(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)

In response to the abduction of IDF soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit on June 25, IDF forces entered the southern Gaza Strip during the night, moving into the region of Dahaniya in the southeastern Gaza Strip.

The IDF operation has included:

– Artillery fire at open areas in the southern Gaza Strip.
– Aerial attacks on three bridges in the central Gaza Strip.
– Aerial attack on electricity transformer station south of Gaza city
– Entry of armored forces into the Dahaniya area, mainly the abandoned airport. The area of Dahaniya represents a strategic control and observation point over the area of Rafah and the southern Gaza Strip. So far there has been one incident of gunfire and anti-tank missile fire at the forces, but no injuries or damage were reported.

The purpose of these actions by the IDF is to prevent the kidnappers from transferring the soldier within or out of the Gaza Strip and otherwise disrupt their activity, and to send a clear message to the terror organizations holding the soldier captive that if he is not released safely and quickly, further operational means remain available to the IDF.

The IDF is currently firing artillery at open areas in the southern Gaza Strip. The objective of this is to impair the terrorists’ capability to move the abducted IDF soldier, Cpl. Gilad Shalit, from his current location.

The IDF holds the Hamas government responsible for the fate of the missing soldier.

The IDF will continue to act with determination and to employ all means at its disposal to combat terrorists and their infrastructure, in order to defend the citizens of Israel and will continue to make every effort to return Cpl. Shalit home quickly and safely.

Early Thursday morning, June 29, 2006, the IDF carried out several aerial attacks  targeting a number of routes and an open area in the Gaza Strip. The objective of targeting these routes is to impair the ability of the terrorists to transfer the kidnapped soldier, Cpl. Gilad Shalit, and to prevent the passage of terrorists to the rocket launching grounds, and so disrupt the repeated attempts to fire projectile rockets at Israel.