Brutal urban warfare awaits Israel’s army in Gaza
Israel has invaded Gaza twice in the 18 years since its withdrawal. The first instance was Operation Cast Lead, a 15-day ground invasion in January 2009. The second was Operation Protective Edge in 2014, during which the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) were on the ground for 19 days. A third ground assault is on the way in retaliation to the slaughter of Israeli civilians by Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that rules Gaza. It appears to be bigger, longer, and more violent than anything before it.
Already, air strikes and artillery, as well as missiles launched from land and sea, are hammering Gaza. This is happening on a vast scale, with less consideration and forewarning than prior campaigns. According to Israeli sources, the idf is no longer using its "roof knocks" policy, in which the air force would offer warning of air strikes by first releasing a harmless round on the targeted structure. According to the Palestinian health ministry in Gaza, at least 900 Palestinians, many of them civilians, have been killed so far.