IDF tank in Gaza (Archive)
Photo: AFP

Report: US okayed wide-scale Gaza operation

Lebanese daily al-Akhbar quotes diplomatic sources as saying Washington gave 'green light' to Israel to launch extensive incursion in Strip, following Defense Minister Barak's reports about Palestinian factions' alarming military buildup

The American administration has given a "green light" for a wide-scale Israeli military operation in Gaza, Lebanese newspaper al-Akhbar reported Saturday, quoting diplomatic sources.


The sources added that "Washington's approval undermines the negotiations for an Israeli-Palestinian agreement ahead of the Annapolis peace conference."


According to al-Akhbar, the sources said that Israel has relayed intelligence reports to Washington explaining the pressing need for an extensive incursion, in response to the "escalation in the activity of Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip and in order to put a stop to their unprecedented armament efforts."


The sources told the Lebanese daily that the Israeli intelligence reports, which were presented by Defense Minister Ehud Barak to his American counterparts during his visit to the US last month, included information on Hamas and Islamic Jihad's military buildup, as well as the huge sums of money transferred to Fatah's al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.


The reports also referred to the weapons smuggling from Egypt and Israel's stance that these activities can only be prevented "by a pinpoint, large-scale army operation to destroy the tunnels used to smuggle arms."


Al-Akhbar claimed that Barak has met with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert several times in the last week, in a bid to "reach an understanding regarding the date and scope of a Gaza invasion."


פרסום ראשון: 11.03.07, 16:09
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