Brutal urban warfare awaits Israel’s army in Gaza
In the 18 years since withdrawing from the Gaza Strip, Israel has invaded it, in force, twice. The first occasion was Operation Cast Lead, which involved a 15-day ground invasion in January 2009. The second was Operation Protective Edge in 2014, in which the Israel Defence Forces (idf) spent 19 days on the ground. A third ground invasion, in response to the massacre of Israeli civilians by Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that runs Gaza, is imminent. It looks likely to be larger, longer and more violent than anything that came before.