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Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut

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Middle east

Israeli military responds to rocket fire despite truce

Video by Philip CROWTHER

Latest update : 2009-01-18

Despite its unilateral ceasefire, the Israeli air force has bombed a rocket-launching squad in the Gaza Strip after four rockets were fired on Sderot. On Sunday morning, a Palestinian was also shot dead by Israeli troops, medics said.

AFP - Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Sunday that Israel's unilateral ceasefire in the Gaza Strip was fragile and was being reassessed on a minute by minute basis.
   
"The government's decision allows Israel to respond and renew the fire if our enemy in the Gaza Strip continues its strikes," he said after Gaza militants fired a handful of rockets into Israel.
   
"This morning they again proved that the ceasefire is fragile and it has to be reassessed on a minute by minute basis," Olmert said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.
   
"We hope that the fire ends. If it continues, the IDF (Israeli Defence Forces) will respond. It is prepared and deployed to do so."
   
As Gaza medics pulled dozens of bodies, including those of several children, from the rubble in northern Gaza, Olmert again pointed the finger of blame for the civilian casualties at Hamas.
   
"There isn't one single thing we hate more than hurting innocent civilians who want to live in peace and there are many like that in Gaza," he said.
   
"Any casualty among Gaza's civilians is a casualty we do not want. Any boy, woman and civilian hurt are victims of the murderous Hamas that entered densely populated areas in order to fight its war against Israel. They are the ones to blame."
 

Date created : 2009-01-18

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