Israel Strikes Gaza, Says Ready To Move In Ground Troops

Israel is calliing its new assault on Gaza operation “Pillar of Defense”, as more than 20 airstrikes killed Hamas military chief Ahmed Jabari and several civilians – including a one year old baby and a seven year old boy as well as injuring at least a score. The IDF has issued draft orders for Israeli Homefront Command reserve soldiers and signalled its readiness to deploy ground troops (via Twitter!).

The recieved wisdom in Israel right now is that signalling readiness for a ground invasion is just what the IDF always does after conducting airstrikes, and that another Cast Lead is survivable by Hamas while the current Israeli government has to know its chances are slim in coming elections if it does start a ground war. If the press chatter changes, though…and Ehud Barak says the air attacks won’t stop soon.

In the West, while Britain has called for “restraint to prevent a dangerous escalation that would be in no one’s interests”, the US has got Israel’s back, as usual: “We’re monitoring the situation closely. We stand by our Israeli partners in  their right to defend themselves against terrorism,” Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Stephen  Warren told reporters. So much for hoping for nuance from the States.

The possible wildcard is Egypt, where the Islamist Freedom and Justice Party, formerly headed by President Mohammed Mursi, said on Wednesday Egypt would no longer stand by as Israel attacked Palestinians. That could make life interesting.

Update: the IDF are getting their testosterone shots, obviously:

Update 2: The UK Independent’s editorial nails it:

At a time when instability, or potential instability, afflicts almost all its borders, from Sinai in the south to Golan in the north, one might have thought that the last thing Israel needed was any action likely to fan the flames further.

But this will surely be the effect of its decision to kill the head of the military wing of Hamas in Gaza. Israel’s intelligence agency Shin Bet warned that this was just the start of a campaign against “those who promote terrorism against Israel”. There were even warnings yesterday that this may include a ground invasion of Gaza.

…to authorise the sort of pre-emptive action for which Shin Bet openly took responsibility yesterday is dangerous to the point of irresponsibility.

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Steve Hynd

Most recently I was Editor in Chief of The Agonist from Feb 2012 to Feb 2013. My blogging began at Newshoggers and I’ve had the immense pleasure of working with some great writers there and around the web ever since, including at Crooks & Liars. I'm a late 40′s, Scottish ex-pat, now married to a wonderful Texan, with Honours in Philosophy from Univ. of Stirling, UK 1986. I worked most of life in business insurance industry (fire, accident, liability) including 12 years as a broker/underwriter/correspondent at Lloyd’s of London. Being from the other side of the pond, my political interests tend to focus on how US foreign policy affects the rest of the planet. Other interests include early and dark-ages British history, literature and cognitive philosophy/science.

7 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Israel have again demonstrated, as they have innumerable times in the past, how others should treat their country as soon as the opportunity arises.

  • Israel okays mobilising reserve troops for Gaza if needed

    Reuters, November 14

    Jerusalem – The Israeli cabinet gave preliminary authorisation on Wednesday for the mobilisation of military reserves if required to press an air assault against the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

    Ministers convened in Jerusalem agreed “to allow the IDF (Israel Defence Forces) to enlist reserve forces in accordance with the need and the authorisation of the defence minister,” a statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said.

    Also, The IDF is tweeting about their grand adventure here, and has a photo stream on Flickr here

    • And as before, the statement is misleading, inaccurate and counter-productive to the implicit aim of reducing Israel’s ability to impose its will on others. The first rule of countering an adversary that depends on influence derived to a large extent from mis-perceptions about its strength is not to paint them as 12 feet tall.

  • Egypt Asks US to Stop Israel’s Gaza Offensive.

    NYT (via AP News), November 15

    CAIRO (AP) — Egypt asked the United States to push Israel to stop its offensive against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip, warning that the violence could “escalate out of control,” the Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

    Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr spoke with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton late the night before, asking for “immediate U.S. intervention to stop the Israeli aggression,” the ministry said in a statement. The call came after Egypt recalled its ambassador to Israel to protest the offensive.

    More at the link

  • Israeli Defence Forces and Hamas exchange fire on Gaza … over Twitter

    Israel’s major operation against militants in Gaza provided a running response from the IDF and Hamas’s military wing

    Guardian, By Tom McCarthy, November 15

    Read tweets at the link

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