Timeline: The events in Gaza

Israel has launched an offensive to try to get activists in Gaza to free a captured soldier. Below are some of the main events so far.

    Residents and fire crews at an interior ministry office in Gaza

    June 28, 2006

    • Aircraft strike bridges on main roads in the Gaza Strip in attacks that the Israeli army says are aimed at preventing militants from moving the captive, Corporal Gilad Shalit.

    • Helicopters knock out the Gaza Strip's main power plant, cutting off electricity for hundreds of thousands of residents.

    • Troops and tanks enter the southern Gaza Strip, taking control of the disused international airport in the biggest raid into the territory since Israel quit Gaza in 2005 after 38 years of occupation.

    • Warplanes buzz a palace belonging to Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, in a warning to him and the exiled Hamas leaders that he hosts.

    • Artillery pounds northern Gaza Strip, an area used by Palestinian resistance fighters for firing rockets into Israel. The army warns residents to leave the area.

    June 29

    • Israel detains dozens of Hamas cabinet ministers and politicians in the West Bank in a move Hamas says aims at toppling its government.

    • Popular Resistance Committees, one of the groups behind Shalit's capture, says it killed an 18-year-old Jewish settler, Eliyahu Asheri, in the West Bank.

    • The Group of Eight industrialised nations calls on Israel to show restraint in Gaza and expresses concern at arrests.

    June 30

    • Israeli warplanes attack more than 20 targets in the Gaza Strip, setting ablaze the interior ministry offices of the Hamas-led government. Other targets include roads, open areas used for rocket firing and Hamas training camps. One Islamic Jihad fighter is killed.

    • Israel puts on hold a threatened extension of the ground offensive into the northern Gaza Strip to allow more time for Egyptian mediation to free Shalit.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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