Israeli defense minister Shaual Mofaz warned Sunday that armyÃ‚Â would take Ã¢â‚¬Å“necessaryÃ¢â‚¬Â military actions Ã¢â‚¬Å“without consulting with the Palestinian AuthorityÃ¢â‚¬Â in case information on attempts to develop Qassam shells in the West Bank are received.
Mofaz was answering to ministersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ questions on Palestinian rocket capabilities in the Sunday weekly cabinet meeting.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â
‘The minute there is information about Kassam rockets we act,’ Mofaz said.
Mofaz also said that today in Gaza there were Qassam shells with a range of 7 to 8 kilometers and that he could not guarantee that there were not longer range rockets there as well.
Mofaz accused that the PA was not taking action against the Palestinian resistance groups, therefore allowing Hamas to emerge as a ‘second’ Palestinian Authority.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Hamas is putting together a people’s army directly under the nose of the PA, which is supposed to have security responsibility in the Palestinian territories.Ã¢â‚¬Â Mofaz said.
Also, Israel army Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Moshe Ya’alon seconded Monday MofazÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s allegations that ‘Hamas is building up an armed popular army against the Palestinian Authority.’
‘Its arming and gain of strength are rapid,’ Ya’alon told the Israeli Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
In regard to West Bank citiesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ handover, Mofaz told the cabinet that Israel would not transfer additional Palestinian cities to PA control until the PA fulfilled its commitments under the Sharm e-Sheikh understandings and disarmed Ã¢â‚¬Å“wantedÃ¢â‚¬Â Palestinians in the cities of Jericho and Tulkarem, which are already under PA security control.
A joint Israeli-Palestinian committee is scheduled to meet later this week to talk about the Wanted issue.Ã‚Â
Mofaz claimed that April witnessed a dramatic upturn in violent attacks, saying that in April there were 207 attacks from Gaza, as opposed to 133 in March.
Mofaz criticized the PA approach in dealing with resistance groups, saying the PA policy of trying to arrive at an agreement with armed Palestinian groups is in effect strengthening them.