Palestinian resistance fighters in Gaza reported on Saturday that the abducted Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, was examined by a Palestinian physician a few days after his abduction, and that he is suffering from a mild injury in his stomach.
The soldier was abducted last week after the resistance attacked an Israeli military post near the Israeli Kerem shalom crossing. Two Israeli soldiers, and two fighters were killed in the attack, another soldier was seriously injured.
Shalit is a member of a tank crew positioned near the Gaza Strip, two soldiers were killed in the attack, and one was seriously injured.
Meanwhile, hundreds of tanks, troops carriers and military units are positioned along the borders of the Gaza Strip and awaiting orders to carry a wide ground offensive.
In spite that Israel said that it delayed its ground offensive in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli air force shelled several electricity generators, bridges connecting different parts of the Gaza Strip in addition to shelling several Palestinian facilities, including the office of the Palestinian Prime Minister, Sa’id Siyam.
With Gaza’s main power plant in tatters, energy is now even more rare than usual for the territory’s 1.4 million residents, and dwindling diesel supplies for the few that have generators are being rationed, the Toronto Star reports today.
On Friday night, the Israeli Air Force fired missiles at several targets in Rafah, and Khan Younis in the southern part of the Gaza Strip an in Gaza City. Israeli military sources claimed that the shelled targets are used by resistance fighters. During evening hours, Friday, three fighters were injured after the Israeli Air Force fired missile at their vehicle; the fighter managed to escape from the vehicle shortly before the missile hit it.
Troops also shelled a primary target for the Israelis was the main water station, which supplies all the water to the middle part of Gaza. In the sweltering summer heat, lack of water is a death sentence for the elderly, the very young and the ill. Several hospitals can no longer able to function with water and utilities cut.
Israeli military officials said that the army might delay the offensive for several more days in an effort to release the soldier through diplomatic means, yet the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and several ministers in his cabinet said that they will not negotiate with any Palestinian side on the release of the soldier.
The factions that captured the Israeli soldiers demanded earlier Saturday that Israel free 1000 Palestinian detainees and to end its assault of the Gaza Strip. At least 8000 Palestinians, including women and children, are imprisoned in Israeli prisons and detention facilities.