Israel Plans Attack on Gaza
Olmert government making plans for military action to destroy Hamas
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2007 4:28 AM CDT
Ehud Barak, center, former Israeli Prime Minister and newly-elected leader of the Labour party, greets supporters during a rally at the party's headquarters in Tel Aviv, Israel, late Sunday June 17, 2007....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The Israeli government is readying its army for an invasion of Gaza, in the wake of Hamas' victory in last week's civil war against Fatah there. The London Times, quoting Israeli military sources, says defense minister apparent Ehud Barak has drawn up plans for an incursion with 20,000 troops, who will meet 12,000 well-armed Hamas fighters.

The catalyst for the invasion would be any escalation of violence against Israel, whether rocket assaults from Gaza or a resumption of suicide bombings. But a source close to Barak told the Times that "the question is not if but how and when." Insiders say Israel won't accept "Hamastan"—a hostile fundamentalist mini-state on its border.