IDF armored column
IDF armored columnIsrael News photo (file)

Israel launched a diplomatic public relations campaign Sunday, aimed largely at member states of the United Nations Security Council and European countries, in order to pave the way for an IDF operation in Gaza.

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni instructed Israel's embassies and consulates abroad to begin diplomatic and public relations work in their respective countries. The diplomats are to inform the host countries that Hamas is the one that violated the "lull" and is responsible for the situation in Gaza. 

Livni making calls

Livni instructed Israel's United Nations team to file a formal complaint with the Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, and the Security Council regarding the rocket fire against it from Gaza. In the complaint, Israel warns that it "will not remain passive" if the rocket fire continues and that it "will do everything" to protect its citizens.

Livni also intends to make phone calls to top diplomats worldwide, including U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Secretary-General Ban and the foreign ministers of Russia, France, Germany and Britain.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that he has instructed the IDF to prepare for an operation in Gaza. "The place, time and method of operation will be left to the professionals," he said. "The Chief of Staff and Defense Minister know what to do, as least as well as some of the hotheads," he said.

Hamas official Mahmoud A-Zahar taunted Israel Sunday and said that it has been talking about a large operation in Gaza for three years "and nothing has happened." He also said there is no talk of continuing the "lull."