[guest post by Dana]
Per a statement put out by the Prime Minister’s Office, Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon Netanyahu directed the IDF to prepare to “expand ground operations”:
The statement said that the security cabinet approved the operation after Israel agreed to the Egyptian cease-fire proposal on Tuesday, which Hamas rejected. In addition, the statement said, Hamas even fired rockets during the Thursday’s five-hour humanitarian cease-fire.
“In light of Hamas’ continuous criminal aggression, and the dangerous infiltration into Israeli territory, Israel is obligated to act in defense of its citizens,” the statement said.
The statement said that Operation Protective Edge, now in its 10th day, will continue until its goals are reached: restoring quiet for an extended period of time,and delivering a significant blow to Hamas and the other terrorist organizations in Gaza.
Let’s hope Israel will be more careful so the State Department does not have to take them to the woodshed again:
The United States on Thursday urged Israel to do more to protect civilians caught in the crossfire between the Israel and Hamas, after Palestinian Arabs claimed to international media that four children were killed during an IAF air strike.
“We ask (Israel) to redouble their efforts to prevent civilian casualties. We believe there is more that can be done,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters. “We believe that certainly there is more that can be done.”
“The tragic event makes clear that Israel must take every possible step to meet its standards for protecting civilians from being killed,” Psaki added.
It is unclear what else the State Department believes can be done to prevent the civilian casualties, after the IDF has proven over and over again that Hamas has been encouraging Gazans to become human shields.
Hamas has openly boasted about the “success” of its strategy of using civilians as human shields during Operation Protective Edge, which is now ending its tenth day, and the IDF has published extensive evidence of the practice.