Israeli tanks shell northern Gaza Strip after dropping leaflets warning Palestinians to leave Beit Hanoun ahead of next stage of IDF ground offensive

Helicopters hovered overhead. Beit Hanoun is a main center of Qassam missile launchings against Israel. An Israeli air force jet fired a missile that exploded in a soccer field adjoining the Hamas-friendly Islamic University in Gaza City. Leaflets dropped by the IAF Wednesday night warned occupants to leave for their own safety ahead of “surgical attacks from ground and air.”
Wednesday, the Israeli government approved the next stage of Operation Summer Rain in Gaza.
Fatah-al Aqsa Brigades warned that if Palestinians are killed in Israel’s Operation Summer Raid launched Tuesday night, its bombers will hit an already marked Israeli embassy overseas.
Prime minister Ehud Olmert said: “We must go on.” He rejected negotiations with any terrorist organization for the release of the abducted Israeli soldier. If he is not returned, “we will not shrink from extreme action,” said Olmert.
Tuesday night, an armored column rolling into the southern Gaza Strip for the declared goal of rescuing Israeli hostage Corp. Gilead Shalit, whom Hamas kidnapped Sunday, June 25, when it led an attack on an Israeli army post outside the Gaza Strip, killing two soldiers and injuring six. The troops seized the disused Dahaniya airport outside Rafah as its command post and recaptured the Philadelphi Gazan-Egyptian border strip. First a transformer station and two bridges linking Gaza City to the south were knocked out.
These actions aimed at disrupting the movements of the Israeli corporal’s captors with their hostage within the Gaza Strip and out through its southern exits.
Artillery fire persisted during Wednesday and a Hamas training facility near Rafah was bombed from the air.
The Israeli force avoided the town of Rafah and its refugee camps, operating on their outskirts.
The Israeli incursion followed the collapse of diplomatic efforts to negotiate the Israeli corporal’s release after the kidnappers’ representatives broke off contact.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email