On June 27, Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) carried out two operations in Gaza, one in Gaza City and the other in the southern city of Khan Younis. The IDF states that the purpose of the incursions was to disrupt the terrorist infrastructure inside Gaza by finding and seizing militants and their weapons. The incursions consisted of air strikes, as well a ground assault led by tanks. The IDF claims that it “hit” 15 militants, while the media reports that 11 militants were killed, along with 2 civilians. In addition, 40 people were injured, some in critical condition, and several dozens were arrested. IDF reported that two soldiers were injured in these operations.
Then, early June 28, IDF went into the West Bank city of Nablus. Witnesses stated that around 80 jeeps filled with Israeli soldiers entered the city. Israeli troops interrupted radio and television programs and warned Palestinians to remain at home. Again, IDF justified the incursion by stating that Nablus is a “hotbed” for terrorism and that the goal was to disrupt terror activity. Israeli troops arrested two men suspected of being Fatah fighters and confiscated weapons. Five IDF soldiers were wounded in a bombing in Nablus. Al-Aqsa Brigades, the armed branch of Fatah claimed responsibility for the bombing.
Both Fatah and Hamas leadership condemned Israel’s actions. Hamas accused Israel and Fatah of conspiring to pressure Hamas in Gaza. While Salam Fayyad, the Prime Minister of the emergency Palestinian government, viewed the aggression as Israeli attempts to undermine the Palestinian government’s attempts to end the chaos. Abbas condemned both of these military operations; calling the IDF’s actions as “criminal”. He added that Fatah is against violence of any kind and criticized the launching of Qassam rockets. Recently, Abbas vocalized his desire to disband all militias in both Gaza and the West Bank, even those affiliated with Fatah.
For more information please see:
Al Jazeera: “Israeli troops raid Nablus” 28 June 2007.
Gulf News: “Israel raids downtown Nablus” 28 June 2007.
Gulf News: “Israeli raids stoke war fears” 28 June 2007.
IDF: “Nablus: an officer and soldier severely injured” 28 June 2007.
Washington Post: “At least 14 Palestinians killed as Israeli military enters Gaza” 28 June 2007.
Al Jazeera: “Israel launches deadly Gaza raids” 27 June 2007.
IDF: “A summary of today’s events in the Gaza Strip” 27 June 2007.
International Herald Tribune: “Israeli raids into Gaza leave 13 dead” 27 June 2007.
New York Times: “Israelis kills 11 militants inside Gaza; 2 civilians die” 27 June 2007.