Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu instructed the Israeli military to launch ground operations into Gaza today after 10 days of airstrikes and bombings. Netanyahu has ordered the offensive in an attempt to stop the rockets being fired at Israel. Tensions between Israel and Palestine came to a head ten days ago. Many believe the tipping point can be attributed to the murders of three Jewish teens. The UN responded today prompting a short five hour cease-fire which allowed civilians in Gaza to restock on supplies after having hidden in their homes for nearly a week due to fear of airstrikes.
Once the five hours were up the streets were empty again save for Palestinian militants firing over 50 rockets at Israel which then lead Israel to fire back with a wave of new airstrikes. Footage and pictures are surfacing from everyone from the area TV stations to bloggers of bloodstained streets. One Palestinian blogger wrote “There is nowhere for us to run, we are being killed.”
Yesterday afternoon four Palestinian children were killed by an airstrike on the beach just outside of a hotel full of journalists who are now being delegated as the symbols of the aerial assaults on civilians. Israel called the deaths of the children a tragic outcome but also stresses that the terrorist cell, Hamas is deliberately operating out of a densely populated civilian area. With the 75 percent of Palestinian deaths being civilian, according a running toll by the United Nations, many victims are left wondering what it is Hamas is trying to achieve.
Human Rights Watch is condemning Hamas for purposely targeting Israeli civilians as well as the Israeli military for striking where there is no clear military purpose. Since July 8 Hamas and its allies have launched over one thousand rockets into Israel though most have not hit anything or they have been taken out by Israel's Iron Dome interception system. While the fighting between Israel and Hamas rages on, innocent civilians of Palestine remain in the crossfire.