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Monday, May 24, 2004

Official Count: 56 Palestinian Houses Destroyed

An Israeli soldier gives instructions to the drivers of a line of
armored vehicles as they pass next to the Rafiah Yam settlement in
the Gush Katish block of settlements in the soutern Gaza Strip after
pulling out of the nearby Palestinian town of Rafah Monday May 24,
2004. [I'll spare you the rest of the caption] AP Photo/Oded Balilty

DEBKA: Israeli commander of Gaza Strip Brig. Zakkai announces 56 Palestinian houses destroyed according to official final count of seven-day Operation Rainbow in Rafah. Denies reports of hundreds of demolitions.

See also this DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis:
Palestinians Plot "North Korean Tunnels" to Erase Israel-Egypt Peace Frontier
Documents Israeli troops found at the outset of Operation Rainbow expose Palestinian determination to push Israel out of its positions on this international border and sabotage a key clause in the first peace accord Israel signed with an Arab nation.

This ambition is confirmed in one of particular documents revealed here by DEBKAfile’s exclusive military sources. It displays the avid study by Palestinian planners of the huge tunnels the North Koreans built in the 1970s under the fortified line dividing the two Koreas. This interest makes the current Israeli drive into Rafah all the more urgent and the problems still ahead daunting . . . .

According to one detailed document, which Israeli commanders suspect may have been left behind to instill fear and demoralize the troops, Palestinian policy-makers ask: why expend man hours and funds on small tunnels? Instead, think big and go for the invasion tunnels the North Koreans built in the seventies and eighties for the purpose of nullifying the defensive value of the heavily fortified frontier running through the demilitarized zone dividing the Koreas.

Our military experts recall that, while the South Koreans and Americans were building the most heavily fortified frontier on earth, the North Koreans were burrowing deep beneath these defenses – between 70 and 160 meters - to build at least four subterranean passageways large enough to carry an invading regiment with field artillery. Some experts calculated that, if 30,000 troops could traverse each tunnel in one hour, all four hidden conduits could channel a horde of 120,000 North Korean combatants over to the other side.

A whole army would then spring out of the earth. . .
Read it all.