Sunday, July 13, 2014

Global Impact: Israelis Deployed in Gaza Aim to Neuralize Hamas Rocket Launching Sites

According to Reuters, Israeli troops carried out the country's first ground operation in Gaza  on Sunday (July 13) when commandos attacked Palestinian sites used for launching rockets. 

Leaflets were dropped warning thousands of people to leave their homes in a northern area of the Palestinian territory before the ground raid proceeded.

The first deployment of Israeli ground troops coincided with a further escalation of the air campaign. On day six of Operation Protective Edge, the Israeli Air Force destroyed police stations and the Hamas security headquarters, severely damaging homes of civilians nearby.

To date, at least 165 Palestinians have been killed since the onset of the offensive last Tuesday. Hamas, meanwhile, has fired roughly 630 rockets at Israeli cities, injuring 10 people. 

PM Benjamin Netanyahu gave no hint of an end to the operation. “We are hitting Hamas with growing force,” he told the cabinet during its weekly meeting. “We do not know when this operation will end.” 

The commando raid was carried out by naval special forces with the aim of destroying launch sites for the long-range rockets that have struck targets as far away as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.  

COMMENT: Understandably, developed nations who are not the recipients of Palestinian rockets at any time have scant comprehension of the human impact on Israeli citizens.

It is expected that that the offensive will continue until such time as Hamas as an organization officially surrenders, as casualties climb which Hamas seems oblivious to.

Israeli commandos fought Hamas gunmen in Sudaniya district. Afterwards, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said the operation had achieved its goal. 

Thousands of Palestinians have sought refuge at schools run the by the United Nations. Robert Turner, the UN head of operations, said that about 4,000 people were sheltering at eight schools. "More are arriving by the minute. They are mostly fleeing areas in the north," he told AFP. 

International pressure for a ceasefire is starting to build. Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French defense minister, urged an “immediate ceasefire” on Sunday with the aim of restarting peace talks and avoiding an “escalation that would be tragic for this part of the world."

William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, will discuss the Gaza crisis with John Kerry, the US secretary of state, when they meet in Vienna on Sunday. Meanwhile, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the German foreign minister, is expected to visit the Middle East on Monday (July 14).

But Mr Netanyahu has already said that "no international pressure" will halt a campaign that he says is vital to the defense of Israel.