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June 27, 2006

Gaza Palestinians Prepare For IDF Assault

Topics: Middle East News and Perspectives

As the IDF prepares to go into Gaza with forces from Givati, Golani, and tank brigades in the likely event that Hamas makes the wrong decision ( to not release 19 year-old tank gunner Gilad Shalit), an improvised "small city" has sprung up comprised of tanks, APCs, and heavy equipment. At the same time, Palestinians in Gaza are preparing for an expected large-scale ground operation:

... Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have started preparing for the possibility Israel may launch a large-scale ground operation in Gaza in the coming days. During Monday night, members of the Palestinian organizations have erected roadblocks on central routes the Israeli army may want to use.

... Members of Hamas, the Popular Resistance Committees and other organizations placed large piles of rubble and sand in the midst of roads in a bid to impede army forces' advancement. A Jabalya resident told Ynet that the operatives used tractors to carry stones that were scattered on the roads. In other places in the Strip, similar activities have been carried out.

... Some of the Gazans living near the border with Israel have left their houses and activists said that residents of Beit Lahiya and Beit Hanoun in the northern Strip have also evacuated their homes in recent days and that other started preparing to transfer their children to a safe location. The greater an invasion threat becomes, operatives said, the more people will escape their houses.

The BBC's Jon Leyne, in Jerusalem, has summed up the situation when he said that if mediation efforts fail both Israel and the Palestinians face "huge tests":
The Israeli leader must choose between going ahead with military action that would endanger the life of the captured soldier or risk being seen as weak, our correspondent says.

And the Hamas-led Palestinian government must decide whether they are really willing to go into a full-scale confrontation with the Israelis which could have disastrous consequences.

In addition to the kidnapping of the IDF tanker, one of the groups said to be involved in the capture of Gila Shalit has said it abducted a West Bank settler, and Israeli police say it is taking the matter "very seriously." It is clear that the Palestinian culture of terrorism, hate, and violence is going to both interfere with there ever being a serious and functioning Palestinian government, and there ever being a true peace between Israel and the Arab world, especially as it presents itself in the pseudo-citizenry referred to as "Palestinians."

As for Gaza, it's about to be eliminated from the equation, and become a parking lot.

Posted by Richard at June 27, 2006 8:27 AM

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