(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)
IDF ground forces entered the central Gaza Strip last night and are operating there, as part of the operation to stop the launching of rockets at Israel and destroying terror infrastructure in the area.

Last night the IDF targeted a number of gunmen in two separate incidents in the area of the Mugazi. In the first incident, a group of six gunmen carrying anti-tank missiles were identified approaching the forces and were targeted from the air. In the second incident, a gunman was also identified approaching the forces and was targeted from the air.

In the southern Gaza Strip, the IDF carried out aerial attacks, targeting three tunnels – two of them near Dahaniya, and one west of Sufa crossing. Targeting these tunnels prevents terrorists from infiltrating into Israel and carrying out terrorist attacks.

These attacks are coupled with continual artillery fire from the ground as well as from Israel navy vessels towards areas in which rockets are launched and terrorists operate.

IDF forces also began to carry out engineering work near the security fence in southern Gaza, near the Sufa crossing, to eliminate terrorist threats in the area.

Summary of IDF activity in the central Gaza Strip, July 20:

Since this morning, July 20, the IDF has been carrying out artillery fire at projectile rocket launching grounds in the northern Gaza Strip from which Palestinians have been firing Qassam rockets at Israel.

Since last night, IDF forces can confirm hitting over 10 armed Palestinians, including two groups of anti-tank missile launcher cells, and a group of Palestinian gunmen, all of them targeted in aerial attacks as they were attempting to reach and attack IDF forces operating in the area. Palestinians fired four anti tank missiles at IDF forces. No injuries or damage were reported.

Earlier today, an Israeli civilian was lightly wounded by a Qassam rocket outside an Israeli community in the western Negev area and was evacuated to an Israeli hospital to receive medical treatment.

Passage of food items and fuel into the Gaza Strip through the Nahal Oz and Karni crossings

In accordance with the decisions of the political echelon and following security assessments, the Karni goods crossing and Nahal Oz fuel terminal were opened again today, July 20, 2006, for the passage of food items and fuel into the Gaza Strip.

  • At Karni crossing, 146 truckloads of basic food items were transferred to Gaza.
  • At the Nahal Oz fuel terminal, the following quantities of fuel and natural gas were transferred: 370,000 liters of diesel, 90,000 liters of gasoline, 175 tons of natural gas (for cooking).

IDF drops leaflets to ensure safety of Palestinian civilians in Gaza Strip

As part of the IDF’s operation to stop the Qassam rocket barrages against Israel, the IDF dropped leaflets addressing the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip. The leaflets are intended to warn the population not to stay in structures that are used for storing weaponry, before they are targeted by the IDF.

The IDF have yet to target these structures, since they are in civilian homes and are near densely populated areas. However, since the terrorist organizations are continuing to cynically use civilian population as human shields, using there homes to store weaponry and launching rockets at Israeli towns from populated areas, the IDF will attack these locations used by terrorists from now on.