Israel Prepared To Widen Gaza Offensive

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Nov. 18 2012 9:31 AM

Israel Prepared To Widen Gaza Offensive as Truce Remains Elusive

A Palestinian rescue worker inspects damaged buildings following Israeli air strikes on the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah on Sunday

Photo by SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images

As Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip from air and sea continued for a fifth day Sunday, it doesn’t seem the two sides are ready to put down their weapons anytime in the near future. Israel hit two buildings used by journalists as media centers in Gaza, wounding six journalists and damaging the offices of Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV and Britain’s Sky News. An employee for Lebanon’s al-Quds TV lost a leg in the attack, reports Reuters. Israel insists the strikes weren’t targeting journalists but rather a “transmission antenna used by Hamas to carry out terror activity.” Palestinian fire resumed Sunday morning with reportedly two missiles getting close to hitting Tel Aviv but they were both shot down by Israel’s Iron Dome shield.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his cabinet that the strikes are “exacting a heavy price for Hamas and the terrorist organizations,” adding that Israel’s forces “are prepared for a significant expansion of the operation.” An Israeli military spokeswoman said that while the prospect of a ground offensive remains “on the table,” nothing has been decided yet, reports the Washington Post. Egypt is trying to broker a cease-fire but any kind of agreement seems far away. Hamas appears to be demanding a complete lifting of the Gaza blockade as well as guarantees that Israel will end targeted killings, reports the Associated Press. For its part, Israel wants guarantees that rocket fire from Gaza will cease once and for all.


The Palestinian death toll now stands at 53 since the Gaza offensive began Wednesday, 20 of whom were civilians. More than 400 civilians have been wounded. Three Israeli civilians have been killed and more than 50 wounded, according to the AP.

If the rockets from Gaza have not exacted a higher toll on Israel it’s in large part due to the U.S.-financed Iron Dome shield that is designed to intercept rockets when they are heading toward populated areas. Since Wednesday, the shield has knocked out 245 rockets from the sky, according to the New York Times, while 500 have hit inside Israel.

The Arab League is pushing its members to end normalization of relations with Israel because of the Gaza offensive, reports Bloomberg. Protests have broken out in Cairo, Turkey, and Iran against Israel’s attacks.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.


Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is

Divestment Is Fine but Mostly Symbolic. There’s a Better Way for Universities to Fight Climate Change.

I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.

It Is Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?

How Ted Cruz and Scott Brown Misunderstand What It Means to Be an American Citizen

  News & Politics
Sept. 23 2014 12:43 PM Occupy Wall Street How can Hillary Clinton be both a limousine liberal and a Saul Alinsky radical?
Sept. 23 2014 2:08 PM Home Depot’s Former Head of Security Had a Legacy of Sabotage
Sept. 23 2014 1:57 PM Would a Second Sarkozy Presidency End Marriage Equality in France?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 2:32 PM Politico Asks: Why Is Gabby Giffords So “Ruthless” on Gun Control?
  Slate Plus
Political Gabfest
Sept. 23 2014 3:04 PM Chicago Gabfest How to get your tickets before anyone else.
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 3:29 PM Tracking Down the Mysterious Typeface of Savannah, Georgia
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 1:50 PM Oh, the Futility! Frogs Try to Catch Worms off of an iPhone Video.
  Health & Science
Sept. 23 2014 1:38 PM Why Is Fall Red in America but Yellow in Europe? A possible explanation, 35 million years in the making.
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.