Israeli forces continued their assault on the Gaza Strip Wednesday by sending warplanes to bomb militant training camps in an attempt to pressure Palestinian militants to release a captured Israeli soldier.
The Hamas-led Palestinian government responded to the Israeli incursion by calling for a prisoner swap to solve the crisis.
Militant groups holding the Israeli soldier had proposed an exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners, but it was the first time the government had made such a request. ...
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has called for the unconditional release of the soldier, 19-year-old Cpl. Gilad Shalit. Olmert said Israel did not intend to reoccupy Gaza, but would not balk at "extreme action" to bring home Shalit, who was captured in a cross-border raid on Sunday.
At the Jerusalem Post, Caroline Glick explains why Israel finds itself in the present position: Israel's rude awakening.
In 2000, the public realized that Barak's terrorist empowering peace plan had brought us war. Yet rather than discard the policy of empowering terrorists, our political leaders simply repackaged it. What had formerly been called "peace" was called "separation" and "disengagement" and now is called "convergence" or "realignment." These euphemisms are sold to the public in turn as new quick-fixes that spare us the need to recognize the reality of war.
The IDF confirmed early Thursday a report the Popular Resistance Committees issued from Gaza that it had executed Eliyahu Asheri, 18, of Itamar, who was kidnapped earlier this week in the West Bank.
IDF combat engineers and Shin Bet agents, acting on intelligence, found Asheri's body Wednesday night in an abandoned car in an open field outside of Ramallah. The youth appeared to have been shot to death, and initial findings indicated that he may have been killed as early as Sunday.
UPDATE II -- June 29: From FoxNews: Hamas Deputy PM Among 64 Officials Arrested by Israel.
Israeli troops rounded up dozens of ministers and lawmakers from the Palestinians' ruling Hamas party Thursday while forging ahead with a military campaign in Gaza meant to win the release of an Israeli soldier held by Hamas gunmen. ...
Israeli aircraft hit a car carrying Palestinian militants in Gaza City, the Israeli military said. One person was wounded, hospital officials said.
On Wednesday, Israeli warplanes also buzzed the summer home of Syria's president, Bashar Assad, who harbors the hard-line Hamas leaders who Israel says ordered the kidnapping.
UPDATE III: Looks like Caroline Glick was right again. The lion has paused ... for negotiations. From Haaretz: Egypt asks Israel to allow more time for negotiation. (via Vital Perspective)
The government decided Thursday to put off an Israel Defense Forces military offensive in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanun.
The incursion was scheduled to be launched Thursday evening.
The move was decided upon following consultations held by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz with security officials.
Posted by Forkum at June 28, 2006 10:46 AM