Gaza war diary: Israel's phase two

Army starts shelling the Gaza Strip as Israel enters phase two of its assault.


    The Israeli army started its ground offensive on day eight of the Gaza bombardment [AFP]











    From early morning, the barrage continues. There are sporadic strikes throughout the day and we can hear the jets as they roar in before unloading their rockets and bombs.

    We watch for the smoke plumes to give us an idea of which part of Gaza has been hit.

    Previous entries

     Part 1: Frontline
     Part 2: Al Jazeera detained

    The Israelis boast some of the most sophisticated weapons in the world, but firing rockets into one of the most densely populated places on earth will undoubtedly take its toll.

    Exactly one week to the hour since the air offensive began, 437 Gazans have been killed. The death toll on the Israeli side is four.

    Then in the late afternoon, just before sunset when the first low boom rang out.

    The war on Gaza has entered a new phase.  The big guns are now being trained on their targets in the northern part of the strip.

    The barrage was sustained, intense and came from many directions. Smoke was thrown up from where the missiles hit, almost blocking out the buildings away on the horizon.

    With the sun setting quickly, the thick smoke streaked across its orange glow.

    As darkness came, the missiles continued to be fired. And then the heavy machinery started to move.

    The low rumble from somewhere in the distance betrayed the size of the vehicle even if it was almost impossible to pick out in the dark.

    Helicopters flew above, marking this as a significant escalation in the war. The Israelis said it would be a wide and varied campaign. It has just moved into phase two.

    The Israeli military confirms they have troops on the ground in Gaza.  They say the intend to seize areas being used to fire rockets into southern Israel.

    There's no indication how long this operation will continue.

    We can hear the intense fighting.  Rockets are being fired from helicopters above us, their fiery tales the only tell tale sign of the imminent arrival.


    The heavy artillery continues to boom loudly in the distance and there are sporadic bursts of gunfire from battles erupting on the streets of Gaza. 


    Both sides claim they've inflicted major casualties on the other. 


    There's no way of checking which side is killing more people.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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