Tuesday, March 4, 2008


'We'll reoccupy Gaza if necessary' (JPost)
Israel has informed foreign diplomats that it would reoccupy Hamas-ruled Gaza if necessary, though it prefers not to do so, the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday, as the IDF operated against defiant Gaza rocket squads.

Israel is contemplating a reoccupation of Gaza even as it makes efforts to make peace with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who controls the West Bank. On Sunday, Abbas called off talks with Israel to protest the high death toll from the IDF's latest incursion into Gaza. Palestinians reported more than 120 dead in the military campaign.

Israeli leaders have signaled that a broad invasion of Gaza is in the works to halt rocket fire that is striking closer to Israel's center.

In a meeting Monday with foreign diplomats based in Israel, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni did not rule out an Israeli reoccupation of the Strip, home to 1.4 million Palestinians. Israel pulled its settlers and troops out of Gaza in 2005, and last June, Hamas violently seized control there.

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