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More than a year ago Obadiah first asserted that Israel would invade Gaza the moment Hamas starts reliably targeting Ashkelon. That often-reiterated analysis is now confirmed: just days after a Grad-type rocket from Gaza scored a hit on a house in Ashkelon, Israeli army entered Gaza.
Obadiah also suggested that Israeli losses during the invasion would be incomparably greater than in the rocket attacks on Gaza. As of now, two Israeli soldiers are killed, the same number as Sderot deaths to the rocket fire in 2007-2008.
Hamas and other militants will now unreservedly use their Grad rocket arsenals for increased attacks on Ashkelon. Bomb shelters opened in the city. Gazans launched about 50 rockets on Israel with the unusual precision, wounding six Jews, including children. Dozens treated for shock. Katyusha-Grad rockets which target Ashkelon are much more powerful than crude Kassam rockets falling on Sderot.
IDF killed about 50 Arabs in Gaza, including a dozen or so civilians.
The US gave Israel a free hand. Abbas condemned the invasion as “worse than Holocaust” and threatened pulling out of the peace talks (well and good). The most hopeful line comes from one Abdulla, Jordan’s princeling who declared that absence of Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement in the next few months would set back the peace process for decades.

March 2008
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