Israel and Hamas, Round One

Hamas has resumed hostilities with Israel by increasing its rocket attacks on Israel proper. The Israelis, in-turn, responded with a massive air-strike against Hamas held facilities killing 210 and wounding 750.

The Israeli attack started at about 11:30 AM. This was done in retaliation for the lightly press covered week of rocket attacks Hamas began launching on December 19th. Within 30 minutes, the Israeli Air Force hit almost 30 targets, most were security compounds held by Hamas.

Israel Prime Minister Olmert said "The air strikes, dubbed “Operation Cast Lead” by the government, are designed to stop rocket attacks by Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza."

One of the more surprising events was how stunned Hamas was by the level of Israel's response. With elections only six weeks away, it seems that they had assumed that Olmert would not attack with such force due to election pressures. Another factor of interest, is today is the Jewish Sabbath. Perhaps, Hamas might have figured this would give them a day or two free of military action by the Israeli Defense Forces. Of course, Israel has engaged in military operations on Holy days, as it did in the Yom Kippur War.

It seems that Hamas is getting a very painful lesson for its troubles. This is not to say that Operation Cast Lead will decimate the terrorist group, but, it might stave off Hamas attacks for a little while. Giving Israel a chance to breath at the least.

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