Barak: War with Hamas 'to the bitter end'

Israeli attacks continued overnight and for the third day as the air force has flown more than 300 sorties against targets in Gaza.

This military action is not just a retaliatory raid. Israel apparently means to destroy the ability of Hamas to threaten the Jewish state. Defense minister Ehud Barakk was quoted as telling the Knesset that this was "war to the bitter end:"

Barak said the goal is to deal Hamas a "severe blow" and that the operation would be "widened and deepened as needed."


In Israel, 17 people have been killed in attacks from Gaza since the beginning of the year, including nine civilians — six of them killed by rockets — and eight soldiers, according to Israel's Foreign Ministry.

Israeli security officials have warned that the militants' range now includes Beersheba, a major city 30 miles (50 kilometers) from Gaza. Resident Mazal Ivgi, 62, said she had prepared a bomb shelter. "In the meantime we don't really believe it's going to happen, but when the first boom comes people will be worried," she said.

Israel began Saturday's assault by targeting Hamas security installations, and has broadened the attacks since then. On Sunday planes struck dozens of smuggling tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border, cutting off a key lifeline that had supplied Hamas with weapons and Gaza with commercial goods.

In Jerusalem, Israel's Cabinet approved a call-up of 6,500 reserve soldiers Sunday in apparent preparation for a ground offensive. The final decision to call up reserves has yet to be made by the defense minister, and the Cabinet decision could be a pressure tactic. Military experts said Israel would need at least 10,000 soldiers for a full-scale invasion.

It sounds as if the IDF is ready to go in and smash things up, withdrawing to allow Hamas to pick up the pieces rather than invading with the intent of occupying Gaza. Such a move would make their soldiers sitting ducks while not accomplishing much.

But it is clear that Israel has had enough - much to PA President Abbas's delight. The Palestinian Authority has been able to sit back and cry "massacre" while at the same time castigating Hamas for starting the war in the first place. Abbas has got the best of both worlds with most of the Arab world in the Palestinian's corner and Europe (as well as Washington) having apoplexy over Israel's pounding of Hamas.

If the gentlemen in the striped pants at our State Department and Foreign Offices overseas just wait a little while, I'm sure Israel will really give them something to whine about.

For more on this, see my post at my own site on how the "Blame Israel First" crowd is reacting to the attack.
Israeli attacks continued overnight and for the third day as the air force has flown more than 300 sorties against targets in Gaza.

This military action is not just a retaliatory raid. Israel apparently means to destroy the ability of Hamas to threaten the Jewish state. Defense minister Ehud Barakk was quoted as telling the Knesset that this was "war to the bitter end:"

Barak said the goal is to deal Hamas a "severe blow" and that the operation would be "widened and deepened as needed."


In Israel, 17 people have been killed in attacks from Gaza since the beginning of the year, including nine civilians — six of them killed by rockets — and eight soldiers, according to Israel's Foreign Ministry.

Israeli security officials have warned that the militants' range now includes Beersheba, a major city 30 miles (50 kilometers) from Gaza. Resident Mazal Ivgi, 62, said she had prepared a bomb shelter. "In the meantime we don't really believe it's going to happen, but when the first boom comes people will be worried," she said.

Israel began Saturday's assault by targeting Hamas security installations, and has broadened the attacks since then. On Sunday planes struck dozens of smuggling tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border, cutting off a key lifeline that had supplied Hamas with weapons and Gaza with commercial goods.

In Jerusalem, Israel's Cabinet approved a call-up of 6,500 reserve soldiers Sunday in apparent preparation for a ground offensive. The final decision to call up reserves has yet to be made by the defense minister, and the Cabinet decision could be a pressure tactic. Military experts said Israel would need at least 10,000 soldiers for a full-scale invasion.

It sounds as if the IDF is ready to go in and smash things up, withdrawing to allow Hamas to pick up the pieces rather than invading with the intent of occupying Gaza. Such a move would make their soldiers sitting ducks while not accomplishing much.

But it is clear that Israel has had enough - much to PA President Abbas's delight. The Palestinian Authority has been able to sit back and cry "massacre" while at the same time castigating Hamas for starting the war in the first place. Abbas has got the best of both worlds with most of the Arab world in the Palestinian's corner and Europe (as well as Washington) having apoplexy over Israel's pounding of Hamas.

If the gentlemen in the striped pants at our State Department and Foreign Offices overseas just wait a little while, I'm sure Israel will really give them something to whine about.

For more on this, see my post at my own site on how the "Blame Israel First" crowd is reacting to the attack.