For previous information on the initial stage of Phase 1, as well as some great links please see the post below.
Southern Rain Phase I: Visual Aid – Updated
As was expected, the IDF has now completed their deployments in the Rafah area.
Highly honored in Israel Golani Brigades have taken up positions around Rafah, and Rafiah which can be seen just north of the orange Rafah refugee camps in the grey bounding box.
So far these operations and deployments have resulted in no casualties, impressive considering that the plan in the South was for intense pressure. The IDF has not been given a go to expand operations to the incursion level and attempt any retrievals we are aware of yet..
Terrorists are holed up in the areas in & around that refugee camp and they've dug in, they have had ample time to prepare in attempt to ambush any IDF actions. Let's hope that the pressure will cause a break and spare the Golani's the need to enter what I would term a terror cesspool, the Rafah refugee camp.
Whatever the case may be, there has still been no proof offered of Gilad Shalit's condition. In light of the news reports that Eliyahu, the other youngster kidnapped – Was apparently killed within hours of being taken on sunday, while the terrorists claimed he was alive just yesterday, does not I fear bode well. I have a sinking feeling in my heart that Gilad has also indeed been murdered. Nothing would make me happier than to be entirely wrong on the matter, and I look forward to striking my entry from this post. UPDATE: Arab sources claim to have visited with Gilad, these positive reports are days later not fully confirmed, and Gilad's family is still waiting for concrete sign of life.
Waiting for their green light..
The IDF in the south of Gaza, operating under Israel's Southern Command and Phase I, fully deployed now wait for a final go. Movement of Gilad Shalit if he is indeed in the Rafah area is no longer possible. Egypt is deployed to the south, the IDF to the East & North, while the Western sea access to the Med. is being patrolled by the Israeli Navy.
I've posted a map of Phase II just below this post if you are interested.
Also, bloggers are welcome to use the maps I've made, please put a link in to my blog, thanks.
I'll update this post again with new key developments of the IDF's Phase I operation in the southern strip as they develop.
UPDATE I: Gilad's father shares some of the concerns I voiced above concerning his son's condition (YNET)
"As long as we don't receive living proof that Gilad is alright, we have nothing to grasp to other than unverified reports at this stage," Shalit said Thursday. "We know clearly that time is not on our side, but against us. We are not sure of anything," Shalit said.
There's video there in hebrew, the family is hurting. But the support of the IDF is astounding, they support the military 100% and have faith it is doing everything it can. I noticed a few times already, that confidence in politicians Olmert / Peretz has not been mentioned at all, only confidence in the IDF..