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June 25, 2006
Palestinians Invade Israel From Gaza

The Palestinians have escalated their continuous attacks on Israel from Gaza, which no longer qualifies as occupied territory, by raiding Israel. 'Militants' crossed over into Israel using tunnels, killed two soldiers and apparently kidnapped another, before crossing back into Gaza:

Palestinian militants launched on Sunday their first deadly raid into Israel from Gaza since an Israeli pullout last year, killing two soldiers and abducting another in an assault in which two attackers died.

The infiltration, through a tunnel militants dug under the Gaza border fence to reach an army post, raised tensions along the frontier to their highest point since Israel completed its withdrawal last September after 38 years of occupation.

Israeli forces scrambled into the Gaza Strip to search for the missing soldier, who the army said had been kidnapped. There was no immediate claim from any of the militant groups that took part in the dawn raid that they were holding him.

A strong Israeli military response to the assault, claimed by the armed wing of the governing Hamas group and the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) after recent air strikes that killed 14 Palestinian civilians, seemed likely.

The Israelis have fired missiles into Gaza in response to missile attacks by Islamic Jihad that started almost immediately after the Israelis withdrew from Gaza. The Palestinian Authority has refused to take any action to stop the rocket attacks by the Islamist terrorists, and Israel shortly afterwards started returning the fire.

Now that the Palestinians have escalated the conflict by invading Israel, we can surely expect a response in force by Israel. Their withdrawal from Gaza makes the invasion an act of war, although Israel will not likely try to invest Gaza again. What they will likely do is stage a raid in force by the IDF to clear out the region where the attacks originate and create a buffer area that they can patrol for long enough to make their point. They will also escalate their targeted attacks on terrorist leadership, including that of Hamas.

This will undermine both sides in the pending Palestinian civil war. Ismael Haniyeh will find himself having to go underground to avoid Israeli attacks, especially if their kidnapped soldier turns up dead. Abbas' efforts to return to negotiations will have to wait for the Israeli military response to reach its conclusion, and that may take a while. The best Abbas can expect will be a quick raid that might capture some of the rocket-launching terrorists, removing a headache for Fatah. Otherwise, both factions will find it difficult to reach any kind of understanding on proceeding with peace talks, and that will push them towards civil war.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at June 25, 2006 11:41 AM

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» Promise Land from Hard Starboard
Let me see if I can combine all of this into one, long, run-on sentence. Here goes {cracking knuckles}: The same Fatah that claims to have developed chemical and biological weapons and has threatened to use them against Israel and the same Hamas (... [Read More]

Tracked on June 27, 2006 2:31 PM


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