Israel Launches Gaza Ground War

Mission to strike at terrorist tunnels after 10 days of airstrikes.

07/17/14
Staff Writer
Photo Galleria: 
Israel begins ground invasion in Gaza. Wikimedia Commons
Israel begins ground invasion in Gaza. Wikimedia Commons

Israeli troops crossed into the Gaza Strip Thursday evening to launch a ground offensive against Hamas terrorists who had unleashed a blistering tirade of rockets into Israel following a five-hour cease-fire requested by the United Nations for humanitarian purposes.

Hamas reportedly fired more than 100 rockets as soon as the cease-fire ended at 3 p.m. The Israeli military said two homes were damaged in the fusillade, 10 rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system and the others landed in open areas.

Israel’s security cabinet authorized the move. It had resisted a ground invasion throughout the 10-day conflict, fearing it could cost the lives of Israeli soldiers and additional Palestinian civilian deaths. More than 220 Palestinians — most of them civilians — have reportedly been killed in the conflict to date.

But despite Israel’s aerial and sea assault against Hamas rocket launchers, command and control centers and other visible targets, Israel was unable to get at the network of underground tunnels that form a virtual underground city in the 25-mile long Gaza Strip.

That became most pronounced just hours before the cease-fire began when 13 Hamas terrorists from the Gaza Strip were spotted emerging from a tunnel inside Israel, according to Miri Eisen, the Israeli government spokesman during the second Lebanon War.

“A woman observer saw them come out of the tunnel and when they heard the sound of a UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle], they ran back into the tunnel and the tunnel was attacked,” she said.

“In the last 10 days we have seen Hamas as a paramilitary organization, now we have seen the transition to a full-scale military, firing rockets and trying to attack Israel from the land, sea and air — and underground,” Eisen said in a conference call organized by the Israel Project. “They are trying to attack Israeli communities that are located around the Gaza Strip. We saw this on the first day [of the war when the terrorists were all shot and killed after emerging from a tunnel] and again this morning.

“Through the years when Israel controlled the Gaza Strip there was always an issue of tunneling from the Gaza Strip into Egypt. We were very aware of it and always looking for entrances. We are talking about tunnels dug the way you would for trains. They use their money and Caterpillars and cement to build them.”

Eisen added: “At the end of the day we’re not sure we actually killed the terrorists, but they dropped all their weapons — 15 antitank missiles and personal Kalashnikovs and ammunition.”

She said they were planning to attack a kibbutz and kidnap an Israeli soldier.

Last Update:

07/18/2014 - 09:42

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Michael Lesher, why so angry. What did Israel do wrong? They don't have the option to not return fire. They have citizens to defend. Citizens tend to not like foreign terrorists using their country for target practice. If the Israeli government didn't suppress the thousands of missiles fired at their people from Gaza, they would be voted out of office. That's how life works, which you don't seem to understand.

new casters report that Israel has few casualties because of the Iron Done and shelters while the Palestenians have no shelter to go to. I find it strange that Hamas can build miles and miles of elaborate tunnels but can't/won't build shelters for its citizens that they put their money into offensive weapons but nothing into defense because life has no value to them.
I think the leadership of Israel is certifiably insane to keep supplying electricity and fuel to a customer who does not pay their electric bills and uses the electricity in factories to build weapons and fuel to transport them to fire on Israel

May G-d watch over our Israeli soldiers and citizens and all those who are innocent. Shame on Hamas for putting their civilians in harms way. Additionally Israel has continuously supplied the Gaza strip with electricity, food and humane services this goes to show how careful Israel is and how precious human life has and always is to their country.

Much in this report is seriously inaccurate. First, Israel's attack is manifestly aimed not merely at Hamas but at Gaza's civilian population and infrastructure -- constituting war crimes. Second, no mention is made here of the cease-fire offer made by Hamas on the second day of fighting, to which the only condition was that Israel honor its prior agreements, and which was flatly rejected by Israel. Third, given the Israeli government's record for truth-telling -- including its cynical deceit regarding the fate of three settler youth just weeks ago -- reporters should not accept at face value the IDF's claims about the significance of a handful of Palestinians emerging from a tunnel. What is clear is that while Gaza's pitiful retaliatory efforts have inflicted virtually no damage on Israel, scores of Palestinian civilians, including children, are still being massacred in Gaza. And this is sure to worsen in a ground invasion. The piece makes no mention of this. Under the circumstances, that is not merely poor reporting; it amounts to an apologetic for war crimes.

Hamas cares less for its people than the Soviet Union cared for its own people during
the cold war. Though Russia possessed a powerful conventional army and nuclear arsenal they did not dare launch an attack against the U.S.A. because the Soviets feared that the U.S.A. would launch a response that would bring devastation to the citizens U.S.S.R. But Hamas ,without regard for there own citizens, launched an attack knowing full well they have no defense to shield their civilians from a counter attack . Even worse, Hamas places its weapons where civilians reside thereby increasing the probability of civilian casualties. What benefits will Hamas bring to their people - clever slogans, guns and death? Hamas can't organize its ramble to accomplish anything productive -something that could bring dignity and happiness to the Palestinians, something that would give them a reason to embrace this life and not hold out for an unseen Paradise in the world to come.
Hamas listen up! a friendship with Israel will benefit the Palestinians. Israel will not lord it over you -the Jewish people consider their own origins to be humble -slaves to Pharaoh! Israel will not embarrass you . We will work and live together please put down your guns.

This is supposed to be news. Are you certain that "most" of the casualties in Gaza have been civilian? Where did you get this idea? Can you back this up with facts from legitimate sources? Israeli sources? where is your documentation? I suspect that this is not a fact that can be shown to be true.

That's not what the article said. Read it again.

In addition to sending evacuation warnings to the Palestinians, messages should be included to explain the differences between Israel's mission and that of the Palestinians which places them in harm's way while attacking Israeli civilians.
It should be pointed out that money which could be used to better their living conditions, is diverted to building tunnels and buying weapons.

Thank you for showing us this picture, which so clearly shows us what is at stake. May G-d watch over these young men and all of Israel.

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