Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Israel likely to launch new large-scale offensive on Gaza -28/12/2011

GAZA, Dec 27 (KUNA) -- Chief of Staff of the Israeli Army Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz claimed that the escalated violence in the south would eventually require Israel to carry out another large-scale military operation in Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, reports reaching here said Tuesday.
"We cannot continue with one round of violence after another," Israeli daily Haaretz quoted Gantz, as saying in a closed-door meeting of the Knesset 's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
He warned that the point at which a military operation would become necessary was "drawing closer." General Gantz's assessment came during a routine security briefing to the parliamentary committee. The military later released a summary of his remarks. Israel will not be "dragged into" an operation there, but will rather initiate an orderly one, he went on.
His remarks came against the background of a brewing argument between the country's defense minister and finance minister over proposed cuts to the defense budget. The defense minister, Ehud Barak, strongly opposes any cut, as does the military, Haaretz added.
Gantz told the parliamentary committee that Israel is facing a "more complex strategic reality" than before, and uncertainty on many fronts. That, he said, does not allow Israel "to take risks" through budget cuts, according to the report.

Israel likely to launch new large-scale offensive on Gaza - 28/12/2011