It’s a scary time to be an Israeli. Despite the UN Security Council urging Israel and Hamas to reach a cease fire, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu understandably concluded that the Hamas rocket attacks at his people could not, and would not, go unanswered.
Early Sunday, Israeli ground troops entered northern Gaza with the goal of taking out several missile launch sites. During that mission, there was an exchange of fire with armed militants that lightly wounded four Israeli soldiers, but they all returned home safely. Meanwhile, separate Israeli forces entered the Al-Sudaniya beach in a battle that resulted in the deaths of at least three Hamas terrorists.
It’s not yet clear whether Israel plans to launch a full-scale ground invasion, but with tanks and troops on the border, it certainly has all the makings of one. Over 156 Palestinians have been reportedly killed after nearly a week of bombardment by Israeli missiles, and it’s quite obvious that Netanyahu will do whatever he deems necessary to defend Israel. “I just want your viewers to imagine the United States being bombarded, not in one city or two cities, but in every city between New York and Colorado,” he told Fox News Sunday. “80% of your citizens would have to be in bomb shelters or ready to go into bomb shelters within a minute to a minute and a half max. No country can accept that, we can’t accept it, and we’ll take the necessary actions to stop it.”
Netanyahu said that Israel is making a concerted effort to make “surgical strikes” so as to limit human casualties, but regrets any loss of life that may occur in the process. The IDF had previously warned residents on the northern Gaza Strip to leave their homes for their own safety.
Back in the United States, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is among those criticizing President Obama for not forcefully defending our ally. “Israel is not sure that they have America’s full support like they used to,” said Christie.“And that’s a real failure of this presidency, in my view.”
While calling for “de-escalation,” Obama has offered to have the United States negotiate a cease fire. But that’s not quite the same thing as simply standing behind America’s greatest ally, and many have accused the administration of drawing a moral equivalency between Israel and the forces that are trying to destroy it. Netanyahu himself may have said it best, as he detailed the difference between Israel and Hamas: “We’re using missile defense to protect our civilians, and they’re using their civilians to protect their missiles.”
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