Olmert, Barak in secret meeting with Jordan's king over Gaza

Thursday, November 20, 2008 |  Israel Today Staff

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak both flew secretly to Amman, Jordan late Tuesday night at the request of Jordan's King Abdullah.

Israel's Yediot Ahronot reported that Abdullah pressed Olmert and Barak to scrap plans for a strong military response to renewed terrorist rocket fire from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

Abdullah warned that a major Israeli incursion into Gaza could start a snowball effect that would destabilize his own kingdom.

Olmert and Barak reportedly replied that while it is in Israel's interest to bolster Abdullah, they cannot exercise restraint indefinitely if Gaza-based Palestinian forces continue to attack.

Two more rockets from Gaza slammed into southern Israel on Wednesday, landing just yards from a army basic training base that Israel had closed down earlier in the day.

The Zikim Military Base was hit by rockets from Gaza several times over the past few years, including one attack last year that left 67 new recruits wounded.

Hamas officials hailed the base's closure as a success for campaign of violence against Israel, but army commanders insisted the rocket threat had little or no influence over their decision.

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