What does the Israeli offensive look like behind-the-scenes? According to Haaretz, Israel began planning its operation in Gaza six months ago. The plan involved “Long-term preparation, careful gathering of information, secret discussions, operational deception and the misleading of the public.” Defense Minister Ehud Barak approved the plan on November 19, and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert approved it on December 18. An example of Israel’s use of disinformation was its announcement during the week that it would deliberate its course of action today—one day after the strike was already ordered. "Hamas evacuated all its headquarter personnel after the cabinet meeting on Wednesday," one defense official said, "but the organization sent its people back in when they heard that everything was put on hold until Sunday." In other news, the Palestinian Authority said it is ready to take over Gaza, should the Israeli operation succeed in overthrowing Hamas.
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