Israel and Gaza: Then and Now

Source: Stratfor:

Four years ago on Nov. 4, while Americans were going to the polls to elect a new president, Israeli infantry, tanks and bulldozers entered the Gaza Strip to dismantle an extensive tunnel network used by Hamas to smuggle in weapons. An already tenuous truce mediated by the Egyptian government of Hosni Mubarak had been broken. Hamas responded with a barrage of mortar and rocket fire lasting several weeks, and on Dec. 27, 2008, Israel began Operation Cast Lead. The military campaign began with seven days of heavy air strikes on Gaza, followed by a 15-day ground incursion. By the end of the campaign, nearly 1,000 poorly guided shorter-range rockets and mortar shells hit southern Israel, reaching as far as Beersheba and Yavne. Several senior Hamas commanders and hundreds of militants were killed in the fighting. Israel Defense Forces figures showed that 10 IDF soldiers died (four from friendly fire), three Israeli civilians died from Palestinian rocket fire and 1,166 Palestinians were killed — 709 of them combatants.


1 reply

  1. Just to clarify: The tunnels were not only used ‘to smuggle weapons’. The main use of the tunnels was to smuggle essential commodities for daily survival, for instance even life sheep. The only reason for the tunnels was and is the embargo. Only what Israel decides can enter Gaza. For a long time for instance cement was prohibited, because of its ‘dual use’. It could be used to repair and rebuild civilian houses (which ‘does not matter’), but because theoretically it could also be used to construct a bunker it was prohibited. See the articles which prove that Israel wants to keep Gaza ‘close to starvation’. Proved by Wikileaks Cables from the US Embassy in Israel.

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