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Israel will deepen, widen its offensive - Israeli Defense Minister

GAZA, Dec 27 (KUNA) - Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Saturday that the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) will deepen and widen its offensive in the Gaza Strip as much as needed.
Barak also vowed during an afternoon in a press conference that it's "time to fight," adding that "tough times lay ahead." The Israeli minister explained "there is a time for cease-fires and a time to fight, and now is the time to fight," Barak said.
"For months the IDF and security forces have been preparing for the operation that began today," Barak added.
The Israeli official stated that Israel had not intended to allow Hamas to continue to fire rockets into Israel without responding.
The minister warned that "tough times lay ahead," adding that "It won't be easy and won't be quick." "We must be resolute," rocket attacks were expected to continue and to increase during the operation, he added. (end) zt.mb KUNA 272208 Dec 08NNNN