Report: Rice Ordered Olmert to Halt IDF in Gaza
(IsraelNN.com) American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice personally told the Olmert government that it must stop its counterterrorist operations in Gaza, according to the London Jewish Chronicle. "Rice came and told us that we had to stop the operation in Gaza," an Israeli government minister told the newspaper. He added that the Security Cabinet decision to instruct the IDF to continue actions to eliminate rocket attacks "is meaningless and was made only for public consumption."
Since the decision, the IDF has limited counterterrorist attacks to aerial strikes on rocket launching cells. The army withdrew ground troops less than two days before Secretary Rice arrived in Israel to pressure Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to resume negotiations with Israel. He suspended them in protest of the counterterrorist operations.