Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
Photo: Reuters
Defense Minister Amir Peretz
Photo: Reuters

Cabinet sends IDF to do its homework

In light of heavy toll claimed by Qassam rockets in past week, security cabinet ministers give IDF green light to continue operation in Gaza, expand it in certain areas, but send army representatives to prepare organized action plan to be approved later

The cabinet ministers on Wednesday afternoon instructed the Israel Defense Forces to prepare an overall plan for halting the Qassam fire, and simultaneously approved the principles of continuing the war in Gaza against the launching of Qassams and smuggling of weapons from Egypt to the Gaza Strip.


Although no special plans have been approved, the military activity is expected to be expanded as a response to the escalation in the Palestinian fire.


These are the clauses of the cabinet decision:

  1. Continue the operational activity in the Gaza Strip in launching sites of high-trajectory fire in the Gaza Strip, according to a model presented to the cabinet by the IDF chief of staff.
  2. Continue to thwart the high-trajectory fire lineup against the activists, the knowledge, the production, the storage and the fire.
  3. Targeted killings of elements involved in practice in carrying out terror attacks.
  4. Operational activity against Hamas institutions in the Gaza Strip. The targets will be approved by the prime minister and defense minister.
  5. Continue the diplomatic effort in the face of the strengthening of terror in the Gaza Strip, while cooperating with Egypt and the international community in order to foil smuggling of weapons for transfer of knowledge and resources into the Gaza Strip.
  6. Continue the defense establishment's operational activity against weapon smuggling.
  7. The defense establishment has been instructed to prepare and present a plan for a broader operation, which will be presented and submitted for the cabinet's approval.


Since the end of the Lebanon war, the prime minister and defense minister used to defend themselves by explaining that there was no military plan which the IDF presented to the cabinet and was not approved. This time, it appears, the cabinet has decided to take matters into its own hands and demanded that the IDF prepare a plan for a broader operation.


Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter was satisfied with the discussion at the national security cabinet, and said during the cabinet meeting that the IDF must provide a detailed plan for preventative action.


"There are things to do, we just need a military plan which will be approved by the political echelon. We must not give in to the Qassam terror and the strengthening of Hamas. The army is capable of providing an action plan," he said.


Tension between Peretz, Olmert not manifested

The cabinet convened in light of the launching of Qassam rockets, which claimed a heavy toll in Sderot last week. During the discussion, the ministers were briefed by the IDF and the Shin Bet regarding what is taking place in the Palestinian Authority and the actions taken these days against the Palestinian terror.


According to reports, the prime minister and defense minister were polite to each other, and the tension between the two was not manifested. This is the first discussion held since the crisis between the two, which broke out following Peretz's phone conversation with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.


In addition to the IDF's force-using policy, the ministers were also being briefed on the diplomatic issue in light of Abbas' difficulties to form a national unity government.


פרסום ראשון: 11.22.06, 13:12
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