Saturday, January 3, 2009
For the first time since the start of Operation Cast Lead, IDF ground troops entered the Gaza Strip on Saturday evening, exchanging fire with Hamas gunmen.
The IDF said that a large amount of troops from the Armored Corps, Engineering Corps and Infantry Corps entered the territory with the purpose of destroying Hamas infrastructure and preventing rocket fire by taking control of launching pads “in order to greatly reduce the quantity of rockets fired at Israel and Israeli civilians.”
The IDF warned that terrorists using civilians as human shields would bear full responsibility for their fate. The IDF spokesperson emphasized that “anyone who hides a terrorist or weapons in his house is considered a terrorist,” adding that “the residents of Gaza are not the target of the operation.”
The army reiterated that the operation was in line with “decisions of the Security Cabinet,” saying that this stage of the operation was “part of the IDF’s overall operational plan, and will continue on the basis of ongoing situational assessments by the IDF General Staff.”
This article was posted: Saturday, January 3, 2009 at 12:48 pm