Fears of a full-scale ground war are increasing as fighting continued even during Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Qandil's three-hour visit to Gaza Friday morning. The United States has asked countries that have contact with Hamas, including Egypt, to urge the group to stop firing rockets from Gaza into Israel. Unsurprisingly, on Thursday, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution condoning Israel's strikes on Gaza. But in a break from the past, aside from recalling its ambassador to Israel, Egypt's President Morsi has come to the defense of Palestinians and opened the border-crossing at Rafah on Wednesday. Hosni Mubarak, Morsi's predecessor, had complied with Israel's siege on Gaza even as it went against Egyptian popular opinion. "The Egypt of today is not the Egypt of yesterday," President Morsi said following prayers at a mosque in Cairo. "Arabs of today are different than the Arabs of yesterday. Cairo will not leave Gaza on its own." But as Sharif Kouddous, an Egyptian journalist, said when he joined me on HuffPost Live, many wonder whether Morsi's support is rhetorical and not reflected in the reality on the ground. "We saw Mohammad Morsi say quite quickly after this latest Israeli assault began that the Rafah border crossing would be open for Palestinians seeking medical attention," Kouddous said. "But there are reports that there are trucks full of humanitarian aid trying to get into Gaza through Rafah that are not being let through." WATCH: SHARIF KOUDDOUS ON EGYPT'S ROLE
Journalist Mohammad Omer, who is living in the Occupied Gaza Strip, provided us with live updates from the Rafah Refugee camp. "There are 248 people who were injured, among them 148 children and women injured by the airstrikes," Omer said. "The airstrikes are continuing as we speak. There is a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza strip. There is nowhere to run. There is no shelter." WATCH: MOHAMMED OMER LIVE FROM GAZA
In the media and political realm, the word "terror" is often cited by Israel and the US to justify Israel's disproportionate and brutal use of force on Gaza. This happened in 2009, and is happening again today. Israel frames everything through the context of defense against terrorism.
But many view Israel's occupation, psychological warfare, aerial and naval bombardment of Gaza as terror. Iran's Foreign Ministry described Israel's strikes on Gaza as "organized terrorism." Qatar's Foreign Ministry called Israel's attacks a "filthy crime" that "must not pass without a punishment."
"I cannot imagine how terrifying it would be to be living in Gaza today," Emily Hauser, a blogger at The Daily Beast's Open Zion, told me. "The emotion of terror is very, very real on both sides."
"The big difference is the enormity of the power imbalance," she added later. "When you have one side locked in to one of the most densely populated strips of land on planet Earth, and you are bringing to bear tanks and battleships and jet fighters in a constant rain of ordnance versus people who can fire, from within that tiny space, rockets out...that comparison is simply entirely out of whack."
WATCH: EMILY HAUSER ON ISRAELI TERROR