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Is Israel Planning a Ground Invasion of Gaza?

Gazans braced themselves for another day of continuous shelling, as news trickles in of the possibility of an Israeli ground invasion.

The short version of why the latest bout of fighting flared up is that Israel and Gaza exchanged fire – which still continues now – after Israel killed Hamas military leader Ahmed Al-Jabari during an air raid on Gaza on Wednesday.

The news from Gaza:

Like yesterday, Palestinian bloggers in Gaza have been keeping followers updated on social media, around the clock.

From Gaza, Rana tweets:

@RanaGaza: Airstrikes again. They sound like thunder this time. #Gaza

Briton journalist Harry Fear, who is in Gaza, reports:

@harryfear: Four strikes on Gaza City while I was on air with Press TV, inc. 1 that shook open the studio door

And Sara Hussein, an Agence France-Presse reporter, in Gaza now, tweets:

@sarahussein: Listening to conversations in #Gaza about where is safe. People not sure where to go. Can't leave+don't have shelters. #Israel #Palestinians

On the ground, her narrative is that of anticipation, as she reports hearing explosions around her. Here are some of her tweets:

@sarahussein: I am in a house in #Gaza City, with a five-year-old, a pregnant woman, her husband, brother. Last five incoming booms shook the room.

@sarahussein: Last explosion very close, everything shook, glass breaking. @AFP reporter's daughter started crying. Now giggling with Mr Bean video #Gaza

@sarahussein: Hearing what appears to be both outgoing and incoming here in #Gaza City now #Israel #Palestinians

Death Toll:

According to Israeli journalist Joseph Dana, the Palestinian death toll has climbed to at least 29 people. He tweets:

@ibnezra: Reports now that the Palestinian death toll in Gaza has climbed to at least 29 people since the start of Operation Pillar of Cloud

Bilal Randeree breaks down the casualties as follows:

@bilalr: #Gaza/#Israel update: 27 Palestinians – including 7 children – and 3 Israelis killed since Wednesday. v/ @BBCBreaking

What Next?

Iyad El-Baghdadi says:


@iyad_elbaghdadi
: There are reports that #Israel closed several roads leading to #Gaza, this is seen as a step towards a ground incursion.

Dana explains:

@ibnezra: Just spoke with @emilie_baujard in Gaza. She says that journalists are nervous, fearing Israeli ground invasion soon.

He adds:

@ibnezra: You don't close civilian roads if you are not planning a large military operation. #Gaza #Israel

Emilie Baujard, Radio France correspondent in the Middle East, tweets:

@emilie_baujard: Things are getting crazy in #gaza. Everyone is expecting a ground operation soon. Rockets fired from the center of Gaza and from the beach

And Israeli Elizabeth Tsurkov notes:

@Elizrael: Israeli cabinet is discussing whether to call up 75,000 reserve soldiers, more than the number of soldiers called up to the 2nd Lebanon War.

Is there another full scale war on the horizon?

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