Death toll mounts on both sides

ANAL­Y­SIS

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY ANSHEL PFEFFER

IN THE space of seven days since the ground op­er­a­tion be­gan last Thurs­day, Is­raeli units have un­cov­ered the en­trances to some 30 tun­nels, a much larger un­der­ground net­work than the IDF orig­i­nally be­lieved to ex­ist. The op­er­a­tion to de­stroy the tun­nels has come at a price. Thirty-two sol­diers were killed in fight­ing in the first seven days of the ground op­er­a­tion and one is still re­garded as “miss­ing”.

Ha­mas and Is­lamic Ji­had have launched over 2,000 rock­ets against Is­raeli tar­gets; so far three civil­ians, have been killed.

The suf­fer­ing of the Pales­tinian pop­u­la­tion has con­tin­ued with nearly 700 dy­ing. While Pales­tinian sources claim that over three-quar­ters of them were civil­ian, the IDF claims to have killed at least 220 Ha­mas and Is­lamic Ji­had fight­ers. To­wards the end of the week, both sides were tak­ing steps to­wards a tem­po­rary cease­fire. The Is­raeli se­cu­rity cab­i­net is split be­tween min­is­ters who be­lieve that the IDF must press home its ad­van­tage and those who pre­fer a speedy cease­fire.

Ha­mas po­lit­i­cal bureau chief, Khaled Mashaal, said on Wed­nes­day that it will not agree to a cease­fire be­fore its de­mands are met for the block­ade on Gaza to be lifted and ar­rested Ha­mas mem­bers to be re­leased.

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