Israel 's Warships off Gaza coast, too | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


Israel 's Warships off Gaza coast, too

JERUSALEM - Israel's retaliation against persistent Hamas mortar and rocket attacks on civilians in southern Israel has been far more ferocious than anyone, including Hamas, expected.

The first few days of intensive Israel Air Force bombing in Gaza reduced hundreds of Hamas government buildings, military compounds, laboratories, metal workshops and supply tunnels to rubble and left more than 350 Palestinians, most of them militants, dead, according to UN and Hamas officials.

But as the air strikes continued and Israeli tanks massed on the Israel-Gaza border and Israeli warships lined up along Gaza's Mediterranean shoreline, it was not clear how much longer the operation would last or how its goals would be achieved.

"Indeed, after four days of fighting, Olmert, Barak and Livni, the three leaders running the war, were moving in two contrary directions, preparing both a ground invasion and an early exit strategy that would translate the IDF's overwhelming military success into a stable political solution on the ground."

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