Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Retired Israeli defence Force Major General Dan Harel told reporters that Israel is “running out of targets” to strike in Gaza and Israel is “moving quite fast to a turning point,” according to Adam Kredo of The Washington Free Beacon.Despite the admission, there are obvious hurdles to the ceasefire agreement that Egypt is attempting to broker.
Israel has launched more than 1,350 strikes (and counting) on Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip since the start of Operation Pillar of defence. Hamas as responded with about more than 850 rockets—all but 35 landing in open areas—while the Israel’s Iron Dome has intercepted about 320 of them.
Harel, former deputy chief of the IDF’s General Staff and a former head of its Southern Command from 2003 to 2006, reportedly added it “wouldn’t be moral or very smart of the Israel side” to target highly populated areas and that an Israeli ground operation would “be bad for both sides.”
The Gaza strip is about 25 miles long and ranges from about 3.7 to 3.5 miles wide—as a comparison, Manhattan is 2.3 miles wide—and its population of 1.7 million make it one of the most densely populated areas in the world.
The targets Israel has hit so far include:
• Several high-ranking Hamas commanders
• The headquarters of the Palestinian National Security Forces and other police stations
• Numerous government security buildings
On Sunday, the deadliest of the six days of airstrikes, IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai said that the IDF will continue to pound the strip since Hamas has been firing rockets “from a courtyard of a mosque, houses of worship, public places and homes.”
“No one is immune in Gaza,” added Mordechai. “This is a lesson that will be learned over time. The IDF can reach any place and anyone.”
So far at least 109 Palestinians–more than half of which are noncombatants—have been killed in the strikes while more than 850 people have been wounded, including 280 children and 140 women. Three Israelis have been killed by Hamas rocket fire, and dozens have been injured.
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