Many Palestinians have been left without essential supplies since Israel closed Gaza's borders last Thursday.
As international concern mounts, Israel has temporarily eased the blockade on Gaza. BBC News Website readers have been sending us their reactions.
Unless Israel can grant Palestine full sovereignty, it can do nothing but expect extremists to use extraordinary measures, such as rocket attacks. Just because Israel withdrew its illegal settlements doesn't mean it ended the occupation. And as sad as I am to hear about Israeli citizens living in fear every day from rocket attacks, perhaps they can catch a glimpse of how it is to live here in the West Bank, when you travel 12 hours to visit your family, only to find out that they closed the road, and you have to go back. Israelis are just reaping what they sow.
Assad al-Asmar, Birzeit, West Bank
The blockade of Gaza is not for the sake of it. Israel is desperately trying to stop the targeted shelling of Israeli towns, villages and kibbutzim in the vicinity of Gaza, day in and day out. Israeli civilians have been living under fire and suffering for seven years. The Gazans have to understand that this cannot go on without consequences. Israel has no interest in a humanitarian crisis but will not let life in Gaza go on comfortably while Israeli civilians cannot lead a normal life.
Sara Cohen-Krausz, Jerusalem, Israel
What is happening today is a disgrace. Israel's actions are not new to us but the reaction of Arab world and the so called international community has not been what we hoped for. We are facing a weak side to the Arab world, and at the same time we have the Israelis talking about aiming their missiles in three directions, meaning there is a full support from the US especially after Bush's visit to the region. The people of Gaza have the determination and will to resist this, but of course there will be a sacrifice to pay.
Abdal Rahman Shaat, Gaza
I am a student. I have been accepted to pursue a masters in The U.S. I couldn't attend my classes since last August and I couldn't travel for the spring term that began early this month. The reason for this is the closure of the crossings. The siege is very bad and it steals our dreams and aspirations of a better future.
Said Al Madhoun, Gaza
I think it's ridiculous that Israel is always to blame. Israel got out of Gaza almost three years ago and that was recognized by the UN as the end of the occupation over Gaza. The border with Egypt was opened and still the Palestinians shot rocket and try to kill Israelis around Gaza. A week ago a mortar shell fell on a kindergarten in shderot (Israel) 12 babies were injured. It got no coverage anywhere in the world. We have no less right to live peacefully.
Ami, Tivon, Israel
I am an English citizen living in Israel. In response to your article, I feel a huge sense of sadness and anger that the people of the small town of Sderot who suffer EVERYDAY from rocket attacks, and children who can't play in the park without fear are being forgotten in all of this. Has England forgotten the days of the blitz when we would have done ANYTHING to protect our people and our country, why is this any different? I'm not saying that everything the Israeli army are doing is correct, but there are always two sides to every story.
Amy Pinnick, Petach Tikva, Israel
It's very ironic that Gaza, controlled by Hamas, is dependent upon the very nation that they don't acknowledge. The first step towards solving this process is for Hamas to recognize Israel, and the rights of the Israeli people. The Arabs in Gaza must put pressure on the government to do this to help to alleviate the problems facing the territory.
Benjamin S, USA
I am broken heart to have read such collective punishment imposed upon the Gaza people because they are totally innocent.
In my opinion, the Israel should end the blockade immediately and settle their dismay through negotiations.
Good-Luck and May God Bless to all the people of Gaza.
Adorna Wong, Hong Kong SAR
I usually stand by Israel. The conflict they face has reached a point where one has to take harsh and firm measures. The justification makes perfect sense; "you send rockets into civilian homes, so we cut your power". I stand by that. I am just scared that it will go too far and become a crisis on a humanitarian level. And seeing how the Palestinians have not stopped rockets for a very long time no matter what has been said, this could evolve without a doubt. Israel wants peace, it truly does. But Hamas leaves a militaristic, yet diplomatic nation no choice.
G Uzelac, New York City
I think now people in Gaza are seeing the consequences of choosing fanatic leaders and like the people in Iran they're suffering from extremism. We, Muslims, have to understand that the state of Israel has the right to defend itself and we have to learn to live with them.
Amir, Tehran, Iran
I guess this is the price we pay for making lives in Southern Israel hell. We have an internationally proscribed terrorist group (which doesn't recognise Israel's right to exist and has the destruction of Israel in their charter) pummelling Israel with rockets and at the same time demanding that Israel provide us with fuel. It is a crazy mentality and I'm glad I left years ago.
Mustafa Samir, Glasgow ex-Gaza
I used to live in Israel, I am aware of how one-sided and biased the media can be. It is sad to see what Israel is forced to do, I think the blockade is terrible but negotiating is not a choice for Israel at this point. I hope the Arab nations of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Syria (who have the financial means) will support and take in Palestinian refugees instead of leaving them in complete poverty and desperation, instead of simply conversing mindlessly about "what should be done".
Lev Uzlaner, Toronto, Canada
Collective punishment is being inflicted by both sides in the Gaza dispute. It is demeaning to the Palestinians to think that they are at the mercy of Hamas. Their government is expressing the will of the people. Just like the Israelis, the Palestinians are responsible for the actions of their governments and must be prepared to accept the consequences. This conflict will end only when rational citizens on both sides force their leaders to act for their best interests.
Hardy Kornfeld, Worcester, US
I live Sderot under the constant barrage of missiles raining on us day in and day out. Why did you not think of asking us to write about our experiences under missile attcaks aimed directly at civilians? Did England feel obliged to supply Germany with fuel in the SWW?
Rachel Zuwalt, Sderot
I am a palestinian citizen, living in gaza city. The case is very difficult, we don't have power in Gaza and it is too difficult to have exams in the university while there is no power in the city. you have to study but how can we!
Why is everybody condemning Israel? The simple solution is stop the rockets being fired on Israeli territory and the blockade will be lifted. Simple isn't it. Innocent people always suffer. They should be discussing and condemning their own leaders no one else! They can't have it both ways.
I am not in Gaza, and for the innocent people living there, this is an awful situation to be in. But what about the Israeli victims? What about the hundred rockets to fall on Israeli people over the last few days. What efforts are the Palestinian leadership making, to ensure that all terrorists are captured, therefore helping their own people to have their freedom? this should be reported too!