In reaction to criticism regarding the operation being conducted in Gaza since last Wednesday, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert criticized “former generals” during the weekly cabinet meeting and said that “in Israel, there are generals who know how to give solutions to Kassams and terrorism only after they retire from service.”
In this cynical statement, Olmert was referring to Minister of Internal Security and former head of the Shin Bet Avi Dichter who demanded to expand the Gaza operation in order to stop Kassam rocket attacks into Israel.
“Over the past 3.5 years there was no central security discussion regarding rocket threats that I wasn’t involved in. I listened to all the experts and advisors for 3.5 years who gave their proposed solutions, and I don’t remember anybody suggesting anything dramatically different than what we are doing in Gaza today. Avi, this is not personally against you, but there are generals who know how to give solutions and tell everything only after they retire from service,” Olmert said.
Olmert added that the security forces are performing many tasks along the way. “There are a lot of complex components. We are talking about a systematic operation. There is no magic solution and because of that we need to be more careful in respect to our expectations.”
Also during the cabinet meeting Defense Minister Peretz made it clear that as long as the Palestinian Authority does not take responsibility for what happens on its territory and operates against extremist elements, Israel will undertake operational-aggressive measures wherever the use of force is necessary in order to counter and fight terrorism.
Defense Minister Peretz also stressed that while Israel has no intention of being dragged into a broad move to occupy the Gaza Strip, it will continue carrying out localized operations to both reduce the terrorist threat and improve the security of Israeli citizens, especially in the greater Gaza Strip area.