The tanks are ready to roll but mediators want a few more hours to try to hammer something out. Debka breaks down the situation and says the IDF is looking at a five-stage operation in Gaza. They seem to believe there’s a chance of recovering the missing soldier — but how? His captors will surely kill him when they get there.

While Haniyeh talks to the Pope, his people are busy forming “abduction units” to kidnap more Israelis. They’ve already grabbed another victim, which the good people of the West Bank and Gaza evidently think is just grand.

Update: The IAF has bombed a bridge and IDF tanks are on the move, so it appears to be on. We should be getting the first press release from Palestinian “human rights groups” alleging atrocities and/or massacres any minute now.

Update: Has Shalit been smuggled out to another country?

Update: Fox says the power’s out in Gaza thanks to an Israeli airstrike.

Update: Rusty Shackleford e-mails a link to Ynet claiming that Syria has sent troops to protect Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal (who’s based in Damascus) in anticipation of Israel’s Gaza strike.

Tags: Israel