Israel warns Hamas of 'heavy price'

2012-11-12 09:01
Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak. (File, AP)

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak. (File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Jerusalem - Israel has warned the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas that it will strike with "ever-growing intensity" in response to the latest barrage of rocket attacks into the Jewish state.

"Hamas is responsible for the rocket fire and all other attempts to harm our soldiers and civilians, even when other groups participate. And it is Hamas that will pay the heavy price," Defence Minister Ehud Barak said on Sunday.

"We will strike with an ever-growing intensity," he added.

Hours later the Israeli airforce carried out several raids on the Gaza Strip overnight.

The air raids targeted a smuggling tunnel and an arms cache in the northern Gaza Strip as well as a rocket launch site in the area, a military spokesperson said, adding that the targets had been hit.

The flare-up, which began on Saturday, as well as tough statements from Israeli officials, raised the spectre of a broader Israeli operation against Gaza, along the lines of its devastating Operation Cast Lead over the New Year of 2009.

Cairo mediates


"During the last two days, the IDF [Israel Defence Force], upon my instruction, has been evaluating the host of options for harsher responses against Hamas and the other terror organisations in Gaza," Barak said.

In December 2008, just six weeks before general elections, Israel launched a huge operation in Gaza against rocket fire. The 22-day war killed 1 400 Palestinians - half of them civilians - and 13 Israelis, 10 of them soldiers.

Cairo stepped into its usual role as mediator and was attempting to secure a truce, Egyptian security sources said.

Palestinian officials confirmed the initiative and said that the two main militants groups in the Gaza Strip, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, were ready to respect a truce as of Sunday night "provided Israel commits to doing the same".

The latest violence comes ahead of Israeli elections in January.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned earlier that Israel is "prepared to escalate" its response to Palestinian rocket fire.

85 rockets

"The army is acting and will act forcefully against the terror organisations in the Gaza Strip. They are receiving strong blows from the army," Netanyahu told a meeting of his cabinet.

"The world must realise that Israel won't sit by idly in the face of attempts to attack us. We are prepared to escalate our actions," he said.

The flare-up erupted on Saturday when Gaza militants fired an anti-tank missile at an Israeli jeep along the Gaza border, injuring four soldiers, one of them severely. Three remained in hospital on Sunday.

Israel retaliated with air strikes, shelling and artillery fire that killed six Palestinians and wounded 35 by Sunday night.

Palestinian militants fired at least 85 rockets into southern Israel, leaving four injured in the Israeli border town of Sderot. Two rockets were intercepted by Israel's missile defence system Iron Dome.

"It's a very severe situation, rockets are landing on our towns and villages, almost on a daily basis and of course no democratic country can tolerate such a thing," said Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, a Netanyahu confidant.

Palestinian UN membership

US ambassador Dan Shapiro, writing on Facebook, said American "thoughts are with the residents of southern Israel, who continue to be bombarded with missile attacks from terrorist organisations in Gaza".

"The United States supports Israel's right to defend itself and its citizens from these attacks," he said.

The Israeli military said it had attacked seven targets on Saturday night, including arms dumps, a weapons-making facility and two rocket-launching sites "in response to recent events".

Medics said 35 people were wounded, with Ashraf al-Qudra, spokesperson for the Hamas-run health ministry, adding that 10 had undergone amputations.

Schools closed

He named the four civilians killed as 20-year-old Matar Abul Ata, 17-year-old Mohammed Harara, 15-year-old Ahmed Harara and 18-year-old Ahmed Dardasawy.

There were no immediate reports of any casualties for Sunday night's air raids.

The upsurge in violence has prompted authorities on both sides of the border to close some schools, and in Gaza the Hamas government and militant groups vowed revenge.

"The occupation attacked Palestinian civilians east of Gaza City and Khan Yunis. We consider this escalation as very dangerous. It must stop immediately," said Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhum.

The radical Popular Resistance Committees vowed "the Zionist enemy will pay a high price for this crime against Gaza". And Islamic Jihad warned that "every aggression against the Palestinian people will be followed by a response".

Tensions have been rising on the border since Thursday, when an Israeli soldier was wounded after explosives packed into a border tunnel were detonated in an attack claimed by Hamas's armed wing.

Hours earlier, a 13-year-old Palestinian was shot dead by gunfire from an Israeli helicopter in the same area.

Read more on:    ehud barak  |  benjamin netanyahu  |  israel  |  gaza strip  |  palestine  |  middle east peace
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
12 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Monday Bellville - 18:27 PM
    Road name: Strand Road Eastbound
    DELAYS between Old Paarl Road and the R300 Highway
  • Monday Langa - 18:24 PM
    Road name: N2 Outbound
    DELAYS between the M5 Highway and the Bhunga Avenue exit due to an accident on the opposite carriageway
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold 9780

BlackBerry 6 Engage your world with BlackBerry 6 OS on the...

From R3049.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong emphasis on relationships. Obsession, emotional disputes, retaliation or competitive actions are highlighted....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.