IDF Phase II buffer zone / clashes
IDF rolls out in limited operation to establish a small 1 km buffer zone in the North
On the map, some areas of fierce clashes & fighting, as armor and troops counter rocket cells & terrorists.
Haaretz reports 5 terrorists, 1 civilian killed in heavy clashes – Two IDF soldiers, lightly wounded. Tanks & gunships engaging cells around Beit Lahiya. Editorial laments.. 'It's never too late to talk to Palestinians' <– Can you believe these editorial losers at Haaretz!? It's never too late to get a grip on current reality.
JPOST: IDF retakes Dugit, Elei Sinai, Nisanit – 4 IDF troopers lightly wounded.
YNET continues the fine coverage;
Sources in the Gaza Strip reported that at least seven Palestinians were killed Thursday afternoon by a direct hit of an artillery shell fired by an IDF tank in Beit Lahiya and Jabalya in the northern Strip. Another 20 people were injured in the strike, some sustained critical injuries. (Saus – these are Palestinian reports so far, grains of salt needed with the gumbo)
Earlier, Palestinian sources in Gaza reported that and IAF helicopter fired a missile towards a group of people in Khan Younis. According to Palestinians, 2 Hamas gunmen were killed and a dozen Palestinians were wounded in the strike. The gunmen were later identified as Muhammad Suleiman a-Najar and Muhammad Abu Tir.
Six Palestinians were killed since ground forces entered north Gaza early Thursday and took up key positions prior to seizing control of areas used to fire the rockets and the creation of a "security strip".
Golani Brigade troops under the command of Colonel Tamir Yadai, accompanied by tanks, Israel Air Force jets and artillery fire, reached the now-destroyed former Israeli settlements Dugit, Nisanit and Elei Sinai, from which Qassam fire toward Israel has emanated. Additional forces entered the Palestinian town of Beit Lahiya, also used by Qassam cells to fire rockets at Israel.
Palestinian witnesses reported of heavy exchanges of fire in the area. According to reports, one Palestinian, later identified as Muhammad el-Atar, was killed in the clashes when a bullet struck his chest and came out of his back.
"It's a crazy scene – everyone is shooting at everyone," a Beit Lahiya resident told Ynet. "Soldiers are coming out of the trees, from the rooftops. The residents don't know if they should leave their homes or hide." [...]
Gd speed and watch over the IDF as they protect the people of Israel.
UPDATE: HEAVY FIGHTING - IDF trooper down; Suffered critical head wound when Palestinian sniper targeted him. YNET reports that heavy fighting prevented soldier's evacuation, near the left hand most clash zone on the map above.
*** UPDATE II: Unbelievable Valor – MUST SEE Article on the Golani Brigades, and the attempt to rescue Staff Sergeant Yehuda Bassel, critically hit in the head and killed during fierce fighting. ***