IDF Southern Rain: Phase I (Visual Aid)

The Initial IDF deployment  to free Gilad Shalit by pushing into the Southern Gaza Strip took place last night.

Southern Rain Phase I: Visual Aid

The following map aid is not to scale, (h/t Israel at level ground for the original satellite image of Gaza). Areas marked are to give a general overview of the terrain via satellite imagery, and the IDF & Egyptian deployments pursuing the goal of sealing the southern strip. I would like to generally update the map & phases of the operation as it progresses. Equally, I'll update this post with key details of the first phase as they also develop.

There is more detail on the initial activity of the IDF Operation in the post below: Breaking News IDF activity in Gaza should you choose to check it out.

Phase I: IDF Deployment

Objective: Begin IDF pressure on the Rafah Area, with the eventual goal of securing access points to Rafah.

Targets: 3 Bridges along the main roads linking the southern strip to northern Gaza destroyed; the main power facility supplying the south of Gaza was hit as well. Power has been partially restored using the North's power feed which comes from Israel.
(That's a good way to get everyone's power turned off.)

Resistance: Low (meaning nearly none) in the initial deployment, though that may change as the day progresses, it is expected that the IDF will move to envelop Rafah, this is as yet mere speculation.

*Note that Rafah sprawls, it includes refugee camps and sprawls into Egypt as well. Areas currently under IDF deployment are relatively unpopulated compared to the record shattering density of population that exists further into Rafah & the strip.

I expect there will be some HQ posts on this topic, as well as roundups I'll slap some in during the day.

Update I:
Feel like doing a little BDA this morning? How's about grainy (I assume F-16, but they may be F15E's) video of the three blown bridges and a power generating plant? My own bomb damage assessment conclusion was: They look pretty fricking blown up! (YNET)

On Sunday after the 1st kidnapping I singled out and questioned whether Khaled Mashal, leader of Hamas in absentia in Axis land (Syria) would be liquified for his involvement in crimes against the State of Israel, or if perhaps his sordid history might win him a get out of hell free card. Minister Haim Ramon has put my question to bed..

JPOST: Justice Minister Haim Ramon said Wednesday that Hamas's Syria-based leader, Khaled Mashaal, is a target for assassination for ordering the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier in the Gaza Strip.

"He is definitely in our sights … he is a target," Ramon told Army Radio. "Khaled Mashaal, as some who is overseeing, actually commanding the terror acts, is definitely a target." [...]

Probably won't happen too predictably quick, striking deep in an enemy country is not a trivial thing. Israel has marked Mashal and one day out of the blue he'll simply be dead, that's good enough for me. Fitting I named him 'Keep Moving' in the key players page.. Heh! Now if only I could predict next week's lotto numbers.

Think the Jihad doesn't affect Israel? Perhaps that the Palestinian issue is totally separate from say the Iraq issue or the Iran issue? It's called the Global Jihad for a reason sadly. When they are done trying to kill me, rest assured they will not rest until they try to kill you too! Batya from Shiloh asks the question of why the media downplays these realities? Jihadists threaten to butcher Kidnapped Israeli on live TV, hmm where I have seen that before? Oh yeah.. now I remember, at Jihadists 'R' Us.

Update II: Phase II coming;
YNET on the green light to sweep the North.

Do you own real estate in Beit Hannoun? My advice is to sell. The Kassam launching mania that emanates from the North of the Strip where thousands of rockets have been launched on the Israeli town of Sderot, is about to experience some reality. Sweeps, and infrastructure busting are on the menu. It's about time. The IDF is anticipating combat in this phase of their operation.

Reaction from the free world..

Snow on the beltway's position via AP

"The hostage-taking and the attacks by Hamas last weekend have precipitated the current events in Gaza," Snow said. "Israel has the right to defend itself and the lives of its citizens. … Let's just point out, once again, you have the Israeli forces trying to reclaim somebody who was kidnapped and is being held hostage in Gaza. And they are doing what they can to return him."

I'm sure the State Dept. is thrilled, oh well.

How's this for catchy?
EU urges Israel, Palestinians to "step back".

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Israel and Palestinian militants must "step back from the brink" before a crisis over the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier spirals out of control, the European Union said on Wednesday.

"All sides need to consider their responsibilities extremely carefully," EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said in a statement. She reiterated a call for those holding Corporal Gilad Shalit to free him and urged Israel to "act with prudence" to allow diplomatic efforts to secure his release to work.

"Both sides must step back from the brink before this becomes a crisis that neither can control," she said.

Nice to see the Europeans are still living in Eurodisney.. Thanks for the advice Fraulein Waldner.
Survey says? X

Linkage & updates
Euphoric Reality:
Well into Day 2  with Israel vs Gaza
(Any bets on who's going to win that bout? Got stuff I missed)

Israel at Level ground: On the Buzzing of Syria, F-16 style.  <– Talk about scoopage.. Hello, is Khaled home?

My thanks to ConservaJew for links to my coverage! It's nice to be acknowledged.

Michelle Malkin on the cold blooded murder of 18 year old Eliyahu Asheri. Unbelievable, and many in the World defend these animals and tell us how innocent they are. It's a sickness.
here's previous info on Eliyahu's kidnapping