Rice visit accompanied by renewed Hamas-IDF clashes, missile fire
debkafile‘s military sources report a major Hamas-Israeli clash erupted opposite the Kissufim Gaza crossing after Israeli forces crossed in to investigate armed Palestinian movements close to the border fence.
The Israel Hammer jeep force was greeted with fierce anti-tank and heavy machine gun fire. Tank and helicopter reinforcements were brought in. The Palestinians report three dead in the ongoing battle. They fired some 10 missiles into Israel during the day, one of which leveled a Sderot home. As the battle raged, the Palestinians renewed their missile fire on Sderot. The Israeli force later withdrew from the Gaza Strip.
Our Palestinian sources report the Hamas provocation was its rejoinder to the proposal put by visiting US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice Tuesday in Cairo and Ramallah for the Gaza crossings to be re-opened in exchange for Hamas discontinuing missile and rocket fire on Israeli civilians.
This proposal was deemed unrealistic in Jerusalem, since no one had asked the Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip. The Islamist group was also telling Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas that, when he demanded a comprehensive truce in his talks with Rice Tuesday, he no longer spoke for the Gaza Strip.