04 January 2009

Tanks Roll Into Gaza

Israeli Artillery Fires on the Gaza Strip (photo AP)

After an aggressive air strike campaign, you knew this was coming. The Israelis have announced that they launched a ground force incursion into Gaza Saturday evening. From the Washington Post:
Israeli tanks and infantry entered Gaza after nightfall Saturday, launching a ground offensive that the military said would be a "lengthy operation" in a widening war on Gaza's Hamas rulers.

Heavy gun battles were reported as Israeli tanks and infantry soldiers entered Gaza after dark. The forces stayed close to the border area, witnesses said. Heavy artillery fire hit east of Gaza City in areas where Hamas fighters were deployed.

"We have many, many targets," Israeli military spokeswoman Maj. Avital Leibovich told CNN, adding that Hamas has been digging smuggling tunnels and other facilities. "To my estimation, it will be a lengthy operation," she said.

She said the goal of the operation was to take over the areas used by militants to launch rockets against Israel.
Due to Hamas hiding amongst civilians, the "collateral damage" of Gaza civilians was incredibly disturbing, as this graphic LiveLeak video will show. Kids with their legs blown off, people screaming in pain as their intestines fall out of their body, and the other pleasant aspects of conflict. Ground occupation would allow better intelligence and thereby less civilians casualties (as was seen when the Iraqi Army went into Sadr City in May), but it could also anger Palestinians and the surrounding region into sparking a prolonged period of mass violence resulting in more death and despair. I fear the latter.


Anonymous said...

Did you hear about the Palestinian protesters in Ft. Lauderdale who were yelling at the Israeli supporters across the street that they needed to "Get back to the oven. You need a big oven"? There were a lot of other rants/curses as well, but this one really sticks out to me. For too many people in the region, this won't end until the state of Israel is gone (and the Jews as well).

I read about the video on AOS. You can see it on Youtube here

Darren M said...

Too bad they just can't seem to grasp that if they quit firing rockets, that the Israeli's might just stop bombing them.

The Arabs have been trying to get rid of the Jews since Israel was established (stupid fucking idea all by itself) and get spanked every time. I don't know about you, but I only put the fork in the electrical outlet once.

Elizabeth said...

This is what happens when there is a complete lack of leadership from all corners - Israelis, Palestinian territories, regional Arab governments and the US.

Speaking of US support for Israel, green lights and the like...with friends like President Bush and his crack foreign policy team, Israel doesn't need any enemies.

Mezzo SF said...

This is a rivalry (to put it mildly) which, I fear, will never ever go away. It will always exist.

Anonymous said...

"I don't know about you, but I only put the fork in the electrical outlet once."

I'm more of the "never put a fork in the electrical outlet" type myself ;)

subrookie said...

I'm with Darren on this. The "stop firing rockets at us and we won't bomb the shit out of you" method might actually have avoided this.

I was traveling in the Yukon a few years back and met an ex-Israeli special forces chick. No matter how drunk I got her she could still kick my ass with her pinky toe. I think that might boad true with Hamas. Don't piss Israel off you won't have your ass kicked.

I remember being slightly humored by Clinton thinking he could "fix" things in Israel right before he got out of office. These people have been fighting each other for almost 2K years, to think we can change that in a year or even 10 years is futile. For anyone interested in the events that led up to this I suggest reading "The Lemon Tree" by Sandy Tolan.

LT Nixon said...

You think some cultures would grasp the concept of "overwhelming force" and realize that they lost. Shit, nations have been changing throughout civilization, sometimes you just gotta let bygones be bygones. You don't see Germans launching Grad rockets at U.S. bases do ya? As a matter of fact, despite a serious drumming in WWII, Germany is the #3 economy, and Japan is #2. The whole anti-zionist thing is just a way for creepy thugocracies like Saudi Arabia and Iran to stay in power and willfully distract their people from domestic issues.

cathcatz said...

hmmm... i have the feeling that the palestinians have some pretty good reasons for not giving up, even in the face of overwhelming force. if you ask me, getting booted out of your home, being denied basic human necessities at the hand of a religious government that runs wholly opposed to your right to exist, are all pretty good reasons to be pissed off.

while i don't agree with the tactics they use, i certainly understand their frustration.

LT Nixon said...

a religious government that runs wholly opposed to your right to exist, If that were true, then it is definitely a two-way street in that part of the world. Living under threat of rocket fire ain't much fun (speaking from experience here).