About time. “Israelis launches [sic] offensive against Islamic Jihad,” from AP, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:
JENIN, West Bank (AP) “” Israeli troops entered this West Bank town Thursday and arrested a top Islamic Jihad leader, pushing forward with what Prime Minister Ariel Sharon called a “broad and non-stop” offensive against the Palestinian militant group after a suicide bombing that killed five Israelis.
Israel launched the operation with four airstrikes in Gaza early Thursday, targeting open fields used by militants to fire rockets, the army said.
In the afternoon, about 35 jeeps, backed by Apache helicopters, entered Jenin and troops surrounded the home of Abdel Khalim Izzadin. After a brief standoff, Izzadin and three other men surrendered, witnesses said. The army confirmed it carried out an operation in Jenin and said troops were withdrawing.
The offensive “” launched a day after the bombing for which Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility “” will include airstrikes and artillery attacks in Gaza and arrest raids in the northern West Bank, where Wednesday’s bomber came from, a military official said on condition of anonymity under military regulations.
As a last resort, Israel could re-enter Gaza, which it evacuated last month. Israeli media reported that troops would also retake Palestinian towns and conduct house-to-house searches….
The attack came hours after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad praised suicide bombings and said Israel should be “wiped off the map.”
Sharon, during a meeting with the Russian foreign minister, called for Iran to be tossed out of the United Nations for the president’s comments, which drew wide international condemnation.
“The prime minister said that a state which calls for the destruction of another people cannot be a member of the United Nations,” according to a statement released by his office.
Sharon and Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz approved the latest offensive in a series of overnight telephone calls, Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said.
“Islamic Jihad has declared war on every Israeli civilian and of course we’re 100% entitled to take the appropriate action to defend our civilians,” Regev said.