Ali Waked
June 11, 2008 - 5:21pm,7340,L-3554033,00.html

"We have identified a skepticism that could cause them to act against the Egyptians or Israel." Baidatz added that recently there has been criticism launched against Hamas in Gaza, despite the fact that their reputation was still holding firm.
'Don't talk of Gaza op'

Baidatz also commented on the artillery being fired from the Strip. "Recently the use of the deadlier 120 mm mortar shells has been increased," he said. On Tuesday afternoon Palestinian gunmen fired 18 mortar shells towards Israel. The shells all fell in open spaces, and no injuries or damage were reported.

During the government meeting, many ministers claimed that there should not be any talk of a future operation in Gaza. Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann said, "Don't talk about an operation in Gaza, because it's like waiting for the Messiah."

A senior official from one of Gaza's terror organizations said on Tuesday that the mortar shell barrages and subsequent IDF response to them will not hinder efforts to secure a ceasefire in Gaza. "We understand from the different organizations that the truce is only a matter of time," the operative told Ynet.

According to the official, the message being conveyed by the armed Palestinian group was that the truce is at hand, and that the recent fire was a way for each of the sides to prove to each other that a ceasefire would not only be in its own interest. He added that the Palestinian factions were each trying to be the last to fire. "The ceasefire could take a day or two, or it could take a little longer if the Israelis continue to act indifferent and show that they don't want a truce," the operative said. "Everyone knows the truce is in the interest of both sides, and it will be obtained, though it might not last for very long and take a while to achieve."

Head of MI research division, Brigadier-General Yossi Baidatz, also believes that Palestinians are in favor of a ceasefire. During a government meeting he said, "They are worried about the political climate in Israel. They are fearful and spurring their defense alignment.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak expressed a similar opinion, saying, "When the time comes we will act. I say again that the government ministers will not compete over who loves Hamas more. Security forces are dealing with the issue. It is important for the ministers to listen to what the IDF chief of staff says about what can and cannot be achieved in a military operation in Gaza."


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