Yesterday afternoon began with a series of RPG, grenade and shooting attacks on Israeli civilian busses and cars, just north of Eilat. According to reports, the attack was organized by the Popular Resistance Committees in Gaza, that were operating in Egypt, and involved between 15 - 20 terrorists.
The attack took place on a picturesque road that runs right along the border with Egypt. This is the road that I travel when I teach in Eilat on Thursdays. In the Conflict Resolution Program.
Eight Israelis were killed in those attacks and 30 were wounded (for the story as reported by Ha'aretz - click here )
In retaliation, Israel's air force and army went into action. They killed 6 Palestinians that they believed to be responsible for orchestration of the attacks , bombed tunnels, storage houses for weapons, and other sites in Gaza. So far, militants have responded with about 20 qassam and grad rockets that fell in Ashekelon, Ashdod, Gan Yavne, Gedera, Beer Sheva and in rural communities along the Gaza border. The latest rocket in Ashdod wounded 6 - two of whom were seriously hurt. The Gazans report that in the air attacks, a 13 yr. old boy was killed and at least 17 other people were wounded. And the attacks there continue as well.
All of these numbers - all of this destruction - has turned our land, once again, into killing fields.
My heart goes out to the innocent victims of these attacks - in Israel and in Gaza.
This latest round of violence proves, once again, the desparate need to reach a cease fire agreement, at the very least. To reach an agreed-upon understanding that both sides will refrain from trying to kill the other.
The round of violence continues and innocent people in Israel and in Gaza are being harmed. Yes there are those militants in Gaza who are responsible for the attack on the road to Eilat and rockets and there are Israeli soldiers and pilots responsible for the bombing in Gaza, but most of the victims of these attacks are innocent people - a father, a child, a mother, people riding the bus, people hiding in their apartments, in Israel and in Gaza, as bombs and rockets explode around.
It is time to stop the bombing on both sides.
It is time to stop the bombing before more innocent people are harmed.
It is time to stop the bombing before the list of funerals gets longer and longer.
It is time to stop the killing.