Gaza Fires Rockets at Israel Hours after UN Envoy Pushes to Rebuild Gaza

Is the quiet over? Spent Palestinian rocket. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Is the quiet over? Spent Palestinian rocket. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The delicate balance between assisting the Gaza population and preventing terrorists from using new resources to strike at Israel was on display this week, as two more rockets were launched at Israel from Gaza just hours after the United Nations Mideast envoy discussed the “important mission to rehabilitate Gaza.”

UN Middle East Special Envoy Nickolay Mladenov noted, however, the need to “ensure that the help in Gaza is given to those who need it, and not to those who will use it for other things.” Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, in his first working meeting with Mladenov following the latter’s appointment in February, expressed a similar view endorsing the need to help innocent Gazans while not helping Hamas fight Israel.

“This is a very real need for the innocent residents of Gaza, who are held captive by Hamas who are denying them prosperity,” said Rivlin in a recap of his meeting with Mladenov that was released by the Israeli official’s office.

“We are doing all in our power in order to improve the situation in Gaza, and to allow the rebuilding, as long as it is not used by Hamas in order to rearm. It is important to reiterate that Hamas is our enemy.”

The latest rocket attack, noted on the IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter feed, did not result in any reported injuries at the time. It was the second rocket attack in just over a week.

Speaking prior to the latest attack, Mladenov said that troubling mindsets in Gaza are areas they are endeavoring to address. “Gaza is a great challenge and we are working hard in order to find a solution which will allow not just the rebuilding of the homes and infrastructure there, but also rehabilitate the population of Gaza, and bring them to an understanding that extremism and fundamentalism are not a solution.”

Rivlin highlighted the Israeli belief in the significance of the UN in his meeting with Mladenov, but also stated that “the UN and its institutions must be sure not to become a replacement for direct negotiations between the sides. Only direct negotiations will bring a long term solution to the conflict.” His comments come as the Palestinians have sought international statehood recognition from various UN agencies.

Mladenov, for his part, congratulated Rivlin for the “importance” he places on peace negotiations and “on the need for the peoples of this region to live together side by side, a message which has been heard clearly around the world.”

(By Joshua Spurlock,, June 3, 2015)

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