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Israel has briefly delayed its all-out assault on the heart of Gaza's population centres because it believes that local leaders of Hamas have been shocked by the ferocity of Operation Cast Lead and want to end the fighting.
Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister, remains determined to launch “phase three” of the operation if necessary but hopes that the prospect of Israeli troops advancing with overwhelming firepower into Gaza's most built-up areas will deepen the tensions emerging within Hamas and force it to accept Egypt's ceasefire plan.
international forces to look over those war mongering peoples, in both sides.
Benjamin Netanyahu, the leader of Israel’s rightwing opposition, urged the government on Tuesday to escalate its assault on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and “topple” the Islamist group from power.
Mr Netanyahu, who is the frontrunner to win next month’s general election and succeed Ehud Olmert as prime minister, said: “At the end of the day, there will be no escape from toppling the Hamas rule. . . If the government decides to adopt this goal, we will also back it.”