Night Flashes

Israel begins its op in Gaza ... IRIS roundup says Israeli body found in Ramallah, planes hit 3 bridges, and a second Israeli is reported abducted ... AP via JPost reports the Popular Resistance Committee (PRC) threatens to kill a hostage if Israel doesn't halt its raids ... the JPost has this: 'The IDF received reports on Tuesday night than an Israeli body was found in Ramallah. The security forces were investigating the credibility of the reports, Army Radio reported. Meanwhile, the security establishment has assessed on Tuesday that 18-year-old Eliyahu Asheri from Itamar was in fact kidnapped. The assessment was made based on circumstantial evidence, without concrete proof.' ... Aluf Benn at Ha'Aretz says this means Olmert's convergence plan is on hold, in the face of increasing opposition from an Israeli public seeing Qassam attacks and an out-of-touch Prime Minister ... Israpundit quotes A7 reporting that 'The Israeli Ambassador to the United States, Danny Ayalon, stated early this morning that if Gilad Shalit is released and is safe and well, Israel will halt its current military operation in the Gaza Strip.' Israpundit isn't happy with that ...

Finally, Debka's latest update: 'First Israeli tank columns roll into southern Gaza Strip Tuesday night after Israeli air strike knocks out a main transformer station south of Gaza City. Palestinian sources say the Israeli force is taking up positions around Rafah where captured Israeli soldier Gideon [sic] Shalit is believed held by Hamas captors. Much of the territory has gone dark. Israeli artillery also opened up from the tank emplacements at Nahalf Oz, Kisufim and Sufa to prevent the Palestinians shooting Qassam missiles . The Israeli incursion followed breakdown of diplomatic efforts to negotiate the Israeli corporal’s release. Palestinians have been setting up sand barriers sown with explosives and mining routes in the path of Israeli tanks and armor and building concealed firing positions.' The captured soldier's name is reported elsewhere as Gilad Shalit; the civilian abducted two days later is Eliyahu Asheri.