Israel-Gaza conflict rages on despite US and regional diplomacy

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Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. pummel / ˈpʌm əl / (v.) – to cause a lot of destruction to a place

    The farmers barely had any harvest after several big storms pummeled their fields.

  2. flurry / ˈflɜr i / (n.) – a great amount of something that comes suddenly

    The company’s new ad that featured a famous boy band caused a flurry of orders for their products.

  3. crater / ˈkreɪ tər / (n.) – a large hole on the ground usually caused by an explosion or by a heavy object that fell on it

    A bomb exploded and left a large crater in the middle of the field.

  4. wing / wɪŋ / (n.) – a group within a larger group or organization that has a particular responsibility

    When I was in college, I was the head of my political party’s youth wing.

  5. cease-fire / ˈsisˈfaɪər / (n.) – an agreement between two groups or armies to temporarily stop fighting and have peace talks

    The cease-fire only lasted for a few days, and now the two countries are fighting again.


Read the text below.

Israel pummeled Gaza with airstrikes May 17 and Palestinian militants launched rockets at Israeli cities despite a flurry of U.S. and regional diplomacy that has so far failed to halt more than a week of deadly fighting.

Israel’s missile attacks on Gaza killed a top commander of the militant group Islamic Jihad and left a crater in a seven-story office building that Israel’s military said was used by Hamas, Gaza’s ruling Islamic political party.

“The directive is to continue to strike at terror targets,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said after a meeting with military chiefs.

The armed wing of Hamas promised more rockets in return: “We (warned) the enemy that if it did not stop (its bombings) immediately, we would resume rocketing Tel Aviv,” said its spokesman.

U.S. President Joe Biden, in a call with Netanyahu on May 17, expressed his support for a cease-fire in the fighting, the White House said in a statement.

Hamas began its rocket assault May 10 after weeks of tensions. (Reuters)

This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • When deadly fighting between Israel and Gaza broke out, there was a flurry of U.S. and regional diplomacy. Do you think that other countries should be responsible for negotiating a cease-fire between Israel and Gaza? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • The conflict between Israel and Gaza has been going on for decades. Do you think it’s likely to ever end? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • When conflict again broke out between Israel and Gaza, many people were quick to support one side or the other. Do you think there’s a right side to this conflict, or are both sides at fault? Why? Discuss.
  • As the world slowly begins to return to normal from Covid-19, the conflict between Israel and Gaza has heated up. Do you think other parts of the world will also see more fighting this year compared to 2020? Why or why not? Discuss.