As Arab rockets reach ever deeper into Israel, they may be weakening what for years has been a cornerstone of Mideast peace efforts — an exchange of land for peace.
Israeli hard-liners have long warned that any territories Israel vacates will be used to attack it. They can now point to the Hamas missile that slammed into a bus stop in this port city Monday, killing a 39-year-old woman. It was fired from the Gaza Strip, which Israel gave up in 2005 and is now ruled by Hamas militants who reject the very existence of the Jewish state.
Even in the midst of the war, many Israelis still argue that a peace deal with the Palestinians, which would require a withdrawal from virtually all the West Bank, is Israel’s only real security guarantee.
By ARON HELLER and MATTI FRIEDMAN, Associated Press Writers
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, in defending the Gaza offensive in a speech to parliament Monday, said Israel remains committed to the idea of a Palestinian state alongside it.
Yet the missile that hit Ashdod, a city of 200,000 people, drove home a grim new reality for Alin Ben-Yosef, 32, who fled to Tel Aviv for the night with her two young daughters after Ashdod was struck.
“Tel Aviv is the safest place we have,” said Ben-Yosef, who works at a clothing store. “But it is starting to feel as if there are no safe places anymore.”