Operation "Cast Lead" is a major military operation of the Israel Defense Forces, which took place in Gaza from December 27, 2008. In, the Arab world uses the term Gaza Massacre to describe the events.
This operation began just two days after Christmas and was accompanied by a carefully planned international PR campaign under the advice of the Israeli Foreign Minister.
The main objectives are not Hamas military targets. Operation Cast Lead intentionally intends to provoke civilian casualties.
This is a "planned humanitarian disaster" in Gaza.
The longer-term objective of this plan as formulated by Israeli politicians is the expulsion of Palestinians from Palestinian lands:
"Terrorizing the civilian population, ensuring the utmost destruction of cultural property and resources ... The daily life of Palestinians has to become unbearable: They have to be enclosed in cities and villages, prevented from exercising their normal economic life, away from the workplace. , schools and hospitals. This will encourage emigration and weaken resistance to future expulsions"(Ur Shlonsky, quoted by Ghali Hassan, Gaza: The World's Largest Prison Gaza: The World's Largest Prison, Global Research, 2005).
The Israeli military action began days after the end of a six-month ceasefire agreement between the Israeli government and representatives of Hamas, the majority party in the Palestinian Legislative Council that controls the Gaza Strip. As Israel has not lifted the blockade of the Gaza Strip and the attacks on Palestinian territory have not ceased, Hamas militants have announced the official closure of the truce of hostilities with Israel and have launched rockets and mortars south of Israeli territory. Days after the announcement that resulted in the end of the truce, the Palestinian group offered a proposal to renew it. On December 27, 2008, the Israel Defense Forces began military operations, with the official objective of stopping rocket attacks on Israeli territory.
It was the most intense military action against Palestinian territory since the Six Day War in 1967. On the first day of the military offensive, the Israeli air force dropped more than 100 bombs within four minutes, including bases, offices and airfields. Hamas training in major cities in the Gaza Strip, including Gaza City, Beit Hanoun, Khan Younis and Rafah. They were also targets of attacks on civil infrastructure, including homes, schools and mosques; Israel said many of the Palestinian rockets were fired from these sites or used to hide ammunition, and thus would not be civilian targets.
On the night of January 3, the ground offensive began, with Israeli troops and tanks entering Palestinian territory.
On January 17, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced a unilateral truce from dawn on the following day. The Hamas movement also announced an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip of its militants and allied groups. The group's representative, Ayman Taha, said the truce would be valid for a week so the Israelis could withdraw their troops from the region. The Israeli army said it would withdraw its troops from the Gaza Strip until Barack Obama took office as president of the United States on January 20.
The most intense question is whether Israel, in collusion with Washington, intends to unleash a wider war. Mass expulsion could occur at any later stage of the ground invasion if Israelis open Gaza's borders to allow the population to be exodus. The expulsion was referred to by Ariel Sharon as "a 1948-style solution." To Sharon, "It is only necessary to find another state for the Palestinians. - 'Jordan is Palestine' - was the phrase Sharon coined." (Tanya Reinhart, op. Cit.).