Olmert with Dutch minister
Photo: GPO
Gaza gunmen
Photo: AFP

We won't fight for Fatah, says Olmert

Israel keeps watchful eye on escalating events in Gaza, as Hamas moves in on northern strip. 'Hamas takeover of Gaza will affect entire region,' says PM, as defense minister warns clashing factions against attacking Israel

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert expressed concern Tuesday over the escalating situation in the Gaza Strip, during a briefing with Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen.


"The situation in Gaza is very disturbing in terms of the pragmatic Palestinians' fight against the extremists among them," he said, referring to the decision not to send IDF troops into the Strip to assist Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.


"Should Gaza fall to Hamas, it would affect the entire region;" said Olmert, stressing that "Israel has and will protect its citizens against any acts of terror."


Olmert told the Dutch FM the West must intervene in the situation as soon as possible.


"We must consider sending international troops such as UNIFIL to the Philadelphi route to stop the extremists from getting any stronger," he said.


Both the IDF and political echelons are following recent events in Gaza very closely, as Hamas moves in on much of the northern strip.


A senior military source told Ynet Tuesday, that at this point recent events in Gaza had no effect on homeland security.


High-ranking political sources told Ynet that Israel must stay observant of the events in Gaza, so to avoid getting involved in the regional civil war.


Defense Minister Amir Peretz warned the Palestinians against attacking Israel, saying that "the Palestinian Authority is plagued with horrible acts of violence right now, but that's none of our business, it's their own… They should be careful not to attack Israel, for we would respond harshly."


Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, Fatah's military wing, issued a leaflet Tuesday calling their members to "face those seeking a coup."


Hamas forces continued their efforts to take over additional military posts in Gaza and according to Palestinian sources, have taken over the northern strip, while Fatah troops engage in holding-battles.


Later Tuesday night, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to meet with senior Fatah officials, to discuss living the unity government.


פרסום ראשון: 06.12.07, 21:00
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