Monday, June 12, 2006

Hamas ends 16-month truce

After the beach bombing that killed seven Palestinian civilians, Hamas has ended it's 16-month truce. Here's the latest from Ha'aretz:
Defense Minister Amir Peretz last night blocked a proposal by the Israel Defense Forces' top brass for a broad Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip in response to the Qassam rocket blitz against Sderot and its environs.

The IDF is increasingly concerned that the Hamas intends to further step up the use of rockets against Israeli towns and supplement these with possible suicide bombing attacks inside the Green Line.

During a meeting called by Peretz and senior IDF and Shin Bet officers, a proposal for a large-scale air campaign against Gaza was raised. Chief of Staff Dan Halutz recommended a serious escalation in response to the Qassam rocket attacks, which would include the targeting of those responsible for the launches, including senior Hamas operatives.

The defense minister rejected the proposal and decided that at this stage, pinpoint attacks against active Qassam rocket crews would suffice. He added that if the rocket attacks continued, he would reconsider.

Peretz also instructed the IDF and the Shin Bet to complete plans to strike at all those involved in the firing of rockets, "from decision-makers to those carrying out the launching of the rockets and other attacks."

The statement was a veiled threat against the Hamas leadership, which is in line with comments Peretz made during the cabinet meeting earlier yesterday. There he declared that "no one is immune, including members of Hamas."

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