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Today, Sunday, fighting has intensified. Ynet reports:

The IDF’s ground incursion into Gaza has led to a rapid rise in the number of terrorists killed. Since the beginning of the ground operation, IDF soldiers have eliminated more than 130 terrorists, including more than 60 Saturday overnight.

During the overnight firefights, a Golani Brigade battalion commander, Colonel Rassan Alian, sustained light-to-moderate injuries.

Large infantry forces entered Gaza overnight, as the IDF expanded Operation Protective Edge on Sunday. The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit announced that the ground forces joined the ongoing operations to destroy terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip, which began with the ground incursion.

Yesterday saw four Israeli soldiers killed in three separate incident.

Sgt. Adar Barsano and Maj. Amotz Greenberg were killed when terrorist emerging from a tunnel encountered their patrol inside Israel. According to news reports, the encounter prevented a worse terror attack as the infiltrators were armed with weapons and anesthetics, suggesting that they intended to abduct Israelis.

After a “fierce” battle in the Shejaya neighborhood of Gaza, Israel and Hamas agreed to a two hour ceasefire. Well you know what happened next.

An article by Barak Ravid, diplomatic correspondent for Ha’aretz says that Netanyahu has successfully cultivated world leaders for political support for Operation Protective Edge. Ravid is no fan of Netanyahu and takes digs at him whenever he can so the overall article, especially this paragraph was of note:

In the past two weeks the attitude to Netanyahu has turned around. The world’s leaders are showing him empathy and understanding. They know that when he tells them that he went into this operation through lack of choice he is not lying. They saw how he dealt with the internal political pressures, how he delayed action for several days and even accepted the Egyptian cease-fire plan. They are convinced that this is not some trick to provide international legitimacy for a re-occupation of Gaza, but rather his authentic desire to avoid escalation.

To be sure, Ravid warns that the support won’t last forever, but it appears that Netanyahu has been careful in the diplomatic field.

And what happened to those rockets found near a UNRWA school last week?

Mitch Ginsburg of the Times of Israel tells of the challenge of detecting and destroying the terror tunnels that Hamas has built.

Once detected, soldiers from the SAMUR unit, specializing in counter-tunnel operations, lower a robot into the shaft. Major Ido, the commander of the combat engineering special forces school, said in a phone interview several months ago that the robots can send back video to the squad on the ground and have the capacity to map the contours of the tunnel.

Afterward, the army will usually send explosive-detecting dogs from the Oketz unit into the channel. On Thursday, an Oketz soldier was lightly wounded and a dog was killed in the tunnel near Kibbutz Sufa. Ordinarily, if the dog detects explosives a bomb disposal robot can be summoned.

Only then are the troops lowered into the darkness. Some of the recently discovered tunnels have been more than 60-feet-deep and over a mile long. Many have branched out near the border, with multiple exits, so as to enable a more complex attack. The army has discovered at least eight and reportedly as many as 30 offensive tunnels, thus far, and the channels are now, the army says, “under comprehensive investigation. ”

Although using a one ton bomb can be used, that is likely to only cause localized damage. To thoroughly destroy a tunnel requires filling it with explosives. Sources tell Ginsburg that the operation to destroy the tunnels could take two weeks.

Charles Krauthammer from Friday, Moral Clarity in Gaza:

And how did the Gaza Palestinians react to being granted by the Israelis what no previous ruler, neither Egyptian, nor British, nor Turkish, had ever given them — an independent territory? First, they demolished the greenhouses. Then they elected Hamas. Then, instead of building a state with its attendant political and economic institutions, they spent the better part of a decade turning Gaza into a massive military base, brimming with terror weapons, to make ceaseless war on Israel.

Where are the roads and rail, the industry and infrastructure of the new Palestinian state? Nowhere. Instead, they built mile upon mile of underground tunnels to hide their weapons and, when the going gets tough, their military commanders. They spent millions importing and producing rockets, launchers, mortars, small arms, even drones. They deliberately placed them in schools, hospitals, mosques and private homes to better expose their own civilians. (Just Thursday, the U.N. announced that it found 20 rockets in a Gaza school.) And from which they fire rockets at Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.


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[Featured image source: ABC News]