International Affairs Middle East — 15 November 2012
Gaza – Business as Usual

The latest attack on Gaza by Israeli airstrikes, killing several including women and children, occurred soon after Egypt had brokered a cease-fire between the two sides.

And yet – here is the Western reaction to the attacks coming out of London and Washington:

From the British Foreign Office, William Hague has stated

“I am very concerned by the violence in Gaza and southern Israel, and the reported death of a number of civilians, including a child, in Gaza.  I condemn the indiscriminate firing of over 100 rockets into Israel by Gaza-based militants.  The UK supports the Egyptian Government in its efforts to achieve a ceasefire.  All sides need to demonstrate restraint to prevent a dangerous escalation that would be in no one’s interests.”

Note that his condemnation is one way.

From Washington – the response is even more forthright:

“The White House said Obama reiterated U.S. support for Israel’s right to self-defense from rocket attacks being launched against its civilians and urged Israel to “make every effort to avoid civilian casualties” in its response.”

So pretty much the usual unconditional support from Nobel peace prize winner Obama.

On the other side – the Egyptian government has withdrawn its Ambassador and called for the UN to meet, while Obama has had a quick chat with Morsi to agree on making efforts to “de-escalate” the situation.

It should also be noted that the Egyptians have opened the Rafah crossing. To allow those wounded in Gaza to be treated in Egypt.

No wonder the Israelis feel comfortable in escalating their attacks. This attack and its reaction is setting the precedence for the “new” post-uprising Middle East.

At the moment, it looks like normal business has resumed.

UPDATE:

Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi is sending a secret weapon to Gaza tomorrow – his Prime Minister Hisham Qandil. He also reportedly ordered the foreign ministry to summon the Israeli envoy over the attacks.

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