From: Israel Government Press Office

Sent: Saturday, January 03, 2009 10:08 PM
To: ‘Israel Government Press Office’

Subject: SECURITY CABINET DECISION & 2 IDF SPOX PRESS RELEASES

 

SECURITY CABINET DECISION ON THE CONTINUATION OF IDF OPERATIONS IN THE GAZA STRIP

(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

The Ministerial Committee on National Security Affairs (the Security Cabinet) met yesterday (Friday), 3.1.09, in order to discuss the continuation of IDF operations in the Gaza Strip.

In continuation of the Ministerial Committee’s 24.12.08 decision, in the framework of which approval was given to the operational methods that were recommended by the IDF and security establishment vis-ý-vis action against Hamas and the other terrorist organizations in the Gaza, the Committee decided to instruct the IDF to continue operations and proceed to the stage that includes a ground entry into the Gaza Strip.

The goal of the operation is to continue advancing the goals that the Government has set for the operation as a whole, including striking hard at Hamas’s terrorism infrastructure and changing the security reality for residents of the south.  IDF forces plan – inter alia – to take control of the launch areas from which most of the missiles that have hit Sderot, Ashkelon and Ashdod in recent weeks and months have been fired from.

The Committee decided that the timing of the plan’s implementation would be determined by the security establishment in accordance with its operational judgment; this was determined for this evening (Saturday), 3.1.09.

The Ministerial Committee further instructed the IDF to prepare for additional stages of the operation and to maintain alert in other areas, and, to these ends, to mobilize the necessary reserve forces – tens of thousands of soldiers.

Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman Tzahi Hanegbi and Opposition Chairman MK Benjamin Netanyahu have been informed of the foregoing.

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IDF ENFORCES NAVAL BLOCKADE ON GAZA

(Communicated by the IDF Spokesperson)

In accordance with the decision of the Defense Minister and current security assessments, as of Saturday January 3rd, 2009, the IDF has begun enforcing a naval blockade for 20 nautical miles from the Gaza Strip.

The length of Gaza’s shore is used by the Hamas terror organization, and the presence of its operatives on the shoreline and in the open sea constitutes a threat against the citizens of southern Israel.

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OPERATION CAST LEAD – RESERVE TROOPS DRAFTED

As part of Operation Cast Lead the IDF has begun to draft numerous reserve units, in order to allow the expansion of the operation.

The majority of the reservists called up belong to combat units, some form part of the Home Front Command and the remainder belong to various other military units.

The reserve units are being drafted in accordance with the law and will be reporting for duty after having undergone extensive training over the past two years. At a number of the recruitment centers the IDF is already implementing a project that is designed to replenish and renew emergency stores and military equipment. A special emphasis is also being placed on logistic support for the reserve units.

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