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Barak: Gazans can expect widespread military action in chaotic Strip

Aug. 5, 2008 9:24 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 5, 2008 9:24 A.M.)
Bethlehem - Ma'an - Palestinians should expect widespread Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip as a response to the deteriorating security situation in the area, said Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Monday night.

Those who "miss Gaza raids don't worry" he said of mounting pressure to act on the situation, "they'll come."

The comments came at a meeting of the Israeli Labor Party where Barak also discussed ongoing indirect discussions between Israel and Syria. He called current efforts "initial connections" that would make talking to Syria less of a "violation" of Israeli policy in the future.

Israel has learned from its talks, he said, that Syria adheres to old attitudes because they are not convinced that a shift in rhetoric would bear diplomatic or material fruits. Efforts such at the current one, however, are considered highly important and must be continued and the process studied.

With regard to the relationship between the current internal Palestinian situation and the chances of success of Labor party in next elections, Barak said that Labor leadership is not an experimental issue and people must to decide who will be best able to make critical decisions when the time comes.

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