With its back to the wall, Israel’s leadership took the military initiative, hoping to extricate the country from the trap laid by Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip. After border communities were placed under partial lockdown for three days in fear the organization would retaliate for the arrest of one of its leaders in the West Bank, the government found itself with few options. The army killed two military commanders and hit terrorist cells that were apparently preparing for the retaliatory attacks. As of Saturday evening the Palestinians had reported at least 15 fatalities, including the two commanders and a 5-year-old girl.
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