Israeli Ground Forces Invade Gaza

Nearly thirty Palestinians were killed overnight after Israel escalated its ongoing barrage of the Gaza Strip with a ground invasion that included IDF troops and tanks crossing the border, new waves of heavy artillery fire, and a surge in airstrikes from above.

According to the Ma’an news agency, twenty-eight people are confirmed dead from the attacks in the last fifteen hours. Among them were four children, including a five-month-old baby.

The Guardian reports:

The Obama administration on Thursday continued to defend the behavior of the Israeli government and its military. Though it called the deaths of four children killed on a beach by Israeli shelling “horrifying” it has continued to repeat its position that Israel “has the right to defend itself” from militants in Gaza.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said the Obama administration “will continue to underscore ” to Israel that they “must take every possible step to meet its standards for protecting civilians from being killed,” but made no mention that the U.S. would take any action to stop the violence.

This comment comes amid worldwide condemnation and charges from human rights and other groups that argue Israel’s military attack on a besieged civilian population which has no way to flee the violence is both disproportionate to the threat of rockets launched by Palestinian fighters into southern Israel and a form of “collective punishment.”

Independent Palestinian journalist Mohammed Omer continues to live-tweet from inside Gaza:

Tweets by @Mogaza