Abbas to call on Olmert to maintain truce

Olmert: We won't tolerate terrorists' 'price tag'; says IDF will target those who break cease-fire.

Olmert livni cabinet 248.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
Olmert livni cabinet 248.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas plans to ask Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to maintain the cease-fire with Hamas when the two men meet in Jerusalem on Monday, Army Radio reported Sunday. Speaking to reporters, Abbas said that continued fighting would just make Gaza residents' situation worse. At the same time, Abbas called on the factions in the Gaza Strip to show restraint and not to give Israeli forces "excuses" to respond. Earlier, Olmert said at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting that Israel would not stand for the "price tag" terror organizations wished to attach to IDF operations in Gaza. He added that the army would continue to target those who breached the truce. "We are not eager for battle, but we do not fear it," Olmert said. "It's no secret that Israel did not enthusiastically enter into the understandings that led to [the truce], but it kept to them unequivocally. The responsibility for breaking the truce and for creating a situation of ongoing violence in the South lies entirely with Hamas and the other terror organizations in Gaza." "No one can complain [about] the Israeli government," continued the prime minister, possibly in reference to world leaders' criticism of the closure of Gaza's crossings following the recent rocket attacks. "We have acted and will continue to act…to prevent a situation in which the calm - in quotation marks - works against the security of Israeli citizens." Olmert added that he had instructed the heads of the security establishment to present to him "as soon as possible" their suggestions for a plan of action should the truce fall apart. Meanwhile, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said at the meeting that Israel must weigh its actions carefully. "Hotheadedness is no substitute for policy. Israel's security must be led with sound judgment, seriousness and responsibility," he said. "I don't advise anyone to regret a month that passes with the truce in effect."