Olmert to Peres: Gaza op first in series of stages approved by cabinet

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert met President Shimon Peres on Tuesday morning and updated him over Operation Cast Lead. Olmert said that the military action in Gaza over the last few days was the "first stage out of a series of measures that the cabinet has approved." Peres emphasized that Israel was not fighting against the Palestinian population but a terror group that had "raised the banner of violence and undermined stability in the region." "There is no one in the world that understands why Hamas is continuing to fire rockets at Israel," he continued.