On the night of Saturday, Israeli tanks entered the Palestinian towns of Rafiah in the south of the Gaza Strip and Shema on the West Bank of the Jordan River.
According to the Palestinian authorities, more than 150 tanks entered Shema. As a result of the skirmishes that occurred in the town two Palestinians were killed. As has been asserted by the Israeli military leadership, Shema is one of the basic centres of the activity of Palestinian terrorist groups, and the troops have been deployed there to conduct searches and arrest Palestinian militants.
Nothing has been said about the objective of the operation in Rafiah. However, experts believe that the entry of tanks into that town can be directly connected with the operation in Shema from where it is planned to exile the families of two Palestinian terrorists to the Gaza Strip. The order on this score was signed on Thursday by Commander of the Israeli Troops on the West Bank of the Jordan River Yizhak Eitan.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969