Thursday 27 April 2017

Netanyahu faces tough choices in his crackdown on Hamas

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. AP
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. AP
Smoke and flames are seen following what police said was an Israeli air strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. At least 16 people were killed in strikes across Gaza on Tuesday. Reuters
An Iron Dome launcher fires an interceptor rocket in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod. Reuters
Smoke and fire rise following an Israeli strike on Gaza, seen from Israel-Gaza Border. AP
Smoke rises after an Israeli missile strike in Gaza City. AP
A Palestinian man whom medics said was wounded in an Israeli air strike, arrives at a hospital in Gaza City. Reuters
People carry a Palestinian whom medics said was wounded in an Israeli air strike, into a hospital in Gaza City. Reuters
A trail of smoke after a rocket is launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel is seen from a lookout point near the Israeli town of Sderot. Reuters
An Israeli Apache helicopter fires a rocket towards the Gaza Strip as seen from a lookout point near the Israeli town of Sderot. Reuters
Israelis watch as smoke rises after air strikes across the border in northern Gaza. Reuters
Residents take cover in a concrete pipe used as a bomb shelter, as a siren warning of incoming rockets is sounded in the southern community of Nitzan, near Ashdod. Reuters
Israelis look at an Iron Dome rocket intercepting a rocket launched from Gaza Strip towards Israel, while they sit beside the Mediterranean Sea at the beach in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon. Reuters
Beach goers run for cover as air raid sirens, warning of incoming rockets, sound in Tel Aviv. Reuters

David Blair

ONCE there was Operation Cast Lead, then came Pillar of Defence and now Gaza is the target of Protective Edge. Israel's attempts to stop Hamas, the radical Islamist movement, from using this Palestinian territory as a giant launch pad for rocket attacks have carried numbingly repetitive labels.

As strike aircraft fill the summer sky with white con trails yet again, the question is whether this operation will tread the same path of escalation as its predecessors?

At present, no one doubts that the conflict is intensifying. Hamas fired 100 rockets at Israel on Monday alone and dozens more followed yesterday.

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