Gaza war achievements questioned as IDF withdraws

Monday, January 19, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff

The Israeli public - both civilians and those serving in the army - sharply questioned the wisdom of a premature ceasefire in Gaza as Israeli troops began pulling out of the still-Hamas-ruled territory on Monday.

A poll commissioned by Israel's Channel 2 News on Sunday revealed that 50 percent of Israelis oppose the unilateral ceasefire in Gaza, while only 36 percent support it.

Fifty-five percent of respondent said they fully expect Hamas to resume firing rockets at southern Israel notwithstanding the declarations of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and 61 percent said Israel should not have halted the offensive until abducted soldier Gilad Shalit was freed.

Israeli troops who had already left Gaza and were stationed in bases ringing the coastal strip also expressed frustration that Shalit's freedom had not been a goal of the war.

"We felt that we didn't complete our mission all the way, because Gilad isn't back yet," one reserve soldier told Ha'aretz.

Israeli army intelligence chief Gen. Amos Yadlin poured cold water on the goals Olmert claims Israel did achieve when he told Sunday's cabinet meeting that Hamas will start attacking Israelis again soon.

Yadlin said Hamas will want to detract from any perceivable Israeli successes in Gaza by showing that they can still directly threaten some one million citizens of the Jewish state.

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