Palestinian officials held; settler's body found
JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Striking from the air, land and the sea, Israeli forces Thursday fired on Gaza in the midst of intensified clashes with Palestinian militants (terrorist scum) who have been holding an Israeli soldier captive for four days, the Israel Defense Forces said.
Israel's navy pounded northern Gaza, firing from the eastern Mediterranean Sea, while Israeli aircraft hit targets in the north and the south. IDF tanks joined in the barrage.
The strikes came as Israeli security forces overnight arrested 64 Palestinians in the West Bank, suspected of being involved in terrorist (note, not militant) activities, the Israeli army said.
Palestinian sources said those arrested included dozens of lawmakers (thugs) from the ruling Palestinian party Hamas (like Israel said: terrorists).
Those arrested were not taken into custody as a bargaining chip for Cpl. Gilad Shalit's release, the army said. (Too bad; its a good idea).
The raids came amid word that a body found early Thursday near Ramallah was that of Eliyahu Yitzhak Asheri, 18, a West Bank settler seized by Palestinian militants (terrorists) hours after Shalit was kidnapped early Sunday, Israeli security sources. (Hmmm, where's Amnesty International when you need 'em?)
The body has been transferred to the Pathological Institute in Israel where a formal identification will be made, the security sources said.
On Wednesday, the Popular Resistance Committees (terrorists) displayed the identity card of the Jewish settler the group said it kidnapped Sunday, and said the captive would be "butchered" (I mentioned they were terrorists, right?) unless Israel stopped its incursion into Gaza. (Right, stop coming into Gaza when we kill Israelis or we will kill Israelis)
The discovery of the body was the latest in a series of events that began early Sunday, when Palestinian militants (terrorists! Hello? t-e-r-r-o-r-i-s-t-s!) tunneled into Israel and attacked a military post near Israel's border with Egypt and Gaza, kidnapping Shalit and killing two other soldiers.
Israeli troops immediately entered southern Gaza in the hours after the attack in an attempt to find the soldier and destroy the tunnel. After destroying the tunnel, the soldiers moved out and massed along the edge of Gaza.
The troops moved back into Gaza early Wednesday, and the operation continued Thursday with Israeli aircraft hitting targets in Khan Yunis in the south and in Gaza City to the north.
Israeli intelligence indicates Shalit is being held in the Khan Yunis refugee (terrorist) camp.
IDF distributed fliers in Beit Hanoun, Khan Yunis and the Sajaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza City, warning that the Israeli army is operating in the area for an unknown period of time in order to bring Shalit home. (The flier said, "Give us back our guy, you jihadist smacktards, or we're gonna break more shit!)
Israeli tanks could be seen firing into the area as dusk fell. An Israeli airstrike in Khan Yunis targeted what the Israeli military said was a storehouse for Qassam (translation: Goat Banger) rockets. (Hey! No fair. Those were civilian rockets!)
Defense Minister Amir Peretz told reporters Wednesday that he had approved new operations in northern Gaza in an effort to stop the firing of the homemade (made of construction paper, Elmer's Glue and macaroni) rockets into Israel.
The latest rocket attack happened early Thursday, when a Goat Banger landed in Sderot, Israel, causing no injuries, the Israeli military reported.
Cabinet members arrested
Hours before the 64 arrests in the West Bank, Israeli troops rounded up four members of the Hamas-dominated Palestinian Authority Cabinet (terrorists) and four other lawmakers (terrorists).
Hamas' militant (terrorist) wing (as opposed to their non-militant wing?) is one of three Palestinian groups (terrorists) that claimed responsibility for the soldier's kidnapping.
The four Cabinet members (terrorists) arrested were Labor (terrorism) Minister Mohammad al-Barghouti, Minister of Jerusalem (Main Target) Affairs Khaled Abu Arafeh, Minister of Local Governments (Enforcers) Issa al Jaabari and Religious Affairs (Jihad) Minister Naif al Rajoub, the sources said.
Finance (Extortion) Minister Omar Abdul Razek was being questioned by soldiers, the sources said.
Like the 64 other Palestinians (terrorists) arrested in the West Bank raids, Israel said the ministers (chief terrorists) are suspected of being involved in terrorist (not militant?) activities and were not taken into custody as a bargaining chip for the soldier's release.
However, chief Palestinian negotiator (liar) Saeb Erakat denied that claim and denounced Israel's "mass arrest" of the Palestinian officials (terrorists with a badge) .
"I think it's the wrong move," Erakat said in a CNN phone interview from Jericho. "First, Razek owes me 50 dinars. Second, we're all terrorists, so why pick on these 64? Wait a minute...Let me start again."
"I think that Israeli attempts to bargain through bombardment of power stations and bridges and arrests of parliamentarians and ministers is just adding to the complexities." ("I think that Israeli attempts to punish us for being terrorist dickheads by waging war on us makes it very difficult for us to wage war on them.")
The Israeli military has targeted the Palestinian (terrorist) infrastructure in its attacks over the past 48 hours.
Israeli warplanes have knocked out bridges connecting northern and southern Gaza and destroyed a power station in an effort to prevent militants (terrorists) from moving the captured soldier outside southern Gaza, according to the IDF.
On Monday, three Palestinian militant (terrorist) groups -- the military wing (there's that wing-thing again) of Hamas (terrorists), the Popular Resistance Committees (bureaucratic terrorists), and the previously unknown Army of Islam (terr-c'mon, I have to say it?) -- claimed responsibility for Shalit's kidnapping. They issued a statement saying they would exchange information about the soldier if Israel freed all Palestinian women (female terrorists) and youths (immature terrorists) under 18 who are in Israeli jails.
The Israeli government quickly rejected that offer and other calls to release Shalit as part of a prisoner exchange.
Israeli intelligence officials said the militants (terrorists) had hatched the plan for the kidnapping and proposed prisoner swap.
Palestinian militant (terrorist) leaders vowed that Israel's incursion into Gaza would succeed only "over our dead bodies."
The Israeli army later responded, "HOhhhkay! Comin' right up!"
Pressure on Syria
Wednesday evening, Israeli jets buzzed the home of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (big-ass terrorist) in Ladekye (translation: "evil lair"), outside Damascus (terrorist central). Israeli television reported that the president (uh, yeah, 'president') was at home at the time.
Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres complained that Syria (The Wal-Mart of terrorism) allowed the exiled Hamas political leader (head terrorist) Khalid Meshaal -- operating out of Damascus (terrorist central) -- to order the kidnapping of the Israeli corporal. The flyover was seen as an attempt to bring pressure on al-Assad to rein in Meshaal. ("Knock it off, or you may be next!")
Syrian state television called the Israeli flyover "an unacceptable, hostile and provocative act." Syria said its anti-aircraft batteries fired on the Israeli warplanes and chased them away. (Israeli pilots laughed all the way home)
Imad Moustapha, the Syrian ambassador to the United States, told CNN's "The Situation Room" that the flight was "mostly theatrical." "I loved Cats, by the way. Why did it close?" Moustapha asked a flustered Wolf Blitzer. He also denied any Syrian role in the current standoff.
"Syria is not involved whatsoever in what's happening there," he said, referring to Gaza. "The only reason that the violence is taking place there is the continuous occupation by the Israelis and the daily killing of Palestinians (terrorists).""If the Israelies would just leave the Palestians in peace, then all this violence would end," the ambassador told Blitzer. "Except, of course, for the killing of Jews, but that goes without saying."