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June 27, 2006
Israel Meets Little Resistance In Gaza

The Jerusalem Post reports that Israeli troops have met only light resistance from Palestinians in Gaza as its ground offensive pushed across the border. The IDF has made this military operation a coordinated affair, with the Israeli Air Force taking out a power station in the area of the invasion, along with at least three bridges:

The incursion began shortly before midnight, when IAF aircraft blew up three main bridges, located along the main route connecting between the northern and southern parts of the Strip. The army said that the operation was intended to keep Hamas from taking kidnapped soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit out of the Gaza Strip.

Ground forces then began entering the southeastern part of the Gaza Strip and the troops gained control of two key sites near Dahaniya. At the same time, artillery units were shelling areas from where Kassam rockets were often launched at Israel.

The Air Force also struck an electrical transformer station south of Gaza city, cutting the power supply from portions of the region. Palestinian sources said that the IDF shot at least nine missiles at the electric station. A large fire erupted and the turbines and fuel supplies were burned. Still, some of the power was restored by wires connected to an Israeli power supply, Israel Radio reported.

An IDF spokesperson told The Jerusalem Post that there was little Palestinian resistance to the incursion. He denied a report claiming that the Erez crossing had been opened in preparation for entry of troops into the northern Gaza Strip.

Palestinian terrorists claimed responsibility for another kidnapping, this time of Israeli civilian Eliyahu Asheri, an 18-year-old man from Itamar. His abductors threatened to kill him if Israel did not cease its offensive against Gaza, but Israel responded immediately by declaring that it would not negotiate for any hostage release. The Israelis also said that they would not release any Palestinian prisoners they now hold.

The Palestinians have fired Kassam rockets into Israel almost ever since the day Israel withdrew from Gaza. The artillery attacks in northern Gaza intend on wiping out the bases for those attacks. However, Israel did not invade Gaza until the Palestinians invaded Israel to kill two soldiers and abduct a third, Gilad Shalit. The Post now reports that the kidnappers have been taking orders from a Syrian-based Hamas leader, Khaled Mashaal. Ismail Haniyeh, the Palestinian prime minister, acknowledges that he knows the people holding Shalit, but thus far has not ordered his release. Israel has diplomats working with the US and France to get pressure on Syria to have Mashaal deported.

The destruction of the three bridges and the power station indicates that the Israelis have a particular military strategy in mind for this mission. They have cut off some egress paths, and it looks like they want to box the terrorists into an area that the IDF can exploit by land. The Jerusalem Post reports that the IDF wanted to ensure that Hamas could not sneak Shalit into Egypt and out of range of the IDF, but it seems unlikely that Egypt would want Shalit or the Hamas terrorists in the Sinai. I would wager that the Israelis have a very good idea where most of the terrorist assets in Gaza are located, and they may try to wipe out as much of Hamas and Islamic Jihad as possible during this exercise.

We should know more by the morning here in the US. Expect the UN to demand an end to the "aggression" by tomorrow afternoon.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at June 27, 2006 9:44 PM

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» Israel Does What's Necessary: Ground Troops Move Into Gaza from Liberty and Justice
As I see it, this operation should not only be aimed at freeing Cpl. Shalit, but should also be aimed at weakening Palestinian terrorist organizations. If not, Israel may get back the soldier this time, but the terrorists responsible for this - and tha... [Read More]

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» Israel Update from Strategic Outlook Institute - Weblog
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» Gaza Continues to Suffer Israeli Evil from Opinionated Voice
Cpl Gilad Shalit is the first Israeli soldier kidnapped by Palestinians since 1994. On the contrary, Israel is believed to have about 100 women and 300 under-18s among the more than 8,000 Palestinian prisoners in its jails. As one blogger argues, w... [Read More]

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» Back? So Soon? from Hard Starboard
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Tracked on June 29, 2006 3:02 AM


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