Nearly Palestinians have been killed and hundreds injured after the Israeli air force launched dozens of air raids on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Palestinian health officials said at least people were killed and more than wounded in one of the bloodiest days for decades in the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Many were members of the security forces of the Islamic group Hamasbut civilians were also killed.
The ferocity of the attack was unprecedented in the more than six-decade-old conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, killing some 1, Palestinians, most of them civilians. In the aftermath of the offensive, a UN-appointed fact finding mission found strong evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by both the Israeli military and Palestinian militias. Investigations by human rights groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch came to the same conclusion.
Please upgrade your browser. See next articles. After persistent rocket fire from Gaza, Israel launches air campaign and threatens ground invasion.
It is a war on two fronts. Months ago, as Israel prepared to unleash its latest wave of desolation against Gaza, it recognised that blasting Hamas and "the infrastructure of terror", which includes police stations, homes and mosques, was a straightforward task. Israel also understood that a parallel operation would be required to persuade the rest of the world of the justice of its cause, even as the bodies of Palestinian women and children filled the mortuaries, and to ensure that its war was seen not in terms of occupation but of the west's struggle against terror and confrontation with Iran. After the debacle of its invasion of Lebanon - not only a military disaster for Israel, but also a political and diplomatic one - the government in Jerusalem spent months laying the groundwork at home and abroad for the assault on Gaza with quiet but energetic lobbying of foreign administrations and diplomats, particularly in Europe and parts of the Arab world.
Israeli military victory    . Gaza Strip . IDF: 4,  —20,  deployed in ground invasion and tens of thousands of reservists mobilized total active personnel .
On June 17,after several months of indirect contacts between Israel and Hamas through Egyptian mediators, Hamas agreed to a cease-fire tahadiya. Almost immediately afterward, terrorists fired rockets into southern Israel. While there were considerably fewer Palestinian assaults after the agreement than before, terror continued.
The human rights crisis in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories worsened inparticularly in Gaza, where Israeli forces killed hundreds of Palestinian civilians and destroyed civilian homes and infrastructure during Operation Cast Lead, a major military offensive that began on December 27, and ended on January 18, Israel's continued blockade of Gaza denied basic goods to Gaza's 1. Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other Palestinian armed groups in Gaza fired rockets indiscriminately at Israeli cities and towns. At their peak during Operation Cast Lead, more than rockets per day hit Israel, killing three Israeli civilians.
Inhabited since at least the 15th century B. Under a series of agreements known as the Oslo accords signed between andIsrael transferred to the newly-created Palestinian Authority PA security and civilian responsibility for many Palestinian-populated areas of the Gaza Strip as well as the West Bank. Negotiations to determine the permanent status of the West Bank and Gaza Strip stalled inafter which the area witnessed a violent intifada or uprising.
The aim of the operation was striking infrastructures, used for terror activities and rocket fire from the Gaza Strip targeting Israeli civilians. Around midday, the Israeli Air Force began to attack Hamas' infrastructures in Gaza, including underground tunnels and rocket launching sites. After two days of air strikes, the IDF began naval strikes. The armed forces attacked dozens of targets throughout the Gaza Strip, such as warehouses, military posts, tunnels, projectile launching sites to Israel, and production and storage sites.