Archive for the ‘Gabriela Shalev’ Category

Rockets Rain Down on Israel: Preparing For Gaza Battle?

December 22, 2008

Israeli diplomats have been instructed to highlight the plight of Israelis under rocket fire from Gaza, officials said Monday, with the apparent aim of preparing world opinion for possible stepped-up action by Israel‘s military.

By MATTI FRIEDMAN, Associated Press Writer

Rocket fire by Gaza militants has spiked in recent days, and public pressure for an Israeli response has grown. Israeli leaders have consulted, discussed contingency plans and are now trying to prepare foreign governments for the possibility that the military could move beyond air strikes against militants and act with more force — even possibly sending ground forces into the territory controlled by the Islamic group Hamas.

There was a lull in militant fire Monday. Hamas spokesman Ayman Taha said his group was holding its fire for 24 hours in the hope that Israel would allow in humanitarian aid.

Israeli diplomats are meeting with their counterparts and decision-makers abroad as part of their new effort, Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said.

“People abroad perhaps do not understand the real distress of Israelis in the south who live with the rocket threat. Then you wake up in the morning with an Israeli response and you don’t understand where it came from,” Palmor said.

Israeli soldiers sit atop tanks at a position near the border ...
Israeli soldiers sit atop tanks at a position near the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip, in southern Israel, Monday, Dec. 22, 2008. Israeli diplomats have been instructed to highlight the plight of Israelis living under increasing rocket fire from Gaza, officials said Monday, in a step aimed at preparing world opinion for a stepped-up response, or even a ground invasion, by Israel’s military.(AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

Related:
Israel Called on “Brink of War”

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Israel Called on “Brink of War”

December 22, 2008

Israel has been called on the brink of war by Middle east experts concerned about Tel Aviv’s rhetoric over the Gaza situation and Iran.

Iran’t President Ahmadinejad continues to goad Israel and yesterday Russia started to arm Iran with the A-300 missiles….

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Egypt warned Israel on Sunday against launching a massive military operation in Gaza, but Israeli defense officials said Cairo was angry with Hamas leaders for ending the six-month period of relative calm.

From the Jerusalem Post

“We say such a move would have devastating consequences, devastating humanitarian consequences,” Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossam Zaki told the Post in a telephone interview. “This is something we cannot accept or condone under any terms.”

Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert attends a weekly cabinet ... 
Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert attends a weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem December 21, 2008. Israel’s prime minister on Sunday brushed aside calls for an immediate large-scale operation in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip in response to an escalation of cross-border rocket fire after a truce expired.REUTERS/Gali Tibbon/Pool (JERUSALEM)

Meanwhile, defense officials revealed that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak met privately on Thursday and decided that Israel would respond militarily to rocket attacks against the western Negev. The timing of the operation will be determined at a later date, likely following a security cabinet meeting later this week.

Related:

Russia starts missile delivery to Iran

Israel Worries Too Much On Iran, Former Top Military Man Says

Iran, Missiles, Nuclear Efforts: China, Russia on One Side; U.S. Israel On the Other

 Iran’s Nuclear Threat Grows

Barak hints at Israel’s readiness to strike Iran

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Israel Told U.N. It Will Respond

JERUSALEM (AFP) – Israel notified UN chief Ban Ki-moon that it will respond to continuing rocket fire from Gaza following the expiry of a truce with Hamas, a foreign ministry official said Monday.

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations Gabriela Shalev sent the letter to Ban on Sunday as part of a diplomatic campaign to garner international support for any offensive against the territory, the senior official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

“(Israel) will not hesitate to react militarily if necessary” to rockets fired by militants from the Gaza Strip, Shalev said in her letter, according to public radio.

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, leader of the governing Kadima party, “is due to soon meet with foreign ambassadors to Israel and to speak with her counterparts abroad,” the official said.

Violence around the impoverished Gaza Strip has steadily escalated since Friday, when Hamas said it would not renew a six-month truce with Israel.

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