debkafile Reports Exclusively: Israel resolves to step up counter-terror operations in the Gaza Strip – up to possible special forces ground assaul

In high-level consultations between Jerusalem, Washington, London, Paris and Brussels, prime minister-designate Ehud Olmert received full backing to launch this offensive before the week-long Passover festival beginning Wednesday was over.
debkafile‘s sources also reveal that, notwithstanding the military escalation and official boycott, Israel and Hamas have exchanged messages through intelligence channels. The substance of the latest Hamas note to Israel Sunday, April 9 is revealed here.
We take continued Israeli military pressure in the Gaza Strip to mean that Israel seeks to drag us into a fire storm. The IDF is leaving us no option. If such is the case, we will confront you with a greater escalation than yours – up to and including terrorist operations and missile fire along the entire front, including the West Bank.
Some debkafile sources estimate that Hamas’ objective in inflaming a full frontal escalation would be to prompt third party intervention, by Egypt or the Europeans, to obtain another informal truce – this one long term. Those sources are convinced that Hamas, which has stayed out of the current wave of Palestinian attacks and missile bombardment, would prefer a period of calm to stabilize its government. debkafile‘s Palestinian sources add that Sunday, after 14 Palestinians were killed in targeted Israeli raids on terrorist targets in Gaza, Hamas leaders briefly persuaded Jihad Islami leaders to halt the Qassam blitz for a week. Minutes after this was announced, the Jihad, under heavy pressure from Tehran and the Shiite Hizballah in Beirut, went back on its decision.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email