Ministers’ opposition to Hamas truce delays Israeli cabinet’s Gaza decisions

Prime minister Ehud Olmert was forced to back down on his plan to call a security cabinet session Sunday to decide on the Egyptian-brokered truce in Gaza before leaving Monday, June 2, for a week of talks in Washington.
Most of the ministers indicated they had come down against giving Hamas, Jihad Islami and other terrorist groups the breathing space for continuing their arms build-up from Syria and Iran for further aggression. A majority has come around to the dominant military and intelligence position that effective military action against the Palestinian Hamas regime must come first; only then might Hamas be amenable to acceptable ceasefire terms. The ministers are now ready to defy Olmert and defense minister Ehud Barak who have rather pursued a truce.
For now, Hamas uses threats rather than bargaining tactics, refusing to end arms smuggling or impose authority on its allies to join a ceasefire arrangement. Saturday, May 31, Hamas’ Mahmoud A-Zahar, threatened that if Israel refuses to end the Gaza blockade, “the Palestinians will resort to all the means at their disposal including armed force.”
Saturday, the Egyptian police reported the discovery of 30 anti-air missiles in a large arms cache in Sinai 80 km. south of the Gaza Strip. It also contained rifles, 2,000 rifle rounds, sacks of hand grenades and RPGs. The weapons were to have been smuggled into Gaza through tunnels. Police are investigating their source.
The missiles keep on coming from Gaza on a daily basis. Saturday, two Thai farm workers were badly injured by an incoming missile which destroyed Moshav Amiaz’s hen coop. One of the injured men lost an arm.
Farmers staged a protest at the Sufa crossing to Gaza Sunday, June 1, against the government’s incompetence in the face of the Palestinian missile attacks.

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