Sunday, January 11, 2009

Not exactly "Little Big Horn"

From today's AP story on fighting in the suburbs of Gaza City the barebones story of a battle plan gone awry:

Hamas and the smaller militant group Islamic Jihad said they ambushed the Israelis, leading to some of the heaviest fighting since Israel sent ground forces into the coastal territory on Jan. 3.

Gunfire subsided in the early afternoon, with the Israelis in control of buildings on the neighbourhood's outskirts. Israeli tanks later withdrew from the area.

Palestinian medical officials said at least 20 Palestinians were killed in fighting by midday. There were no reports of Israeli casualties.

Meanwhile, deep in the story lies the seed of a ceasefire and maybe lasting peace, though both sides smell some sort of victory and won't -- for the moment -- seize the opportunity:

Hamas is demanding that Israel open Gaza's blockaded border crossings. Israel is unlikely to agree to that condition unless international monitors ensure the border is not used to bring weapons into the territory.

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