Within a week after the departure of President Bush from the Middle East, there has been a surge in operations by the Israel Defense Force in Gaza including closure of crossings through which much needed supplies were being trucked by the United Nations UNRWA operation. President Abbas strongly criticized the Israel closure and his emotions revealed that Palestinian leaders were gravely concerned as to whether or not they could continue negotiations with Israel. “In these days,” he said, “we can only condemn gravely wha hapens in our cherished Gaza, the brutal a ttack on this cherished part of our land, every hour, which targets women, children and the elderly.” Kassam rockets continue hitting Israel and IDF forces are sweeping into Gaza seeking those who fire the weapons.
UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon urged restraint on the part of both sides asking for a cease in rocket attacks and an end to the closure of crossings. It is time for the UN to appoint a well known meditator like Nelson Mandela in order to bring together Israel and Hamas leaders, as well as President Abbas, in an effort to halt the rocket attacks and IDF attacks on Gaza. The Israel Defense Ministry claims there are sufficient food stocks in Gaza, a statement that bears slight resemblance to reality. The people of Gaza and the people of Israel need peace. The people of the Middle East may well wonder if there is a connection to the acceleration of IDF attacks and the Bush visit.