Several battalions of Israeli troops went into northern Gaza, searching for rockets (and other weapons) and terrorists, and to destroy smuggling tunnels. In the last four months, nearly 300 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza fighting, as Israel tries to retrieve the soldier kidnapped by Palestinians. In Lebanon, Hizbollah says it is also negotiating a prisoner swap with Israel, trying to get thousands of Lebanese terrorists prisoners, in exchange for the two kidnapped Israeli soldiers. The Israelis have done swaps like this before, but realize that it just encourages more kidnappings.
In Gaza, Palestinians are still on the verge of civil war, with no one really in control. Neighborhoods are controlled by armed militias, and government employees have received less than a third of their pay this year. Hamas is believed to be stockpiling weapons for a major attack on Israel, but must, in the meantime, try to avoid a civil war with its Palestinian rivals.
October 29, 2006: Germany has agreed to let Israel know when and where its naval forces, especially helicopters carried on those ships, operate. The Germans are supposed to be watching for arms smugglers along the Lebanese coast, but German naval helicopters can be mistaken, by Israeli jets, for potential smugglers. The Israelis don't trust the UN naval peacekeepers, because they have not been very effective in stopping smugglers.
October 28, 2006: The UN wants Israel to stop its recon flights over Lebanon. Israel says it won't, and if UN peacekeepers fire on the Israeli aircraft, the Israelis will fire back. Israel believes that the UN peacekeepers are basically protecting Hizbollah, as the terrorist organization rebuilds its military facilities, and prepares for another attack on Israel.
October 27, 2006: Palestinian politicians are trying to negotiate an exchange of a kidnapped Israeli soldier for hundreds, if not thousands, of jailed Palestinian terrorists. Meanwhile, Indonesia is buying four Israeli Searcher Mark II UAVs (via a Philippines company), and taking heat for it in the Islamic world, because Indonesia does not have diplomatic relations with Israel. But Indonesia admitted that it does have unofficial contacts with Israel, and bought the UAVs (for $2 million each) because they were the best buy on the market.
October 26, 2006: Egypt has sent another 5,000 troops to guard the border between Gaza and Egypt. The Egyptians took over border security when Israel pulled out last year, but have been much less effective at stopping smugglers. Israel says more weapons, including guided missiles, are now getting into Gaza. The Egyptians are simply not as effective as the Israelis in watching the border, and are trying to use quantity instead of quality. But that won't work, because the favorite smuggling method is tunnels, and the Egyptians have been much less capable at finding these than the Israelis. The Israelis withdrew from Gaza as a peace gesture, but only got more terrorist attacks in return.
October 25, 2006: Police caught three Israeli Arabs trying to smuggle 13 pounds of explosives from Gaza to the West Bank.