Barak says Israel has no intention for new massive Gaza attack

His comments contradicted with statements on Sunday by Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni who said that, "if necessary", Israel would mount a new offensive in the Gaza Strip.

Barak says Israel has no intention for new massive Gaza attack
Defence Minister Ehud Barak defended on Monday that Israel has no intention to launch another massive attack in the Gaza Strip despite the air strikes on Sunday.

"It is not our intention to have an Operation Cast Lead 2," Barak said in an interview with the YNet news Web site, using Israel's name for its recent 22-day offensive in Gaza.

His comments contradicted with statements on Sunday by Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni who said that, "if necessary", Israel would mount a new offensive in the Gaza Strip.

Both Barak, head of the centre-left Labour Party, and Livni, chairman of the ruling, centrist Kadima party, are candidates for prime minister in Israel's Feb. 10 election.

Israeli planes attacked a security complex and tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border on Sunday.

"Disproportionate" response

Israeli aircraft hit hours after Prime Minister Ehud Olmert threatened a "disproportionate" response to the rockets.

A wing of al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, a group belonging to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction, said it had launched some of the rockets, but not all were claimed.

Taher al-Nono, a spokesman for the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip, urged all factions on Sunday to respect the national consensus on the ceasefire, which was declared two weeks ago after Israel said it was halting its 22-day assault on Gaza.

Israel killed more than 1,300 Palestinians, a third of them children in the 22-day military aggression on Gaza and wounded 5,300 Palestinians, and Gaza infrastructure suffered massive damage totaling some 476 million dollars.

Agencies
Last Mod: 02 Şubat 2009, 16:34
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