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Defense Minister Amir Peretz Photo: Gil Yochanan
Defense Minister Amir Peretz Photo: Gil Yochanan
 
Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz Photo: Niv Calderon
Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz Photo: Niv Calderon
 
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert Photo: Gil Yochanan
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert Photo: Gil Yochanan
 
 

Peretz: IDF spots Qassam cells, holds back

Defense minister questions benefit of restraint to PA moderates, tells ministers of incidents in which Qassam fire is not foiled in time due to policy. Minister Mofaz says not only launchers should be targeted: 'Operation needed against organization leaders'

Ronny Sofer
Published: 12.24.06, 13:37 / Israel News

The western Negev saw the 51st Qassam Sunday morning to land since the beginning of the ceasefire, and those in Jerusalem have begun to lose patience.

 

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“A comprehensive, unequivocal attack should be considered, with an emphasis on terror heads” Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz said during a cabinet meeting Sunday regarding Israel’s restrain policy.

 

“It isn’t enough to attack those firing Qassams. We have to protect Sderot and the Negev,” he added, and called for a decision “as soon as possible”.

 

Also during the government meeting, Defense Minister Amir Peretz said that there were situations in which IDF soldiers identify Qassam cells before any are launched, but refrain from acting against them.

 

Shin Bet ChiefYuval Diskin confirmed the information upon request of another minister.

 

Peretz presented estimates by security sources, which showed it was not sure that the restraint actually served moderate source in the Palestinian Authority well. The defense minister added that the restrain may actually play into the hands of those who were “proud to shoot at Israel."

 

'Israel cannot be made a mockery of'

Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Eliyahu Yishai also objected to the restrain policy.

 

“The government has to act right away in order to stop the fire which threatens its residents and citizens,” he said. “Israel cannot be made a mockery of.”

 

The majority of ministers congratulated Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Abbas’ meeting, and opproved the transfer of funds to the PA in accordance with a system meant to prevent them finding their way into the hands of the Hamas government.

 

Yet, other sounds of objection to the restraint could be heard within the government. Olmert himself made it clear to Abbas that Israel’s current policy may change soon if the Qassams continued.

 

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