Olmert: We won’t attack Gaza if rockets stop


Israeli forces will not attack the Gaza Strip if cross-border rocket salvoes from the territory stop, Ehud Olmert said.

“If there is no Kassam fire on Israel, there will be no Israeli attack on Gaza,” the prime minister said Wednesday after talks with visiting U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

“We don’t get up in the morning and think about how to attack Gaza,” Olmert said. “We want to prevent shooting at Israel’s residents. If there is no shooting at us, there will not be shooting against others.”

The overture appeared to be aimed at Hamas, the Islamist faction which rules Gaza and with which Israel has no formal ties. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas pressed Israel to seek a ceasefire in Gaza after surge in fighting there.

Hamas responded cautiously to Olmert’s statement, saying it wanted both an end to Israeli attacks on Gaza and for the blockade on the territory to be lifted.


Recommended from JTA