Israel attacked Gaza Tuesday, launching a series of air strikes across the Strip killing 3 year old Hala Abu Sbeikha and wounding 10 others (including children). The attack was in retaliation for the killing of, Salah Abu Latif, 22, a Bedouin and Israeli civilian, who was killed by a Palestinian sniper while Abu Latif was doing military contract work for Israel, repairing a fence near the border with Gaza.
According to Haaretz, the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) claimed responsibility for Abu Latif’s shooting. Hamas told Israel’s Ch. 10 that it was not interested in an escalation with Gaza; and AP reported Hamas “ordered its forces to evacuate offices and compounds and redeploy to safer sites.”
Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu was visiting Sderot at the time of Abu Latif’s killing and said he held Hamas responsible. ”Our policy until now has been to thwart and to respond forcefully – and this is how we will act in this case as well.”
Meantime, Abu Latif’s family has been highly critical of the Israeli government, with members saying Netanyahu is to blame for shooting. They also had to wait hours to get his body back, and said that a Jewish victim’s family would have been treated differently. “Nobody here cares for a Bedouin boy,” Haaretz quotes a family member.
Tuesday was Abu Latif’s first day on the border job. Haaretz quoted his cousin, Khaled Abu Latif, re Salah’s service:
“Nobody is happy about working there, but for us, it’s a living … He worked and built his house by himself, without help from anyone. But that’s fate, and it’s impossible to do anything about fate.”
“He trusted the state,” he added. “But clearly we can’t rely on the state for anything. I don’t wish this on any family.”
Saeb Erekat, Palestine’s chief negotiator in the “peace talks,” responded to the attack by saying Israel had a ”government of terror, not of peace” in carrying out the attacks:
“Israel gave a Christmas present to the Palestinian people by killing a 3-year-old girl,” he said.
More from Ynet:
Palestinian officials reported at least 16 Israeli attacks, causing a series of loud explosions across the territory in rapid succession.
Medics said Hala Abu Sbeikha was killed by shrapnel during the Israeli air strike on the Al Maghazi camp. Hala means halo in Arabic.
On December 7, 2013 when an Israeli military sniper killed a child, 14 year old Wajih Wajdi Al-Ramahi, Palestinian government officials did not respond by bombing densely populated Israeli neighborhoods and Israel said they would ‘investigate’. How’s that investigation going?