Friday, June 30

Hanging fire in Gaza, 'just waiting on a friend'

From The Jerusalem Post:

"Israel will consider releasing the 64 Hamas activists it rounded up early Thursday morning if IDF soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit is freed, OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Yair Naveh said Thursday.

"'The possibility exists,' Naveh said. "The diplomatic echelon can decide to release the Hamas officials if the soldier is returned to us." Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said the primary goal of the operation "is to bring about Shalit's release. If he is released, this would dramatically deescalate the situation.'"

Carl at Israelmatzav rips that idea a "new one:"

"This evening, the IDF was supposed to enter Northern Gaza to deal with the Kassam shooters. Instead, it is sitting outside lobbing in shells. While they did get lucky and shells hit two power transformers, knocking out power which had been partially restored since Tuesday night, the 'Palestinians' have gotten off six more Kassams. Two of the Kassams landed south of Ashkelon near a 'sensitive installation' (probably our power plant); two landed in Sderot, one of which landed next to or in the municipal cemetery, and two more landed in Kibbutz Mevakiim. No one was hurt beyond people treated for shock.
"The reason that tonight's entry was called off - ostensibly by Ehud Olmert after a meeting with Defense Minister Comrade Peretz - was to 'give diplomacy a chance.' Comrade Peretz claimed this afternoon - four days after wounded IDF Corporal Gidon Shalit was kidnapped - that we are on the verge of a major diplomatic breakthrough. Tonight, Debkafile is claiming that there is no diplomatic breakthrough and there never was one on the verge or otherwise.

Read it all.

Ynetnews has a good report and video of the current fighting.

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