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What next for Israel after Gaza?

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What next for Israel after Gaza?


Hamas rockets landed in southern Israel again today, despite 17 days of fighting in Gaza designed to smash the militants’ ability to launch missiles. The Israeli public remains staunchly behind the government, but when the guns fall silent, which side will be able to say “we won?”

Israel’s underfire Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said he hoped Operation Cast Lead would end soon, but said Hamas rocket fire must stop to allow each side to live in peace. His comments implied Israel is wary of an open-ended conflict with no clear goal in sight. Next month Israel votes for a new government, and Olmert’s friends and foes are jostling for position. His Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni now wants a quick end to the war, while Defence Minister Ehud Barak worries about an orderly military withdrawal from Gaza. The Israeli army released video pictures to prove they are trying to cut civilian casualties. The military said it had targetted a particular person, but changed aim to avoid hitting other people on the ground.

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