Israel’s military operation in Gaza is in full swing after forces seeking to rescue a kidnapped soldier rolled into the Palestinian territory earlier today. Armoured vehicles entered near the southern town of Rafah, quickly taking control of Gaza’s strategically important airport.
The offensive, coming less than a year after Israel’s withdrawal from the strip, has increased pressure on militants to release 19-year-old corporal Gilad Shalit, who was kidnapped on Sunday. A militant group which took part in the abduction also claims to have seized a Jewish settler in the West Bank. It has threatened to kill him if the Gaza operation continues.
Israel has responded by stepping up security in the West Bank. It has also launched a search for the missing settler, whom militants claim to have kidnapped on Sunday. The army has reportedly made several arrests in the West Bank city of Ramallah.