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Israel launches Gaza incursion
AFP on Yahoo ^ | 6/27/06 | Michael Blum

Posted on 06/27/2006 5:15:57 PM PDT by NormsRevenge

KEREM SHALOM, Israel (AFP) - Israel launched a ground offensive in the Gaza Strip after a wave of targeted air strikes following a tense standoff over the capture of a teenage soldier.

Much of the northern Gaza Strip was plunged into darkness after Israeli war planes hit a power station and two bridges in a series of nighttime raids, witnesses and security sources on both sides said.

"Our forces have begun to enter the southern Gaza Strip," an Israeli army spokesman told AFP at the Kerem Shalom crossing, where tanks and troops were seen crossing into the Palestinian territory.

It was the first major ground offensive against Gaza since Israel pulled out settlers and troops from the impoverished coastal strip of land last year, ending a 38-year occupation.

Israel has massed thousands of troops on the border with Gaza following the capture of a 19-year-old soldier in a militant attack on Sunday that also killed two Israeli servicemen.

Flames could be seen pouring into the night sky after Israeli war planes attacked the electricity plant, causing a power blackout across many parts of the Gaza Strip, including Gaza City.

One of the bridges destroyed in the strikes linked the north and the south of Gaza, with the apparent aim of the operation to prevent movement by militants holding the missing conscript.

No injuries have been reported.

The incursion came amid international appeals for restraint over the captive soldier, the worst Middle East crisis since a Palestinian government headed by the militant Islamist movement Hamas took office in March.

It also followed a landmark agreement Tuesday between Palestinian factions on an political initiative that implicitly recognises Israel's right to exist, a historic shift in policy by Hamas.

Israel -- which has threatened it could take out Hamas ministers over the captured soldier -- dismissed the deal however as an "internal matter".

Palestinian armed groups have vowed not to release the soldier until all Palestinian women and children are freed from Israeli jails, a demand already categorically ruled out Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, facing his first major crisis since taking office in May.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had urged Israel to give diplomacy a chance, saying there was a "concerted international effort" underway for the release of kidnapped Corporal Gilad Shalit.

Shalit, who also holds French nationality, was snatched Sunday in a raid on an army post on the Gaza border in which two other Israeli servicemen and two Palestinian fighters were killed.

Ahead of the incursion, Palestinians abandoned border homes fearing a large-scale assault, while militants fearing assassination have gone to ground.

"Israel is prepared for a long battle against Palestinian terror," Olmert told parliament 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 from Hamas's armed wing and other militant groups tunnel their way into Israel, was the deadliest assault in the area since Israel's pullout from Gaza.

Tensions have long been mounting however, with Israel and the West boycotting Hamas -- which advocates the destruction of the Jewish state -- as a blacklisted terror group.

Army radio reported deployments of two infantry regiments and two armoured battalions, which would put the concentration of troops at around 5,000.

Turning the screws on the Hamas government -- boycotted politically and financially by the West -- one cabinet minister warned Israel could easily kidnap its high-profile members.

"If we start with kidnappings, Israel has no problem entering the Gaza Strip and kidnapping half the Palestinian government," Benjamin Ben-Eliezer said.

Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres also levelled threats against Hamas's Damasus-based political supremo Khaled Meshaal, who famously survived a Mossad assassination attempt in 1997.

An army intelligence officer said Israel knew where Shalit, believed to be alive but injured, was being kept.

A spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees -- one of three groups that claimed Sunday's attack along with Hamas's armed wing and a group calling itself Army of Islam -- insisted the soldier would remain in captivity as long as Israel ignores their demands.

"The resistance will continue to hold the soldier. We are confident he is in a location the enemy cannot reach," Abu Abir announced.

Egypt, France and the Vatican, as well as the United States, have enlisted efforts to exert pressure on the Palestinians to hand over the soldier, while the Arab League called on the UN Security Council to intervene to prevent Israel from invading.

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

In the occupied West Bank, Israeli police said they were looking into reports of a missing Jewish settler after the PRC claimed it was holding a second Israeli.

Public television later reported that the unidentified youth had been taken to the West Bank city of Ramallah by his kidnappers.

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.

All factions excluding the hardline Islamic Jihad had approved the initiative which is due to go before Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniya.

Abbas had vowed to put the statehood 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.


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; Israel; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: gaza; incursion; israel; launches

1 posted on 06/27/2006 5:15:59 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge

OPERATION RICK JAMES Now Has Commenced!


2 posted on 06/27/2006 5:16:52 PM PDT by cmsgop ( DO NOT VOTE FOR PEDRO !!! He's a DEMOCRAT......)
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To: sofaman; AliVeritas; Txsleuth

Over here..


3 posted on 06/27/2006 5:17:43 PM PDT by SE Mom (Proud mom of an Iraq war combat vet)
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To: SE Mom

I am coming and going on all of these threads...

