With numerous links to the Jerusalem Post and Ha'aretz, FireDogLake reports that the ground invasion of Gaza began about an hour an a half ago. FireDogLake cites several popular Israeli media sources that claim the operation was planned last March 2008 after Condoleeza Rice's visit.
In an article for The Nation, "The view from Tel Aviv," Hillel Schenker reports that
"On Tuesday evening, the Israeli PeaceNGO Forum, a coalition of over seventy groups that work for peace and coexistence, met in Tel Aviv to formulate its position--most appropriately, in the Society for a Beautiful Israel building next to the Yarkon River. It resolved to issue a three-point declaration:
"1) to call for an immediate Israeli unilateral ceasefire, without regard to how Hamas reacts, in the spirit of an op-ed that was published in both Ha'aretz and the New York Times by leading Israeli author David Grossman (whose voice carries special moral authority because his youngest son was killed on the last, unnecessary day of the 2006 Lebanon War);
"2) to declare that the killing of innocent civilians, on both sides, is a moral crime, and to identify with the suffering of the populations in Gaza and in the Israeli south;
"3) to simultaneously call for a renewal of the peace process, based upon the Arab Peace Initiative, as the only alternative.
"...Their counterparts in the Palestinian Peace NGO forum, a coalition of about forty organizations, met Wednesday in Ramallah and will also issue a statement."
IMEMC Juan Cole (with numerous links) also report that the invasion is underway. IMEMC reports that for the third day in a row, Egyptian authorities have allowed the Rafah crossing to open.
|...lifting the blockade was a part of the June cease-fire agreement that was not implemented by Israel and the international community.|