Local reaction to Middle East conflict

12:59 AM, Nov 19, 2012   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- Tensions between Israel and Palestine continue to escalate.  Sunday marks the fifth straight day that Israeli's and Palestinians have spent launching missiles and rockets in and out of the Gaza Strip. 

Case Western Reserve University Political Science Professor Dr. Peter Moore says the violence reached the next level Thursday when Israelis killed a high commanding Hamas leader. 

Israeli troops have gotten ready for a possible ground invasion of the Gaza Strip. Dr. Moore says the outcome would be catastrophic. The Gaza Strip itself, he points out, is one of the most densely populated places on earth. 

The majority of the Palestinians who reside there are civilians, many of whom, Dr. Moore says, currently do not support Hamas.

According to Dr. Moore, only 25 percent of Palestinians support Hamas, and a whopping 60-70 percent of the population is under the age of 18.

"Civilians have no safe space to go to. There are no bomb shelters in Gaza, no place for civilians to flee the strip," said Dr. Moore.

Israel's response comes after the firing of more than 500 rockets from Gaza into Israel.  

While Israel says it's going after militant targets in Gaza, it's hard to tell with Hamas.

"What they [Hamas] are doing is firing in the general direction of things and there's no way to know where it's landing," said Dr. Moore.

There have been civilian casualties on both sides. 

Mark Davidson, a local member of the Jewish community, was hoping that the two groups would find a peaceful solution to their problems. 

"I feel terrible about it. I've been to Israel four times, I have family there," said Davidson.  

He is still holding out hope for that peaceful solution, and is afraid to think of what would happen if things escalated further. 

"I'm concerned for people's lives, property and the whole state of the country in general."

WKYC-TV

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