Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu ordered a ground offensive in Gaza Thursday evening BST. After 10-days of missile launching by Gaza and Israel, many deaths and more than a thousand people injured Netanyahu has decided it is time for one last big push.
He cited the failure to reach a peace agreement and an escalation in missile launches as the reason for today's incursion into Gaza. Images shown on Sky News 24/7 rolling service in the UK showed flames and explosions on the skyline, viewed by their reporters from the relatively safe haven of a hotel.
The night sky over Gaza City is lit up and Israel will yet again stress that their mission is to rout out Hamas militant activists, claiming that they hide behind civilians. A statement from Netanyahu's office said "The prime minister and defence minister have instructed the IDF to begin a ground operation tonight in order to hit the terror tunnels from Gaza into Israel."
Gaza is also being shelled by the Israel military’s war-ships stationed along the coast. The power has been terminated in Gaza leaving the place pitch black. Flares launched into the area have given enough light for Israeli forces to also use airstrikes and the might of their military. The darkness adds to the tension and fear.
Opinion: There are already reports of many casualties.
The cost for civilians has already been huge and will likely get worse.
Will the offensive be a short sharp stab at stopping Hamas in its tracks or will the mission spiral into all-out war?
With so much of the Middle East in one almighty mess, mainly created with the help of the west, Palestinians are left out on a limb.
We always questioned whether regime change and conflict in places such as Iraq, Syria, Libya and Egypt was all about oil, money, a western agenda and making Israel a 'safer place'. This is yet another reason why many are calling for the Middle East peace envoy, former UK PM Tony Blair to be sacked. His links to Israel mean he is not fit for purpose. Read - Sack Blair campaign and the Killing of Tony Blair