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Posted: 4/8/2002 4:36:19 AM EDT
[size=4]Mofaz: Operation's success depends on time available to IDF[/size=4] By Nina Gilbert JERUSALEM (April 8) - Time is the main factor that will determine the success of Operation Defensive Shield, Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Shaul Mofaz said yesterday. [b]Mofaz said in a meeting with the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that the IDF needs another four to eight weeks to uncover all of the terror infrastructure in the territories.[/b] He said there has been a significant drop in the number of warnings of imminent terror attacks, and with the progression of the operation, the capabilities of suicide bombers and other terrorists are being shattered by the IDF. Asked after the meeting whether the operation would be curtailed as a result of US pressure, Mofaz said that at the moment the IDF is "not under any time limit" from the political echelon. He said he believes that the longer the operation continues, the "more security will be achieved for Israel." Moreover, he said that if Israel would have to return again to the areas, it would have to "pay a higher price." Mofaz said that after the aims of the operation are achieved, the IDF should exit the Palestinian areas and redeploy in a manner that would ensure security for civilians. In the committee, Mofaz came under harsh criticism for what MKs termed the political nature of recent remarks about Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Mofaz responded by saying that he does not think that anyone can "shut me up." He noted that he was the first to classify the Palestinian Authority as a terrorist entity and had been proven to be right. He added that in his opinion as long as Arafat remains in the area, "there will be terror." Mofaz said his assessment is that there is a new strategic situation centering on two "points of no return" with the Palestinians. First, he said, he estimates that Palestinian Authority is unable and unwilling to fight terror and implement the Tenet cease-fire plan. He said also that Israel also cannot return to the situation it was in before the current operation, in which civilians were exposed to bloody attacks that claimed more than 400 lives. [b]In the operation in Jenin, Mofaz said that a number of Palestinians who approached IDF forces as part of a call to surrender were wearing explosives. The explosives were detonated, but no IDF soldiers were wounded, he said.[/b] - continued -
Link Posted: 4/8/2002 4:36:52 AM EDT
Soldiers were also targeted by car bombs, but that threat was also neutralized, he said. In Nablus, bombs were planted along roads, Mofaz added. Mofaz reported to the committee that 100 Palestinians were killed in the Jenin operation, and another 100 Palestinians, including civilians, surrendered. Large stashes of weapons have been confiscated, he added. [b]At Jibril Rajoub's headquarters in Beitunya, Mofaz said that besides hundreds of "illegal weapons," [u]a large stash of IDF uniforms, wigs, and kippot were uncovered. He said the articles were "clearly" destined to be used in attacks on Israel[/u].[/b] [b]In Arafat's offices, 75 telescopic rifles were found that were apparently smuggled in via Arafat's helicopter, Mofaz said.[/b] He said the IDF is considering ways to operate against the Palestinian militants holed up in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem while ensuring that the holy site is not harmed. See article at:[url]http://www.jpost.com/Editions/2002/04/08/News/News.46511.html[/url] Scoped rifles, eh, Chairman Arafat? Eric The(NowOnlyTheIDFWillUseThem!)Hun[>]:)]
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