Israel mobilizes, launches offensive in Gaza

posted at 8:01 am on July 8, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

After a hailstorm of rockets landed in southern Israel, the Netanyahu government has launched significant military action against Hamas in Gaza. Earlier today, the combined military branches struck 50 targets in the enclave, and the Israelis say this will go on for quite a while:

The Israeli army, air force and navy launched a major operation Tuesday against the Islamist militant group Hamas in the Gaza Strip, striking 50 sites in the coastal enclave and mobilizing infantry troops along the border for a possible ground incursion designed to stop rocket attacks on Israel.

Israel announced the beginning of “Operation Protective Edge” to strike Hamas and protect southern Israeli citizens from intensified rocket fire from Gaza.

The Israeli military announced the call-up of 1,500 reservists and the deployment of two infantry brigades along the Gaza Strip. …

“They chose the direction of escalation,” said Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, an Israeli military spokesman. “So the mission will go on as long as we feel it is necessary to carry it out. We don’t expect it to be a short mission on our behalf.”

Lerner told reporters that Israel has offered “calm for calm” but that rocket fire from Gaza escalated in recent days and that now the Israeli military would seek to hit Hamas hard.

Israel has moved two brigades of infantry to the Gaza border in a show of force — and very likely a hint of what’s coming. The army declared that they were prepared to invade Gaza to stop the Hamas rockets:

The Israeli army is preparing all options for stamping out militant rocket fire from Gaza, including a ground assault, a senior official said on Tuesday.

“The army is preparing for all possible scenarios, including an invasion or a ground operation,” the official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Another official had earlier confirmed the army had received instructions “to prepare different military alternatives in order to be ready in case of need.”

Israel announced the name of the operation yesterday, “Protective Edge.” Ben Wederman told Wolf Blitzer yesterday that announcing an operation name means this is no short-term reprisal, but instead a major offensive that can be expected to last quite a while. Wederman also reports that Israel has changed tactics from its normal reprisal operations and targeted the homes of Hamas leaders in Gaza:

Mahmoud Abbas called for a cease-fire … at least on Israel’s part:

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called on Israel to immediately stop its strikes, warning the operation would drag the region into instability.

Abbas said a truce was needed to “spare the innocent from mass destruction.” …

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called on Israel to immediately stop its strikes, warning the operation would drag the region into instability.

Abbas said a truce was needed to “spare the innocent from mass destruction.”

Cease-fires don’t work that way. If one side keeps shooting at the other, eventually that will draw a response. When that shooting becomes as heavy as the artillery attacks by Hamas on Israel have been, it’s going to draw a very large response at some point. Abbas might have done better to tell his partners in the Palestinian Authority to cease their fire before that point, and it’s notable that CNN’s quote of Abbas only mentions Israel when it comes to ceasing fire. It’s also notable that this latest barrage from Hamas came after Abbas invited Hamas back into the PA power structure.

Last week, former US envoy Martin Indyk declared the Israeli-Palestinian peace process dead:

The former top U.S. envoy to the Middle East said that trust between Israeli and Palestinian leaders has completely dissolved, leaving him exceptionally pessimistic about the prospects of restoring negotiations over a lasting peace settlement between their two peoples.

“There is a deep loathing of each leader for the other that has built up over the years,” Martin Indyk told an audience of several hundred people at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado in response to questions from the Atlantic‘s Jeffrey Goldberg. Indyk, in his first public remarks since stepping down as the U.S. special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations on June 27, said the distance between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas seems unbridgeable. “There is no trust between them. Neither believes that the other is serious,” Indyk said.

Interestingly, while Indyk says he blames Netanyahu and Abbas equally for the impasse, he only mentions Hamas once, and only to note the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens and not for the constant artillery attacks coming from Gaza. The Israelis don’t have the same luxury of ignoring those shells dropping onto their civilians from Sderot to Tel Aviv. When the rockets stop, perhaps then the peace process can be revived.

Update: Just to make this last point clear, Israel warned Hamas and Islamic Jihad last week that a failure to accept a cease fire would bring on a military response:

Israel has boosted its forces along the Gaza border, with officials sending out a message that Israel would only be able to sustain militant rocket fire for another 24, or maximum 48, hours before undertaking a major military offensive.

