The United States has given a “green light” to an IDF operation in the Gaza Strip, the Lebanese newspaper, Al-Akhbar reported Saturday morning.
The report cites “credible diplomatic sources” as saying that American approval came after Israeli intelligence impressed on US officials the importance of a wide-scale operation as an answer to the unprecedented arms smuggling within Gaza.
According to the newspaper report, the intelligence was shared during Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s last visit to Washington. Sources told Al-Akhbar that the intelligence depicted a worrying picture of an “arms race” between Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. In addition, Israel presented details of money transfers between the Islamic Jihad and the Al-Aksa’s Martyrs Brigades. [complete article]
The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, met Friday with a group of Hamas leaders in the West Bank, the first time he has done so since Hamas routed Fatah forces in Gaza in June.
Mr. Abbas, of the Fatah faction, said the meeting in his Ramallah office was not the beginning of a formal dialogue with Hamas. Instead, it seemed to be an effort to split more moderate Hamas officials in the West Bank from their more militant brethren in Gaza. [complete article]