Tonight it is being reported that Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has instructed diplomats across the globe to launch what is being described as a “PR blitz” to shore up international support for an Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip. To that end Livni, the Kadima Party’s pick for Prime Minister in the upcoming election, will reportedly make phone calls to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon and the foreign ministers of several major nations.
A six-month ceasefire between Israel and the Hamas-run Gaza Strip formally ended on Thursday, though in reality the two sides had been exchanging intermittent fire (and diplomatic accusations) since an early November Israeli raid on a house in central Gaza. Both sides have traded air strikes over the weekend, causing damage but no apparent deaths.
And while Israeli diplomats will be struggling to shore up international support for a prospective invasion, reports suggest that the decision has already been made. Citing a secret meeting on Thursday between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Israel’s Ynet says the policy on Gaza is set, and actions will “depend only on the tactical conditions and the operational possibilities.” It also claims that it was at this meeting that the two agreed on the need to create an “international umbrella” of support for the attacks.