Israeli tanks move back into Gaza Strip
By IBRAHIM BARZAK
ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip --
Seven tanks crossed just over Gaza's northern border, Palestinian security officials said. The
Also Saturday, Israeli forces where militants had been tunneling, the army said. Palestinian officials said electric cables were destroyed in the attack, knocking out power to the nearby town of Rafah.
The army said its aircraft also attacked a building housing a weapons cache in Gaza City. No injuries were reported in either incident.
After Israeli troops left Friday, Palestinians streamed out of their homes, inspecting their battered houses and vehicles while rescue workers searched for bodies underneath rubble. Militants picked up mines and explosives they had planted to hit Israeli tanks.
Israel's Gaza offensive started after a June 25 cross-border raid by Hamas-linked militants who captured an Israeli soldier, Cpl. Gilad Shalit, 19, and killed two others.
Salah Bardawil, a senior Hamas official, said it had created a stalemate.
Shalit is believed to remain in the custody of Palestinian militant groups.
Israeli troops have since they started attacking the Gaza Strip to try to rescue Shalit and stop militants from firing rockets into Israel, according to an Associated Press count. Most of the dead were militants but a considerable number were civilians.
The world's attention, however, has been fixed on Lebanon, where Israel is battling Hezbollah guerrillas. Israel opened its second front on the Lebanese border after Hezbollah guerrillas captured two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid July 12.
Bardawil denied reports that Hamas and Hezbollah were cooperating in negotiations for the release of prisoners.