Operation Summer Rain

   Code name for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) operation in the Gaza Strip launched on 28 June 2006 in response to the 25 June attack that resulted in the death of two Israeli soldiers, kidnapping of a third, and wounding of several others by a team of Palestinian terrorists that had tunneled from the Gaza Strip beneath the Kerem Shalom international crossing point on the Gaza-Egypt border. The operation was launched not only in response to this particular attack but also to the unremitting barrage of Qassam missiles being fired from Gaza into Israel.
   The declared goals of Operation Summer Rain were to achieve the safe return of the kidnapped soldier, Gilad Shalit, who was being held in the Gaza Strip by groups affiliated with Hamas; to block efforts by those groups to smuggle Shalit out of Gaza; and to disrupt and dismantle existing terrorist infrastructure and create a buffer zone in the northern Gaza Strip to prevent Qassam rocket fire into Israel.
   To pressure Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Ismail Haniya, and the Hamas-led PA to cooperate in the achievement of these objectives, the IDF undertook limited ground incursions into parts of the Gaza Strip, used air- and sea-launched missiles to incapacitate major Palestinian infrastructure projects, and arrested senior Hamas politicians on terrorism-related charges. The cities of Khan Yunis and Rafah were isolated from the rest of the Gaza Strip. Operation Summer Rain did not immediately achieve the release of Corporal Shalit. Nevertheless, it did result in a slowdown in Qassam rocket fire from Gaza into Israel. Moreover, IDF pressure—combined with the economic sanctions imposed by the Middle East Quartet on Hamas — contributed to significant developments within Palestinian politics. Of these developments, the most significant were discussions about the formation of a Hamas-Fatah "unity government" that focused primarily on the formers' softening of its opposition to recognition of Israel.
   See also Arab-Israeli Conflict.

Historical Dictionary of Israel. .

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