The Middle-East is on the brink of a "full-blown" war following further extreme violence. Israel has launched at least 160 air-strikes on the Gaza strip and tensions are rising following the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers. The teenagers were abducted last month as they returned home from school and Israel blame Hamas who deny any involvement. Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that Hamas would pay for its crimes.
Just days after the bodies of the teenagers were found, a 16 year-old Palestinian boy was abducted and murdered by being burned alive. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has no intention of ceasing the violence and has sanctioned the deployment of up to 40,000 reserve troops. "The operation will be expanded and will continue until the firing at our communities stops and quiet is restored," Netanyahu said.
President Shimon Peres echoed the words of Netanyahu, telling CNN that he believed a ground offensive "may happen quite soon" unless Hamas stops firing rockets at Israel. After the politics of the situation are stripped away, a hauntingly dismal reality remains: masses of innocent people, including children are needlessly being slaughtered in order to occupy land.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the violence on Wednesday, saying: "This war is not against Hamas or another political party but it is against the Palestinian people. What do you call this crime? What is this crime known under international law? To kill entire families, is this collective punishment? "This is called collective genocide." In 2002 an illegal wall was built by Israeli authorities which restricts access to the West Bank for Palestinians, cutting off vital supplies; restricting farmers and traders from their land. Along the way, Palestinian homes are being destroyed and innocent civilians killed.
Occupation of Palestine began in 1967, 47 years later, violence is continuing and a peaceful future for both Israel and Palestine seems illusionary.
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, in a message to the Special Meeting of the Committee on the Rights of Palestinian people, on Wednesday said, "I have strongly condemned the recent murders of Israeli and Palestinian teenagers. There can be no justification for the deliberate killing of civilians."
"The deteriorating situation is leading to a downward spiral which could quickly get out of control," Mr Ban said. "The risk of violence expanding further still is real." "Both Israelis and Palestinians have the right to live in peace and security, with dignity and prosperity. Violence on all sides must stop." #Government