What are Israel’s aims in waging a ground war in Gaza? To seize the psychological advantage over Hamas and force the terrorists to halt firing rockets at Israeli citizens, explains The Washington Post. General Eitan Ben Eliyahu, former chief of the Israeli air force, gave three reasons for switching to a ground campaign: "To suppress the sites where they launch the rockets into our home front; to fight them and kill more and more terrorists; and third, to tighten the ring of pressure around the Hamas leadership, which helps you conduct your negotiations in the diplomatic field." "By punching into Gaza in several places, you can cut it into parcels, make it impossible for Hamas to govern," said Tel Aviv University senior fellow Hirsh Goodman. But the strategy is riven with risk. "There will be burning tanks and human sacrifices, and it's not going to be pretty," he said. Former Palestinian negotiator Ziad Abu Zayyad agrees that the Israelis are taking an enormous gamble. "Israel may know how to enter Gaza, but I'm not sure they know how to get out," he said.
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