Israel Launches Ground Offensive in Gaza

With all eyes on the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash in Eastern Ukraine, Israel announced Thursday that they have launched a ground offensive into the Gaza Strip. The move comes after days of Israel trading rocket fire with Gaza. A proposed cease-fire to be facilitated by the Egyptian government failed Tuesday after Israel accepted the terms but Hamas rejected them.

At approximately 3:43 p.m. ET Thursday afternoon, CNN paused its wall-to-wall coverage of the plane crash to break the news to viewers about the new developments in the conflict between Israel and Hamas. Wolf Blitzer, who has been on the ground in Jerusalem all week, but had been briefly sidelined by Anderson Cooper, who was leading the crash coverage, came in via satellite to report the news.

Blitzer read a statement that appeared to come directly from Israeli officials that defined Israel’s objective to “establish a reality in which Israeli residents can live in safety and security without continued indiscriminate terror while striking a significant blow to Hamas’ terror infrastructure.”

“So what so many of us had anticipated over the past ten days is now about to happen,” Blitzer said.

Within about 15-20 minutes, CNN had returned its focus to the downed plane.

Update- 4:50 pm: A Hamas spokesperson told CBS News that this was a “serious escalation” and swore that Israel would “pay dearly” for this action.

Watch the moment CNN shifted from MH17 to Israel below:

[Photo via screengrab]

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