Many Gaza residents who were interviewed for this report recall Saturday morning, December 27, 2008, as being sunny and tranquil, with clear skies. The lack of clouds was unusual, following a week of stormy weather, when winds ripped tiles off decrepit rooftops in refugee camps and rains left large mud puddles throughout the Strip.
Many felt there would be a lull in the fighting that had begun several weeks earlier. But this hope was shattered at 11:30 in the morning, when missiles and bombs began shrieking through the air. Today, two years later, it seems that understanding the opening act of the Cast Lead operation is key to grasping the operation as a whole, and to a certain extent, the actions of the IDF since that campaign.