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Israel says it has sent ground troops to Gaza

Israel Begins Ground Assault In Gaza


By KARIN LAUB & IAN DEITCH

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -- Israel launched a large-scale ground offensive in the Gaza Strip Thursday, escalating a 10-day military operation to try to destroy Hamas' weapons arsenal, rocket firing abilities and tunnels under the Palestinian territory's border with Israel.

It was the first major Israeli ground offensive in Gaza in just over five years. It came hours after Hamas militants tried to infiltrate Israel through a tunnel under the Gaza-Israel border, but were stopped by Israel.

Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, an Israeli military spokesman, said that the operation is open-ended.

"We will be striking the infrastructure," he said. "We will be striking the operatives in order to safeguard the civilians of the state of Israel especially issues to do with tunneling, that was exemplified earlier today."

Thousands of Israeli soldiers had massed on the border with Gaza in recent days, waiting for the order to go in.

The operation also followed a brief truce earlier Thursday in which Israel held fire to allow Gazans to stock up on food and other necessities after being largely holed up at home since the conflict began last month.

Israeli strikes have hit more than 2,000 targets in Gaza and Hamas launched nearly 1,500 rockets at Israel, the Israeli military has said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said he instructed the army to go ahead after Hamas rejected an Egyptian cease-fire plan earlier in the week and after Hamas militants tried to infiltrate into Israel through a tunnel from Gaza.

"In light of the despicable and relentless aggression by Hamas and the dangerous infiltration into Israel, Israel is obliged to protect its citizens," the statement said.

Israeli media reported of the loud rumblings of Israeli tanks and D9 bulldozers revving up their engines to cross the border.

Israel last carried out a major ground offensive in Gaza in January 2009.

Hamas officials had no immediate comment. However, security officials reported heavy Israeli shelling in eastern Gaza, near the border with Israel.

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dgolds1080 July 17 2014 at 4:59 PM

G-D speed. May our boys come back safely, getting rid of Hamas with their underdeveloped minds, lowest of the gene pool, primitive hateful subhumans.

Flag Reply +100 rate up
26 replies
pitterbingo July 17 2014 at 4:58 PM

GOD BLESS THE CHOSEN PEOPLE..

watch out HAMAS...

Flag Reply +99 rate up
18 replies
lgvxl42 July 17 2014 at 5:06 PM

Well, there you have it. Continually taunt the bull & you get the horn!!! Works for me. I hope they clean out that cesspool definitively.

Flag Reply +99 rate up
7 replies
Richard July 17 2014 at 5:21 PM

May God stretch out his just hand for Israel to crush the evil that is trying to destroy them.

Flag Reply +98 rate up
5 replies
navydoc58 July 17 2014 at 5:12 PM

maybe Hamas will get the message. But I doubt it. Israel has the right to live in peace. May G-d protect the IDF.

Flag Reply +88 rate up
10 replies
allstarcaps July 17 2014 at 5:14 PM

Hamas, like most of radicalized Islam, is nothing more than a cult of depraved inbreeder's bent on self mutilation at any cost just so they can proclaim an affinity from a god who shakes her head in shame at their reprobate behavior. Hamas, and all who protect and defend their kind deserve they fate they are now receiving!

Flag Reply +83 rate up
7 replies
sealtheborder11 July 17 2014 at 5:23 PM

Israel gave hamas every opportunity to stop firing rockets in their country........Even at the very end of the cease fire, the first shots were from hamas.........They deserve to be wiped from the earth..........

Flag Reply +77 rate up
8 replies
dhsdome July 17 2014 at 5:19 PM

If things get worse Obama has given Israel phone numbers where he can be reached at two fund raisers tonight in NYC.

Flag Reply +76 rate up
14 replies
maggiemoe1950 July 17 2014 at 5:08 PM

This time they need to push them all the way into the SEA.

Flag Reply +67 rate up
7 replies
Swordfish July 17 2014 at 5:04 PM

Don't put your troops at risk. Nuke them! The only possible way to peace in the region. Just make sure the wind is blowing in the other direction.

Flag Reply +53 rate up
12 replies
aol~~ 1209600

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