Barak's envoy in Cairo to extend truce

Defense minister prefers cease-fire despite rockets; film shows Hamas use Google Earth to plan attack.

amos gilad 248 88 aj (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
amos gilad 248 88 aj
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Defense Minister Ehud Barak has dispatched Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amos Gilad to Cairo for talks on Sunday on extending the cease-fire in the Gaza Strip. Barak supports the extension of the truce, despite the firing of over 200 mortars and rockets into Israel in the past month. Top IDF officers, however, have called for the resumption of military operations against Hamas in the Gaza Strip when the six-month cease-fire expires on Friday. In the latest violation of the faltering truce, Gaza terrorists fired a Kassam rocket into the western Negev on Saturday afternoon. Two rockets were also fired Friday morning. No casualties or damage were reported in the attacks. On Thursday, the IDF raised its level of alert along the Gaza border amid fears that Hamas may try to launch a cross-border attack to coincide with a demonstration Sunday marking the founding of the organization, sources in Southern Command said. OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant ordered forces to prepare for a security incident targeted at Israeli civilians, or at soldiers deployed along the border. Separately, a documentary posted on the Hamas military wing's Web site over the weekend showed terrorists using Google Earth, a Web site that provides maps and satellite images for complex or pinpointed regional searches, to plan an attack on Israel. The film, The Field of Death, shows members of the Izzadin Kassam Brigades studying Google Earth to research the border between Israel and Gaza, before a terrorist attack last April. On April 9, Hamas claimed responsibility for an attack on the Nahal Oz fuel depot that killed Dor Alon employees Oleg Lipson, 37, and Lev Cherniak, 53, both from Beersheba. The attack took place hours after a soldier from the Golani Brigade's elite Egoz reconnaissance unit was killed in clashes with gunmen in the central Gaza Strip. Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.