Overnight Update on Gaza
Overnight, the BBC is reporting that Israel has declared the region around Gaza "a closed military zone" which is seen as sign that a ground invasion is about to begin (no link available yet). The Gaza death toll (at 1:25 PST) is 307, there are unconfirmed reports that kidnapped Israeli soldier Shalit was amongst those wounded by the Israeli attack on Gaza, and the Israeli Navy has now joined the attack.
The Israeli Air Force is apparently very happy with the performance of a "new bunker-buster missile that it received recently from the United States" (Israel ordered 1000 of the GBU-39 in September) and while "Col. Moshe Levy was interviewed by several Arab news outlets during which he stressed that Israel was not against the Palestinian public in Gaza but was operating against Hamas":
Defense officials said Sunday that Israel would, however, not hesitate to target the homes of civilians who protected Hamas terrorists throughout the operation.
While sorting through Gaza news last night, I ran across three essays worth reading. Two were published today in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, the last one, by Nir Rosen, appeared in the Guardian.
In the first, Amira Hass explains that the Gaza strike is not against Hamas, it’s against all Palestinians:
At 12 A.M. on Sunday, a phone call roused S. "I wasn’t sleeping anyway," he said. "I picked up the receiver and heard a recorded announcement in Arabic: ‘This is to warn you that we will bomb the house of anyone who has arms or ammunition at home.’"
Then Tom Segev shows why trying to "teach Hamas a lesson" is fundamentally wrong:
As a corollary, Israel has also always believed that causing suffering to Palestinian civilians would make them rebel against their national leaders. This assumption has proven wrong over and over.
Finally, Nir Rosen lays it all on the line and reminds us of the true meaning of “terrorism”:
An American journal once asked me to contribute an essay to a discussion on whether terrorism or attacks against civilians could ever be justified. My answer was that an American journal should not be asking whether attacks on civilians can ever be justified. This is a question for the weak, for the Native Americans in the past, for the Jews in Nazi Germany, for the Palestinians today, to ask themselves.