This note will stay on top: Fox is reporting that Hamas has “ousted President Abbas’ troops’
8:00 p.m/ cst Update
Fox’s Mike Tobin, live in Israel is reporting massive gunfire inside Gaza. This is somewhat different from the beginning of the ground troop incursion earlier, as reports were that Hamas was silent and dug-in, luring the IDF forward, planning to greet them with IED’s and ambush.
Most of the firepower is from Israel, “appearing like magic out of the sky.” Tobin reports that about 35 Palestinian fighters have been killed since today’s incursion.
Discussion about the fighters dissolving into the Gaza population. Tobin points out that they ARE the civilian population.
7:10 a.m. cst Update
Eric Shawn, the UN correspondent for Fox is reporting that the U.N. Security Council has called an emergency meeting tonight to attempt an agreement on the the Israel-Palestine war. A few days ago, such an agreement was drawn. It condemned Israel without a single criticism for Hamas. This agreement failed to pass.
Mike Tobin is reporting live, that artillery is still vigorously pounding Gaza. Infantry entered “fully loaded” with night goggles. Hamas has engaged the Israeli forces.
4:15 p.m. cst Update
Greg Jarrett at Fox News reports that Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak says that Israel has no plans to occupy Gaza, but will rid the area of Hamas.
4:10 p.m. cst Update
Mike Tobin is back on Fox. It’s cold. Hamas militants have been dug into earthen burms – at their ambush points. They are tired and haven’t been fed that well. There has been no rocket fire since the ground troops entered. Tobin says Hamas is “hunkered down,” waiting to ambush.
Jennifer Griffin is now saying that Hamas could not have resupplied the Grad rockets. The Egyptians have an important role to play.
Griffin believes Israel’s strategy is to get international monitors in the Gaza Strip. Egypt’s leaders are not making public statements critizing Israel. Hamas’ strategy is to get Israeli soldiers drawn into heavily populated areas for ambush.
Gaza City is only a short distance from the Israeli troops. Israel knows the Hamas plan and is prepared, but still they are heading into the unknown.
3:55 p.m. cst Update
Gregg Jarrett at Fox is reporting that the ground troops have entered Gaza, marching single file and backed by cover-fire.
The banner is reading: Hamas outsted President Abbas’ troops from Gaza.
1:00 p.m. cst Update
Mike Tobin is on Fox at this moment. He is confirming that Israeli forces have entered Gaza but cannot confirm that foot soldiers have entered. An immediate Israeli goal is to take towns in Gaza that allow the Israeli’s to push Hamas back far enough that Hamas rockets cannot reach Israel. Tobin also says that a dramatic decrease in rocket fire is coming from Hamas with the incursion – perhaps only three firings.
Moustafa (name unknown) is now speaking for the Palestinians. He says the people are cold and frightened. He does not mention that Israel dropped thousands of warnings and notices for civilians to move out. He says one of the world’s largest armies, Israel, is attacking a small guerilla force. He wishes Israel had given Hamas a chance for a cease fire.
Jennifer Griffin is reporting that Israel wants to deliver a direct and hard blow to Hamas and their infrastructure, AND, anyone hiding a weapon in their house is considered a terrorist.
12:35 p.m. cst Update:
Fox News is now reporting that Israeli ground forces are now crossing the border into Gaza. Former Israeli ambassador, Alon Pinkas is on at this moment. He characterizes this is an “incursion,” rather than an invasion. He believes there will be more infantry than armor and believes Israel will continue with small incursions rather than a full-blown invasion, with the mission to ferret out Hamas.
Pinkas believes that Israel is flushing out as many Hamas as possible from schools, hospitals, mosques – and this must be done in the next three days as diplomacy is ramping up. Sarkozy and Egypt are meeting and he expects the U.S. to join in these talks.
11:12 a.m. cst 3rd Update:
One of Fox’s military analysts, General Robert Scales says that Iran’s presence in Gaza through new weaponry has changed the way Israel must now deal with Palestine (paraphrased). He said that the Palestinian IED were once homemade, but now are far more sophisticated and provided by Iran. “The presence of Iran has changed the equation…”
11:08 a.m. cst 2nd Update:
Fox’s Mike Tobin is reporting from Israel, that tanks have sent artillery shells into Gaza for the first time. Also, a new weapon to Tobin, a giant smoke bomb designed to offer cover for the tank positioning, was used. He describes the tanks as “a mighty armored force.”
Kelly Wright from Fox News New York has reported that Israeli television is now reporting the coming entry into Gaza.
Tobin reports that the IAF has “spent down a lot of their target bank,” meaning that they have hit and destroyed planned Hamas targets, and is now moving to targets of opportunity.
The Israeli military is expecting, and ready for “booby traps,” the kind of traps provided by Iran and through the smuggling tunnels.
10:40 a.m. cst Update:
The correspondent mentioned below was Mike Tobin. He is now modifying the report, saying that tanks are positioning, it is believed, to “soften the ground” for moving in Gaza.
I just saw a Fox correspondent report saying that his producer believes a ground incursion has begun by Israel, into Gaza. Nothing on Drudge, AP or Israeli newspapers. More as the info becomes available.