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 Day 17; Israel sets condition for ending war

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Join date : 2009-01-05

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PostSubject: Day 17; Israel sets condition for ending war   Day 17; Israel sets condition for ending war Icon_minitimeMon Jan 12, 2009 11:54 am

Day 17; Israel sets condition for ending war
Mon, 12 Jan 2009 17:30:32 GMT

As the Israeli army pours reservists into Gaza, Premier Ehud Olmert says Tel Aviv will end the offensive once its two demands are met.

"We want to end the operation when the two conditions we have demanded are met: ending the rocket fire and stopping Hamas's rearmament," said Prime Minister Olmert Monday.

He made the remarks one day after the Israeli army sent in thousands of the reservists it had called up when Operation Cast Lead was launched on December 27.

As the now three-week long operation claims more than 905 Palestinian lives, the fighting between Israeli troops and Hamas resistance fighters have reportedly turned into urban battles.

Prime Minister Olmert, who is forced to resign due to corruption scandals, said in a speech in the southern town of Ashkelon that if the two conditions are met, "we will end our operation in Gaza."

"Anything else will meet the iron fist of the Israeli people, who are no longer ready to tolerate the Qassams (rockets)," he added.

"Will it take time? Let it take time. We will continue as long as necessary in order to remove this threat."

Hamas, the democratically-elected ruler of the impoverished Gaza Strip, demands a cessation of an 18-month Israeli blockade on the coastal enclave -- home to some 1.5 million Palestinians.

Olmert's remarks come following a Haaretz report that quoted sources close to the outgoing premier as saying that there is a growing rift among Israeli echelons on how to end the war in Gaza.

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