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Israel responds to Hamas rocket fire


Source: | 02-02-2009 08:43

Special Report:   Israel airstrikes in Gaza

Gaza militants launched several rockets and mortar shells into southern Israel on Sunday, wounding three people.

The attack drew a threat of a "disproportionate" response from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Israel retaliated by bombing Hamas targets in Gaza during the night.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (R) and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni attend a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.(AFP/POOL/Sebastian Scheiner)
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (R) and Foreign
Minister Tzipi Livni attend a cabinet meeting in
Jerusalem.(AFP/POOL/Sebastian Scheiner)

Israeli police say mortar shells from Gaza hit the village of Nahal Oz on Sunday afternoon, wounding two soldiers and a civilian.

One of the rockets landed near a kindergarten in an Israeli community next to Gaza.

The flare-up in violence came just over a week before Israel's general elections. During a cabinet meeting, Olmert insisted there would be a harsh response to the Hamas rocket fire.

Ehud Olmert, Israeli PM, said, "In this case of fire against civilians in southern Israel, there will be a harsh Israeli reaction. It is going to be - by its nature - disproportionate."

Followed Olmert's hard-line response, Israeli aircraft bombed several Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip on Sunday night. Hamas says the aircraft carried out three strikes. One hit a police station and the other two targeted smuggling tunnels in Rafah.

Sunday's violence further damaged the fragile cease-fire that ended Israel's Gaza offensive on January 18.

The truce has been breached several times, making diplomatic efforts to build a lasting agreement difficult.


Editor:Zhang Pengfei