Barak: Gaza operation to continue

Defense minister says despite respect for UN, Cast Lead moving ahead alongside diplomatic efforts.

January 13, 2009 12:53
2 minute read.

survey_gaza_media_war. (photo credit: )


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Tuesday reiterated that the IDF was continuing its offensive in Gaza while simultaneously, the political echelons were closely monitoring diplomatic efforts to end the conflict between Israel and Hamas. In a meeting with IAF pilots and ground control teams at the Palmahim air force base, Barak said, "Yesterday, we heard, and we respect the calls of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, and, of course, we are also monitoring developments on the Egyptian initiative, but the fighting goes on and the IDF is continuing to apply force." Ban is set to arrive in the region on Wednesday and is expected for talks in Israel on Thursday. He told reporters in New York on Monday that he planned to insist that last week's UN Security Council resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza be "respected fully." During Tuesday's visit to Palmahim, Barak was briefed on operations in Gaza, visited a squadron of attack helicopters and spoke with pilots and technicians. "The operation is continuing on its eighteenth day with the aim of restoring quiet for southerners and curbing weapons smuggling," he said. "We are working on both these goals, with an eye on diplomatic initiatives." Meanwhile, Army Radio reported Tuesday that Barak, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni had decided against expanding the military campaign for the time being in order to give a chance to Egyptian-led diplomatic efforts to stop weapons smuggling. Jerusalem officials told the radio station that for the moment, the IDF had been ordered to increase the pressure on Hamas using pinpoint operations alone. Livni said Tuesday that "there are indications that Hamas in Gaza is showing signs of distress, but the leadership in Damascus is sending out a different message." Her comments came a day after Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh indicated that he was willing to consider a cease-fire initiative. "There is a big gap between what we hear in closed sessions and what is being said in public," she emphasized. Livni, who met members of the American Jewish Congress, added that the Gaza operation also served the interests of the Palestinian people and moderate regimes in the region. Meanwhile, an IDF spokeswoman defended Operation Cast Lead in an interview with Sky News, emphasizing that despite diplomatic efforts to achieve a cease-fire, the military still had many more objectives to attain. "Currently we don't see an end in sight," Maj. Avital Leibowitz said. "We have destroyed 70% of the tunnels" along the Philadelphi Corridor, but there are still more targets to hit." Herb Keinon contributed to the report.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town