The week-long lull in fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza appears to have come to a conclusion as rockets slammed into the western Negev heading to the city of Siderot and other communities bordering on the Gaza Strip. Palestinian militants insist they are responding to the killing Wednesday of four Islamic Jihad gunmen in Bethlehem. The Israel Defense Force carried out an attack on a rocket launcher in response to the new attacks. Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the killing of militants in Bethlehem is merely a demonstration of the determination to “hunt and target every killer who has Jewish blood on his hands.” Israel officials blame Hamas for the end of the cease fire and promise to respond in an appropriate manner to the rocket attacks.
In every situation in which opposing forces have finally come to a peaceful resolution of their conflict, each side has been compelled to put aside anger at the reality their opponent has blood on their hands. Palestinians can cite examples of the death of innocent civilians and Israel can argue militants have killed innocent Israelis. At some point, both sides must accept the reality there will always be blood in the past but the future can become blood-free.