Hamas launched its land-air-sea attack more than 30 hours ago. Yet, at the time of this writing, Israeli forces were still engaged in gunfights with Hamas militants on the Israeli side of the border.
An attack of this scale is so shocking that it begs an obvious question: how did a rag-tag group of religious fanatics surprise and overwhelm the resource-rich and well-trained Israeli intelligence and military machine? The answer will be taught as a tragic cautionary tale – or, for some, great victory – to military-aged men for the foreseeable future.
In the meantime, though, Israeli fury, long-lasting and severe, will take the form of devastating airstrikes and close-quarter gunfights. As a hobbled Israel draws closer, Hamas will retreat further into Gaza and, in doing so, guarantee that civilians on both sides of the recently penetrated border will suffer most of what will become an enormous toll.
Indeed, the high-definition horror is already in motion. The first day of bloodshed claimed 250+ Israelis dead, with even more civilians lost on the Palestinian side. Netanyahu will soon unleash the dogs of war on Hamas militants and Gaza civilians alike, so civilian deaths in Gaza and other contested areas will likely increase by an order of magnitude.
Netanyahu made this point clearly.
We have begun the offensive phase, which will continue with neither limitations nor respite until the objectives are achieved. We will restore security to the citizens of Israel and we will win.
The horrors of the past 30 hours will look quaint compared to the horrors we will see in the coming hours and days.