The security cabinet convened last night – for the fourth consecutive day – to consider Israel’s response as artillery pieces and tanks took up positions along the border.

Israeli military spokesman Lt Col Peter Lerner confirmed that the army has moved forces to serve defensive activities and forward preparations.

“The main issue is how Hamas is reading the situation. We don’t want to take it further, but we will be prepared for developments.”

Hamas has issued statements over recent days making clear that it doesn’t seek a wider conflagration. However, rocket fire has intensified, making an Israeli response more likely.

If they didn’t want “a wider conflagration,” then they should have stopped firing rockets into Israel last Friday when Israel issued this warning.


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Halp us Jon Cary!!

bofh on July 8, 2014 at 10:56 AM

Until the PA is made to understand it is peace or death, there will be no peace.

Let’s allow Israel to go ahead and fight a war – and if they drag Syria/lebanon into it – fine. This is a traditional war – with the taking of territory and destruction of any target in a military zone deemed worthy of targeting and with the end result being an occupation.

When the PA will finally sue for peace – great. But I doubt they will. No civilization has a right to act with impunity towards their neighbors and expect a guarentee of survival.

Zomcon JEM on July 8, 2014 at 10:57 AM

Two brigades is a serious commitment in a tiny place like Gaza. That’s anywhere from 6,000 to 10,000 men and only one more brigade would constitute an entire division.

You don’t commit those kinds of resources if you don’t mean business. I hope that with this offensive, Israel overruns Gaza, sweeps Hamas and Islamic Jihad into the Med and bulldozes the place with a few hundred ACE’s.

ACE = Armored Combat Excavator. ACE Operators are AUU’s. Alone. Unarmed. Unafraid.

Conservative Mischief on July 8, 2014 at 10:58 AM

Amazing how you “forgot” about the U.S citizen who was burned alive by six rabid Zionists.

corona79 on July 8, 2014 at 8:24 AM

Who is Shelly Dadon?

Ben Hur on July 8, 2014 at 10:58 AM

In an exclusive article for Haaretz’s Israel Conference on Peace……

canopfor on July 8, 2014 at 8:14 AM

Enjoy the irony, courtesy of Israel’s leftists

Shy Guy on July 8, 2014 at 11:01 AM

Who is Shelly Dadon?

Ben Hur on July 8, 2014 at 10:58 AM

One of these

Shy Guy on July 8, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Israeli-Palestinian conflict
2m
Update: Palestinian officials say 11 people killed by Israeli air strikes – @BBCNews
Read more on http://www.bbc.com

https://twitter.com/BBCNews

canopfor on July 8, 2014 at 11:05 AM

You don’t commit those kinds of resources if you don’t mean business.

Conservative Mischief on July 8, 2014 at 10:58 AM

See my comments on the previous page. This will be just another incursion, endangering our children in an exercise in futility, rather than putting an end to the terrorist entity next door once and for all.

Shy Guy on July 8, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Update: Palestinian officials say 11 people killed by Israeli air strikes

canopfor on July 8, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Meaning the IAF is mainly targeting empty buildings.

Shy Guy on July 8, 2014 at 11:07 AM

canopfor on July 8, 2014 at 8:14 AM

Enjoy the irony, courtesy of Israel’s leftists

Shy Guy on July 8, 2014 at 11:01 AM

Shy Guy: Thanks for that,..I’m not surprised, I stopped listening
to the event,..as some Palistianian guy kept droning on
about injustice sumpins!!:)

canopfor on July 8, 2014 at 11:07 AM

as some Palistianian guy kept droning on
about injustice sumpins!!:)

canopfor on July 8, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Are you sure that wasn’t Knesset Member Achmed Tibi? Enemy of the state.

Shy Guy on July 8, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Update: Palestinian officials say 11 people killed by Israeli air strikes

canopfor on July 8, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Meaning the IAF is mainly targeting empty buildings.

