Israel launched its third straight day of air strikes on the Gaza Strip today, following last week’s end to a truce between the Israeli government and Hamas militants. The BBC reports today’s attacks targeted symbols of Hamas’ leadership in the territory, including Gaza’s interior ministry and Islamic University. Israeli officials declared areas around Gaza a “closed military zone“, and several news sources indicate a buildup of Israeli troops on the Gazan border, raising speculation about possible land raids.
In an editorial in The Wall Street Journal, the paper defends Israel’s right to self-defense and argues that Barack Obama is about to discover that the terrorists of the Middle East aren’t about to change their radical ambitions merely because America has a new President.
“Israel’s air assault on Gaza in response to Hamas rocket attacks is inspiring familiar international denunciations. But the best commentary we’ve heard might be this one: ‘If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I would do everything to stop that, and would expect Israel to do the same thing.’
Barack Obama said those words in July 2008 while visiting Israel as a Presidential candidate.”
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz says that Israel’s initial aerial assault on Gaza should lead to a diplomatic move whose goal is a genuine cessation of fire and the return of Gilad Shalit. Israel is entitled to exercise its right to self-defense, the paper adds, but warns against a ground invasion.