It has now been 12 days since Israel began its bombardment of the Gaza Strip. On January 3rd, the Israeli Defense Force ground troops began entering Gaza, soon cutting the territory in half. Israel's stated goals are to end rocket attacks originating from Gaza - which had increased sharply following the end of a cease-fire agreement in December. As Israeli troops began entering Gaza, foreign reporters and photographers were denied entry to the territory by Israel, halting any reports originating from Gaza except those coming from Palestinians. As of today, since the beginning of this campaign, there have reportedly been over 650 deaths in Gaza, and 10 Israelis killed, including 7 soldiers. Israel suspended operations for a few hours today, to allow humanitarian aid to reach the people of Gaza. Officials from France, Egypt and Turkey are working with Israel and the Palestinians to draw up a cease-fire plan, but many details still remain unresolved. See previous Big Picture entry on Israel and Gaza from a week ago.