The Israeli army spokesman announced that Israeli ground troops reinforced with Israeli tanks began an incursion into Gaza at 2.30 am on Wednesday morning from the southern area of Rafah and from the northern area of Beit Hanoun.
The Palestinian independent news agency Ma'an, reporter said that convoys of Israeli tanks split up into three groups in the south of the Gaza Strip. The first moved towards the Rafah crossing on the Gaza-Egyptian border, the second moved to the area of the destroyed Gaza Airport, and the third moved to the Sufa crossing, east of Rafah. Other Israeli tanks moved to the north of the Gaza Strip.
Throughout Tuesday night, Israeli Apache helicopters and F16 military planes carried out numerous air raids and strikes on different parts of the Gaza Strip. The Israeli forces took control of the unused Gaza airport soon after midnight and stationed tanks on the runways.
The F16 military planes also bombarded bridges between the northern and southern parts of the Strip on the coastal and valley roads. After midnight, another series of air raids damaged the electricity infrastructure, completely destroying the transformer in the south of Gaza City.
Early on Wednesday morning, Israeli military planes also began exploding sonic bombs over the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli army said that they are targeting the bridges in order to prevent the transfer of the captured Israeli soldier, Corporal Shilat. Israeli military sources also said that they would continue to target Gaza's infrastructure until Crpl. Shilat is returned.
Palestinian armed men captured 19-year-old Crpl. Gilad Shalit from the Gallilee region of Israel during a military operation against the Israeli military post of Kerem Shalom, east of the Gaza Strip, on Sunday 25 June 2006. He is still being held and a number of Palestinian groups are exerting pressure for the soldier to be used as a bargaining chip in exchange for Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails.
Israeli intelligence announced on Tuesday that they had information on the soldier's whereabouts in Gaza and therefore, a large Israeli offensive on Gaza was expected.
Today more news had been received by HIC Board member in Palestine confirming mass evacuation of innocent people, that the Israeli occupation forces are forcing the Palestinian residents on the eastern border of Gaza to evacuate their homes, residents are forced to head westwards towards the areas between Rafah and Khan Younes.
As well confirmed reports had been received that people are leaving their homes due to Israel randomly shelling on houses and civilian neighborhoods. F16 are bombing main roads creating huge craters holes in it to impede transportation and movement, communications, ground and mobile, had been severely disrupted by Israel since midnight electricity had been cut all over Gaza strip due to Israeli bombing of the main generators supplying electricity, as well main pipe line supplying water to Gaza has been damaged where people have no water.
The Israeli army is using its huge armistice power F16 helicopters, tanks, artillery and sound bombs huge number of soldiers .Israel is committing war crime, it is clear that the aim of this assault is not directed only to release the kidnapped Israeli soldier , who was taken in a military operation, Palestinians in general, specifically civilians are the target of this assault…now Israeli occupation forces are spreading their war to the west bank as well, specifically in Ramallah, Nablus and Jenin……Israel want to teach us a lesson……….Israel did not succeed in the past and will not succeed to overcome the will for freedom of the Palestinian people.
We urge all members of HIC all over the world to protest as angry as they could and raise their voice high against the Israel atrocities. We need your support and urgent action.
Send your solidarity messages to:
Issa Samander: email@example.com
HIC Board Member in Palestine