SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images
Palestinians gather their belongings as they inspect damages following Israeli air strikes in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on November 16, 2012. Israeli officials said the Jewish state was preparing to launch its first ground offensive in four years into the Gaza Strip and the army started calling up reservists.
Violence has been escalating sharply in the Gaza Strip and Israel in recent days. Israel launched a strike on Wednesday that killed Hamas leader Ahmed Al-Jaabari, then followed up with air attacks that killed ten and wounded forty, including the 11-month-old son of a BBC journalist.
Hamas militants in turn fired rockets that killed three Israelis. This firestorm follows months of attacks between Palestinian and Israeli forces, and despite a Tuesday truce negotiated by Egypt. Egypt has condemned the attacks, withdrawn its ambassador from Israel and called for an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council.
Why has the conflict intensified again between Israelis and Palestinians? Is this type of violence inevitable without peace talks? What role could a new Egyptian leadership play? How will the White House respond?
David Siegel, Consul General of Israel for Los Angeles
Yousef Munayyer, Executive Director, The Palestine Center