“If we have to use force to change the situation, we will do so”

Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak made this pledge after a high-level security conference Sunday night May 2 on the Gaza missile crisis. “It’s time to act, our operation will press on and Hamas will be responsible for the consequences,” he said. Barak pointed out that Israel pulled out of Gaza and tore Israelis from their homes for the sake of calm on the Israeli side of the border. “But Hamas continues to shoot at innocent civilians for no reason at all. Our first responsibility is for our citizens’ security.”
Military intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin noted that Iran, Syria and Hizballah are watching the confrontation in the Gaza Strip to see how it turns out as a future reference point for their own course of action against Israel.
debkafile‘s military sources report: All that the Israeli military has done so far is to enter the same strip of land around Beit Hanun and Beit Lahiya inside northern Gazan in which it has operated in previous routine operations, with no effect on the Palestinian missile offensive. By deploying F-16 jets for air attacks this time Israel has increased the number of Palestinian casualties but otherwise changed nothing. There was little fighting Sunday because Hamas and Islamic Jihad combatants had pulled back. Therefore without a change of tactics, the situation cannot be changed.

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