LA CROSSE (WEAU)- Tension and deaths rise in the Middle East with Palestinians and Israelis turning back to military tactics in attempts to solve generations of conflict.
The attacks between the Israeli military and the Hamas have escalated to a near war situation with the civilian casualties mounting in the Gaza strip.
An attack Monday night by the Israeli killed and injured dozens of civilians on the Gaza strip. Israeli militants say the attack was meant to quell Hamas rocket fire on Israel.
Much of the conflict lately started with the assassination of one of the Hamas/Palestinian leaders Ahmed Al-Jabari last Wednesday.
Reverend Kent Johnson and expert of the Middle East, says the past few years have been relatively peaceful until now.
“With the assassination of one of the Hamas leaders the escalation and violent attacks by Israel and Palestine from Gaza has escalated for the first time in 4 years,” said Johnson.
The Israelis and Palestinians have been fighting over land and resources since the creation of the Israeli state more than 50 years ago.
“Basic human rights of the Palestinians have been denied. Palestinians don’t have access to waterways, to parts of their territory, or to airspace,” said UW-La Crosse Middle East expert Heidi Morrison.
The Israeli authority completely surrounds the Palestinians with no set boarders, creating the conflict.
But Morrison believes there is a deeper meaning behind the recent attacks than just fighting over land and resources.
“If you look at the past, every time Israel has an election coming up, which it does, they start some type of attack on Gaza to divert the issues that the Israelis are really concerned about. They want to show the Israeli people their power and convince them they need the protection,” said Morrison.
After spending time in the Middle East Johnson says many of the people, no matter what side they are on are looking for peace.
“Most of them want peace. Most of them want to live with their Jewish and Israeli brothers and sisters, neighbors in a peaceful country. But it is the few extremists that are creating all this violence and attacks,” said Johnson.