Related Story:Peretz Orders IDF to Launch Operations Inside Gaza
Notice the wording in the report, as opposed to the banner headline;
“Defense Minister Amir Peretz… ordered the IDF to prepare to launch operations inside the Gaza Strip and against the infrastructure that enabled the suicide bomber who killed three people in Eilat earlier in the day to cross from Gaza into Israel.”
Related Story: PM, Peretz to Discuss Bombing Response
“The identity of the terrorist organization responsible for Monday’s attack would help determine how Israel will respond.”
Olmert: IDF Retaliation Will Be Small in Scale, by Gil Ronen (Israel National News)
Prime Minister’s Office: “The reasons for not mounting a large offensive, according to political and security sources, are that Kassam rocket attacks have become less intense in the past weeks, and that an incursion by the IDF would unite the warring Arab terror organizations, Fatah and Hamas, against Israel.”
Even as the Defense Minister talks tough, sources close to the Prime Minister say the IDF retaliation for Monday’s Eilat terror attack would be moderate; no large scale offensive is to be expected.
Defense Minister Amir Peretz said Monday that “we will not make any discounts for terror groups, and the cease-fire [with the PA] will not prevent us from targeting them.” Peretz said that on Tuesday, he and Olmert would discuss with IDF commanders the steps they will take in the wake of the bomb attack.
However, sources in the Prime Minister’s bureau are already making it clear to the press that “the ceasefire” will continue.
The reasons for not mounting a large offensive, according to political and security sources, are that Kassam rocket attacks have become less intense in the past weeks, and that an incursion by the IDF would unite the warring Arab terror organizations, Fatah and Hamas, against Israel.
The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades leadership responsible for orchestrating the Eilat bombing is loyal to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and the Fatah party, said “Abu Ahmed”, leader of the Brigades in northern Gaza.
The Brigades, the declared military wing of Fatah, took responsibility along with two other terror groups for Monday’s attack, which killed three people when a suicide bomber blew himself up in a bakery in the southern resort city of Eilat.
Abu Ahmed told WND’s Aaron Klein the attack “reflects the position of Fatah that the occupation must be fought whenever and wherever possible.”
The Israel Air Force attacked a building and a tunnel being dug underneath it, near the Karni crossing between Gaza and Israel Monday night. However, military sources made it clear that this initiative was not a retaliation for the Eilat attack. Security sources said the tunnel was intended for smuggling terrorists and explosives into Israel. The IDF had let the PA know about the tunnel’s existence, expecting it to take action, but no action was taken.
The three Eilat residents killed in the attack are Emi Elmaliach (32), Michael Ben Saadon (27) and Yisrael Semolia (25).
Elmaliach, who owned the bakery that was attacked, was born in Eilat. He served in the ‘Alpinistim’ unit of the IDF, which specializes in operations in freezing-cold, mountainous areas. He married his wife, Keren, five years ago, and the couple has two daughters. In 2004 he opened a chain of three bakeries in Eilat.
Michael Ben Saadon was born in Akko and came to Eilat four years ago, working odd jobs. Six months ago, he joined Emi Elmaliach as a partner, managing one of the bakeries in the chain. Ben Saadon leaves a wife, Shani, and an 8-month-old son, Nehori.
Yisrael Semolia worked in the bakery that was attacked. His family lives in Miami, Florida, and received notification of his death through the Israeli consulate.