IDF Spokesperson Noa Meir told CNN shortly after 0300, that the operation was intended to rescue abducted IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit, as diplomatic track efforts reportedly continue, via foreign interlocuters, among them Egypt, and the United States.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian "People's Resistance Committees," who claim to have kidnapped an Israeli youth in the West Bank, threatened to kill him, in a statement released to The Associated Press if the army does not halt it's incursion.
Israel has not officially acknowleged the Palestinian allegation, although "The Israel Defense Forces said Tuesday afternoon that there were growing fears that a teenager from the settlement of Itamar who has been missing since Sunday has been kidnapped as claimed by Palestinian militants. Security forces were checking reports that a dead body was found in Ramallah."
"Eighteen-year-old Eliyahu Asheri of Itamar, a yeshiva student and resident of the Samarian settlement of Itamar, was reportedly seen twice on Sunday night, both times attempting to hitchhike. Rabbi Avihai Ronsky of Itamar told The Jerusalem Post that Asheri, a student at the Neveh Tzuf pre-military academy, was last seen near Beitar, attempting to hitchhike home.
"A fellow student at Neveh Tzuf told police that he had spotted Asheri trying to hitch a ride at the French Hill hitchhiking post in Jerusalem on Sunday night."