Throughout the day, heavy Israeli armour was moved close to the Gaza border. Whatever the Israeli government said about not planning to re-occupy the Strip, it certainly looked like they were preparing to pay a visit. 6,500 reservists have been called up.
The Israeli Prime Minister was in Jersualem lighting the eighth and last candle for Hannukah at an institution for blind youngsters.
Ehud Olmert sent words of encouragement, saying:
“I’m sure that you, just like me, are sending warm regards from here to the residents of Southern Israel, who will live with God’s help and with the help of the Israeli soldiers and the Israeli security forces, and that rest will finally arrive.”
The Israeli military say the rocket attacks from Gaza which sparked the offensive have continued throughout but at lower intensity than they had expected. Military commanders have been told the offensive is open-ended. A spokesman said it could last several days.
They also said prayers and lit candles for the soldiers at Jerusalem’s Western Wall – one of Judaism’s most holy places.