Even CNN has stopped coverage...is there any channel covering this??

BTW..For some reason, I keep thinking of Ariel Sharon, lying in a coma, in some room...not having a clue about what is going on....


4 posted on 06/27/2006 5:22:44 PM PDT by Txsleuth
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To: NormsRevenge

It also followed a landmark agreement Tuesday between Palestinian factions on an political initiative that implicitly recognises Israel's right to exist, a historic shift in policy by Hamas.


Guess AFP didn't do their homework, or maybe they just forgot to check eh? I mean they wouldn't lie to us , would they?

/sarc.


5 posted on 06/27/2006 5:30:27 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: SE Mom

That article says that the agreement between Hamas and Al Aksa, recognizing Israels right to exist was drawn up by "Palestinian prisoners">..that doesn't make sense...


6 posted on 06/27/2006 5:33:07 PM PDT by Txsleuth
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To: Txsleuth
"Palestinian prisoners"

The original proposal was drafted by Palestinians held by Israel.

7 posted on 06/27/2006 5:37:29 PM PDT by M. Dodge Thomas (More of the same, only with more zeros at the end.)
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To: Txsleuth

Well- not sure quite what to believe at this point- I heard Mike Tobin say on FOX there is now an apparent split between Hamas the "government" and Hamas the "organization"...not sure where that's going..

FOX did just break in to BOR for a couple of mins to cover it live...but I simply can't tolerate watching CNN.

I guess we'll have to wait til H & C comes on..


8 posted on 06/27/2006 5:38:43 PM PDT by SE Mom (Proud mom of an Iraq war combat vet)
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To: SE Mom

I remember when those Palestinian terrorists broke into that church...and were holed up in there for days and days..

Fox was pretty much on 24/7...with Geraldo stationed there..

They USED to do that kind of stuff...not so much anymore....sigh


9 posted on 06/27/2006 5:47:07 PM PDT by Txsleuth
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To: NormsRevenge

10 posted on 06/27/2006 5:47:44 PM PDT by BunnySlippers (NUTS!)
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To: Txsleuth

Yep...and Roger Ailes wants to know why FOX has lost viewer share. (So did all the others)

The thing is- they have Mike Tobin on the ground there- he's a good reporter- I'd really like to see the numbers if FOX let BOR go for the next 15 mins and just ran with live coverage...

BAD lightning here..going to shut down for a bit...bbl


11 posted on 06/27/2006 5:50:35 PM PDT by SE Mom (Proud mom of an Iraq war combat vet)
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To: NormsRevenge
It also followed a landmark agreement Tuesday between Palestinian factions on an political initiative that implicitly recognises Israel's right to exist, a historic shift in policy by Hamas.

Now I read that they DID NOT recognize Israel's right to exist...only the right to a Palestinian state! hmmph

12 posted on 06/27/2006 5:53:43 PM PDT by Chani (Life is fatal. The 100% statistic is compelling.)
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To: NormsRevenge
Wipe out Hamas; and the terrorists there, take back the land. Go on into Lebanon and clean their clocks of all the Syrian slime. Then go into Syria and clean them out, and go thru Iraq and help our Troops take out the terrorists there. Then go into Iran and shove the Nuke down that idiot president's throat and then tie up the moolas and take them over to North Korea and tie them and the 'nut' to the missile and then lite a fire under it and count to three.....all in a days work....GO ISERAL
13 posted on 06/27/2006 5:57:51 PM PDT by HarleyLady27 (My ? to libs: "Do they ever shut up on your planet?" "Grow your own DOPE: Plant a LIB!")
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To: HarleyLady27

I like the way you think! :)


14 posted on 06/27/2006 5:59:11 PM PDT by Chani (Life is fatal. The 100% statistic is compelling.)
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To: tet68
"Guess AFP didn't do their homework, or maybe they just forgot to check eh? I mean they wouldn't lie to us , would they?
/sarc
"

Naw. Neither would the following most conservative of anti-terrorist publications in another western European nation.

Hamas U-turn on Israel's right to exist
The Telegraph
By Tim Butcher in Gaza City
(Filed: 28/06/2006)

Excerpt:
With Israel threatening to re-invade Gaza, Hamas, the militant Palestinian movement, made a historic policy reversal yesterday when it signed up to an agreement implicitly recognising the right of the Jewish state to exist.



Hamas takes 'historic' step
The Scotsman
BEN LYNFIELD

Excerpt:
HAMAS yesterday took its biggest step yet towards recognising Israel by agreeing to a programme that calls for establishing a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip alongside the Jewish state, Palestinian officials said.



Israeli troops roll into Gaza
The Times Online
By Stephen Farrell and Ian MacKinnon

"The military moves came as Hamas executed a dramatic shift in policy to reach an agreement that implicitly recognises Israel."




