Israeli forces push into Gaza

The military might of Israel is reported to have pushed into northern Gaza, near the town of Beit Hanoun. Palestinian witnesses said they saw tanks cross the border at dawn. The Israeli army said no ground operation had yet been launched in the area.

Israeli warplanes fired missiles at the Islamic University in Gaza city.  There were also reports of strikes in southern Gaza.

Meanwhile in the West Bank, Israeli troops arrested Hamas officials, including the Palestinian deputy prime minister.

There were more air strikes overnight in Gaza, but no reports of casualties. Israeli aircraft dropped leaflets in towns in northern Gaza, warning residents to avoid areas where troops and tanks are positioned.

Israel’s Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, promised operations would continue until the Israeli soldier they sought across the border was released.