Netzarim Israel News Photo: (file)

IDF tanks deployed on Sunday morning on the ruins of the Gush Katif town of Netzarim, preparing to encircle Gaza City just to the north. So reports Channel Two, based on civilian Arab reports from within Gaza.

The IDF’s presence on the road to Netzarim means that Gaza City is cut off from central and southern Gaza. Gaza City is the Hamas war and terrorism headquarters. It was also reported that IDF forces had taken up positions to the south, near the former Kissufim crossing, once used by Israelis to access their homes in the Gush Katif region.

Before Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in the summer of 2005, the IDF would often divide the Gaza Strip into two or three parts, in order to prevent the free transport of weapons and terrorists from one place to another. This is apparently the objective of the present offensive, though the IDF is keeping close guard on the details of its war plans.

Thousands of IDF soldiers are now inside Gaza, in a ground offensive that began shortly after the end of the Sabbath. The IDF announced the objectives: “To deal a major blow to the Hamas networks, take control of the areas from which rockets are launched, and to strengthen our deterrence, in order to create a better long-term security situation.”

Dozens of terrorists were reported killed over the first night of the ground offensive, and 20 IDF soldiers were wounded in battle, including two seriously.