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Former Israeli soldier weighs in on Gaza conflict



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A day into the Israeli ground attack and experts say the offensive is far from over. It's taken only a day for Israeli forces to cut Gaza into two sections, but experts expect a much longer fight if Israel's aim is to severely impact Hamas.

Amos Guiora, a professor of Law at the University of Utah, said, "This ground offensive is going to take time. It's complicated, it's going into extraordinarily densely populated areas. It's going to require very meticulous, very carefully step-by-step proceeding."

Guiora, who spent nearly 20 years fighting for Israel, says this attack was definitely planned out with a lot of thought. He believes the weeklong aerial attack shows Israel's level of preparation. But experience tells him that great preparation does no good if there's a lack of execution.

Guiora says the forces are prepared to make an impact on Hamas, unlike their attack on Hezbollah in Lebanon two years ago. "This time make a very serious effort to significantly negatively impact Hamas. To do that will take a while. There is no one day in and out here," he said.

Guiora says there are many reasons for a ground offensive, starting with identifying those firing long-range missiles into Israel. Secondly, the soldiers want to locate ammunitions factories and storage warehouses. Their aim is to do all this and blow up the tunnels Hamas uses to smuggle weapons into Gaza from Egypt.

Another main concern for the Israeli Defense Forces is to avoid civilian deaths. Guiora says soldiers are doing everything to avoid that, but it's difficult when he says Hamas is using human shields to protect themselves.

E-mail: ngonzales @ksl.com

Nicole Gonzales

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