Shy Guy on July 8, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Shy Guy:

No kidding, I back Israel,…what-ever they need/have to do:)

canopfor on July 8, 2014 at 11:10 AM

canopfor on July 8, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Are you sure that wasn’t Knesset Member Achmed Tibi? Enemy of the state.

Shy Guy on July 8, 2014 at 11:09 AM

Shy Guy: I think your right:)

Haaretz.com @haaretzcom · 2h

MK Ahmed Tibi has now taken the stage at Israel Conference for Peace. Watch live: http://htz.li/1k1FoPC #HaaretzPeace

canopfor on July 8, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Haaretz.com @haaretzcom · 2h

MK Ahmed Tibi has now taken the stage at Israel Conference for Peace. Watch live: http://htz.li/1k1FoPC #HaaretzPeace

canopfor on July 8, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Pass. Look forward to his trial and hanging by a new Israeli government and justice system in the near future. Inshallah!

Shy Guy on July 8, 2014 at 11:18 AM

I love PhotoShop!

Bobo Netanyahu

Shy Guy on July 8, 2014 at 11:20 AM

Shy, let’s just say that I know a little something something about military operations.

If this force is accompanied by artillery, close air support from IAF and IDF air cavalry, even entrenched US forces would have a hard time repulsing the offensive.

I know a little about Hamas’ military capability, but even if I had extensive knowledge about their fortifications, armament and training, I would still lay odds that the IDF could overrun Gaza and do it by lunch next Tuesday.

Conservative Mischief on July 8, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Go get’em IDF!!!

Meaning the IAF is mainly targeting empty buildings.
Shy Guy on July 8, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Ya – no kiddin’.
Apparently just A Small Talent For War….

dentarthurdent on July 8, 2014 at 11:26 AM

I know a little about Hamas’ military capability, but even if I had extensive knowledge about their fortifications, armament and training, I would still lay odds that the IDF could overrun Gaza and do it by lunch next Tuesday.

Conservative Mischief on July 8, 2014 at 11:24 AM

I’m sure they could.
But will they?
Let’s see if Netanyahu really has the balls to follow up with his “once and for all” threat. (I hope he does.)

dentarthurdent on July 8, 2014 at 11:28 AM

I would still lay odds that the IDF could overrun Gaza and do it by lunch next Tuesday.

Conservative Mischief on July 8, 2014 at 11:24 AM

I agree with you. Notice your own use of the word “could”. But we won’t. Therein is Israel’s problem, with cowards at the helm.

Shy Guy on July 8, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Let’s see if Netanyahu really has the balls to follow up with his “once and for all” threat. (I hope he does.)

dentarthurdent on July 8, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Recipe for disaster

Shy Guy on July 8, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Amazing how you “forgot” about the U.S citizen who was burned alive by six rabid Zionists.

corona79 on July 8, 2014 at 8:24 AM

Muslims like yourself have a tough time keeping the news straight. Perhaps you are thinking of the ‘American” the IDF arrested and beat the crap out of. No doubt a Muslim/american. Hopefully he dies of his injuries.

BL@KBIRD on July 8, 2014 at 11:36 AM

I would like to think that this is for real, but ….

OldEnglish on July 8, 2014 at 11:39 AM

A stern letter from the UN to Israel complains about the lack of the red line phase.

“There is a prescribed process which must be followed in any inter-state conflict, and that includes the public announcement of a “red line”, which allows all parties to use the next few days for propaganda.”

BobMbx on July 8, 2014 at 11:47 AM

dentarthurdent on July 8, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Shy Guy on July 8, 2014 at 11:28 AM

I agree that there’s a difference between what they could do and what they will do. What they could do depends on the capabilities of the forces involved and the terrain they’re fighting on.

What they will do depends on the willingness of the civilian authorities to see it through.

I’ll lay odds on what they could do. It’s a coin flip on what they will do (and it always is, in every conflict).

