Barak wants to change Gaza reality
Photo: Reuters

Barak: Time for action, things will change

Defense minister vows to 'change situation in Gaza' during meeting with top security officials Sunday evening. Barak reiterates that Hamas will pay price for Gaza escalation, army wants to continue operating in Strip

"The time has come for actions," Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Sunday during a meeting with IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, Shin Bet Director Yuval Diskin, and other senior security officials

Barak said that Hamas' ongoing attacks left Israel with no choice but to respond. "Hamas bears the responsibility and it will pay the price," he said.


"We disengaged from Gaza, we uprooted communities and Israelis from their homes just so there would be quiet for the Gaza vicinity towns – these are painful concessions that we have made for peace and Hamas continues its attacks," said Barak at the security meeting, held in his office.


"We will use force to change the situation, and we will change it," he said.


Meanwhile, IDF officials expressed their satisfaction with the progress of operation "Warm Winter" in the Strip. As clashes with terrorists in Gaza drastically declined on Sunday, the troops were free to search homes and other structures on the ground. The IDF is interested in continuing its operations in the current format, that is, activity deep within Palestinian territory that includes "clearing" Qassam launch sites, searching structures, and apprehending wanted terror suspects.


Army targets 'Qassam chain'

So far, more than 30 Palestinians were interrogated by security officials. The suspects are expected to provide the IDF with additional intelligence information ahead of more operations. The defense minister is also pushing for continuing the operational drive in the same format in conjunction with Air Force attacks across the Strip. The army's objective is to hit the entire "Qassam chain," ranging from production facilities to the terrorists who fire the rockets.


However, IDF officials noted that many actions still need to be carried out in the coming weeks in order to create a new reality in the Strip.


At the same time, IDF Central Command officials are also monitoring developments in the Strip while preparing for the possibility that terror groups would boost their efforts to carry out attacks against Israeli targets across the West Bank.


The army also estimates that West Bank riots will continue in the next few days.


פרסום ראשון: 03.02.08, 22:35
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