Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said at the cabinet meeting Sunday that Israel "cannot continue to ignore the Qassam lunching [sic] and infiltration attempts of terrorist cells."Where have we heard that before?
He stressed that "Israel has conveyed clear messages to the Palestinian Authority and international authorities that it did not want an escalation but would not avoid the necessary steps to protect the residents of the South."
Oh yes - over two months ago:
Olmert said that if the Kassam rocket attacks on Israel continue, Israel would have to retaliate. "We are not going to restrain ourselves forever," he said. "The continued attacks challenge Israel's patience. In the end, if the attacks continue, we will respond."And in December, in a letter to the UN:
"Israel is demonstrating restraint and has avoided retaliating at this stage, but warns the Security Council that this restraint cannot continue for much longer."
Olmert's strong words ("we are a little disappointed") extend all the way back to the fourth day of the "cease fire," in late November.
And even earlier, when the "cease fire" was brand-spanking new and already breached:
Defense Minister Amir Peretz said Sunday morning that any attempt to fire into Israeli territories would be considered a breach of the cease-fire and treated with severity.
According to Peretz, Israel is interested in quiet, but would not accept attacks on its citizens.