Report: Washington gives Israel green light to invade Gaza

Report: Washington gives Israel green light to invade Gaza

Bethlehem – Ma’an – The United States has given Israel a green light to carry out a large-scale military attack in the Gaza Strip, the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar reported on Saturday.

Quoting anonymous sources, the newspaper said that Israel sent an intelligence report to Washington to stressing the importance of military action to crack down on Palestinian military groups that Israel believes have developed an “unprecedented” level of weaponry.

The source said that Israeli intelligence officials believe that the armed wings of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and even Fatah, are rearming.

Regarding the Al-Aqsa Brigades, Fatah’s armed wing, the source said, “It received huge amounts of money from several sources, especially from Hizbullah of Lebanon through which the brigades reorganized itself and increased its military readiness.”

A large share of the reported Israeli intelligence was devoted to the issue of arms smuggling routes from Egypt into the Gaza Strip. Israel asked Washington to pressure Egypt to stop the flow of weapons across the border. The Israeli report said that limited military operations in Gaza’s southern border area would be required simply to gather information about the location and extent of the tunnels.

Diplomatic sources also told Al-Akhbar that the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Barak have been holding meetings about the timing and scope of an invasion of Gaza.

Israel pulled its forces from the streets of the Gaza Strip in 1994 as a part of the Oslo peace process, and evacuated settlers in 2005. Israel however continues to control the Strip’s borders, airspace, territorial waters, and tax system. The Israeli military also makes frequent incursions into the Strip, exercising what some observers term “effective control” inside Gaza.

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