Israel has invaded Gaza

Tragic day. Israel has invaded Gaza, prevailing against the best efforts of the Knesset’s cooler heads. NYT has more information:

Israel began a ground invasion into the Gaza Strip on Thursday night, saying it would target tunnels that infiltrate its territory after cease-fire talks failed to de-escalate the air war that has raged for 10 days.

The military released a statement at 10:39 p.m. saying the goal of the operation was to “establish a reality in which Israeli residents can live in safety and security without continuous indiscriminate terror.”

Palestinians and journalists in Gaza reported heavy artillery fire from ground troops in the north and Israeli gunboats stationed near Gaza’s port as well as a continuing air assault. The strikes were aimed at a rehabilitation hospital and, earlier killed four young children as they played on a roof. At the same time, scores of rockets from Gaza continued to stream into cities all over central and southern Israel.

The war between the country and its occupied territory has escalated significantly this week. In another tragic moment, four boys were killed by an Israeli rocket while playing at a beach. Also from NYT:

The four dead boys came quickly to symbolize how the Israeli aerial assaults in Gaza are inevitably killing innocents in this crowded, impoverished sliver of land along the Mediterranean Sea. They stood out because they were inarguably blameless, children who simply wanted to play on their favorite beach, near the fishing port where their large extended family keeps its boats.

The killings also crystallized the conundrum for the 1.7 million Gazans trapped between Israel’s powerful military machine and the militants of Hamas and its affiliates, who fire rockets into Israel with little regard for how the response affects Gazans. Virtually imprisoned by the border controls of Israel and, increasingly, Egypt, most Gazans have nothing to do with the perennial conflict but cannot escape it

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