Saturday, November 3, 2007
"03/11/2007 The United States has given a "green light" to an Israeli occupation army operation in the Gaza Strip, the Lebanese daily, Al-Akhbar reported Saturday morning. The report cites "credible diplomatic sources" as saying that the US approval came after Israeli intelligence impressed on US officials the importance of a wide-scale operation as an answer to the unprecedented arms smuggling within Gaza. According to al-Akhbar, the intelligence was shared during Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak's last visit to Washington. Sources told the Lebanese daily that the intelligence depicted a worrying picture of an "arms race" between Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. In addition, Israel presented details of money transfers between the Islamic Jihad and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.
In the past few days, Barak met a number of times with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to decide definitively on the timing of a wide-scale operation, Al-Akhbar cited the sources as saying. Further, the sources stated that despite the "green light," Israel was hesitating to launch an operation out of concerns that it would complicate preparations for the upcoming US-sponsored Mideast summit in Annapolis. Until the timing of the operation is decided, Israeli army forces stationed on the Gaza border will continue training for a massive military operation in the Strip, the report said."