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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 June 2006, 16:32 GMT 17:32 UK
In pictures: Israeli Gaza assault

An F-16 Israeli warplane fires a missile in the Rafah refugee camp, Gaza

Israeli forces have conducted an air and ground offensive in Gaza to try to free a soldier captured by Palestinian militants.

Palestinian electricity workers extinguish a fire inside the headquarters of the main electricity company destroyed by Israeli air strikes in the Gaza Strip

Much of the strip was plunged into darkness after Israeli war planes hit a power station.

Palestinians look at a bridge destroyed by Israeli army warplanes on a main road in the northern Gaza Strip, near Gaza City

They also hit three bridges.

Palestinian militants prepare for a possible Israeli army ground operation in Rafah

Palestinian militants have been erecting barricades and preparing ambush positions in case of ground clashes.

A Palestinian family evacuates their home close to Gaza International Airport

Some Palestinians have been evacuating the area around Gaza airport where the Israeli troops have taken position.

Israeli tanks enter Gaza

Backed by tanks and helicopter gunships, Israeli troops began moving into Gaza overnight from the Kerem Shalom crossing.

Israeli soldiers listen to orders ahead of a ground offensive into Gaza

Israel has been preparing to act since the 19-year-old soldier was seized in a cross-border raid on Sunday.

Palestinians demonstrate in Rafah, calling for the release of female prisoners and those aged under 18

Palestinian militants have demanded that women and children held in Israeli jails be freed in exchange for information on the captured soldier.

A convoy of Israeli tanks and armoured personnel carriers

Israel says the incursion - the first big one since Israeli withdrawal last year - could last several days.

Israel and the Palestinians



Palestinian women sit on a roof top of the home of a Palestinian family in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip on 20 November 2006. Human shields
Palestinians adopt a new tactic to deter Israeli attacks, but this is a high-risk strategy





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