Olmert: Operation Cast Lead will continue

PM says UNSC resolution not practical; Livni: Israel's actions are based on its right for self-defense.

olmert barak livni 248 (photo credit: GPO)
olmert barak livni 248
(photo credit: GPO)
Despite the UN Security Council resolution calling for a Gaza cease-fire, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Friday afternoon that the IDF operation in the Strip will continue. "Israel has never agreed to external forces determining its right to defend its citizens," Olmert said in a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office following the Security Cabinet discussion on the UNSC resolution. "The IDF will continue to work to defend Israeli citizens and will carry out all the objectives it was given in the operation," he continued. Olmert said that the rocket fire from Gaza Friday morning "only proves that the UN resolution is not practical and will not be honored by the murderous Palestinian organizations." Gaza terrorists fired over 30 rockets into Israel on Friday. Osama Hamdan, a Hamas envoy to Lebanon, also rejected the UNSC call for a cease-fire, telling al-Arabiya satellite channel that the group "is not interested in it because it does not meet the demands of the movement." Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the UN failed to consider the interests of the Palestinian people. "This resolution doesn't mean that the war is over," he told al-Jazeera satellite television network. "We call on the Palestinian fighters to mobilize and be ready to face the offensive, and we urge the Arab masses to carry on with their angry protests." Earlier on Friday, Olmert, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni convened for a preliminary consultation on the UNSC Gaza truce resolution ahead of the Security Cabinet meeting. Livni also released a statement on Friday morning regarding the resolution in which she stressed Israel's independence in defining its goals. "Israel's past, present and future actions are based solely on its considerations, the security of Israel's residents and its right to self-defense," she said. Meanwhile, speaking on Army Radio, Trade, Industry and Labor Minister Eli Yishai didn't rule out the possibility that the US abstention from Thursday night's UNSC vote was a result of pressure from "certain senior Israeli officials." He also blasted the UNSC resolution which, according to Yishai, supported Hamas terror. "The world is acting as a Hamas lobbyist [but] will understand, despite the UNSC resolution, that we must act with all our force to achieve our goals, to bring quiet to the South," said Yishai. Israel Radio also quoted a senior official as saying that a decision regarding the resolution needn't be reached on Friday, and that Israel could wait to see whether its demands regarding a cease-fire will be met.