Once again, as Israel’s leaders contemplate the systematic slaughter of Palestinians they choose a cold and colorless metaphor: “Israel must perform a reformatting of Gaza, and rearrange it,” says Home Front Defense Minister Avi Dichter — as though the Gaza Strip were a computer disc whose contents could painlessly be erased.
What would “reformatting” look like according to Dichter?
Operation Defensive Shield — the IDF’s assault on the West Bank during the Second Intifada in 2002. That was when the slaughter in Jenin became too much even for George Bush to support, though his demands that Ariel Sharon must withdraw his forces “without delay” went unheeded.
The New York Times then reported:
Describing a visit to the Jenin camp, the United Nations envoy to the Middle East, Terje Roed-Larsen, said at a news conference here today: “We saw children looking for their parents. We saw fathers, brothers, sisters digging in the rubble in order to find the corpses of their dear ones.”
Surveying the wreckage at the camp on Thursday, Mr. Roed-Larsen called the scene “horrifying beyond belief.”
“Combating terrorism does not give a blank check to kill civilians,” he said…
The Times of Israel now reports:
The Israeli army is preparing for a ground incursion into Gaza and will launch it unless rocket fire from the Strip ends, Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar said during a visit to a school in Sderot on Monday.
“We have seen the escalations on the Gaza border increase in frequency over the past year and we need to put an end to them,” said Sa’ar a senior Likud official with close ties to the prime minister. “All the preparations for a wide-scale ground operation are being made. Unless the [missile] fire stops, such an operation will be launched.”
Sa’ar said that measures to gain international approval for an operation similar to 2008′s Cast Lead are already under way.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak addressed the possibility of such an incursion too, though more subtly. During an air defense drill Barak said actions against Hamas “may intensify and expand.”
On Monday, Barak made it clear that Israel would not hesitate to reenter Gaza. “If we are forced to go back into Gaza in order to deal Hamas a [serious] blow and restore security for all of Israel’s citizens, then we will not hesitate to do so,” he said.
The Ma’an News Agency reports: The Hamas government has filed a complaint to the UN against Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, a spokesman said.
Taher al-Nunu said government called on UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to pressure Israel to stop its attacks on civilians in Gaza.
Israeli tanks shelled Gaza City on Saturday killing four civilians and injuring at least 25. Israel’s army said it was responding to a missile attack on an Israeli military jeep which injured four soldiers.
Gaza factions fired dozens of rockets into Israel in response to the deaths, with Israel launching an airstrike early Sunday which killed two members of Islamic Jihad’s military wing.
Israel launched multiple airstrikes on the Gaza Strip overnight Sunday, with no injuries reported, and 11 rockets have been fired from Gaza since Monday morning. One rocket struck a home in the city of Netivot at around 7 a.m., causing material damage.
The Salafi organization, the Shura Council of the Mujahedeen, claimed that rocket and Israel promised a tough response.
“We have a full box of tools … that we have not yet used,” Israeli Vice Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon told Army Radio. “We will need to toughen our response until Hamas says ‘enough’ and ends the fire.”