Photo Essay: Soldiers Awaiting Gaza Ground Operation

Arutz-7 visited troops massed next to northern Gaza Thursday, poised to sweep Beit Hanoun for terrorists and missiles fired at neighboring Sderot. The operation was halted by PM Ehud Olmert.

Ezra HaLevi, | updated: 13:57

Troops are still standing by outside Beit Hanoun after suiting up and embarking for Gaza Thursday. They were told at the last minute that the operation had been postponed indefinitely.

The weekend newspapers were filled with open criticism of Prime Minister Olmert by IDF officials critical of his suspension of the operation and rejection of subsequent revised proposals. Olmert says he wants to give diplomacy a chance.
(Photos: Josh Shamsi, Arutz-7 Photojournalist)

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Two friends confer before they embark
Provisions to be packed into vehicles
An armored IDF ambulance
A D9 bulldozer, used extensively during Operation Defensive Shield in Jenin, makes its way toward Gaza.
Equipment has been distributed and packed into individual packs.
Suiting up
Well-wishers sent off the troops with song and prayers.
A note before battle...
An armored personnel carrier with Gaza in the background.