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Cincinnati Israel Faxx (Newspaper) - January 14, 2009, Cincinnati, Ohio All the news the big guys missed. ISSN 1074- 2255 Free access to the IsraelNewsFaxx. com searchable archive E- mail: dcanaan( at) israelfaxx( dot) com Visit our free archival web site at www( dot) israelnewsfaxx( dot) com Jan. 14, 2009 Vol. 17, No. 9 ( 2009_ 01_ 14) Editor: Don Canaan, Telephone ( 352) 750- 9420, The Villages, FL 32159 A trusted source for Israeli news and information since 1993 ' Don't believe the man who tells you there are two sides to every question. There is only one side to the truth' Israel Pushes into Gaza Strip By Israel Faxx News Services Israeli ground forces fought street battles with terrorists in Gaza City on Tuesday, in the latest stage of their offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, while IAF planes struck once again in the town of Rafiah, at Gaza's border with Egypt, targeting tunnels used to smuggle weapons and other goods. Hamas fired at least 18 rockets into southern Israel on Tuesday. The Israeli government has said it will not end its offensive unless the rocket fire stops. The 18- day conflict reportedly killed at least 900 Palestinians and 13 Israelis. On Tuesday, the chief of staff of Israel's armed forces, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, said the military has dealt a severe blow to Hamas, but the job is still not finished. United Nations officials said civilians in Gaza are becoming increasingly desperate because they have no protection and are trapped with nowhere to go. On Tuesday, the International Red Cross issued a statement deploring the fact that many wounded in Gaza have been abandoned and left to suffer alone because they are cut off from ambulances and medical workers. Gaza City residents also are struggling to find space to bury their dead. Residents said the Israeli presence is making it too dangerous for them to reach the city's only graveyard that still has space. Some are resorting to burying their loved ones in graves of long- dead relatives. Meanwhile, Pentagon officials said the U. S. military canceled a planned shipment of arms to Israel from a Greek port due to objections from the Greek government. Protests have been held in Greece against the Israeli offensive in Gaza. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has made it clear that Israel does not face any pressure to end the campaign, a senior official in Jerusalem said. " Nobody should stand there with a stop watch or try to put a gun to our head," the official told Ynet Tuesday night. " We don't want to see another Resolution 1701 like we did in Lebanon," he said after a day of discussions at the Prime Minister's Office. " We don't want to find ourselves tomorrow, in two days, or in five or 10 years facing a terror organization armed with missiles that cover the whole of Israel. A unilateral withdrawal on our part at this time won't guarantee that this won't happen. " We are seeking guarantees, assurances, and for things to be clear," the official said. " The prime minister defined two objectives – an end to Hamas fire and terror, and an end to the organization's military build- up. As long as these objectives are not secured, we will not be under any pressure ( to end the operation)." The senior official added that Israel was no longer talking about an exit strategy. " We are not seeking an exit, but rather, success," he said. " As Olmert defined it, what we need here is a strategy of success, regardless of how much time it takes." Officials at the PM's Office declined to elaborate on the tensions vis- à- vis Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Earlier Tuesday, the State Department said that comments made by Olmert in respect to Rice were " 100% not true." However, officials in Jerusalem insisted that Olmert's version of events was accurate, claiming that Rice misled Israel ahead of last week's Security Council vote on a Gaza ceasefire. Defense Minister Ehud Barak is promoting a week- long " humanitarian cease- fire" in the Gaza Strip. But in contrast, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert believes the military operation still has not achieved its goals. On Tuesday, Olmert did not meet with his " troika" - Barak and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, both of whom support a cease- fire. On Wednesday, he will not convene the political- security cabinet to discuss whether the operations should go on. Hamas Looting Humanitarian Aid: Several aid organizations, including UNRWA and the International Committee of the Red Cross told the IDF that Hamas is looting supplies from the humanitarian aid intended for Gaza’s poor, confirmed IDF Maj. Peter Lerner, spokesman for Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories.“ We have had some reports of terrorists looting supplies, yes,” Lerner told Israel National News, “ both complaints from the international aid organizations and also some aerial footage of some of the incidents.” Responding to a call by UN Secretary General Ban Ki- moon for an immediate cease- fire, Barak said on Tuesday, " We respect the request of the UN Secretary General and are following developments with the Egyptian initiative. However, the fighting is continuing." Barak believes Operation Cast Lead has achieved its main objectives, first and foremost bolstering Israel's deterrent power. He does not believe continuing the offensive will bring further gains, but rather only operational complications and casualties. On this point, Barak accepts the view of GOC Southern Command Major General Yoav Galant that expanding the operation and occupying Gaza would require a lengthy deployment - possibly up to a year. Barak is proposing the IDF cease its fire, hold its positions and keep the reservists under arms, and thus negotiate with Egypt and the United States on an arrangement that would include preventing arms smuggling into the Strip. The defense minister is concerned that when U. S. President- elect Barack Obama takes office next Tuesday, he will demand that Israel immediately cease the operation. A tough UN Security Council resolution is also a risk. Livni insists Israel must end the operation without an agreement, enjoying its refreshed deterrence against Hamas. She also believes the mission cannot obtain any more major gains. Meanwhile, senior IDF officers expressed concern on Tuesday that continuing the fighting would increase the number of casualties. Also on Tuesday, an Iranian vessel bearing an estimated 200 tons of humanitarian supplies turned away from Gaza. Iran says Israel forced the vessel away; Israel says it took no action against it. IDF officials denied Tuesday Iran's claims that the Israeli Navy prevented an Iranian vessel carrying humanitarian supplies from reaching the Gaza Strip. The IDF Spokesperson's Office said that the Navy did not engage in any contact with the Iranian vessel. Earlier Tuesday, Iran's Red Crescent Director Ahmed Musawi said that " the Zionist regime's navy prevented the organization's vessel from reaching Gaza." The comments were reported by Iranian news agency Maher. The report did not provide any further details aside from noting that the ship's request to enter Gaza's territorial waters was rejected. Musawi said the navy stopped the Iranian vessel about 20 miles away from Gaza, while according to international conventions a naval blockade may only be imposed 12 miles away from shore. The Iranian official said the vessel left a southern Iran port about 13 days ago and is carrying about 2,000 tons of humanitarian supplies earmarked for Gaza residents, including medicine and food. He added that another delivery of equipment and money collected in Iran in recent weeks was sent to Cairo in a plane; however, this aid shipment too has not yet reached Gaza and awaits Egypt's authorization, he said. IDF Chief: Hamas Bombers Posing as Israeli Troops in Gaza By Ha’aretz Hamas terrorists have been dressing up as Israel Defense Forces soldiers in uniform in an attempt to carry out suicide bombings against Israeli troops in the Gaza Strip, IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi said Tuesday. Ashkenazi told the Knesset Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee in Tel Aviv that the terrorists have tried to penetrate IDF battle lines
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