Israel & Palestine conflict escalating

By WEEK Reporter

November 15, 2012 Updated Nov 16, 2012 at 12:12 AM CDT

ISRAEL -- Tensions are high in the Middle East as both Israeli army and Palestinian militants refuse to back down.

Palestinian militants barraged Israel with nearly 250 rockets Thursday, killing three people.

Israel began air strikes on militant targets across the Gaza Strip Wednesday, during which a precision missile killed the mastermind of Hamas, among more than a dozen others.

A 24-year-old former Israel soldier is living in Peoria as part of an exchange program through the Jewish Federation of Peoria. She says there is much more to the story; the missile attacks on Israel started 12 years ago. 

"The problem with the Gaza strip didn't start when we killed the chief of staff of Hamas terrorist organization,” said Vered Karsenty. “It started way before. Actually, there were two attacks on the Israeli side of the border, for no reason, only terrorism. Israel has to defend its own citizens."

Thursday, Israel launched at least 200 air attacks against stockpiles of Palestinian long-range rockets. And Israel's army is massing on the border with 30,000 reserves on alert for a possible ground invasion.