Netanyahu’s Other War

PM discusses expanding operations in Gaza

by Herb Keinon
Jerusalem Post
March 13, 2012

With the life-disrupting rocket fire on the South in its fourth day, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke for the first time Monday about expanding Israel’s military operations inside the Gaza Strip.

“The IDF is continuing to strongly and decisively attack the terrorists in the Gaza Strip,” Netanyahu said in carefully measured words to the Likud faction in the Knesset. “The IDF is ready to expand its operations and continue them as necessary.”

Government officials noted that while some defense officials and politicians had threatened to expand the operations – which began Friday with the killing of the head of the Popular Resistance Committees, Zuhair Qaisi – this was the first time Netanyahu publicly spoke about the possibility.

“We will strike at whoever intends to harm our citizens,” he said. Netanyahu said the “winning combination” in this particular battle was “crushing offensive capabilities” – meaning the capability of the IDF to hit the terrorists “wherever they are” – coupled with “important defensive measures,” such as the Iron Dome anti-rocket system and “the resilience of the citizens in the South” who are living under a constant missile threat.

Netanyahu also met in the Knesset with visiting Italian Defense Minister Giampaolo Di Paola and said that the current rocket barrage on the South hammered home the dangers that would exist were Iran to gain nuclear capability, since the organizations firing the rockets from Gaza were trained and funded by Iran.

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