Prime Minister Ehud Olmert favors an escalation, Israeli officials say, while Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Defense Minister Ehud Barak advocate ending the offensive while Israeli casualty figures remain relatively low.
In an interview with Israel Radio Monday, Livni said Israel had succeeded in proving to Hamas it is serious about deterrence.
“Israel is a country that reacts vigorously when its citizens are fired upon, which is a good thing,” she said. “That is something that Hamas now understands and that is how we are going to react in the future, if they so much as dare fire one missile at Israel.”
On the ground in Gaza, active-duty Israeli forces were joined by reserves Monday in tightening their grip on Gaza City, the territory’s main population hub. The third phase is expected to feature an assault on Gaza’s crowded cities and refugee camps, where Hamas leaders are believed to be hiding.
Read the rest from The New York Times: