The Israeli army reinforced its ground and armoured forces near the Gaza border late on Saturday, Israel Radio and other news websites reported. The Israeli military spokesman’s office declined to comment on reports of a troop buildup,
In attacking Hamas’ regime in the Gaza Strip, the Israel Defense Forces will try to “send Gaza decades into the past” in terms of weapon capabilities while achieving “the maximum number of enemy casualties and keeping Israel Defense Forces casualties at a minimum,” GOC Southern Command Yoav Galant said.
Major General Galant, one of the key figures in the Israeli operation that began yesterday in the Gaza Strip, said this during discussions before the move. Israel’s aim in the operation will be to significantly damage Hamas’ leadership, tactical capabilities and smuggling routes, he said.
Despite efforts to keep IDF casualties to a minimum, Galant said that once troops are actually sent after the enemy, “what will take precedence is the need to fulfill the mission.” He added, “Under no circumstance can we accept a norm that leaves missions unmet.”
I think he just said civilians will be killed without reservation in the name of mission objectives in the long planned ‘Operation Cast Lead‘.
Peter Beaumont in the Guardian makes the connection-
For in the end what has happened in the past few hours is simply an expression of what has been going on for days and months and years: the death and fear that Gaza’s gunmen and rocket teams and bombers have inflicted upon Israel have been returned 10, 20, 30 times over once again. And nothing will change in the arithmetic of it.
Not in Gaza. But perhaps in a wider Arab world, becoming more uncomfortable by the day about what is happening inside Gaza, something is changing. And Israel has supplied a rallying point. Something tangible and brutal that gives the critics of its actions in Gaza – who say it has a policy of collective punishment backed by disproportionate and excessive force – something to focus on.
Something to be ranked with Deir Yassin. With the Sabra and Shatila massacres. Something, at last, that Israel’s foes can say looks like an atrocity.