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  • 1/18/2009

Israel set to swallow defeat in Gaza



A senior Israeli official has confirmed that Tel Aviv will announce a unilateral ceasefire in Gaza amid world condemnation of its conduct.

"The Prime Minister [Ehud Olmert] will announce following this evening’s cabinet meeting a unilateral ceasefire of hostilities in the Gaza Strip," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

"If Hamas opens fire on Israeli forces, we reserve the right to respond," he added.

The proposed ceasefire has been met with strong criticism in the Israeli military, reported Debkafile, which is widely believed to have links with Israeli military and intelligence sources.

According to the report, Israel will end its war on Gaza without achieving its primary goals, including "halting rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip".

Israel launched air and sea attacks on Gaza on December 27 and later took its operations to the next level by sending its ground forces into the strip.

Some officials in Tel Aviv had originally described toppling the democratically-elected ruler of the strip, Hamas, as their objective in the operations. Other officials later downgraded Israeli objectives, saying they only seek to weaken the Hamas movement and bring an end to rocket attacks.

Debkafile cited "security sources" as revealing that Israel has also assured the US and Egypt that it will stop its operations in Gaza within days and, at some point, open the six border crossings with the coastal sliver.

Hamas had earlier vowed to continue fighting Israel until all its demands, including the opening of Gaza border-crossings, are met by Tel Aviv.

The Israeli war on Gaza provoked worldwide condemnation of Tel Aviv, which has been accused widely of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Gazan resistance and the world condemnation of Israeli crimes against Palestinians -- the native population of the land -- are seen as the primary reasons for Israel backtracking on its previously set goals.


Around 1,200 Palestinians have been killed and nearly 6,000 others have been wounded in the beleaguered sliver since December 27.

Other links:

Hunger casts shadow of death over Gaza

Gaza under cloud of white phosphorous

Rights group: Israel uses incendiary bombs in Gaza

Hamas rockets hit five Israeli cities

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