The IDF's pounding of Hamas' infrastructure in Gaza entered its fourth day Saturday, and is deemed as highly successful until this point.
The Hamas government headquarters, which housed Gaza "prime minister" Ismail Haniyeh's offices, were leveled to the ground. In addition, "security compounds, tunnels and electricity transformers" were hit, according to Al Jazeera. "Missiles also knocked out five electricity transformers, plunging more than 400,000 people into darkness, according to the Gaza electricity distribution company," the news network reported.
The government has approved the call-up of 75,000 reservists and massed troops, tanks and armored vehicles along the border with Gaza, signaling a ground invasion could be imminent.
The IDF's attacks from air and sea have been very accurate, and attempts to minimize civilian deaths have also been relatively successful, although with Hamas, one never knows when a family may be purposely placed in harm's way to create a bloodbath that can be blamed on Israel. The technologically innovative Iron Dome's system's high rate of success at intercepting missiles is seen as the centerpiece of the IDF's performance in that it gives the military breathing room to pulverize Hamas targets without having to worry too much about Israeli civilian causalties.
The United States and even the European Union have been relatively supportive of the IDF's action.
Even the Israeli press has been behaving more patriotically than it did in previous conflicts, although the nature of the coverage differs from program to program and from broadcaster to broadcaster.
Editors at Channel 2 television made the problematic decision to bring the highly controversial MK Ahmed Tibi (Raam Taal), a former advisor to PLO head Yasser Arafat, into the studio Friday night. Tibi tried to convince viewers that Hamas senior commander Ahmed Jaabari, killed by the IDF, was a man of peace who was behind "lulls" with Israel and predicted the Gaza operation would wind up preventing Israel from hitting Iran's nuclear program.
Channel 2's broadcaster Arad Nir later interviewed an Arab from Gaza whose daughter was injured in shelling, while pictures of the girl were shown over and over again.
MK Ilan Gilon (Meretz) spoke out against the IDF operation, but interviewees like Maj. Gen.(res.) Yom Tov Samia and former Shin Bet head Yaakov Perry insisted that this is not a time for criticism and discord, and that Israelis need to unite behind their government and troops. Arab affairs expert Ehud Yaari noted that while panelists on Channel 2 were debating whther Hamas can be a partner for talks, Hamas's TV was repeatedly calling Jews "the sons of pigs and monkeys."
Elimination of senior Hamas smuggler Osama al-Kadi:
IDF explains why Arab civilians are sometimes hurt: