Olmert scolds world for criticizing Gaza offensive

Sunday, January 11, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Sunday took the international community to task for criticizing Israel's war on the Gaza terrorist infrastructure and for demanding a ceasefire before its security goals had been met.

"No country in the world, including those that preach morals to us, would have shown restraint as we have," Olmert said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.

He noted that when it comes to self defense, "what is acceptable for every other country in the world is barely accepted when it comes to Israel."

Olmert went on to say that Israel was nearing the completion of its security goals in Gaza, but insisted on patience from the international community and determination from Israelis. That is the only way Israel can "change the security situation in the south" in a way that provides "long-term security and stability."

In response to last week's UN Security Council resolution calling for an immediate cessation of violence in Gaza, Olmert was adamant that "no resolution that was made or will be made in the future that will deprive us of our basic right to defend the residents of Israel."

Israeli officials complained that Resolution 1860 had failed to adequately take Israel's long-term security concerns into account, and provided absolutely no guarantees against Hamas violations.

Forgotten or buried in most of the foreign media reports that blasted Israel for rejecting a ceasefire was the fact that Hamas, too, spurned the notion of halting the violence for anything less than terms that provided it with victory.

In particular, Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal said his group would never agree to a ceasefire monitored by outside forces, as suggested in Resolution 1860.

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