Skip to comments.IDF amassing forces for major offensive in southern Gaza Strip
Posted on 05/16/2004 7:30:51 PM PDT by yonif
The Israel Defense Forces are poised to begin a major operation in the southern Gaza Strip, the first time they have conducted a division-level operation in Gaza.
The massive reinforcements that were summoned to the Strip last week to help search for the remains of their slain comrades are still posted on the border of the Strip, even though the searches have been called off, and these forces will apparently be integrated into the planned offensive. The goals of the operation included completely separating the town of Rafah, on the Egyptian border, from the rest of Gaza; arresting and/or killing wanted men, and destroying arms smuggling tunnels.
Senior military sources stressed that large-scale house demolitions were not among the operation's goals, but if the forces were fired on from houses in Rafah, or if certain houses constituted a danger to the troops, those houses would be destroyed.
IDF helicopters currently firing warning shots over Rafiah.
thanks for the update ...
INN usually is a little after, because it translates its Hebrew edition to English. I get my stuff from various Israeli outlets and quickly translate them myself. My last report about the helicopters was taken from INN, but its Hebrew edition.
Many forces in the area including Armor, Engineering, Givanti and Golani troops. Operation has begun, but its climax has not been reached yet. Looks like something which will last a few days (IDF Radio).
IDF set to launch large-scale operation in Rafah
Armored corps and infantry units take over road around city, disconnect it from rest of Gaza Strip. Army going after weapon smuggling tunnels, wanted terrorists.
Large IDF forces have entered the area north of Rafah this morning (Monday). At this time, armored corps and infantry units are separating Rafah from Khan Younis. The objective of the operation is to dry up the weapons smuggling tunnels leading into the Gaza Strip and prevent wanted terror suspects from escaping the city.
Early this morning, an advance guard took over dominating positions on the road separating Khan Younis from Rafah, allowing additional infantry units to be dispatched to the area. A few hours later, the area was closed off.
A senior IDF source told Maariv Online that at the beginning of the operation there was resistance by terror activists and exchanges of fire were reported.The source also characterized the weapon smuggling tunnels as "Gaza's lifeline".
Yesterday, IDF troops killed three Palestinian terrorists in the northern Gaza Strip. Earlier, an IDF force uncovered a 40-kg explosive device near the northern Gaza strip security fence. The charge was blown up in a controlled degeneration by IDF sappers.
Since the outbreak of the Intifada three and half years ago, the IDF and General Security Service have invested great efforts in thwarting the construction of weapon smuggling tunnels used to bring in arms from Egypt to Rafah. Over 90 tunnels have been uncovered and destroyed over this period, including ten tunnels demolished this year alone.
Criminal gangs make millions of dollars annually by purchasing and selling various types of weapons, including rifles and ammunition, RPG launchers, explosive materials, hand grenades and long-range rockets.
Go get 'em, Israel. Godspeed to you.
Fine when the job is done. What does he think they will do, when the ops are over.
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