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Israel-Hamas conflict: An unfair fight?

Over 1,000 rockets have been fired into Israeli territory and Israel has launched almost 1,500 strikes at the Gaza Strip. Both sides are on the attack, but they are far from technologically matched.

TEL AVIV: Over 1,000 rockets have been fired into Israeli territory and Israel has launched almost 1,500 strikes at the Gaza Strip.

Both sides are on the attack, but they are far from technologically matched.

The Israeli Air Force is targeting Hamas and rocket-launching sites, but with a population of 1.7 million packed into 362 square kilometres of land, many of the dead are civilians.

Hamas are retaliating with a barrage of rockets, but some are saying it is not a fair fight.

Fayrouz Sharqawi, a Palestinian campaigner from Grassroots Jerusalem, said: “The Palestinian resistance rockets are not causing as much damage and loss of lives on the Israeli side as much as the Israeli army is causing on the Gaza side.

“It cannot be called a war between Gaza and Israel. We can see that the powers are not balanced.”

The imbalance is most marked when it comes to technology.

Israel enjoys some of the most advanced military technology in the world. Rockets aimed there are intercepted by the Iron Dome Missile Defence System and, combined with Israel’s sirens and shelters, keeps Israel’s population of 8 million safe.

Gaza has none of those advantages, and its mostly small, homemade rockets cannot compete with Israel’s heat-directed missiles.

Hassan Abu-Dagga, an injured civilian from Gaza, said: "I was on my way to attend a funeral. An F-16 warplane fired two rockets near the pavement. I couldn't move (after the rockets hit) and I spent an hour lying on the ground until an ambulance arrived to the site."

Brigadier Shlomo Brom, a military analyst at Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), said: “Israel is one of the most technologically advanced armed forces in the world.

“Now let’s go to the other side, Hamas -- they have much less technological capabilities than any armed force of a state. There is a huge difference in size…it’s not really making a comparison.”

But even though Israel has not suffered anything close to the casualties that Gaza has, its citizens are not exempt from the trauma of war.

Three years ago, Nati Hakshur lost his right leg and severely injured his left when a rocket exploded outside his parents' house in B'er Sheva, southern Israel.

Three years on, the physical wounds have mostly healed but the mental challenges of daily sirens are much harder to overcome.

Nati Hakshur said: “It’s very stressful just to hear the siren, because it brings you back to the night and what happened in this night, and you think a lot about it.

“When Gaza sends missiles all over Israel, it’s not an easy time and it’s not an easy place to live in.”

An Israeli in the South experiences different risks to a Palestinian in the Gaza Strip, but their fears are the same -- the loss of their loved ones and everything they hold dear.

Ultimately, both sides are losers in the game of war. 

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