Israelis urge Olmert to "take the gloves off"
A columnist in Yediot Aharanot, Israel's best selling newspaper, today urged Mr Olmert to "take the gloves off".Let me get this straight, a week of collective punishment, obliterating bridges, destroying power plants, hauling off their leaders, threatening assassinations, killing half a dozen or so of their fighters, and Israelis demand Olmert stop being Mr. Nice Guy? Amazing.
"Mr Olmert is caught on the horns on this one," said Stephen Farrell, The Times Middle East correspondent. "He is under a lot of pressure to control the area. On the other hand, Israeli soldiers were in Gaza for 38 years and they didn't stop the rockets then."
"Also Mr Olmert has defined the purpose of his first term as the withdrawal from parts of the West Bank and the fixing of Israel's borders. That's going to be much harder to sell if he sends soldiers back into the Gaza Strip."It sounds to me like Olmert intends to 'fix it' so that much of Gaza is once again occupied - this time forever.* * *
Mr Regev declined to comment on Israeli press reports that Ehud Olmert, the Prime Minister, had also approved an extension of the so-called "security zone" in the northern Gaza Strip, where Israeli soldiers go from house to house, looking for militants planning attacks.