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Israel launches Gaza strikes over captured soldier
Cat : Israel and Zionism
Date : 2006-06-28 11:41:46                      Reader : 301
it is normal , when civilians are bombarded by American arms, it is the right of Israel , when the wall is still in construction, it is the right of Israel , when UN resolutions are kicked off by Israel , it is also its right, so today it is normal for Israel to launch offensive on Gaza, under concept of democracy and freedom of United States.
Now what the world will do ? . Force and terrorism is practiced by Israel , as Palestinians have nothing at all compared to Israel . Stones and manual rifles or rockets that worth nothing in front of US sophesticated arms for Israel including WMD.
Associated France Press (AFP) 27/6/2006
Israel launches Gaza strikes over captured soldier
by Sakher Abu El Oun
7 minutes ago

GAZA CITY (AFP) - Israel sent ground forces into Gaza before dawn and knocked out bridges and a power station from the air in an assault to try to save a teenage soldier held by Palestinian fighters.

Much of the Gaza Strip was plunged into darkness after night-time air strikes on the plant and three bridges that aimed to prevent militants moving across the territory.

Flames poured into the night sky and the sound of shelling and gunfire from combat helicopters could be heard as troops in tanks, armoured cars and bulldozers moved into southern Gaza where the missing serviceman was believed to be held.

Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres said on CNN that Israel was "left without a choice" in the face of inaction by the Palestinian leadership to rescue 19-year-old corporal Gilad Shalit.

"The Israeli offensive in Gaza is intended to bring Gilad Shalit home," Infrastructure Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer told public radio. "We do not intend to reoccupy the Gaza Strip or to make the Palestinian population suffer."

It was the first major ground offensive against Gaza since Israel pulled settlers and troops from the impoverished coastal strip last year in a highly controversial operation that ended a 38-year occupation.

No casualties were reported in the incursion, which followed intensive mediation efforts to free Shalit after his abduction in an attack Sunday that also killed two Israeli soldiers and two militants.

Israel massed thousands of troops on the Gaza border as Prime Minister Ehud Olmert ruled out any negotiation with the kidnappers, holding the Hamas-led government and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas responsible.

The raids followed a landmark agreement Tuesday between Palestinian factions on an political initiative that implicitly recognises Israel’s right to exist, a historic policy shift by Hamas which has long advocated the destruction of the Jewish state.

Israel dismissed the deal however as an "internal matter".

The situation on the ground was further complicated when an armed Palestinian group claiming to hold the soldier also threatened to kill a Jewish settler it said it had abducted in the occupied West Bank.

"Unless the aggression stops, we will kill the settler," said a representative of the Popular Resistance Committees, which claimed Sunday’s attack along with the armed wing of Hamas and another group.

Although there has been no official Israeli confirmation of the settler kidnapping, one couple reported their son missing after he failed to return home Monday.

The Gaza incursion came amid international appeals for restraint over the kidnapping which has triggered the worst Middle East crisis since the militant Islamist movement Hamas took office in March.

It also presented the first major security challenge for Olmert since he took office in May pledging to unilaterally redraw the map of Israel even without negotiations with the Palestinians.

Egypt, France and the Vatican, as well as key Israeli ally the United States, sought to exert pressure on the Palestinians to hand over the soldier.

Israel said it concentrated its forces a few kilometres into southern Gaza where it believed Shalit was being held, including the area of Dahaniyeh near the destroyed airport.

"We have no immediate plans to go deeper in. That could change but that’s the situation right now," an army spokesman said.

At one point troops were attacked by light arms fire and possibly an anti-tank missile, but there were no reports of any casualties, he said.

Palestinian militants also fired four rockets into southern Israel from Gaza, without causing any injuries.

Bracing for the offensive, militants had erected earthen mounds across roads and sealed off entrances to refugee camps in parts of Gaza, one of the most densely populated regions on earth.

Men, women and children packed into cars and a horse-drawn cart fled into Rafah from areas to the east as Israeli troops entered the territory while armed gunmen prowled the streets.

"All the people are leaving. They’re heading west because we’re afraid of the sweep, we’re escaping the invasion," said Auda Adwan, 20.

Armed groups have vowed not to release the soldier until all Palestinian women and children are freed from Israeli jails, a demand already rejected by Olmert.

"Israel is prepared for a long battle against Palestinian terror," Olmert said Tuesday. But he added: "Even in the difficult circumstances of recent days I declare that we will do everything in our power to hold negotiations with the Palestinians."

Sunday’s attack, which saw gunmen tunnel their way into Israel in an assault that has raised questions over possible military and intelligence failings, was the deadliest in the area since Israel’s pullout from Gaza.

Tensions have long been mounting, with Israel and the West both financially and politically boycotting Hamas as a blacklisted terror group, plunging the territories into a deep crisis.

Israel said Hamas members -- even ministers -- were in its sights and levelled threats against its Damasus-based political supremo Khaled Meshaal, who survived a Mossad assassination bid in 1997.

Past history of soldiers kidnapped at the hands of Palestinians bodes ill for Shalit, with all nine such previous cases ending in death.

Meanwhile, Hamas and the rival Fatah movement announced a deal drawn up by Palestinian prisoners that implicitly recognises Israel’s right to exist by calling for a Palestinian state on land conquered in 1967.

Abbas, locked in a power struggle with Hamas, had vowed to put the initiative to a referendum on July 26 should no agreement be reached, although Hamas had slammed the vote as an attempt to overthrow its government.

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