Following a barrage of rocket fire into southern Israel from Gaza, Israel announced its unimaginatively-titled counteroffensive "Operation Protective Edge" on Monday. After fighting intensified overnight, Israel is now reportedly mulling a ground invasion. From Isabel Kershner:
Military officials said additional reservists were being called up in anticipation of a possible ground assault."
The hostilities come in the wake of the killing of a Palestinian teenager last week, a suspected revenge attack following the discovery of the bodies of three Israeli teenagers, who were kidnapped and killed in the West Bank last month. Three of the six Israelis arrested in connection with the killing reportedly confessed to the murder on Monday. Clashes between Israeli police and Palestinians have also continued on a daily basis in Jerusalem, parts of Israel, and the West Bank.
After roughly 80 rockets were fired into southern Israel from Gaza on Monday, Israel carried out an aerial campaign against Palestinian targets in Gaza on Tuesday morning, striking over 50 sites including homes of suspected Hamas members. According to Palestinian sources, nine members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad were killed overnight. A number of Palestinians have reportedly suffered injuries as well.
Hamas is believed to have amassed 10,000 rockets, an uptick since the last confrontation between Israel and Hamas in late 2012. A ceasefire brokered by Egypt following a three-week war has obviously been rendered moot.
In one tiny bright spot:
Over 800 Israelis have signed up to visit the family of murdered Arab teen Muhammad Abu Khdeir today: https://t.co/zZaptNabqb— Yair Rosenberg (@Yair_Rosenberg) July 8, 2014
The visit is reportedly being coordinated with the Abu Khdeir family.