Israel ready to attack if truce fails

2012-11-22 22:27

Jeruslaem - Defence Minister Ehud Barak warned on Thursday that Israel may resume its attacks on Gaza at any time if a truce that ended a week of bloodshed fails to hold.

The ceasefire "can last nine days, nine weeks or more, but if it does not hold we will know what to do, and then of course we shall consider the possibility of resuming our [military] activity in case of shooting or provocation", he told public radio.

"Can we win Gaza over from Hamas, yes definitely," Israeli Intelligence Minister Dan Meridor told journalists in Jerusalem. "If we decide to do it we'll do it."

The morning after it took effect, the ceasefire was being honoured in the Gaza Strip, after eight days of cross-border violence that resulted in the deaths of 163 Palestinians and five Israelis.

Obtained after an intense diplomatic push led by Egypt and the United States, the truce came into force at 19:00 GMT on Wednesday, based on text of the agreement.

Barak justified the Israeli government's decision to call off a threatened large-scale ground offensive in Gaza, despite the mobilisation of tens of thousands of reservists.

"Such an operation could have created a situation where we would have had to stay for years in the Gaza Strip. I don't miss Gaza, I'm sure Hamas does not feel nostalgia for what has been happening to it in recent days," he said.

Israel pulled its soldiers and settlers out of the Gaza Strip in 2005 after a 38-year occupation. In December 2008, soldiers launched a fierce 22-day campaign against the militants killing more than 1 400 Palestinians - half of them civilians.

The toll on the Israeli side was 13, 10 of them soldiers. Barak said it would be impossible to bring down Gaza's Hamas government without a complete Israeli re-occupation of the coastal territory.

"I'm not sure that would be the most intelligent thing to do," he said.

He said that the truce arrangement was not a formal treaty between Israel and Hamas, with whom the Jewish state says it does not negotiate.

"It is not an agreement, it is an unsigned paper," he told the radio.

"That does not mean it is not worth anything, but it only reflects the arrangements concluded between us and the Egyptians on one side and between Hamas and Egypt on the other, as well as the limitations that both parties accepted," he said.

"The most important point concerns the commitment of all the Palestinian factions to cease all hostile activities against Israel, including firing rockets or attacks against the Israeli army along the border between Gaza and Israeli territory.

"If peace continues to prevail, there is no reason not to allow Palestinian farmers to cultivate their land up to the border fence," Barak said.

Currently, the Israeli army considers the fence and its immediate vicinity a live-fire zone off limits to Palestinians.

  • kyle.johnston.7146 - 2012-11-23 03:07

    Or it shows you the true face of a country that's not just gonna stand back while a group of radicals run around causing havok because they can't get along with any other religion.

      moses.mabhida.52 - 2012-11-23 08:33

      The free world supports Israel.

      bas.bas.522 - 2012-11-23 10:56

      LOL - which free world - Africa ?

      moses.mabhida.52 - 2012-11-23 12:06

      I mean ppl living under the freedom of democracy, who want to continue to be free from the religious fanaticism that is Islam.

  • Felix Njewa Kankhukwa - 2012-11-23 05:39


      bas.bas.522 - 2012-11-23 10:55

      Go live the bro - and see how they treat blacks !!

      tommy.jones.754918 - 2012-11-23 10:59

      How, please explain?

      henry.justice.372 - 2012-11-23 11:41

      If you enter Israel legally , no problems. You jump the border ,you get the treatment. Same as any other self respecting nation. VIVA ISRAEL

      moses.mabhida.52 - 2012-11-23 12:18

      I have been there 4 times for work. I was treated better in Israel then in most other places. In fact they were so interested in South Africa that I was treated better than I am treated at work here. Israel has Jews, Christains and Muslims working together... There are even black Jews! There is not racism in Israel although they are fighting illigale immigration from Sudan... In south Africa we murdered many illigale immigrants in the townships. We as South African can Lear lots from Israel, the lies said about Israel is a disgrace.

  • bas.bas.522 - 2012-11-23 15:22

    YES and the muslims where responsible for APARTHEID and the HOLO CAST -- personally the cANCer is better than you Nazi scum - pity they didnt finish the job.

      cleve.fletcher - 2012-11-23 16:58

      I know that I am wasting my time here by asking this question, but do you actually have an argument or is all you can do is hurl vituperation? You really should think about this bas, all you are doing is telling these guys that you are a loud mouthed ignoramus. Why don't you sit down quietly, take a deep breath, marshall your argument in a rational cogent manner and then present it calmly and dispassionately. You will be amazed at the response.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-11-24 03:08

      Two groups of people resented and opposed the creation of an Israeli homeland for the Jewish people after the horrors of World War II, notwithstanding that the amount of land was a tiny, minuscule slither relative to the vast lands of the one group, and Jewish people had inhabited that land for millennia. Guess which groups that was, and is. Racist Muslims and White Supremacists.

  • mmoledis - 2012-11-24 12:05

    Any country has a right to defend itself and their citizens against any agressor.So again for a state to be recognised as one, it should be recognised by international community, have citizens,borders and enjoy rights of being a sovereignty, so toll this Palestine cast doubts to be a state because it is not recognised by international community as a state. But too Israel must not conduct operations that will hurt normal citizens in Palestine they should just target infrastructure of Hamas so as Hamas should do and avoid hurting and killing inocent civilians.

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