Rassegna Stampa Elezioni Israeliane 2009

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

IDF completes withdrawal of all soldiers from Gaza

Posted by giacomofinzi su 21 gennaio, 2009

da:Haaretz http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1057390.html

The Israel Defense Forces on Wednesday said it had withdrawn all of its soldiers from Gaza, three and a half weeks after launching Operation Cast Lead against Hamas in the coastal territory.
“As of this morning, the last of the Israel Defence Forces soldiers have left the Gaza Strip and the forces have deployed outside of Gaza and are prepared for any occurrences,” an army spokesman said.
The pullout was completed before dawn on Wednesday, according to the army.Israel sent thousands of troops into the Palestinian territory earlier this month as part of the bruising 22-day offensive against militants who have terrorized southern Israel with rocket fire for years.

The timing of the pullout reflected Israeli hopes to defuse the crisis in Gaza before new U.S. President Barack Obama entered the White House.

Addressing concerns in Israel that Obama would soften Washington’s policy towards Hamas and another Israeli foe, Iran, Vice Premier Haim Ramon said: “Let’s not fear President Obama. I am convinced that President Obama and his team want to achieve what is essential to Israel – two states for two peoples,” Ramon told Israel Radio.

The IDF said troops remain massed on the Israeli side of the border, prepared to take action in the event of renewed militant fire. And Israeli navy ships reportedly shot rounds of machine-gun fire at the beaches of northern Gaza.

The military had no immediate comment on the gunboat fire.

Both sides declared cease-fires that went into effect Sunday. But the truce has been shaky, with firing from both sides.

Israel reported mortar shelling from Gaza on Tuesday. The Palestinians have said Israeli troops shot to death two farmers since the truce took hold.

The military said some troops remain massed on the Israeli side of the border prepared to take action against renewed militant fire.

The United Nations, whose secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, toured Gaza’s rubble-strewn streets on Tuesday and described the destruction he witnessed as heartbreaking, has estimated some $330 million is needed for urgent aid in the coastal enclave.

Reconstruction, if it can be launched in light of the frost between Hamas and the West, may cost close to $2 billion, according to Palestinian and international estimates.

The liaison office for civilian territories, meanwhile, said Hamas is intentionally harming humanitarian aid transferred from Israel by firing mortars at the Karni, Kissufim and Kerem Shalom crossings. The liaison office and Shin Bet security service both accused Hamas of looting trucks bringing supplies into Gaza.

The Shin Bet also reported many instances since the cease-fire of Hamas members shooting and wounding Fatah activists in Gaza.

IAF hits back at mortar shell launchers

The Israel Air Force on Tuesday attacked areas in the Gaza Strip from which Palestinians fired mortar shells. The Israel Defense Forces said that about eight mortar shells were shot from near a central Gaza refugee camp, apparently by Hamas. Two of the shells landed in the Strip and the rest fell in open territory in the western Negev near the border.

At this stage, the IDF is holding its fire after its attack at around 6 P.M. Tuesday.

The Palestinians also fired light weapons into Israel on Tuesday, from both north and south of the Kissufim crossing. An explosive charge was also apparently set off.

Also Tuesday, the IDF began to discharge reservists who took part in Operation Cast Lead. Military sources, however, said a harsh aerial response can be expected if the cross-border attacks continue.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi visited Southern Command headquarters Tuesday and met senior officers who took part in the operation. Olmert also heard reviews from brigade commanders.

Olmert thanked the IDF, Southern Command and the Shin Bet for their performance during the three-week war. He also commented on criticism from officers in the three days since the cease-fire took effect.

Olmert said he had considered allowing the army to continue the attack as GOC Southern Command Maj. Gen Yoav Gallant had sought, but felt this would have required a period of time “for which we did not a sufficient diplomatic window.”

The IDF plans to expand the entry of goods into the Gaza Strip in the coming days.

The IDF has also taken preliminary steps to defend military officers against legal charges abroad stemming from their involvement in Operation Cast Lead. The full names of battalion commanders involved in the fighting will be censored to prevent Israeli and international left-wing activists from attempting to try them for war crimes. The names of more senior officers cannot be redacted as their involvement and names have been reported by many media outlets.



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