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IAF strikes apparently disrupted Hamas’ command-and-control system, and the invading IDF troops encountered no massive resistance. Isolated small groups of Hamas, PIJ, PLFP, PRC, and other militants fight bravely against the vastly superior Jewish enemy. Some behave suicidally, but most engage in sensible defensive battles.

Close to a hundred Hamas and PIJ members were wounded, close to two dozen killed, and more than thirty Israeli soldiers were wounded. Palestinians report up to eighteen Israeli soldiers dead, which IDF denies.
PRC detonated at least one anti-tank C4 mine of the type Hezbollah uses to blow Israeli tanks into pieces.

IDF bulldozers are attempting to clear a no-man’s land several miles deep into Gaza to prevent Kassam fighting, but that won’t help against newer Kassams with longer range and Katyusha rockets.

In the most disturbing move, the government approved mobilization of “tens of thousands” of reservists, which is huge by Israeli standards. The reservists will be trained at various camps for a very short time before the “third stage,” which involves massive area-combing. In the best case scenario, the Israeli government presses Hamas and foreign mediators into a meaningful ceasefire; how such a ceasefire can be better than Lebanon’s is not clear. But there is a possibility that the Cabinet intends to root out Hamas officials and install Fatah in Gaza—at the cost of significant Jewish casualties in guerrilla attacks.

The ground operations’ goals are unclear. Olmert-Barak-Livni refused Ramon and Yishai’s motion to topple Hamas’ government.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Hamas leader Abu Marzook rejected the reports that Arab countries exert pressure on Hamas to stop rocket attacks on Israel as a condition of ceasefire. According to Mohammed, Arab brothers support his fight.

IDF opted for the best tactics in a strategically hopeless situation. Israeli tanks and troops are attempting to divide the Strip just south of Gaza City. The assumption is that the week of strikes pushed the militants south, away from the Israel border. Once they can be prevented from infiltrating the north for some time, Israelis would be free to comb the territory. It is unclear—what do we expect to find there besides a few weapons caches, which Hamas could easily replace? Apparently, IDF aims to occupy Gaza’s north in a ceasefire and comb it for a prolonged period with a large number of troops, then probably deliver the territory to Fatah thugs to serve as a base for their operation against Hamas.

The UN chief harshly condemned Jewish attempts to defend their cities, and the US blocked the UNSC resolution to that effect. More or less everyone else, including France—ruled by Sarkozy, that friend of the Jews—condemned the Israeli invasion of Gaza.
Japan forgot its own atrocities sixty years ago and expressed deep concern over the situation in Gaza, which most Japanese had probably never heard of.
Russia’s President Medvedev expressed concern about the humanitarian situation in Gaza. It’s a pity Israel didn’t express concern about humanitarian situation in Chechnya.

Hamas would hardly agree to a formal ceasefire that involves Israeli occupation of north Gaza.

The legal aspects of ceasefire are also unclear. Hamas is not a recognized government and cannot approve the agreement. Fatah is powerless in Gaza, and Abbas’ presidential term expires in a few days. The UN would settle for a de facto ceasefire—a UNSC call that all parties would observe without subscribing to it formally. A de facto ceasefire would not be easy to implement, though, as smaller Palestinian terrorist groups have no reason to abide by it, just as they would have no reason to abide by the peace treaty.

Israeli Arabs have set Jewish forests on fire in northern Israel. This behavior is typical of loyal Israeli Arab citizens during political crises.