Reports last night were that the Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip was to commence sometime this morning. It didn’t seem an outlandish prediction, with the military announcing that it had completed days of preparations for the massive casualties expected in the raids, and the weather finally clearing up to allow the invaders a more pleasant atmosphere in which to proceed.
Yet while the Israelis dropped leaflets ordering civilians off the streets of Gaza this morning, the ground invasion seems stalled as top military commanders are reportedly split on whether or not to start the invasion. Though most of the military had seemed eager to press their advantage after having killed over 430 people in the first week of attacks, some are said to be concerned about the heavy casualties inevitable in a ground invasion of the densely populated strip. They also question the need, saying they’ve dealt a heavy blow to Hamas already.
Yet Hamas insisted that it had sustained minimal losses in the attacks, and a large portion of the dead and wounded appear to have been innocent civilians. The Israeli military admitted days ago that it overestimated Hamas’ ability to fire rockets, ostensibly the reason for the attacks, so the delay may also be based on concern that their intelligence on the Hamas government isn’t nearly as good as they’d initially hoped.