Monday, October 30, 2006

I-39 Olmert forms new government.... Israel expands offensive in Gaza

An Israeli armoured personnel carrier, right, followed by an army bulldozer.... Israel may expand offensive in Gaza

JERUSALEM - Israel plans to expand its military offensive in the Gaza Strip and will decide soon on the what kind of operation it will conduct, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Monday...... Olmert said, "There is no doubt that we have to take steps to reduce the ability of the Palestinians to fire rockets at Israel and smuggle in weapons," but no decision has been made on exactly what to do, according to a participant in the meeting.

UPDATE: PM: Israel will stop Palestinian arms JERUSALEM - Israel will take action to stop Palestinian arms smuggling and rocket fire in the Gaza Strip, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Monday, but he could not point to specific solutions..... Olmert also said any new offensive would not result in Israel's retaking Gaza, which it left a year ago after a 38-year occupation....

Olmert was speaking at a special Cabinet session to vote approval of the addition of an ultra-hawkish party to his ruling coalition, a step seen as virtually ruling out any Israeli-Palestinian peace initiatives in the near future. Avigdor Lieberman, head of the Yisrael Beiteinu Party, has advocated bombing Palestinian population centers and redrawing Israel's borders to exclude its Arab citizens. He becomes a deputy prime minister.


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