- February 18, 2008
Livni to Rice: Israel is to wage a large-scale military assault on Gaza
Hebrew media reported that Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni told her American counterpart Condoleezza Rice during their last meeting in Washington that Israel is preparing to wage a large-scale military operation against the Gaza Strip.
Israeli Ma”ariv newspaper”s website quoted Israeli sources that attended the meeting as saying that Livni confirmed to Rice that the Israeli government is studying the efficiency of the economic sanctions and pressures it imposed on Gaza before waging a military land operation.
In another context, the information office of the Nafha society for the defense of prisoners and human rights stated the IOF troops killed during only two weeks in February 38 Palestinians including six children and one woman 75 percent of them were killed in the Gaza Strip.
In a statement received by the PIC, the society added that the Israeli artillery and air raids killed last January 11 Palestinian women and 11 children in Gaza alone.
In another development, the health ministry in Gaza warned that the ambulance and emergency services stopped completely due to an acute shortage of fuel in light of the frequent Israeli attacks against the Strip and the increasing Palestinian casualties needed to be transferred to Gaza hospitals.
In retaliation to the Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people the latest of which was the Breij massacre, the Salahuddin Brigades, the armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committees, took the credit for firing on Sunday evening an upgraded rocket for the first time on the Israeli Merhavim Regional Council located at a distance of 4km from the Sderot settlement, where the Hebrew radio confirmed the news.
For its part, the Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad Movement, claimed responsibility for firing on Sunday evening three homemade rockets on the Sderot settlement and for detonating an explosive device at an Israeli infantry infiltrated which into Johr Al-Deek area in the east of the Breij refugee camp inflicting casualties in their ranks.
Palestinian resistance fighters attacked at night Sunday an Israeli bus carrying settlers in the south of the Nablus city, northern West Bank despite Israel”s tight security measures and the campaign of pursuits carried out by the PA security apparatuses against the Palestinian resistance.
Israeli sources said that Palestinian resistance fighters opened fire intensively at the bus, adding that the operation did not result in injuries amongst the Israeli settlers.
After the attack, the IOF troops invaded the Hawara and Beita towns in the south of Nablus and imposed a curfew on its citizens, according to Palestinian sources.
In an extraordinary meeting, the Israeli cabinet headed by premier Ehud Olmert endorsed a security plan for fortifying 8,000 settlement outposts adjacent to the Gaza Strip within a distance of four and a half kilometers from the rocket launch area in Gaza at a cost of $97,000,000.
Israeli government had already approved a plan called the iron dome at a cost of $800,000,000 to protect the Israeli settlements from the Palestinian resistance”s homemade rockets.