So much for the cease fire. Did anyone expect anything less? No doubt that we will see an escalation of violence this week on the Gaza strip…

JERUSALEM – For the first time since its leaders took control of the Palestinian government in March, Hamas militants led a sophisticated pre-dawn attack Sunday on an Israeli military outpost along the Gaza border, killing two soldiers and abducting a third.

The raid created the most serious crisis here since Israel pulled out of the Gaza Strip last summer.

Israeli tanks almost immediately moved into the fringes of the Gaza Strip, talks between rival Palestinian factions over ending attacks inside Israel fell apart, and Egyptian diplomats worked feverishly to prevent the situation from spinning out of control.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his military leaders warned the Palestinian government that it would be held responsible for the safety of the kidnapped soldier, Cpl. Gilad Shalit, 19.

“We intend to respond to what happened this morning in such a way that everyone involved will know the price they will pay will be painful, and if the situation does not change, will hurt sevenfold,” said Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz.

Tags: gaza hamas violence