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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/18/2014 (9 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Hamas vows to fight until the end

The Israeli military has pushed deeper into the Gaza strip, destroying rocket launching sites and tunnels and clashing with Palestinian fighters.

Israeli troops have pushed into the Gaza strip in an attempt to target and weaken Hamas militants.

Israeli troops have pushed into the Gaza strip in an attempt to target and weaken Hamas militants.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/18/2014 (9 months ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: International, Middle East, Israel


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Israel began this military operation on July 17, in an attempt to weaken Hamas enclaves in the region, following more than 2,000 airstrikes into the area that have failed to stop Hamas rocket fire onto Israeli cities.

Further escalation has come as Israel said it was calling up 18,000 miltary reservists, adding to the already large pool of 30,000 that have been mobilized thus far.

On July 18, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the army was to "prepare for the possibility of significantly widening the ground operation."

"We don't want to kill civilians, but Hamas is a terrorist organization that hides behind human shields," he said. Netanyahu explained that the stated objectives of the Israeli military is to destroy tunnels and launching sites.

The overall death toll in this 11-day-old conflict has risen to at least 275 Palestinian deaths, and two Israeli deaths.

Regaurdless of numerous military victories, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement that Hamas was not afraid.

"The ground offensive does not scare us, and we pledge to drown the occupation army in Gaza mud."

Of the two Israeli casualties, one was a soldier killed in the northern Gaza Strip, and the other was an Israeli civilian who was handing out food to soldiers near the border, who was killed on July 15.

Israeli public is strongly in favor of the offensive after days of rocket fire from Gaza and years of Israelis living under the fear of rocket attacks. Gaza militants have fired more than 1,500 rockets at Israeli in the past 11 days.

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