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Israel Launches Offensive in Gaza; Kills Hamas Leader

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Genichiro:

--- Quote ---GAZA, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Israel launched a major offensive against Palestinian militants in Gaza on Wednesday, killing the military commander of Hamas in an air strike and threatening an invasion of the enclave that the Islamist group vowed would "open the gates of hell".

The onslaught shattered hopes that a truce mediated on Tuesday by Egypt could pull the two sides back from the brink of war after five days of escalating Palestinian rocket attacks and Israeli strikes at militant targets.
--- End quote ---

Full article here

This is most unsettling. It hasn't been a week since the mortar launch against Syria, and Israel is escalating an offensive against Palestinians in Gaza. I'm not exactly a fan of Hamas or their regime in Gaza, but with the threats for the Syrian civil war threatening to pull in Israel, the timing couldn't be worse. Even is they outgun and out-man Hamas forces, it won't be a quick fight with the remaining Hamas leaders raising the white flag after a little show of muscle. If Israel military forces do go through with a full invasion force, it would wise of them not to leave themselves vulnerable to Syrian forces looking to further destabilize the region as their power slips away.

Cirno:
I hope they know what they are doing; things could get really bad if this ends up dragging on.

Genichiro:

--- Quote ---JERUSALEM -- Israel's prime minister says the army is prepared for a "significant widening" of its operation in the Gaza Strip.

Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters on Thursday that Israel has "made it clear" it won't tolerate continued rocket fire on its civilians.

He says he hopes Hamas has received the message. But if not, he says Israel will take whatever action is necessary to protect its people.
--- End quote ---

Full article here

Looks like picking off Jabari was just the tip of the iceberg for a new Israeli offensive. Given how Hamas was born to destroy Israel, though, it's not surprising that this chain of events is transpiring. It's good to see that the Israeli military is making sure to only hit military targets, and dropping leaflets to warn civilians to stay away from military installations is going above and beyond to keep civilians safe, as the planes dropping the leaflets could be shot down if Palestinian militants desired it. Still, though, this looks less and less like a short duration strike, and more like a prolonged offensive with the potential of buildup of ground forces. The events of the next week will be very telling to the direction this will take.

Cirno:
At least they are trying to make sure they only hit military targets and minimize civilian casualties.

Genichiro:

--- Quote ---GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip -- Israeli aircraft struck crowded areas in the Gaza Strip and killed a senior militant with a missile strike on a media center Monday, driving up the Palestinian death toll to 100, as Israel broadened its targets in the 6-day-old offensive meant to quell Hamas rocket fire on Israel.

The New York Times reports that the top leader of Hamas dared Israel on Monday to launch a ground invasion of Gaza and dismissed diplomatic efforts to broker a cease-fire in the six-day-old conflict.
--- End quote ---

Full article here

The leaders of Hamas should think twice before asking for a ground invasion. Israel has been doing it's best to try and cut down on civilian casualties, going so far as to fire warning shots before launching their main strike, which could warn their targets to escape/take cover as much as they give warning to the civilians they are trying to keep out of the way of harm. Such control would be much more difficult in a ground assault, as anyone mistaken for an attacker by a soldier risks being targeted. It would be for the best if Israel and Gaza and work out a cease-fire, but with both sides being stubborn in their demands, compromise and agreement doesn't seem too likely to occur within the near future.

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