Israel Launches Ground Offensive in Gaza

Netanyahu orders in his troops after 10 days of bombing
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2014 2:58 PM CDT
Israeli soldiers ride near the Israel-Gaza Border, Thursday.   (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

(Newser) – Optimists hoped today's humanitarian cease-fire might lead to a longer peace in Israel and Gaza, but that's not the case by a long shot. In fact, Israel just raised the stakes considerably by launching a ground offensive into Gaza, reports the BBC. A military statement said the goal was “establish a reality in which Israeli residents can live in safety and security without continuous indiscriminate terror," reports the New York Times. Troops were expected to focus on so-called "terror tunnels" used to infiltrate the country.

It's not clear whether the ground offensive will be a quick strike or a longer one with the goal of taking control of Gaza. An Israeli defense official who speculated yesterday about such a move said that a takeover of Gaza wouldn't be too much of a challenge, but that any such mission would have to last "many months" in order to fully secure the area. Today's development comes after 10 days of back-and-forth bombing, notes CNN. (Read more Gaza stories.)

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