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Terrorism & Security

Report: Israel set to launch ‘limited operation’ in Gaza

But Israel also reopens border to allow humanitarian supplies into Palestinian territory.

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In an editorial, The Jerusalem Post argued that the time for Israeli negotiation with Hamas had passed, and that Israel must instead attempt the "methodical elimination" of Hamas's leadership.

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As a matter of grand strategy, Israel must not tolerate a hostile entity anywhere between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean. Hamas cannot be allowed to metastasize into a second Hizbullah.
Israel's immediate objective must be to make it impossible for Hamas to govern in Gaza. Yet the choice is not between a massive land invasion and paralysis. The proper method of fighting Hamas is a methodical elimination of its political and military command and control. Concurrently, IDF artillery need to shoot back at the sources of enemy fire. ...
Any resort to force by the IDF raises the possibility of unintended consequences. Israel's home front could be hit hard. Hizbullah could launch diversionary attacks. The Arab street in non-belligerent countries could roil. If enemy non-combatants are killed, nasty media coverage is certain.
We may express regret; but we must not apologize. Whatever happens, we must be resolute: Hamas must be stopped.

Another article in the Post noted, however, that Hamas said it was prepared for Israeli attempts at assassinating its leadership. An aide to Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh told the Post that Hamas would quickly elevate new leadership to fill any vacuum, and that "Hamas is a popular movement that doesn't center on this or that leader.... Almost every member of Hamas is fit to become a leader."

Despite the signals of its willingness to attack Hamas, Israel also reopened its border with Gaza to allow supplies into the territory for the first time in 10 days, reports CNN.

About 80 trucks filled with commodities were expected to cross into Gaza. Among the goods were 400,000 liters of fuel and 120 tons of cooking gas.
The decision to open the crossings at Kerem Shalom, Karni and Nahal Oz came after requests from international aid groups and Egypt, said Peter Lerner, a spokesman for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories. In addition, he said, Israel has no desire to hurt the civilian population in Gaza.
Lerner said the decision to keep the crossings open would be made on a daily basis.

Meanwhile, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit called for calm from both Hamas and Israel, reports Haaretz. Mr. Gheit also warned that renewed fighting between Israel and Hamas could imperil the process of freeing Cpl. Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier who was kidnapped by Gaza militants in 2006.

"The situation has slided again to a confrontation," Gheit said. "We are hoping that both parties would restrain their actions. Hence they would allow us to build and to establish that situation where by we can bring an end to the tension, then to restore the quiet and then we would work on Gilad Shalit anew."

Gheit said the security situation was linked to talks regarding a prisoner swap that would entail the release of Shalit. A military operation by the IDF would be hazardous to such a process, he said.
"He is part of a bigger and more general problem between Hamas and Israel," Gheit said, referring to Shalit. "My understanding from our own intelligence is he is okay and well treated."

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