Palestinian factions responsible for the capture of the Israeli soldier released their third military communique setting a deadline for the conclusion of negotiations.Palestinian factions responsible for the capture of the Israeli soldier released their third military communique setting a deadline for the conclusion of negotiations.

The three factions, Izzedine Al Qassam, An Nasser Salah Ad Dein, and the Islamic Army released the following ultimatum:

"As a consequence of the Israeli intransigence and refusal to respond to humanitarian considerations as well as the stubborn continuation of Israeli military escalation and aggression against the Palestinian people, we will give the Zionist enemy until 6am on July 4th to respond to our offer.  We will then take matters into our own hands."

Currently, the armed resistance in Gaza are demanding the release of 1000 Palestinian prisoners, including all women and children, and those who have been incarcerated for more than 20 years in Israeli jails.  This is up from the initial demand of 408 palestinian women and children prisoners released in exchange for the kidnapped Israeli soldier.

Officials at the Prime ministers office have not yet issued a public response to the communique.   However, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has emphasized repeatedly his refusal to negotiate for the release of any prisoners.

Since the initial terms for negotiation were set June 25, Israel has bombed all six transformers at the power station in Gaza, cutting electricity to an urban population of 750,000.  Fuel and supplies have been blocked at the Karni crossing east of Gaza city for one week creating massive shortages and International concern over a humanitarian crisis.  Gaza and surrounding areas have been continuously shelled by Israeli forces in the North and South of the Gaza strip, creating an early influx of injuries into hospitals that are without a steady power supply.  The office of Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh was completely destroyed by a missile fired from an Apache helicopter July 1st.  Since June 25th, one third of the Palestinian elected government has been arrested by the Israeli Army.

Israeli Army Chief of Staff Dan Hulutz said today "we will do everything possible and needed in order to release Gilad soon," according to Israeli news source Ynet.  This statement comes as the first Israeli tanks roll into the north of Gaza, injuring one man As’ad Hilmi while in his home, Ma’an news reported.

 
 

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