Israel is on the offensive. Hamas said they wouldn’t have the guts to do it without the U.S. – I think they were just proved wrong.
Early reports indicate an initial move into Gaza of roughly 10,000 troops, supported by tanks and artillery, with tens of thousands of reservists being called up for possibility of further action. Israel states they are not attempting to reclaim Gaza at this point (though they would be well within their rights to do so), but rather seeking to cripple Hamas’ infrastructure in the area with the intent of rendering them unable to continue the constant mortar and rocket attacks on Israel’s civilian centers. Prior to the shelling, Israel allowed any Gaza residents who were foreigners, or had foreign passports, to leave the area via the Erez border crossing, something you probably won’t be hearing a lot about in the news.
Why Gaza, and why now? Ever since Hamas took power in Gaza after Israel’s withdrawal in late 2005, rocket and mortar attacks have increased significantly, as nicely demonstrated by this chart found over at LGF:
That’s as good a reason as any that I can think of to go back and try to dismantle whatever sort of setup Hamas has in the area. Here (via Blackfive)is a short clip on the effect of these bombings on the citizens of Israel. In Sderot, after hearing the alert, you have 15 seconds to find cover. This happens every day. I can’t imagine what it would be like, but this gives you a glimpse:
I wish the Israelis the best and urge them to obliterate Hamas as it exists in the area. They have nothing to lose in the realm of public opinion, as we already have CNN and the rest playing Hamas propaganda and being apologists for the “poor Palestinians” in the region. It’s absurd that the media would take this position, but after the election nothing surprises me anymore. I haven’t watched TV news in a long time and at this point I probably never will again. Let ’em all burn. In the meantime, we in America and the rest of the world need to stand in support of Israel as they try to survive in a region filled with their mortal enemies. How can we help? Well, for starters, I sent them a pizza.