Major Clashes Between IDF and Hamas Terrorists


1-5-2009-1-31-05-pm-5481469Major clashes between IDF troops and Hamas terrorists are taking place now, Monday evening, 7:45 p.m. IL, in the northern Gaza Strip. The clashes mark the first time that the IDF has extended its ground operation into the densely populated Gaza urban centers. Live footage from Gaza shows numerous explosions and fires in the area where  the soldiers are said to be operating. Heavy firepower can be heard, and reports states that there are dozens of artillery shells, as well as air support which has been concentrated in the area.

Just over an hour prior to the clashes, the IAF bombed at least 40 smuggling tunnels along the Philadelphi Corridor on Gaza’s southern border with Egypt. There were no immediate reports of casualties in the strikes.

Meanwhile, seven IDF soldiers were wounded this afternoon, four moderately and three lightly, in exchanges of fire between Israeli troops and Hamas terrorists in the northern Gaza Strip. The soldiers were evacuated for medical treatment.

In related news, the IDF announced today that dozens of Hamas operatives have been taken prisoner since the start of the ground offensive, Israel Radio reported.

{Yair Israel}