“We have no intention of remaining in Gaza. We exited from there not to return." So said Defense Minister Amir Peretz at the start of the Israeli offensive in northern Gaza. "We have tried all avenues and have no choice but to execute this military offensive.”
IDF forces have encountered Palestinian resistance. This morning a Palestinian was killed in an exchange of fire and three others were killed last night.
The assessment is that IDF operations in northern Gaza will continue as long as necessary in order to create a buffer zone to put a distance between Israeli civilians and the rocket launchers.
Israeli Cabinet member and Minister of Housing and Construction, Meir Shitreet (photo), said yesterday that "Israel will not surrender to any blackmail. The Palestinians must release the soldier without condition. Regarding the release of prisoners, we will talk about that in the future when there will be no terror."