Israel Enters Gaza on the Ground

On January 3, after eight days of air strikes, the ground phase of Operation Cast Lead began. It included large infantry, armored, engineering artillery and intelligence forces supported by the Israeli Air Force and the Israel Security Agency and other security factors.

The objective of the ground phase was to seriously damage Hamas’s land networks and to take control of the areas from which rockets and mortar shells were being fired into Israeli territory. That was intended to serve the overall goals of the operation, which were to strike at Hamas’s military infrastructure and to reinforce Israel’s deterrent capabilities.