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Last Updated: Monday, 26 June 2006, 11:26 GMT 12:26 UK
Mid-East press sees Gaza on brink
Arab-Israeli press

Israeli papers say Sunday's deadly raid by Palestinian militants which left two Israeli soldiers dead and another feared abducted raises the possibility of an all-out conflict in the Gaza Strip, just one year after Israel's pullout.

While some Palestinian and Arab commentators say the targeting of troops was a legitimate response to Israeli actions, others urge both sides to step back from further escalation and a new cycle of bloodshed.

EDITORIAL IN ISRAEL'S HAARETZ

Two months shy of a year after Israel destroyed its settlements and withdrew its army, Gaza is once again on the verge of a major conflagration.

EDITORIAL IN ISRAEL'S YEDIOT AHARONOT

It has to be admitted that the warnings of the disengagement from Gaza detractors have come true... The moment has arrived when we will have to carry out what we had promised ourselves to do when he evacuated Gaza: Woe unto you if the attempts to harm us continue after we released you from the yoke of occupation. From now we will do what other states do when then sovereign territory is bombed. They return fire to the source of fire and what will happen will happen.

EDITORIAL IN PALESTINIAN AL-QUDS

A peaceful solution is the only way out of embroiling the region into a new cycle of bloodshed, occupation dangers and new intifadas. The international community must quickly move to defuse the situation and help reach a kind of truce to reinvigorate the peace efforts based on the resolutions of the international legitimacy, road map and signed agreements.

COMMENTARY IN PALESTINIAN AL-AYYAM

The war will escalate after the mutual raids. The Israelis have returned to the land infiltrations, while the [Palestinian] factions have gone back to raids from tunnels succeeding in inflicting losses on the enemy forces. For the first time since the Israeli pullout, a soldier is captured in the thick of battle and not in a kidnapping. This is a real achievement.

COMMENTARY IN ISRAEL'S MAARIV

Even if [kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit] returns home it is impossible to exaggerate the gravity of yesterday's event. The boldness of Hamas, the killing and the kidnapping are a final proof (for he who still needs such proof) that the organisation controlling the Palestinian Authority clings to the path of war against us. The 'tahdiyah' [the calm with the Palestinians] is dead.

EDITORIAL IN ENGLISH-LANGUAGE JERUSALEM POST

The [Israeli] cabinet statement is correct: the PA has killed two Israeli soldiers, wounded others and taken one hostage. It is a criminal and terrorist regime and must be held responsible for its actions by Israel and the international community.

EDITORIAL IN PAN-ARAB AL-QUDS AL-ARABI

The operation [by Palestinian factions] at the Israeli Rafah Crossing is legitimate because it targeted two Israeli soldiers and not civilians... When the Palestinian panthers are starved, the Israelis, the Americans and their Arab allies must expect them to break out of their cages. This is what happened at the Rafah Crossing yesterday.

EDITORIAL IN EGYPT'S AL-AHRAM

The Palestinian operation that took place yesterday on the Israeli-Palestinian border and left two Israeli soldiers dead reflects the state of tension that has been there for a long time between the two sides, which was contributed to by the continuing Israeli aggressive actions against the Palestinian people. It is normal that such actions occur in an environment of violence and absence of any clear horizons for a political peaceful settlement that restores the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.

COMMENTARY IN ISRAEL'S YEDIOT AHARONOT

This situation calls for a political echelon with nerves of steel, patience and staying power. This is a poker game of people with much experience in handling crisis at the national level. There is a need for one who knows when to pull the reins and when to pull the trigger.

COMMENTARY IN PALESTINIAN AL-HAYAT AL-JADIDAH

The occupation has never respected any obligations till this day and still holds our people hostage at a time when the whole world is on alert for the captivity of one soldier whose life will never be harmed. Those who are beating the war drums and threatening fail to understand that the resistance fighters' imagination is wild and that they are capable of creating other operations. The politicians should be the ones who are creative; they need to find solutions to ease the tension rather than escalate it.

COMMENTARY IN PALESTINIAN AL-AYYAM

The Israelis are in shock from this expected operation and from their army's inability to avoid its harsh consequences. However, this shock coincides with anger and an urge to exact vengeance on the Palestinians as soon as possible.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.





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