HARRISON, N.Y. – Israel plans to halt aerial strikes on Gaza for five hours Thursday to allow humanitarian aid to reach the region, where more than 200 have died, but some in Harrison hope to see a more permanent cease-fire.
Frank Gordon of Harrison called the cease-fire commendable. “Maybe not all is lost.” He said he wished incidents like the recent kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers and then the Palestinian teenager would be treated as criminal matters handled under the law, rather than taken as a state issue. He said this has only lead to more rhetoric and violence.
“Any kind of cease-fire is always good, but especially for humanitarian aid,” he said.
Israel has said if Hamas or any other group launches attacks during the cease-fire, which starts at 10 a.m. local time, it will take swift action.
Nick Lapetina of Harrison, said Israel won’t be bullied and he believes they will take unilateral action if an attack is made during the cease-fire.
“I think there’s a good chance that tomorrow during the cease-fire, the first rocket that goes up, the game is on,” said Lisa Cohen, a Scarsdale resident who works in Harrison.
Looking ahead, Cohen said she thinks the conflict will go on forever. Given that scenario, Harrison resident Lucy Sohanchyk said what’s left is finding a way to co-exist.
“To me it will always be there. It’s to what extent it can be lived with and sidestepped so that you can live a decent life and find reconciliation,” she said. “But, it’s tough because you have religion tied in with ancient land claims.”
Israeli government officials are saying in various media reports that a land attack is growing more likely, after nine days of bombings from both sides. Since the violence began July 7, more than 1,500 Palestinians have been injured with more than 200 deaths. There has been one Israeli death.
“Hopefully they can come to some kind of truce or agreement. It’s not going to be permanent but something that will stop the bloodshed,” said Harrison resident David Michael.