Friday, December 26, 2008

Olmert to Gazans: "Don't let Hamas, which is acting against the values of Islam, put you in danger"

Jihad Watch

Olmert, in his belief that Hamas "is acting against the values of Islam" (which ones? As established by what authorities, in what way, in what sources?), apparently thinks that the Vast Majority of Peaceful Gazans -- you know, the people who elected Hamas in the first place -- will rise up and stop the rocket barrage that could lead to an imminent Israeli invasion of Gaza.. "Israel warns Hamas over rockets," from the BBC, December 25 (thanks to all who sent this in):

Israeli leaders have issued stern warnings to Palestinian militant group Hamas to stop rocket attacks on Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said he would not hesitate to strike Hamas and another militant group, Islamic Jihad, in the Gaza Strip.

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni warned Israel "cannot tolerate" Palestinian militants targeting Israeli citizens.

Some 50 rockets have been launched from Gaza in recent days, after the killing of three Hamas members by Israel. [...]

"Hamas needs to understand that our aspiration to live in peace doesn't mean that Israel is going to take this kind of situation any longer. Enough is enough," she said. [...]

Mr Olmert called on residents of Gaza to stop militants "firing on innocent civilians", in an interview with the Arab television station Al-Arabiya.

"I say to you in a last-minute call, stop it," Mr Olmert said, Israeli media reported.

"Don't let Hamas, which is acting against the values of Islam, put you in danger. Stop them. Stop your enemies and ours."

Mr Olmert added: "I will not hesitate to use Israel's might to strike Hamas and [Islamic] Jihad. How? I will not go into details now." Egyptian anger

Ms Livni had earlier been holding talks with Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak and Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit, who brokered the ceasefire.

Mr Aboul Gheit urged restraint from both sides, and said Egypt would continue to act as a mediator but admitted that a new truce currently seemed unlikely.

Relations between Egypt and Gaza are strained, our correspondent says.

President Mubarak has told the militants he believes they are making a mistake in abandoning the ceasefire.

It is widely understood the Egyptians are furious with Hamas for boycotting peace talks with Fatah last month, which were due to be held in Cairo.

The question now, our correspondent says, is whether the Egyptians would back an Israeli military offensive against Hamas.

The London-based newspaper Al-Quds al-Arabi has reported that Egypt would not object to a limited Israeli operation in the Gaza Strip, aimed at toppling Hamas.

Ms Livni travelled to the Egyptian capital at the personal invitation of the government.

This is rare given that Mr Mubarak usually only meets Israeli officials in the Sinai resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

It is being read as an Egyptian endorsement of Tzipi Livni, who is seeking to become prime minister in February's general election.

It has been noted that President Mubarak has not yet invited for talks the Defence Minister and Labour Chairman Ehud Barak, who is also a prime ministerial hopeful.

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