Back in Jerusalem, Nataliya Vasilyeva described the atmosphere:
Definitely things are not as jittery as they were three weeks ago. In Jerusalem, sirens are increasingly rare. I was out reporting yesterday in northern and central Israel and we were just sitting outside at the Shiv – the Jewish mourning ceremony – on a rooftop at a high rise building in a suburb of Tel Aviv and we’d heard some very loud thuds and there were no air raid sirens and it turned out that there was an air raid alert nearby.
It was not in that neighborhood per se and apparently it was air defence at work. But overall attacks from Hamas, rocket attacks, are definitely much, much rarer these days.
She also described her recent reporting trip to the West Bank:
The latest number I’ve seen was 90 people have been killed since October 7th alone, which already makes it the deadliest month in the West Bank, at least since 2005. It doesn’t generate the same dramatic headlines as you have with kibbutzes in Israel or with Gaza but the level of violence is escalating and this is one of the hotspots in Israel that everyone, I think, should be looking at for the prospect of a second front or a third front for Israel, because obviously the Israeli government has been tightening the screws on West Bank for a long time since the Hamas attack, the residents of the West Bank also ended up under some sort of a blockade.
If you live in the West Bank, you are not able to go to Israel anymore unless you have an Israeli passport, which those people don’t, or unless you have an East Jerusalem residence. We went there to see one protest because obviously people who live in the West Bank, they all have relatives in Gaza or they would have ancestors from there.
They very much associate themselves with what’s happening there. And a lot of them feel that what people in Gaza are going through, living under constant Israeli airstrikes, this is something that might happen to them.
Calling from Istanbul, Senior Foreign Correspondent Sophia Yan spoke about Turkish President Erdogan’s statement on the conflict:
Erdogan did give his strongest comments yet on the Israel-Gaza conflict. He said ‘Hamas is not a terrorist organization, is a liberation group.’
Now, Turkey does not consider Hamas a terrorist organization. Basically, Erdogan is underlining his government stance on this situation, they even host members of Hamas here on his territory and many of the leaders of Hamas were actually in Turkey for meetings when the attack took place in Israel on October 7th. But of course this means that Ankara is the odd man out when you think about NATO. Turkey is a member of NATO. Many NATO allies though do consider Hamas a terrorist organization.
So this is a place where Turkey splits and it’s interesting because Turkey like many other countries, did condemn the civilian deaths caused by the attacks on the 7th of October in southern Israel. But they’ve also, really over the years, taken a lot of time to show that they are behind the Palestinians.
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