Rassegna Stampa Elezioni Israeliane 2009

Monitoraggio attraverso i media internazionali delle elezioni in Israele del Febbraio 2009

Troops may pull out before inauguration

Posted by Alessandro Accorsi su 19 gennaio, 2009

The National-UAE

JERUSALEM // Israel hopes to pull all its troops out of the Gaza Strip by the time Barack Obama is inaugurated as president of the United States tomorrow, Israeli officials said.

Israel made this plan known last night at a dinner with European leaders who came to the region in an effort to consolidate the fragile ceasefire that Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers declared on Sunday. The pullout could only be carried out if militants continue to halt their fire, the officials said.

Thousands of troops started coming out of Gaza on Saturday, as Israel declared its intention to unilaterally halt its fire. Hamas ceased its own fire 12 hours later, but large contingents of soldiers have been kept close to the border on the Israeli side, prepared to re-enter if violence reignites.

At the dinner, prime minister Ehud Olmert told his guests that his country had no desire to stay in Gaza, a Mediterranean strip of 1.4 million people that Israel vacated in 2005, while retaining control of its airspace, coastal waters and border crossings.

“We didn’t set out to conquer Gaza. We didn’t set out to control Gaza. We don’t want to remain in Gaza and we intend on leaving Gaza as fast as possible,” Mr Olmert told the leaders of Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the Czech Republic. A swift withdrawal would reduce the likelihood of clashes between militants and Israeli troops that could rupture the truce.

By getting its soldiers out before the Obama inauguration, Israel would spare the new administration the trouble of having to deal with a burning problem in Gaza from day one.

Neither side has reported a violation of the truce since Hamas halted its fire. But the quiet remains tenuous because neither side achieved long-term goals. Israel won a decisive battlefield victory but did not win a permanent end to Hamas rocket fire or solve the problem of smuggled arms reaching Gaza militants. Hamas remained firmly in power in Gaza, but Palestinian casualties were steep and large swathes of the tiny seaside territory were devastated by the Israeli air and ground assault. The militants also failed to turn Gaza into a graveyard for masses of Israeli troops, as they had promised.

http://www.thenational.ae/article/20090119/FOREIGN/700565113/1009/COMMENTARY

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