as Airstrikes Hit Gaza

Thursday, November 15, 2012
Equal Power Lasting Peace
Western Asia
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
General Women, Peace and Security

The violence between Israel and Palestine is increasing. – The civilian population of Gaza is being severely affected, regardless of socioeconomic status. Civilians have died, including a pregnant woman and several children, says Linda Öhman, working for the women's rights and peace organization The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation in Jerusalem.

  • Today is the Palestinian Independence Day and the bombs are falling over Gaza and Gaza City, it's ironic and sad, says Linda Öhman and continues:
  • There were approximately 50 Israeli airstrikes against Gaza while the armed militant wings of Hamas fired a dozen rockets against southern Israel.

The entire population of Gaza, who have lived completely enclosed under siege since 2007, is affected by this escalation in violence. The electricity supply which was already functioning badly is only getting worse. Many people are sitting in the dark without access to computers or television.

Many dead or wounded

Linda Öhman is in close contact with many women's rights organizations.
  • The escalation in violence began during the weekend, and yesterday the Hamas leader Asmad al-Jabari was killed, says Linda Öhman.

Details on how many civilians that have been killed or wounded differ, but at least 13 people are reported to have died and 120 to have been wounded. Three Israelis also died last night.

  • During my three years working here for The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation I have not seen the situation get as serious as it is now. I had to cancel visits to several women's organizations that I should have met on Monday. They called and asked if I really thought I should come.

Fear for the future

The women's rights activists that Linda Öhman has talked to express fear and concern for the future.
  • They are afraid since they feel it can lead to something bigger. Bombs do fall on Gaza regularly, but usually only in specific areas and not in these numbers. The escalation we see is really worrying. We hope for the situation to calm down as soon as possible.