Israel is considering halting its Gaza offensive temporarily to give Hamas militants an opening to halt rocket fire, an Israeli defense official said today, but with the threat of a ground offensive if a ceasefire does not hold. Ehud Barak will raise the proposal during a meeting tomorrow of Israel's security Cabinet, which will also be asked to consider various plans for a ground invasion, the defense official said.
Palestinian militants, meanwhile, kept up their rocket assaults on Israeli border communities, despite relentless Israeli air attacks. Israel has never found a military solution to the barrages, and beyond delivering Hamas a deep blow and protecting border communities, the assault's broader objectives remained cloudy. Israeli warplanes smashed a Hamas government complex today, the largest one hit so far, along with security installations and the home of a top militant commander.