I was shocked to read several Western media reports that the Gaza killings had become a spectator sport for many Israelis who brought their binoculars and lawn chairs to the hill tops surrounding Gaza. Many of them cheered the fireballs and explosions occurring in Gaza in front of their eyes. Dr. Aboul Aish's tragedy, who lost his three daughters in an Israeli strike, puts a human voice and face on the immense tragic suffering of ordinary Palestinians. The fact that some Israelis showed care and concern and acted to help this particular victim helps renew my faith in our common humanity.
Here's a video clip of Dr. Aboul Aish's suffering, as shown on Israeli TV:
Pictorial Review of Young Gaza Victims
Israel's Gaza Attack is Criminal, Not Defensive
Is Obama True Friend of Israel?
Egypt is easing Gaza restrictions, according to a report in The Independent:
A declaration by Egypt that it will permanently open its crossing into Gaza to ease the blockade on the territory has fuelled concerns in Israel about the future direction of Cairo's foreign policy.
Nabil al-Araby, Egypt's foreign minister, told Al-Jazeera that his country would take "important steps to help ease the blockade on Gaza in the few days to come", and described Cairo's previous decision to seal the border as "shameful".
Egypt has already eased restrictions on movement across the Gaza border since the fall of the Mubarak regime. But free passage of goods and people into Gaza would be seen as a major security threat by Israel, which has argued that even with Egyptian co-operation on blocking arms shipments, Hamas was able to import weaponry into the territory and would do more without it.
It is not clear how comprehensive the opening of the crossing at Rafah will be, but Mr al-Araby's remarks follow a spate of others indicating a potential shift in foreign policy which is being closely watched in Israel.
A senior Israeli official told The Independent yesterday that the government had raised concerns with Egypt about a series of indications from Cairo that it was softening the more hostile policy maintained by the former president Hosni Mubarak towards Iran and Hamas. Both are seen by Israel as enemies.
The official said that Egypt, which on Wednesday said it had brokered a draft accord between the Palestinian party Fatah and its rival Hamas, had tended to respond by taking "account of public opinion now and some of that opinion is opposed to you [Israel]".
The Israeli official cited a more emollient tone in Egypt's pronouncements about Iran and a new "lenience" towards Hamas, exemplified in part by its apparent unconcern about Hamas prisoners who escaped from Egyptian jails during the uprising in February.
Although a recent poll indicated opposition to the 1979 peace treaty with Israel among a majority of Egyptians there have been no moves to annul it. But Egyptian analysts and officials say that the country is reassuming the pivotal role it once performed in the Arab world which had been hampered by the country's close diplomatic ties to Israel. "We are opening a new page," Menha Bakhoum, a spokeswoman for the foreign ministry told The New York Times. "Egypt is resuming its role that was once abdicated."
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