Conservative Mischief on July 8, 2014 at 11:48 AM

Let’s see if Netanyahu really has the balls to follow up with his “once and for all” threat. (I hope he does.)

dentarthurdent on July 8, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Recipe for disaster

Shy Guy on July 8, 2014 at 11:30 AM

LOL!
OK – is that the consensus view in Israel – that Bibi has “crispy date balls”?

dentarthurdent on July 8, 2014 at 11:58 AM

Amazing how you “forgot” about the U.S citizen who was burned alive by six rabid Zionists.

corona79 on July 8, 2014 at 8:24 AM

Disproportionate and selective outrage. Typical behavior of a loon with anti-Semitic tendencies.

zoyclem on July 8, 2014 at 11:58 AM

The Associated Press @AP · 26s

BREAKING: Air raid sirens heard in Tel Aviv, signaling possible rocket strike.

canopfor on July 8, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Cool. A red link.

Bmore on July 8, 2014 at 12:19 PM

Yep. Now Tel Aviv. Just like the last time. Just like the next time.

OK – is that the consensus view in Israel – that Bibi has “crispy date balls”?

dentarthurdent on July 8, 2014 at 11:58 AM

All talk, all the time. Looking like a laughing stock here. Everything he used to say years ago in the opposition and in campaigns, which is what he should be doing, is what’s not being done. He is no different than any previous Prime Ministers who copped out on putting and end to this intransigence.

Shy Guy on July 8, 2014 at 12:21 PM

Iron Dome intercepts – this time.

Shy Guy on July 8, 2014 at 12:26 PM

Israeli-Palestinian conflict
2m
Update: Israeli television stations say a rocket has targeted Tel Aviv but was intercepted – @AP

canopfor on July 8, 2014 at 12:27 PM

Too slow. :)

Shy Guy on July 8, 2014 at 12:30 PM

Ironclad Mideast Peace Plan:

Israel mercilessly and completely wipes Hamas off the face of the earth, quickly and efficiently and brutally. No 6 day war where they leave their evil enemies intact, I mean they will probably halve the Gaza population and that could take a month.

Then tell all the other evil Islamic SOB’s to come ‘n get it.

Hamas, and the other Palistinian terror organizations are the most evil, vile, psychopathic, lying azzholes on this planet.

NOMOBO on July 8, 2014 at 12:35 PM

When the rockets stop, perhaps then the peace process can be revived.

There can be no peace with those whose avowed goal is genocide. Temporary truces are possible, but only delay the inevitable war of extermination.

novaculus on July 8, 2014 at 12:37 PM

Israeli-Palestinian conflict
1m
Photo of Gaza rocket being intercepted near Tel Aviv via @gilicohen10 – @haaretzcom

https://twitter.com/haaretzcom/status/486551984372465664

canopfor on July 8, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Hey! One of our kid’s in one of those Tel Aviv skyscrapers right now!

Shy Guy on July 8, 2014 at 12:59 PM

IDF @IDFSpokesperson · 16s

Initial report: Terrorists are attempting to infiltrate Israel through the sea. The IDF is currently confronting the threat. Updates to come

Replied to 0 times

IDF @IDFSpokesperson · 34s

Hamas will pay a heavy price for its vicious attacks on millions of Israeli civilians

canopfor on July 8, 2014 at 1:08 PM

Sea and land infiltrators dead. Netanyahu live on TV saying the usual.

Shy Guy on July 8, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Shy Guy I understand the disappointment.

I figure the US is restraining the range of action with some pretty serious consequences if Israel did what they need to do – fight a war with winner take all and settle the issue.

Zomcon JEM on July 8, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Israeli-Palestinian conflict
4m
Hamas says it fired rockets at 2 Israeli army bases; Israel military says it is checking the claim – @AFP
Read more on yahoo.com

IDF @IDFSpokesperson · 14s

#Hamas has begun targeting #Israel from the air, sea & ground. We will respond with severity to this direct attack on Israeli sovereignty

canopfor on July 8, 2014 at 2:00 PM

If they didn’t want “a wider conflagration,” then they should have stopped firing rockets into Israel last Friday when Israel issued this warning.

