Israeli forces launched a major ground offensive into Gaza today. The stated objective is to eliminate Hamas’s rocket capabilities and to dismantle the network of tunnels used by the militants to infiltrate Israel.
Israel undertook the offensive only after diplomatic efforts in Cairo to negotiate a sustainable truce with Hamas broke down.
According to Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, spokesman for the IDF, the ground offensive began at 10 p.m. Israeli time. It involves dozens of infantry, armed core, and artillery units, as well as air and naval support. Israel plans to call up additional reservist troops to bolster the 50,000 called up already.
Perhaps the most interesting part of Lerner’s statement is that the IDF’s activities along the southern part of the Gaza Strip are being coordinated with Egypt. Lerner did not elaborate on the extent of the cooperation.
As I suggested here, Egyptian cooperation is one reason why this Israeli offensive may produce more thorough and lasting results than previous ones.
If Obama had gotten his way, the Muslim Brotherhood would still run Egypt, and Israeli-Egyptian cooperation against Hamas would be out of the question.