Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak declared "an all-out war against Hamas" on Monday as fighter jets raked the Gaza Strip with bombs for the third straight day and Palestinian fighters sent dozens of rockets flying deep into Israeli territory.Of course, Palenstinians elected the political wing of Hamas to power in their long sought after state. If you lob missiles into Israel, a state you have claimed should be wiped from the map, did you really think the Israelis were simply going to sit on their hands and say "bad boy" and send for what amounts to a slap on the wrist? I didnt' think so.
The Palestinian death toll rose to 364, according to Palestinian medical officials. The Israeli death toll stood at four, including three people killed in rocket fire Monday. One of the rockets hit a bus stop in Ashdod, a coastal community 23 miles north of Gaza, another sign that Hamas is launching longer-range rockets than it did before a six-month truce expired Dec. 19.
Israel sealed off an area around Gaza on Monday, declaring it a "closed military zone," amid indications that the army may be preparing for a ground offensive. Meanwhile, Israeli jets continued to strike targets across the narrow coastal strip, including a security compound and the homes of suspected Hamas operatives.
While previous Israeli assaults on Gaza have pinpointed crews of Hamas rocket launchers and stores of weapons, the attacks that began Saturday have had broader aims than any before. Israeli military officials said Monday that their target lists have expanded to include the vast support network that the Islamist movement relies on to stay in power in the strip. The choice of targets suggests that Israel intends to weaken all the various facets of Hamas rather than just its armed wing.
By the way, all that blubbering about "proportional response" is just that blubbering. It is time for Isreal to kick a few asses over there.