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Israel Invades Gaza Strip

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After a merciless air assault on the civilian population of Gaza, Israel has invaded with troops. The soldiers are on a seek and destroy mission targeting Hamas’ rocket launching infrastructure with a special emphasis on tunnels that an IDF spokesman claimed were being used to infiltrate Israel.

The IDF also took to Twitter to say “We have hit Hamas hard, and we will continue to hit Hamas hard.”

But serious questions surround whether the IDF has actually been hitting Hamas much at all. The UN has estimated that 80% of the casualties are civilians of a current total of 260 Palestinians and 2 Israelis dead.

It was Israel’s first ground incursion into Gaza since January 2009, when it engaged in a three-week battle with Hamas that killed more than 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis. Thursday’s operation came hours after diplomatic efforts in Cairo to negotiate a long-term truce between Israel and Hamas failed…

The ground offensive began at 10 p.m. local time and involved dozens of infantry and artillery units, as well as air and naval support, said an Israel Defense Forces spokesman, Lt. Col. Peter Lerner. The military, he added, plans to call up 18,000 reserve troops in addition to the 50,000 reservists activated so far.

Over 60,000 troops to destroy a few tunnels? Seems like this may be a more substantive operation. The air and artillery attacks may be so brutal because Israel wants to raze a good portion of the area before swarming it for an in-depth and prolonged action.

In any case, another bloody chapter has been opened in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with the US State Department not only giving up on the peace process but openly siding with Israel against the Palestinians. Whether or not you agree with that position, let us all at least take note that the US is not now, nor is likely ever to be, a neutral party who can arbitrate this dispute.

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Dan Wright

Dan Wright

Daniel Wright is a longtime blogger and currently writes for Shadowproof. He lives in New Jersey, by choice.