Sunday, December 28, 2008

Israeli cabinet calls up reservists

Is Israel preparing to launch a major ground offensive? The following article may offer some clues that will help us answer that question.

Israel's cabinet approved a call-up of reservists today, as its military continued attacking Gaza, destroying the main security headquarters after killing more than 280 Palestinians in a first round of strikes yesterday.

Israeli tanks were seen deploying in southern Israel, close to the Gaza Strip, raising the prospect that the air raids - which brought the biggest loss of life in a single day in Gaza for more than 40 years - might escalate into a major ground offensive.

The latest Israeli attack flattened most of the buildings in the security headquarters, the second time the compound had been attacked in two days. At least four Palestinians were killed.

Palestinian militants continued to fire rockets into southern Israel, with two missiles reaching as far as Ashdod, an Israeli port about 18 miles north of Gaza. One Israeli was killed in a rocket attack on Saturday.

In addition to the 280 dead, at least 600 Palestinians have been injured. Most of the dead appeared to be policemen or security officials affiliated with Hamas, although there were reports of dead civilians. An Israeli air strike yesterday killed seven teenage students at a UN vocational college for Palestinian refugees while they waited for a bus to take them home, said Christopher Gunness, a UN Relief and Works Agency spokesman.

At its regular weekly meeting in Jerusalem, the Israeli cabinet approved a reserve call-up, which may indicate a much larger operation is proposed. The Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, reportedly told the meeting that the fighting in Gaza would be "long, painful and difficult".

"Israel will continue until we have a new security environment in the south, when the population there will not longer live in terror and in fear of constant rocket barrages," said Mark Regev, a spokesman for the prime minister.

You can read the entire article at this link: Troops

Unless something changes it now appears Israel will send in ground troops.

Much more to come on this situation...

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 8:41 AM   0 comments links to this post


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