JERUSALEM, Dec. 22 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Defense
Minister Ehud Barak said Monday that Israel will not accept the ongoing rocket
fire from the Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.
His remarks came four days after the expiration of
the six-month ceasefire agreement between Israel and the Palestinian groups in
Gaza, who announced they would not be renewing the truce.
"We have no intention of accepting the situation as
it is developing in Gaza and we have no intention of accepting a continuation of
fire on the Gaza envelope communities," Barak was quoted by the website of local
daily Ha'aretz as saying during a meeting of the Labor Party's Knesset faction.
Earlier, Lt.-Gen Gabi Ashkenazi, chief of General
Staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) vowed to deal with Hamas, which he said
should be responsible for a reality where Gaza-belt residents are getting
"The IDF is prepared for every possible operation
that could be required in the Gaza Strip... I present the different options to
the political echelons, and we'll do what we're ordered to do," he told Israeli
Ashkenazi added that the situation with captive
soldier Gilad Shalit, who has been held by Hamas for 911 days, is one of the
army's considerations in deciding on military action in the Gaza Strip.
Throughout Sunday, 19 rockets fired from the Strip
hit the western Negev, as well as at least three mortar shells, the spokesperson
of IDF confirmed with Xinhua. One person was lightly wounded.
Israeli officials urged the government to take active
military options against Palestinian militants in Gaza.
Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, who supported
the truce until recently, told a Kadima faction meeting on Sunday that "Israel
needs to topple the Hamas government in Gaza, and a government led by me would
Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu, who was
touring the southern town of Sderot on Sunday, said "in the long run, there will
be no choice but to topple the Hamas government."
However, Israeli outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
showed his restraint in dealing with rockets attacks, saying during Sunday's
cabinet meeting that "a responsible government neither runs to battle nor runs
Meanwhile, it was reported that Olmert and Barak met
secretly last Thursday after receiving various security assessments, and decided
to stage scaled responses to the continued rocket attacks.
Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (R)
and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni attend the weekly cabinet meeting in
Jerusalem Dec. 21, 2008. Livni said Sunday that she would lead the
government to topple the Hamas' regime in the Gaza Strip if elected prime
minister in the February election, local media reported. (Xinhua/Reuters
JERUSALEM, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Foreign
Minister Tzipi Livni said Sunday that she would lead the government to topple
the Hamas' regime in the Gaza Strip if elected prime minister in the February
election, local media reported.
"The people of Israel are threatened, missiles are
falling," she was quoted by the website of Jerusalem Post as saying to Kadima
members. "I won't say what moves should be made. There is no calm in
Hamas-controlled Gaza. Israel, and a government under my leadership, would
topple Hamas in Gaza with military, economic and diplomatic means." Full story