Newlywed Israeli soldier critically wounded


JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israeli soldier who was called up to fight in Gaza the day after his wedding was critically wounded in an explosion.

Two other soldiers were moderately wounded in a booby-trapped house in northern Gaza Monday night, the Israel Defense Forces announced Tuesday, the 18th day of Israel’s operation in the Gaza Strip. Troops uncovered weapons and bullet-proof vests at the house.

Also overnight, the Israeli Air Force attacked more than 60 targets, according to the IDF spokesman’s office. They included a hotel in which terror operatives were gathering, terrorists gathering in the yard of a mosque, 15 tunnels on the Rafah border area, at least 10 launching sites, 10 Hamas outposts and seven weapons storage facilities.

During a "humanitarian pause" in the fighting Tuesday morning, about 100 trucks carrying humanitarian supplies were taken in to Gaza through the Karni crossing.

According to reports, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni have decided against expanding the Gaza operation, dubbed Operation Cast Lead, to allow Egypt-led diplomatic efforts to progress.

Barak on Tuesday addressed United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s declaration that Israel stop its Gaza operation in accordance with last week’s Security Council resolution.

"We heard yesterday, and respect, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s appeal, and we are closely following the progress on the Egyptian truce initiative, but the fighting goes on and the IDF is continuing to apply force," said Barak, who met with Air Force pilots and was briefed on operations in Gaza.

Ban is scheduled to arrive in Israel on Thursday for talks with the country’s leaders.


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