Israeli Armed Forces Begin Ground Assault
TEL AVIV – BREAKING – The fragile ceasefire appears over. Israeli military forces have started a ground assault in the Gaza Strip.
“The IDF’s objective as defined by the Israeli government is to establish a reality in which Israeli residents can live in safety and security without continues indiscriminate terror, while striking a significant blow to Hamas’ terror infrastructure,” stated the Israel Defense Forces in a media release issued late Thursday.
Sirens sounded in southern Israel on Thursday at the end of the five-hour ceasefire requested by the United Nations. The military said rockets headed toward Tel Aviv, the southern city of Beersheba and Ashkelon. There were no reports of casualties or damage.
Gaza health officials say at least 229 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been killed during 10 days of warfare. In Israel, one civilian has been killed by fire from Gaza, where the Israeli military says more than 1,300 rockets have been launched into the Jewish state.
Israeli leaders have played down prospects of a permanent Gaza ceasefire. An Israeli official said earlier that senior Israeli negotiators in Cairo had approved a full truce, but a final decision lay with the security cabinet.
But Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who has been advocating a move into Gaza to stop rockets being fired on Israel, said she was not familiar with the matter.