"The IDF will expand its operations in the Gaza Strip if necessary, not to conquer the territory but to "prevent the Lebanonization of the Strip," Defense Minister Amir Peretz said Wednesday at a ceremony for fallen IDF sailors in Ashdod. Peretz stressed that warnings of terror and rocket attacks had not subsided since the current extensive operation had commenced.
Also at the ceremony, Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz said that the navy's failure to prevent a missile attack that killed four sailors aboard the INS Hanit in the first week of the war in Lebanon along with other failures in the conflict with Hizbullah were ongoing but that, nevertheless, "one must remember, the army is continuing to operate simultaneously."
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