Whats more dangerous is that theyre not coming to kill us, but to capture us, Kadem said. (A move that would give Hamas a major bargaining chip in negotiations with Israel.) Can you imagine? Daniel Nisman, a former IDF combat soldier and current security analyst and president of the Levantine Group, explained: When they had that first tunnel incursion, that was a red light an alert for the cabinet. They understood they had to be preemptive. However, he said, Israeli leaders perhaps didnt understand how extensive the operation would become. An Israeli soldier sits atop a mobile artillery unit in a staging area outside the Gaza Strip on July 22. Photo byAmir Cohen/Reuters The ground invasion began as the opening sequence to every Israeli and Palestinian mothers worst nightmare. As the sun set on July 17, shining red through a thick layer of gunsmoke over Gaza a horrifying, apocalyptic Mars-scape the young Israeli soldiers stepped into enemy territory. For the first two nights, IDF soldiers searched for tunnels in mostly open areas of northeast Gaza and pushed through one small Bedouin village, reportedly clearing their way with artillery, flares and smoke bombs. The third night was catastrophic by comparison.
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