Olmert: Army could step up op in Gaza

During tour of South, PM praises IDF action but says goals of Operation Cast Lead still yet to be met.

Olmert 88 (photo credit: )
Olmert 88
(photo credit: )
Israel has yet to exhaust all of its military options in the Gaza Strip and could step up its actions against Hamas if the government decides to press forward Operation Cast Lead, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Thursday during a tour of the South. Olmert also said that he was deeply impressed by the IDF's performance and achievements to date. The prime minister said that Israel must ensure that "the reality the IDF is currently in the act of changing does not again take control of the South, and that quiet prevails. "We have yet to arrive at this situation, and the army still hasn't been asked to carry out everything that is required to this end. So the decision [on ending the operation] still awaits us," he said. Olmert visited IDF Gaza Division headquarters and was accompanied by Defense Minister Ehud Barak, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi and OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant. They were briefed by OC Gaza Division Brig.-Gen. Eyal Eisenberg and other senior officers on the progress of the Gaza operation.