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February 11, 2008 - IAF Chief: Large Scale Operation Needed
Air Force Commander, Brig. General Eliezer Shkedi said yesterday, "The situation in Gaza is complex and very troubling. The attack on Sderot yesterday, the injuries of the youths and the continuous Qassam (rocket) fire is very troubling and obliges the consideration of the continuing operations in the Gaza Strip."
Shkedi estimated that the scope of IDF operations in the Palestinian enclave would be increased. "The continuing fire will at the end of the day obligate us (to carry out) a wide scale operation in the Strip. Terrorists on the (separation) fence and ongoing rocket fire is intolerable. This is unacceptable from our point of view," the IAF chief.
He also noted that current IDF activities against terrorist groups in the Strip are insufficient: "I won't get into political considerations, but (from a) military standpoint, we're operating in Gaza around the clock - combined - from the ground and the air."
Fury Toward Olmert
After the disastrous rocket attack that so devastatingly injured the Twito boys and, by the way, damaged homes in Sderot as well, all Prime Minister Olmert had to say to a ministers' meeting in Jerusalem was, "Anger is no plan of action. We will carry on as before."
Defense Minister Barak is not doing much better. He visited Sderot early Sunday and was confronted by angry citizens demanding to know why the Army is not protecting them. Why has the IDF not gone in and stopped these incessant attacks?
People aren't just angry - they're furious.
As Sderot citizens protested outside the cabinet office in Jerusalem, ministers and lawmakers demanded sweeping ground action, targeting of Hamas and Jihad Islami leaders and tighter economic sanctions against Gaza.
Sderot leaders said that if "a strategic military operation" continues to be withheld to stem the missile assaults, whose accuracy is improving, the town must be evacuated.
So far, Olmert has barred both options. And to add insult to injury, Olmert left for Berlin yesterday afternoon, despite the demands of several ministers' for him to reschedule his trip and take charge of the missile crisis.
Also from The Lekarev Report
Sheetrit: 'Time to Bomb Gaza'
Both Sderot Mayor Eli Moyal and Interiot Minister Meir Sheetrit, among others, are saying it's time to bomb Gaza neighborhoods, in response to the ongoing Kassam attacks.
Speaking with Army Radio on Sunday morning, Moyal said, "Defense Minister Ehud Barak arrived here this morning, I showed him the spot where the Qassam hit last nightg[from which a boy lost his leg and his brother is fighting for his life], and I told him, as I always do, that I'm not going to tell him what specific operations to take, or that there has to be a full-scale invasion of Gaza; but just that the residents do not believe that enough is being done to keep them safe. "
Tempers flared openly Sunday as cabinet ministers discussed the ongoing Qassam fire on Sderot and the situation in Gaza.
Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit suggested obliterating a Gaza neighborhood in response to Saturday's Qassam fire on Sderot, saying "any other country would have already gone in and level the area, which is exactly what I think the IDF should do - decide on a neighborhood in Gaza and level it." He proposed giving warning to civilians in the area where the rockets are launched, telling them to leave the area for their own safety, and then levelling the neighborhood.
More and more Israelis agree with him.
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