debkafile reports: New Hamas tactics greet Israeli force in Gaza early Tuesday. One Israeli soldier slightly wounded

debkafile‘s military sources report that the Golani brigade, armored forces and reservists raiding Hamas’ missile and terrorist infrastructure in the Gaza Strip early Tuesday, Feb. 12, had their first taste of Hamas tactics for blocking a major incursion. An Israeli soldier was slightly wounded. The Palestinians report casualties. Several were detained.
Driving forward in the northern, central and southern sectors, the Israeli force encountered Hamas opposition on all three fronts from mortars and Qassam missiles designed for the battlefield with a cutoff range of 1 km. The attacks were well-coordinated by a single command. Hamas had apparently decided to jump the gun on its blocking tactics against a major advance, in order to thwart a potential Israeli plan to seize bridgeheads inside Gaza ahead of substantial ground action.
The government’s nod for a major ground operation to stamp out the Palestinian missile offensive has been held up again
debkafile‘s political sources report: Prime minister Ehud Olmert holds a second round of talks with German chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin Tuesday, while defense minister Ehud Barak spends the day meeting Turkish political and military leaders in Ankara. Both are bidding for international intervention to save themselves a hard decision to deploy the Israeli army for effective action to quell Palestinian attacks from Gaza. IDF generals resent this vote of non-confidence in the Israeli military. They say they are only being held back from dealing in earnest with the Palestinians’ Gaza-based offensive by the timorousness of government leaders.

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