After conducting countless sorties and bombing raids aimed at Hamas operatives in Gaza during the fifth day of Operation Protective Edge, but resulting in well over a hundred innocent civilian deaths in the past week, Israel, realizing it is not generating any brownie points with the international "humanitarian" media, finally did what it had threatened to do over the last few days - launch a ground assault.
Moments ago, the Israel military reported that Israeli ground troops had entered northern Gaza to take out a number of missile launch sites.
1/2 BREAKING: IDF forces raided a site used to fire long-range rockets at Israel. The mission was accomplished— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) July 13, 2014
2/2 During the mission, there was an exchange of fire. 4 soldiers were lightly injured & all returned home safely— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) July 13, 2014
According to ABC, the move comes after weeks of growing tensions and nearly a week of escalating missile strikes from both sides.
The mission was launched early Sunday local time comes after the UN Security Council urged the two sides to reach a cease fire, and the Israeli government said it hit northern Gaza "with great force" to prevent more Hamas rocket attacks.
During the incursion there was an exchange of fire with militants that left four Israeli soldiers lightly wounded, according to the IDF.
The IDF troops returned to Israel after the mission, and no soldiers were left in Gaza, the Israeli military said.
Of course, this is merely the first incursion into Gaza with many more to follow, in what appears is catalyst to escalate the conflict further, with the only question being just how will either side - as demanded by the UN - de-escalate, and more importantly, if the US will finally step in or whether it will continue to demonstrate the kind of peculiar aloofness that has allowed everyone from China to Russia to France and now, to Germany, to indicate that the former hegemon is increasingly living in a multipolar world, in which the US is taken far less seriously. If and when said attitude results in an adverse dollar impact, that will be the time for the residents at the Marriner Eccles building to quietly depart the US for non-extradition countries.