Israel to use raiding strategy against Gaza rockets

AP/Houston Chronicle:

Israel's army received approval Monday to broaden its ground operations against Gaza Strip militants who have been barraging Israeli border towns with deadly rocket fire, military officials said.

The military, which has been primarily relying on intensified airstrikes in the past two weeks, will be able to increase the number of forces it sends into Gaza to carry out pinpointed raids, the officials said. But no widespread campaign is expected at this time, they added.

...

Israel's airstrike campaign entered the 12th day Monday as the rocket fire persisted. Israel's operation has killed about 50 Palestinians, most of them militants.

On Sunday night, Israeli aircraft hit what the military said were Hamas facilities to the north and south of Gaza City. Palestinian officials said there were no reports of casualties.

Olmert told Israelis on Sunday to be ready for a drawn-out conflict.

"We need to be prepared for dealing with this in the long term," Olmert warned his Cabinet. He said Israel's campaign against the attacks would not be limited in time, nor would the country yield to outside pressure.

"There will be no limit in acting against the terror groups and against those who are responsible for the terror. No one is immune," Olmert said.

...


People choose raiding strategies because the costs of using a more effective strategy are too high. In this case, using a raiding strategy rather than an occupying force in a combat persisting mode denies the Palestinians the excuse they have been looking for to blame their incompetence on an "occupation." One of the purposes of the rocket attacks is to such the Israelis back into Gaza. The pin point attacks will probably be similar to attacks in Lebanon during the HEzballah war last year.

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