In the latest attack as part of the "Summer Rain" Operation, Israeli tanks have advanced across the border with the Gaza Strip and attacked the Palestinian village of Beit Hanoun. Ismail al-Masri, 19, was killed by an Israeli airstrike in the area, along with another young man who has not yet been identified.
The director of the Palestinian Ministry of Health commented that ambulances were sent to the area immediately after the attack and recovered the body of one of those killed. The Ministry is currently searching for the body of at least one more individual feared to have been killed in the attack.
Since the attack, several Israeli tanks have penetrated some 800 meters into the Gaza Strip, forcing residents of Beit Hanoun to remain in their homes, unable to move.
This is the first Israeli ground incursion into the Gaza Strip since the ‘disengagement’ from Gaza last summer, but Israeli military sources promised that it would not turn into a full-scale invasion, saying, "This is not a massive ground entrance. This is a pin-point operation to locate tunnels and explosives near the border fence,"
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert took full responsibility for the invasion of Gaza, despite being widely critized internationally for what many have termed ‘collective punishment’ of the Palestinians, saying, " “I want no one to sleep at night in Gaza.”