Hamas was given 48 hours (the whole weekend) to cease fire and they didn’t give a shite, they kept sending in the are of 50 rockets to the S of Israel, Jsem and even Tel Aviv (this morning). They had this coming, hope this time the IDF dismantles their whole mil machine & infrastructure in Gaza, and not do just a half-ass job like last time around, during operation Pillar of Defence (cuz…intl media and public perception, screw them!)

jimver on July 8, 2014 at 4:10 PM

All talk, all the time. Looking like a laughing stock here. Everything he used to say years ago in the opposition and in campaigns, which is what he should be doing, is what’s not being done. He is no different than any previous Prime Ministers who copped out on putting and end to this intransigence.

Shy Guy on July 8, 2014 at 12:21 PM

Weird. I’m not even an Israeli, and I know more about Israeli military operations than you do.

Operation Cast Lead was one of the most brilliant military victories of all time. Almost 900 Hamas terrorists killed for a loss of only five Israeli troops killed by enemy action.

Hamas didn’t learn from that, because they can’t. But the rest of the Arab world did, as did the Iranians. Hamas threw every single terrorist trick at the IDF, and none of them had any impact whatsoever. The great Qods Force advisers were worthless.

The thing people need to understand about Israelis is that when you get two of them together, they have eighty-seven opinions, all expressed at the tops of their lungs, and most of them are negative.

Israel is full of Shy Guys who complain and criticize regardless of what’s happening. There’s a pessimistic, self-critical streak in the culture that we can’t even begin to understand.

So far it looks like Netanyahu is following through, so it’s too early to write off the whole thing before it even begins.

A Chair of Some Kind on July 8, 2014 at 6:41 PM

I figure the US is restraining the range of action with some pretty serious consequences if Israel did what they need to do – fight a war with winner take all and settle the issue.

Zomcon JEM on July 8, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Reallllllly? :)
What makes you think our miserable excuse for a president would get off the golf course to do anything to anyone?

Look, you guys do what you need to do. Our president is in enough hot water as-is; if he gives you any grief, we’ll deal with him.

IMHO, you gave Gaza to the Opposition, bargaining that they’d behave themselves. Well, they’re behaving like themselves, as usual. So, deal’s off; you’re welcome to take Gaza back. You have my blessing, FWIW. I suspect the Egyptians will also be happy not to have Hamas as a neighbor.

ReggieA on July 8, 2014 at 7:36 PM

Keep calm and BOMB BOMB BOMB BOMB BOMB BOMB BOMB BOMB that shiet. Set Gaza on fire.

AlexB on July 8, 2014 at 8:23 PM

I think every street in Gaza should be widened to about 8 lanes.

claudius on July 8, 2014 at 8:34 PM

Obama gives himself the “Courageous Restraint” medal.

BobMbx on July 8, 2014 at 10:03 PM

Weird. I’m not even an Israeli, and I know more about Israeli military operations than you do.

A Chair of Some Kind on July 8, 2014 at 6:41 PM

Yes, an empty chair.

Your statistics are nothing new to anyone here.

Israel is full of Shy Guys who complain and criticize regardless of what’s happening. There’s a pessimistic, self-critical streak in the culture that we can’t even begin to understand.

A Chair of Some Kind on July 8, 2014 at 6:41 PM

Yep. About 500,000 Shy Guys in SW Israel who have not ceased their 15 second run to the nearest safety room over all these years and operations. And lets add in another million or 2 more Shy Guys yesterday – and back in Cast lead – who live in the Tel Aviv region and its surrounding as well as in Beit Shemesh to the East, followed by Jerusalem and everything in between yesterday.

Empty chair arm general. That’s all you are.

I’m sure your Hebrew is brilliant. Here’s another Shy Guy from years past, also whining about the government’s responses to terrorists and rockets and how it all should be dealt with:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHCiAaKOWU8

http://www.talschneider.com/2014/07/08/thedailymessage/

Shy Guy on July 8, 2014 at 11:45 PM

War pron from yesterday evening

Shy Guy on July 8, 2014 at 11:56 PM

Oops. My estimates were low:

3.5 million Israeli citizens are in the line of fire.

That’s at least another million Shy Guys. Who knew?!

Shy Guy on July 9, 2014 at 12:23 AM

Totally level Gaza to at least the range of their rockets. Totally.

TerryW on July 9, 2014 at 8:06 AM

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