It seems that Israel has had just about enough of the endless barrage of rockets directed at them from the Gaza strip and, increasingly, from sites to Israel’s north.
Hamas has spent the week moving the goalposts; shifting from one set of unacceptable demands on Israel and Egypt in order to cease hostilities to even more unacceptable demands. On Tuesday night, Cairo offered a settlement which would result in an immediate cease fire. Terms which Ed Morrissey and Jeff Dunetz noted were favorable to Israel, but which also may have prevented a ground war in Gaza. Israel accepted Egypt’s proposal immediately but Hamas refused. The missile attacks on Israel intensified.
The intensity of the conflict in Israel is demonstrable even from the comfort of cable news studios. In an appearance with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Tuesday, a spokesman for Israel showed the scale of the threat cleverly by leaving his phone on during his live discussion with the host. While they were talking, a series of incoming missile alerts come in on his phone.
It was a sobering reminder of the ubiquity and regularity of the threat rocket attacks pose to Israeli civilians, even in spite of the amazing “Iron Dome” missile interceptor system which has spared many Israeli lives.
In response to this escalation, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised to use “great force” against Hamas to bring about a truce.
The White House has warned Israel against a ground invasion of Gaza, but an escalation of that kind may be forthcoming. Israeli forces are deployed on the border and have been preparing for an incursion into Palestinian territory for some time.