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Sunday, November 04, 2007

Al-Akhbar: US gives green light for Gaza invasion

The Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar is reporting that the United States has given Israel the green light for a large-scale invasion of the Gaza Strip to put a stop to weapons smuggling.
The Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar reported Saturday morning that "credible diplomatic sources" had said American approval for a broad operation in Gaza had come after Israeli intelligence impressed on US officials the importance of such an incursion as an answer to the unprecedented level of arms smuggling to Gaza from Sinai.

IDF combat engineers and infantrymen from the Golani Brigade have been operating on the Gaza-Egyptian border since last week to locate and destroy the tunnels used by weapons smugglers.

Tunnels were found as close as two kilometers from the border with Israel and were destroyed in controlled explosions. IDF sources said they were most probably used by terrorists to leave Gaza on their way to Iran or Syria for training.

According to the newspaper report, the Israeli intelligence was shared during Defense Minister Ehud Barak's last visit to Washington. Sources told Al-Akhbar the reports painted a worrying picture of an "arms race" between Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Israel also presented details of money transfers between Islamic Jihad and Fatah's Aksa Martyrs Brigades.
But is Israel going to take advantage of the green light? Well, maybe.
Over the past few days, Barak has met a number of times with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to definitively fix the timing of a wide-scale military operation, Al-Akhbar cited the sources as saying. The sources added that despite the "green light," Israel was hesitant to launch an operation out of concern that it would complicate preparations for the upcoming US-sponsored Middle East peace conference in Annapolis, Maryland.
I guess that Aliza is playing Lysistrata with Ehud again.


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