Source AP ©

Ehud Barak says Israel has no plans for large-scale invasion of the Gaza Strip in the near future

Israel has no plans for a large-scale invasion of the Gaza Strip in the near future, Defense Minister Ehud Barak told a parliamentary committee Tuesday, according to meeting participants.

Barak has been saying for weeks that it is only a matter of time before Israel invades Gaza to halt a continuing wave of Palestinian rocket attacks. However, with Israel and the Palestinians preparing for a U.S.-hosted peace conference in the coming weeks, Barak told lawmakers that now is not the time for widespread military action in Gaza.

"It's not the right time for an operation in Gaza," Barak told lawmakers, according to committee member Limor Livnat.

She said Barak hinted that he did not want to jeopardize the peace conference. He also said that Israeli actions in Gaza - including airstrikes, brief ground incursions and financial sanctions - have been effective in curbing the rocket fire, Livnat said.

Israel says it holds the Hamas militant group, which controls Gaza, responsible for the rocket attacks, which have killed seven people in recent years and disrupted life in southern Israeli border towns.

At the same time, Israel is trying to revive peace efforts with the rival Palestinian government of President Mahmoud Abbas, who rules from the West Bank.

Hamas seized control of Gaza in June after routing Abbas' forces. Abbas responded by expelling Hamas from the Palestinian government and installing a pro-Western Cabinet in the West Bank.

The international community has rallied behind Abbas, while driving Hamas into deep isolation. The upcoming peace conference, expected to take place by the end of the year in Annapolis, Maryland, is a key part of the international support for Abbas and is aimed at restarting formal peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Comments
Capital outflow from Russia sets new records
US-led coalition strikes Assad's army in Syria
US-led coalition strikes Assad's army in Syria
US-led coalition strikes Assad's army in Syria
Moving inexorably towards war
USA plays to pretend a mighty dragon that can no longer breathe fire
Indian Origin of Egyptian Civilization
The difference between Polish and Ukrainian nationalism is plain to see
USA plays to pretend a mighty dragon that can no longer breathe fire
USA plays to pretend a mighty dragon that can no longer breathe fire
USA plays to pretend a mighty dragon that can no longer breathe fire
What weapons the USA, Russia and China may use in case of World War III
USA plays to pretend a mighty dragon that can no longer breathe fire
Sanctions do not stop foreign countries from buying Russia's S-400 systems
Mikhail Gorbachev shares his thoughts on nuclear war
Russia unveils nuclear-powered interstellar spaceship
Moving inexorably towards war
Russia close to recognising Donetsk and Luhansk republics after Donbass elections
Russia’s sanctions against Ukraine send message to Washington
World War I: Remembering the fallen, and the war criminals
Sanctions do not stop foreign countries from buying Russia's S-400 systems