Minister: Evacuate Gazans so IDF can attack

Channel 2: Barak seeking legal go-ahead to move thousands of Gaza City residents to southern Strip.

IDF n. Gaza fab 224.88 (photo credit: IDF )
IDF n. Gaza fab 224.88
(photo credit: IDF )
Defense Minister Ehud Barak is seeking legal approval to evacuate thousands of residents of Gaza City to locations in the south of the Strip to enable the IDF to attack terror infrastructure without hurting civilians, Channel 2 reported Wednesday evening. The report came after the Security Cabinet decided Wednesday morning to act in an "ongoing and consistent" manner to end rocket attacks and other terrorist activity from the Gaza Strip. The cabinet held a special meeting to debate the response to ongoing rocket attacks on Ashkelon and the western Negev. The ministers also decided that it would coordinate with various elements, including Egypt, in order to weaken the Hamas government without creating a humanitarian crisis. Israel, they decided, will continue to further peace efforts while maintaining operational freedom to conduct counterterrorism measures and focusing on hasbara (public diplomacy) efforts to bolster Israel's media image. The home front was also addressed during the meeting, with ministers deciding to divert attention towards providing further protection for Israeli citizens living within the range of the rockets. According to Israel Radio, Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz demanded that the IDF be sent on a large-scale operation to "crumble Hamas," but was overruled by the rest of the forum.