Isreal has sent Ground troops into Gaza and doesn't plan on leaving under Hamas is unable to fire rockets into their country. This is a Statement from Ehud Barak, Minister of Defense.
"A few hours ago, Israeli ground forces entered the Gaza Strip as part of operation Cast Lead against the Hamas terrorists and their affiliates and infrastructure in Gaza."
"So far, the Israeli Defense Forces have dealt an unprecedented heavy blow to Hamas. In order to complete their mission we now launched the ground operation."
"I have said all along that our military activities will widen and deepen as much as needed. Our aim is to force Hamas to stop its hostile activities against Israel and Israelis from Gaza, and to bring about a significant change in the situation in Southern part of Israel."
"We have carefully weighed all our options. We are not war hungry but we shall not, I repeat - we shall not allow a situation where our towns, villages and civilians are constantly targeted by Hamas. It will not be easy or short, but we are determined."
"We are well aware of the humanitarian aspect and are doing and will continue to do everything possible to provide all humanitarian needs to Gaza."
"While we are fighting in Gaza, we keep an open eye on the sensitive situation in our northern border. We have no aggressive intentions there. We hope the situation there will remain calm; nevertheless we are ready and alert to face any unwarranted development in that area."
"We are peace seekers. We have restrained ourselves for a long time but now is the time to do what needs to be done. We are determined to afford our citizens what any citizen anywhere in the world is entitled to - peace, tranquility and freedom from threats."
Some notes from the fighting:
Isreal killed senior Hamas commander Abu Zakaria al-Jamal. "On Thursday an Israeli warplane dropped a 2,000-pound bomb on the home of one of Hamas' top five decision-makers, instantly killing him and 18 others. The airstrike on Nizar Rayan was the first that succeeded in killing a member of Hamas' highest echelon since Israel began its offensive."
Israeli warplanes and gunboats blasted more than two dozen Hamas targets Saturday, including weapons storage facilities, training centers and leaders' homes as Israel's offensive against Gaza's Islamic militant rulers entered a second week.
"Israeli missiles hit 25 Hamas "outposts, training camps and rocket launching sites" Saturday morning, an IDF statement said."
"The United Nations estimated Friday that around 100 civilians have been killed in Gaza in the past week, around 25 percent of the 400 estimated killed in the bombing campaign."
Most if not all of the civilans killed are killed because Hamas fires rockets from civilan locations. They also have many of their ministries inside of civilan populations. Hamas intentionaly uses civilans has shields. "In many ways, they are victims like us. Both the civilian population of southern Israel and the civilian population of the Gaza Strip have been victims of this terrible, extremist Hamas regime," Regev said.
I have no idea how long Isreal will be in Gaza, but I have no doubt they are pissed and they have no plans of waiting for the U.N. the negoiciate another meaningless one sided ceasefire. Has of right now it looks like the U.S. will continue to back Israel during the invasion.
"We are working toward a cease-fire that would not allow a re-establishment of the status quo ante, where Hamas can continue to launch rockets out of Gaza and to condemn the people of Gaza to a life of misery," U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said in a written statement issued Saturday evening.
McCormack added that a cease-fire should come "as soon as possible," but it should be "durable, sustainable and not time-limited." In other words no more six month ceasefire that serve no other purpose except to allow Hamas to regroup and rearm after a Isreali invasion. Any ceasefire agreement needs to be strictly enforced by both parties. Meaning if that Israel should not hesitate to attack if Rockets start flying into their cities after the ceasefire is reached. Also if Israel is the agressor Hamas would be within their rights to fire back. However my opinion is just let them go. These two will never peacefully co-exist. One of them must be completely inalinated.
The son of Hamas leader now living in exile in the United States agrees with me. Talking about a lasting peace between Israel and Hamas. "There is no chance. Is there any chance for fire to co-exist with the water?" said Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of one of the group's founding members.
Yousef added: "It's not about Israel, it's not about Hamas: it's about both ideologies."
Hamas has promised to battle to the last breath "We will not abandon the battlefield, and we will stay on the thorny course, and we will fight until the last breath," Hamas chief spokesman Ismail Radwan said in a statement on Palestinian network Al-Aqsa.
I'm sure Israel wouldn't have it any other way.
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