Needless to say, most of what is written by Israeli military reporters includes information that the IDF wants to make public for political or strategic purposes. So while the following piece by Alex Fishman in Yedioth Ahronoth is absolutely TERRIFYING, take it with a grain of salt, as it seems to be a message to Hamas leaders about “Stage 3.” It is probably meant to speed up their decisionmaking on the ceasefire. Still, if even a bit of it is true, we should all pray even harder (and scream louder, and write to Congress) and hope beyond hope that the Israeli operation and the Hamas rocket fire end immediately. [I can’t provide a link to this excerpt, as it comes from one of the paid news translation services used by, among others, foreign reporters stationed in Israel. You can email the service at firstname.lastname@example.org. This graphic description of Stage 3 didn’t appear in Ynet News. Hmm..I wonder why. And it didn’t appear in the NY Times. Hmm….I wonder why]
The IDF is finding itself taking its first steps in
what is known as the third stage of Operation Cast Lead. This is still
reversible, but the meter is already running.
Just as prior to the start of the ground stage, we did not believe it
would happen and were proved wrong-it is happening to us now too….
The third stage can certainly meet the definition of a war:
The objectives are already broader, and the time of warfare is already
less defined. This could take a great deal of time.
Everything we have seen so far in Operation Cast Lead will be child’s play compared to what is waiting for us and the Palestinians in the third stage. If this is indeed executed, the IDF will enter, with great force, with tens of thousands of soldiers, into the heart of the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip. These will no longer be strikes at the margins from the ground and destruction from the air. Now we are talking about armored divisions that will not leave a single stone standing on their way into the refugee camps and into the heart of one of the most crowded cities on earth. [DF:emphasis added]
…The coming days are critical in the current crisis..The political echelon in Israel decided yesterday that actually, at the moment, we are in no rush to commit to anything. We have time. Hamas is the one that has to stew in its own juices and decide where it wants to go in the current crisis. .