DEBKAfile Exclusive: Washington forbids Israeli anti-missile offensive in Gaza, wants issue determined by special US military delegation – not IDF
May 13, 2007o
[First benchmarks and now this. US is breaking Israel’s balls. It is determined to force capitulation on Israel.]
Therefore, there was not much point in the prime minister calling the national security cabinet into special session Sunday to decide on military action against ongoing Qassam missile attacks from Gaza and the Hamas war build-up.
The chief of staff and heads of the Shin Bet, Mossad and national security council were present. Some ministers echoed popular demands for an expanded military incursion into the Gaza Strip to put an end to the daily missile attacks against Ashkelon and Sderot, and destroy the war infrastructure Hamas is building up on Israelï¿½s southwestern border.
Prime minister Ehud Olmert, FM Tzipi Livni and defense minister Amir Peretz talked them down.
On the recommendation of Lt. Gen. Keith G. Dayton, US security coordinator, instructions from Washington reached Jerusalem last week, according to DEBKAfileï¿½s sources in the US capital, forbidding the launch of a ground offensive or any other major military operation in Gaza.
To hold the Israeli government to this directive, the Bush administration will be sending an military delegation to Israel this week, to survey the damage caused by the Palestinian missiles and draw up guidelines for dealing with them.
Olmert’s assent to the US government determining what form the IDF’s response to the Palestinian missile blitz from Gaza should take has left Israel’s security and military establishments aghast. They are furious at being summoned to a phony debate in the cabinet Sunday, purportedly for a hearing at long last of their plans to quell the threats building up from Gaza.
DEBKAfile’s military sources report their plans is based essentially on in-and-out incursions for the pursuit of terrorists and missile-launchers, the destruction of war materiel and infrastructure, and targeted assassinations of terrorist leaders.