As of this morning per an article I have read "...more than 800 people have been killed." I feel it is important as another blogger accuses Israel of using White Phosphorus in Gaza and shows a picture of "an Iraqi victim of a U.S. WP attack."
As he points out in his article this is banned under the geneva conventions for use as a direct weapon. His example shows it as being used to provide a smokescreen for advancing IDF troops. For some reason the inflammatory picture and accusation against the US and British was used. My opinion is to inflame passions and imply war crimes where there are none.
I want my stance out there because some people such as Meryl Yourish and Laurence Simon post their feelings and try to let the world see the Israeli side of things. As an American who is far removed from the conflict, I still find it difficult to understand how people can feel that Israel is doing an ything short of defending themselves when the facts are rarely disputed. Gary Berntsen lays out a brief summary of the conflictat his blog, Berntsen NSR.
Hammas shoots THOUSANDS of rockets into Israel which is an act of war giving Israel a legitimate right to defend itself. Many people have made light of the fact the rockets are unguided and not very accurate, however lets put it in perspective as a weapon of terror. Suppose someone randomly drives by your house and fire a single shot in randomly once or twice a day. Chances are VERY SLIM that you will be hurt as you are in your house, the shooter can't see you and besides bullets are very small.
I doubt you would stand for it.
Hammas also made a large spectacle out of decalring the "Truce" was over and ramping up the rocket attacks (which had never completely ceased even during the "Truce"). Israel decides OK, you want a fight, you have a fight and begins to take out Hammas members in the heavily populated Gaza Strip.
There are obviously going to be civilian causalties (although it is often difficult to distinguish between who is a civilian and who is a combatant) especially when Hammas embeds itself in civilian infrastructure to try to prevent the IDF from destroying them.
If the IDF was really trying to commit genocide or truely inflict suffering on the population of the Gaza Strip out of the close to 1.5 million people living there, do you REALLY think the IDF wold have only killed 800 people? One day of indescriminate bombing and shelling in Gaza City alone would have killed FAR MORE than that.
I only ask people to put aside their emotions and think for a few minutes.