Israel to widen strikes in Gaza


Israel’s armed forces were instructed to broaden their assaults on Hamas targets in Gaza, Ehud Barak said.

The Israeli defense minister told Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s Cabinet on Sunday that he had instructed the military to expand operations in the Gaza Strip to include “manned Hamas military positions.” Israeli forces until now have focused their operations mostly on Palestinian terrorists intercepted en route to fire rockets from Gaza into Israel or attack border positions.

According to his office, Barak also announced that he would bring up for Cabinet approval a proposal to offer West Bank settlers who live outside the security fence compensation if they relocate to Israel.

That statement drew protests from Israeli right-wing opposition figures, who said Barak was straying from his duties as defense minister and into controversial statesmanship.

Recommended from JTA