The images are too familiar. Smoke and fire rise in mushrooming clouds over the crowded urban landscapes of the Gaza Strip, blurred and grainy video footage of faceless figures disappearing in the flash of an impacting missile. In Israel, scenes of military mobilisation and civilians making their way to public shelters to the sound of warning sirens.
At the time of writing more than 80 Palestinians had died in the latest conflagration between Israel and Gaza’s militant factions, which began Monday. Two Israeli soldiers have been injured by a mortar round fired from Gaza. The current crisis, in which Israel has hit over 800 targets by land, sea and air, along with scores of rocket launches from Gaza into Israel, was sparked by the murder of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank on June 12. An Israeli ground invasion into Gaza now appears a distinct possibility.