Israeli soldiers walk towards a Merkava tank, at an army deployment area near Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip, on July 17, 2014.(MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
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Ground Operation in Gaza Looking ‘Likely’

Conflict continues to escalate on Day 10 of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge

by
Stephanie Butnick
July 17, 2014
Israeli soldiers walk towards a Merkava tank, at an army deployment area near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip, on July 17, 2014.(MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)

As Operation Protective Edge enters its 10th day, rockets continued to be fired at Israel from Gaza, and Israeli air strikes on Gaza continue. The escalating conflict—which has resulted in more than 200 Palestinian and one Israeli casualty—is not likely to dissipate soon: an Israeli military official tells the New York Times that a ground strike is “likely.”

“Every day that passes makes the possibility more evident,” the military official said of a ground campaign. The official, who has been briefing Israeli ministers responsible for strategic decisions and spoke on the condition of anonymity under military protocol, said that his assessment was based on “the signals I get” and that the likelihood of an invasion was “very high.”

After a temporary humanitarian truce Thursday, Hamas immediately fired 10 rockets and Israel launched two airstrikes Thursday. Egypt, meanwhile, has continued its efforts to broker a permanent ceasefire—Israel agreed to a ceasefire Tuesday, but resumed attacks after Hamas rejected the proposal.

Wednesday was a particularly bleak day in the conflict, as four Palestinian boys playing on the beach in Gaza City were killed by an Israel air strike, despite the IDF’s claims that it was targeting the homes of senior members of Hamas and not civilians.

Israel has denied the most recent reports of a ceasefire planned for Friday.

Stephanie Butnick is deputy editor of Tablet Magazine and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.

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