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Israel Considers Major Offensive in Response to Gaza Rocket Fire

  • VOA News

Israel has threatened to launch a major offensive against the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, after Palestinian militants fired more rockets inside its territory.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told a Cabinet meeting Sunday that while Israel will not rush to go to war, it will not avoid one.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said he has ordered the army to create plans for how, when and where to respond to increased militant attacks from Gaza.

The two leading candidates for prime minister pledged to oust the Hamas regime if elected.

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, who leads the ruling Kadima party, said her government's strategic objective would be to remove Hamas with all available means.

The head of the opposition Likud party, Benjamin Netanyahu, called for a more active policy of attack on Gaza, and he accused the Kadima government of doing nothing.

But Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh seemed unfazed, saying nothing can destroy the Palestinian people.


Palestinian rockets fired from Gaza Sunday crashed into southern Israel, prompting an Israeli air strike against a rocket launcher in northern Gaza.

Fighting has escalated since Friday when the militant group Hamas declared an end to a six-month truce with Israel.

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