But it doesn't surprise me at all.

British Mandate for Palestine (WW I to 1948)
[Historical info that all should read.]
15 posted on 06/27/2006 6:40:02 PM PDT by familyop ("The Jews have done more to civilize men than any other nation..." --President John Adams)
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To: Txsleuth
"I keep thinking of Ariel Sharon, lying in a coma, in some room...not having a clue about what is going on.... "

Why am I suddenly reminded of Jimmy Carter?

16 posted on 06/27/2006 7:05:59 PM PDT by NicknamedBob (I never submit to IQ tests. That way, I can honestly say that my IQ can not be measured.)
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To: NormsRevenge

Great. Lefties all over the world will decry this 'Zionist genocide', and the money will come pouring back into Hammas-lead Gaza. I sure hope that Israeli kid comes out of it OK, that's about the only silver lining we can hope for.


17 posted on 06/27/2006 7:11:42 PM PDT by Starve The Beast (I used to be disgusted, but now I try to be amused)
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To: NormsRevenge

"""If we start with kidnappings, Israel has no problem entering the Gaza Strip and kidnapping half the Palestinian government," Benjamin Ben-Eliezer said. ""

I'll drink to that!


18 posted on 06/27/2006 7:15:52 PM PDT by rampage8
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To: Chani; HarleyLady27

I like the way you think!


Ditto!


19 posted on 06/27/2006 7:28:31 PM PDT by presently no screen name
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To: HarleyLady27
Wipe out Hamas; and the terrorists there, take back the land. Go on into Lebanon and clean their clocks of all the Syrian slime. Then go into Syria and clean them out, and go thru Iraq and help our Troops take out the terrorists there. Then go into Iran and shove the Nuke down that idiot president's throat and then tie up the moolas and take them over to North Korea and tie them and the 'nut' to the missile and then lite a fire under it and count to three.....all in a days work....GO ISERAL

Will you marry me?

20 posted on 06/27/2006 7:35:15 PM PDT by SunTzuWu (Hans Delbruck - Scientist and Saint.)
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To: NicknamedBob

Hey...Ariel Sharon in a coma has more common sense than Jimmah Carter.


21 posted on 06/27/2006 7:48:57 PM PDT by Txsleuth
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To: Txsleuth
No doubt.

I think it was this phrase that triggered the connection. "...not having a clue about what is going on.... "

22 posted on 06/27/2006 8:03:27 PM PDT by NicknamedBob (I never submit to IQ tests. That way, I can honestly say that my IQ can not be measured.)
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To: NormsRevenge
implicitly recognises Israel's right to exist

Hamas says NO FREAKIN WAY

23 posted on 06/27/2006 8:09:29 PM PDT by Alouette (Psalms of the Day: 1-9)
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To: NicknamedBob

Actually, I am surprised that Jimmah hasn't offered to go to Gaza and work on a Peace Treaty...so he can work on his second Nobel Peace Prize...

He can stand on the border of Gaza...and hold up his hand, and tell all to stop fighting NOW!

Doncha know that will do the trick.


24 posted on 06/27/2006 8:15:41 PM PDT by Txsleuth
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To: Txsleuth

Green Habitats for Humanity?


25 posted on 06/27/2006 8:18:02 PM PDT by NicknamedBob (I never submit to IQ tests. That way, I can honestly say that my IQ can not be measured.)
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To: NicknamedBob

LOL


26 posted on 06/27/2006 8:23:01 PM PDT by Txsleuth
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To: Txsleuth
Before: ... ... After: ...

27 posted on 06/27/2006 8:29:40 PM PDT by NicknamedBob (I never submit to IQ tests. That way, I can honestly say that my IQ can not be measured.)
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To: NicknamedBob

Yeppers...I watched anything I could find about the Gaza Strip..and what happened before, during and after the Israelis left Gaza...

I was so heartbreaking...but, amazing also...because the Jewish settlers did NOT burn those nurserys...but left them there for the Palestinians to take over...just like their homes...most didn't destroy the homes..

BUT, what happens? The Palis wouldn't DARE live in one of the homes...and they destroyed ALL the the Jews had worked HARD to acheive...what a damn shame.

And, I can't tolerate it when I hear the UN and others crying about the need to help the Palestinians..BAH!


28 posted on 06/27/2006 8:38:02 PM PDT by Txsleuth
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To: SunTzuWu

ROFL....well...you would have to ask my husband....:)

This is the first time I have been asked to marry someone on line....

Is this like the movie: "You've got mail"? LMAO....


29 posted on 06/28/2006 8:15:58 AM PDT by HarleyLady27 (My ? to libs: "Do they ever shut up on your planet?" "Grow your own DOPE: Plant a LIB!")
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