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.

Report Issued by the UNHRC “Fact Finding Mission”

The Report of the Fact Finding Mission –  September 2009

UN Human Rights Council Web Page on the Fact Finding Mission

Retraction of the Report by Richard Goldstone – 1 Apr 2011

Report Issued by the Government of Israel

The Operation in Gaza: Factual and Legal Aspects

From the Executive Summary:

    1. This detailed Paper discusses a range of factual and international legal issues relating to the military operation undertaken by the Israel Defence Forces in Gaza in December 2008–January 2009.
    2. The Paper has been prepared at this time in order to place the Gaza Operation in its proper factual and legal context. On a number of issues the Paper offers only a provisional analysis as the IDF is still conducting comprehensive field and criminal investigations into allegations regarding the conduct of its forces during the Operation. Such investigations will be reviewed by the Military Advocate General and are subject to further review by the Attorney General. In addition, petitions may be filed for judicial review by the Supreme Court of Israel (sitting as the High Court of Justice).
    3. The Paper addresses the context of the Gaza Operation and notes that Israel had both a right and an obligation to take military action against Hamas in Gaza to stop Hamas‘ almost incessant rocket and mortar attacks upon thousands of Israeli civilians and its other acts of terrorism. Israel was bombarded by some 12,000 rockets and mortar shells between 2000 and 2008, including nearly 3,000 rockets and mortar shells in 2008 alone. Hamas specifically timed many of its attacks to terrorise schoolchildren in the mornings and the afternoons. These deliberate attacks caused deaths, injuries, and extensive property damage; forced businesses to close; and terrorised tens of thousands of residents into abandoning their homes.

Gaza Operations Investigations: An Update – January 2010

Gaza Operations Investigations: Second Update – July 2010