Netanyahu Orders Gaza Escalation, Military Eyes Thousands of Targets

Officials Vow Offensive Will 'Cripple' Hamas

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the nation’s military to “intensify even further” the ongoing attacks on the Gaza Strip, which have killed dozens of people and hit several hundred targets in the past 48 hours. The Israeli Air Force bragged that they have hit more targets in the first two days of this conflict than they did in the entire week-long November 2012 one.

Israel’s military apparently has no shortage of things they’d like to hit, either, as military spokesman Brig. Gen. Moti Almoz says Israel has “thousands” of additional targets in mind for strikes in Gaza, even before what seems like an inevitable ground invasion.

President Shimon Peres confirmed earlier in the day that a ground invasion is being planned, saying it will “happen quite soon.” The Obama Administration, which has been endorsing the Israeli attacks, says they are “cautioning” against a ground invasion, and hope Israel can achieve its goals without one.

Exactly what Israel’s goal in the war is remains uncertain, with some talking up the idea of “crippling” Hamas. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon says that the operation will get wider and wider in the coming days to “ensure the safety of Israeli citizens.”

Since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in June of 2007, this is the seventh significant military exchange between Israel and Hamas. Both sides are insisting, as usual, that the other is the real aggressor, and that they are only acting defensively.

Netanyahu took the claims a step further, arguing Hamas is guilty of “double war crimes,” and was fully responsible not only for the minor damage their attacks have caused to Israel, but also for all of the civilians killed in Israeli strikes.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.