Israeli Prime Minister Vows Extreme Action to Free Captured Soldier
Israeli tanks and troops moved into southern Gaza early Wednesday in an attempt to rescue a soldier kidnapped by Palestinian militants. Troops began taking up positions near the town of Rafah hours after Israeli aircraft knocked out electricity to the Palestinian territory and hit several bridges in central Gaza.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says his government will not hesitate to take "extreme action" to bring home the kidnapped soldier. Mr. Olmert said the army's push into Gaza is only to gain the release of the soldier. He said Israel has no intention of re-occupying the Palestinian territory.
Palestinian Authorities President Mahmoud Abbas denounced the offensive. His office issued a statement that called targeting of civilian infrastructure "collective punishment" and urged international intervention to stop the operation.