Palestinian killed as Olmert says major Gaza offensive is nearing
Israeli forces killed a Palestinian fighter during a raid into the Gaza Strip on Friday, local medical sources, Hamas sources and the Israeli army said. According to Reuters, an Israeli army spokeswoman said troops operating close to the border east of Gaza City spotted an armed man and shot him. According to her, an Israeli soldier was wounded in the exchange.
In an air strike earlier on Friday, a missile destroyed an outpost belonging to Hamas, critically wounding one gunman. A number of bystanders were also hurt, Hamas said. A second air strike was aimed at a building suspected of being a munitions workshop in Gaza City. The army spokeswoman said the missle missed its intended target.
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Friday a major military operation into the Gaza Strip was looking more likely. Olmert said Israel might have to carry out a major action in the territory to counter cross-border rocket fire. "At this moment the pendulum is swinging closer to military action in Gaza than anything else," Olmert said after returning from a three-day trip to the United States where he met President George W. Bush.