Even as the Defense Minister talks tough, sources close to the Prime Minister say the IDF retaliation for Monday's Eilat terror attack would be moderate; no large scale offensive is to be expected.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Amir Peretz and IDF commanders discussed on Tuesday the steps they will take in the wake of the bomb attack. "We will make no discounts for terror groups," Peretz said Monday, "and the cease-fire [with the PA] will not prevent us from targeting them." However, sources in the Prime Minister's bureau are already making it clear to the press that the "ceasefire" will continue.
The reasons for not mounting a large offensive, according to political and security sources are that Kassam rocket attacks have become less intense in the past weeks, and that an incursion by the IDF would unite the warring Arab terror organizations, Fatah and Hamas, against Israel.
The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades leadership responsible for orchestrating the Eilat bombing is loyal to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and the Fatah party, said "Abu Ahmed," leader of the Brigades in northern Gaza.
The Brigades, the declared military wing of Fatah, took responsibility, along with two other terror groups, for Monday's attack. Three people were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up in a bakery in the southern resort city of Eilat.
Now even if you believe the lives of citizens are nothing more than chaff in the wind (think kassams falling on Sderot), one could be forgiven for presuming Olmert might have chosen to act decisively in order to protect the resort industry in Eilat but no….I guess he didn’t want to rock his relationship with PA Chairman Abbas. My mind shutters at the shape of things to come with this man still left at the helm.