Gaza Op 'Closer than Ever'

Ad Feedback - KIBBUTZ NIR OZ, Israel - Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said a broad counter-terror operation in the Gaza Strip is "closer than ever."

"Gaza's day of reckoning is likely approaching," Barak said. "Military action is closer than ever, and it will likely precede the cease-fire," Barak said.

Barak made the assessment during a tour of the Nirlat paint factory in Kibbutz Nir Oz, where 51-year-old Amnon Rosenberg was killed by a mortar shell Thursday. Five other factory workers were wounded in the attack.

The defense minister also visited Kibbutz Nirim, where the Rosenberg family has lived since 1982.

"I am not prepared to bury more people," said Haim Yalin, head of the Eshkol Regional Council. "The government is not doing anything and from my point of view, is almost nonexistent," he said.

"A country cannot continue to be run like this. We have already heard hundreds of times that the Gaza Strip's day of reckoning is approaching," he said.

Alon Shuster, chairman of the Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Council, said he thinks the government is nearing a decision for a large-scale military incursion in Gaza.

"It is evident from what he said that a military strike won't be long in the making and the 'calm' is off the table," said Alon Shuster, chairman of the Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Council.

"The fact that we've lost quite a few people here in recent times has probably also had an effect," he said.

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations, Dan Gillerman, filed a formal complaint with the UN Security Council and Secretary General Ban ki-Moon.

"Israel will not sit on its hands," the complaint read. "It will defend itself," Gillerman wrote.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert got a word in with reporters before departing for his return flight to Israel.

"We're nearing a crossroads in Gaza, both in terms of setting a timetable and the exacerbation of the problem," Olmert told journalists.

Sources: YNet news, The Jerusalem Post

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