´We don´t want escalation but attacks won´t be tolerated´ (JERUSALEM POST) By JPOST.COM STAFF AND REUTERS 03/27/11)
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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday said that Israel is not
interested in an escalation of violence in the Gaza Strip, but that
attacks on southern Israel will not be tolerated.
"In the last two weeks there have been parties attempting to disturb
peace and security," said Netanyahu prior to Sunday´s cabinet
meeting. "We don´t want to escalate the situation but we will not
hesitate to activate the strength of the IDF," he added.
The Israeli Air Force on Sunday launched an air strike on a terrorist
cell of Palestinians attempting to fire rockets into Israel in
Northern Gaza, Israel Radio reported.
According to the report, two members of the cell belonging to the
Islamic Jihad were killed and three were wounded.
The incident comes a day after Hamas officials said that its members
in Gaza had agreed to halt their rocket fire at Israel if Israel
stops launching strikes against targets in the coastal territory.
Hamas spokesman Ismail Rudwan said after a meeting with faction heads
over a surge in cross-border tensions, that Hamas was "committed as
long as the occupation [Israel] was committed" to restoring a de-
Moments before the meeting started, a Kassam rocket exploded in the
Eshkol Regional Council. No injuries were reported and no damage was
A senior official of the Islamic Jihad said in London-based Arabic
language daily Al Hayat on Sunday that the organization will launch
rockets further than Beersheba and Ashdod if Israel continues
its "escalation in the Gaza Strip, targeting our children."
"The Israelis must feel similar pain to the harm they caused us," the
The group is not interested in going to war, and rockets fired on
Israel came in response to IDF operations in Gaza which killed eight
innocent bystanders including four children, the official said,
speaking in Cairo.
"If Israel stops the escalation, we will abide by the truce...but we
cannot be asked for calm at a time when Israel is killing our
children in cold blood," the official stated.
On Saturday, OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Tal Russo said on Saturday
that "there is anarchy in Gaza and Hamas."
Russo toured the house in the Negev that was hit Friday night by a
Kassam rocket and stated that "it is difficult now for Hamas to turn
the wheel back."
Late Friday night a Kassam rocket exploded in Eshkol Regional Council
area, causing damage to one house but no injuries.
A local official said authorities were searching for a second rocket
that had fallen in an open area.
On Thursday, a rocket fired from Gaza exploded north of Ashdod. While
there were no injuries, Magen David Adom crew treated a number of
people for shock. (© 1995 - 2011 The Jerusalem Post. 03/27/11)
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