GAZA — A foreign worker in Israel was killed Thursday by a rocket fired from the Hamas-controlled Palestinian territory of Gaza, according to the Israeli military, soon after the arrival here of the European Union’s top foreign policy official.
The European Union’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, Catherine Ashton, is the bloc’s most senior official to visit Gaza since Hamas, the Islamic militant group, took power there in 2007. She told reporters in Gaza that she had come to the region to “talk with people and politicians about the need to find a picture of peace and security.”
The rocket attack underlined the challenges Middle East peacemakers face.
The foreign agricultural worker, Manee Singueanphon, 30, from Thailand, was the first person to die from Gaza rocket fire since the end of a three-week Israeli military offensive in Gaza in January 2009. Israel said the primary purpose of its military campaign was to halt years of rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israel.
The rocket on Thursday struck an Israeli cooperative farm called Nativ Haasara, near the Gaza border.
Ansar al-Sunna, a small, fiercely anti-Western jihadist group that challenges Hamas, claimed responsibility for the attack.
Israeli aircraft fired several missiles at Gaza targets early on Friday, including smuggling tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border and a metal workshop in Gaza City, Hamas security officials said, according to The Associated Press.
Gaza, a Palestinian coastal enclave, has remained largely isolated since it came under the control of Hamas, which has refused to accept the conditions set by the so-called quartet of Middle East peacemakers — the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia. The conditions include renouncing violence, recognizing Israel’s right to exist and accepting previous signed agreements between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Israel and Egypt have imposed a strict economic embargo on the area, allowing in only basic supplies.
The European Union, like the United States and Israel, classifies Hamas as a terrorist organization, and Lady Ashton — formally Baroness Ashton of Upholland — was not planning to meet with Hamas representatives in Gaza. She visited a United Nations-run school and met with United Nations officials to learn about humanitarian efforts for the Palestinian population. She was also scheduled to meet with local business and civil society leaders.
Lady Ashton met earlier with Israeli officials, including Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, and was scheduled to meet with Palestinian Authority leaders in the West Bank before a meeting of quartet representatives that she was expected to attend on Friday in Moscow.
When asked about the rocket attack, she said she condemned “all forms of violence.” Later, in a statement, Lady Ashton said she was “extremely shocked by the rocket attack and the tragic loss of life.”
Lady Ashton’s convoy drove without stopping through areas of northern Gaza that were devastated during the three-week war. Unlike other Western officials who have visited Gaza, she did not call for a lifting of the economic blockade that affects the population of 1.5 million, saying only that she was “trying to support the aid that needs to find its way through to Gaza.”
Filippo Grandi, the commissioner general of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which provides assistance for Palestinian refugees, said, “We told Baroness Ashton that we count on her to be the messenger for the suffering of Gazans under blockade.”
Hamas has made some efforts to prevent rocket fire by smaller militant groups. Both Israel and Hamas declared unilateral cease-fires to end the Gaza war.
The Israeli military said the rocket that killed the foreign worker was the third to land in southern Israel in 24 hours, and the 30th to have landed since the beginning of the year.
The United States Treasury Department said Thursday that it was imposing sanctions on a Gaza bank and Al Aksa television station because they are controlled by Hamas. The Islamic National Bank of Gaza provided financial services to Hamas members and employees, including members of the organization’s military wing, the Treasury Department said in a statement. It said the television station “airs programs and music videos designed to recruit children to become Hamas armed fighters and suicide bombers upon reaching adulthood.”The sanctions call for assets held by the bank and the television station under American jurisdiction to be frozen.
Fares Akram reported from Gaza, and Isabel Kershner from Jerusalem.
konflik antara Israel-Palestine telah terjadi selama berpuluh-puluh tahun dan hingga kini belum ada pemecahan masalah yang benar-benar terjadi oleh kedua belah pihak.
penyerangan secara langsung maupun tidak langsung telah sering terjadi antara kedua belah pihak itu. telah banyak korban yang berjatuhan dari kedua belah pihak, baik berupa wanita, anak-anak, warga sipil, militer, kelompok separatis, maupun warga negara asing yang bermukim di kedua wilayah tersebut.
banyak korban yang berjatuhan karena terkena tembakan rocket nyasar yang saling dikirimkan oleh kedua belah pihak. berita terakhir menyebutkan adanya serangan rocket dari pihak Hamas yang ditujukan ke Israel yang menyebabkan seorang pekerja Thailand yang menetap di Israel tewas.
Penyeranggan ini sekarang bukan saja menjadi permasalahn antara Israel-Palestina, tetapi juga telah menjadi permasalahan Thailan (karena warga negaranya terbunuh) dan dunia.
Telah banyak pihak baik dari Israel-Palestina, pemerintahan Eropa, Amerika, ASIA, PBB dsb nya berusaha untuk mendamaikan kedua belah pihak. Namun hingga saat ini belum di temukan titik temu yang disepakati oleh kedua belah pihak. Meskipun telah banyak terjadi perjanjian Internasional yang berusaha mendamaikan kedua belah pihak maupun diplomasi-diplomasi damai yang di ajukan oleh pihak2 ketiga, namun penyeranggan2 masih tetap saja terjadi.
Catherin Aston (senior european Official), George Mitchell dan Hillary clinton telah sering berusaha mempertemukan kedua belah pihak untuk bediskusi membicarakan perdamaian dan keamanan kedua belah pihak.
namun melihat berbagai macam upaya perdamaian yang dilakukan kedua belah pihak dan perjanjian-perjanjian yang telah di buat oleh kedua belah pihak, Israel-Palestine akan sulit berdamai bila kedua belah pihak tidak mau saling menghormati batas-batas maupun perjanjian yang telah ada yang selalu dilanggar oleh kedua belah pihak dan ditambah masih dibangunnya benteng2 militer/pemisah yang didirikan di perbatasan-perbatasan daerah.perdamaian tidak akan tercapai bila tidak ada nya rasa saling menghormati dan benteng-benteng pembatas di antara kedua belah pihak.