everal Palestinians were wounded in Gaza on Saturday when gunfire and clashes erupted during a funeral attended by thousands of people for three fighters killed by an Israeli air raid.Islamic Jihad isn't going to make peace with Israel ever. It goes against their very essence. They seek nothing less than Israel's destruction and could care less who dies or gets in the way.
At the funeral held by the Islamic Jihad group the crowds called for revenge and fired guns in the air in a rare show of force that ignored a ban on the public display of weapons enforced by the ruling Islamist Hamas group.
At least 17 people were wounded when the crowds arrived at the cemetery after several teenagers began hurling rocks at Israeli forces stationed along the border nearby, who then returned fire, according to medics and witnesses.
An army spokesman said troops "fired into the air to drive back Palestinians who were approaching the border fence."
Another three people were wounded by the ceremonial firing of guns in the air during the funeral, medics said.
"Take Revenge, take revenge, Sarayat al-Quds!" the crowds chanted, referring to Islamic Jihad's armed wing. "Respond, respond in Tel Aviv."
"We call on all Palestinian resistance factions to resume martyrdom operations inside the Zionist entity," one protest leader yelled through a megaphone, referring to suicide bombings.
The display of weapons and the gunfire is also a shot across the bow of Hamas, which maintains control over Gaza with an iron grip.
The Islamic Jihad response also shows that the Palestinian rank and file could care less how many of their own are killed or wounded through the action of the terror groups, and remains intent on seeking Israel's total destruction regardless of the human costs and death toll.
At the same time, Mahmoud Abbas is busy claiming that Israel is a colonial power. Never mind that Israel withdrew from Gaza unilaterally and Palestinians have total control over Gaza. They also have civil administrative control over most of the West Bank. Abbas engages in revisionist history and purposefully ignores the facts on the ground to claim that Israel is the obstacle to peace.
Meanwhile, the Egyptian foreign minister called on Israel to release 1,000 Palestinian terrorists to secure the release of Gilad Shalit. That's the same exact kind of formulation that has been on the table from the moment Shalit was captured by Hamas. It's more of the same. Where are the demands that Hamas release Shalit as a sign of good faith and humanitarian goodwill? That's completely absence and the Egyptian proposal puts the onus on Israel, not the very terrorists who precipitated his capture.
The problem, as it has been for decades, is that Israel lacks a partner in peace among the Palestinians. They don't want a two-state solution (one that could have been achieved in 2000 at Camp David). They want to supplant Israel and establish a Palestinian state on all of Israel's territory - regardless of the borders. They hope to achieve this through a right of return, even as the Palestinians effort to make their own areas free of Jews.
In other words, time isn't running out on peace. Peace will be possible only when Palestinians accept the Jewish nature of Israel, accept a two-state solution, and give up the ghost of a right of return. When that happens, peace can happen.
Until then, diplomatic efforts will end in failure.