Coming up

Don't miss




2014-07-11 21:47 AFRICA NEWS

Read more


Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more


The World This Week - 11 July 2014 (part 2)

Read more


The World This Week - 11 July 2014

Read more


Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more


Politics: parties under pressure

Read more


In Burma, the rise of radical Buddhism

Read more


Haute Couture: the hand-stitched clothing made in Paris that sells for the price of small yachts

Read more

  • Putin revives old Cuban flame and eyes Latin American minerals

    Read more

  • Kerry holds all-night talks with Afghan presidential rivals

    Read more

  • Netanyahu resists international pressure to stop air strikes on Gaza

    Read more

  • Ukraine promises retaliation after rebel assault

    Read more

  • Amazon snubs French free delivery ban with one-cent charge

    Read more

  • Cleveland's NBA fans hail 'return of king' LeBron James

    Read more

  • Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

    Read more

  • Magnitude 6.8 quake, small tsunami hit east Japan

    Read more

  • The third-place playoff: the World Cup game no one wants to play

    Read more

  • Suspect in Brussels Jewish Museum shooting drops extradition appeal

    Read more

  • Kurdish forces take over two oilfields in northern Iraq

    Read more

  • Are French high school students getting smarter?

    Read more

  • Italy’s Trentin wins seventh stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Disgraced Suarez leaves Liverpool for Barcelona

    Read more

  • In pictures: Chanel, Dior and so much more at the Paris couture shows

    Read more

Middle east

New raids won't mean a second offensive


Latest update : 2009-02-03

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said on Monday, "It is not our intention to have an Operation Cast Lead 2," referring to Israel's recent 22-day strike against Hamas. During Monday's strikes, one Palestinian was killed and four were wounded.

REUTERS - Israel carried out air strikes and Palestinians launched mortar bomb attacks on Monday despite a ceasefire in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, but Israel's defence minister said a wider offensive was not imminent.

Responding to Egyptian efforts to broker a long-term truce, a Hamas spokesman said it would be prepared to halt hostilities for a year if a deal could be reached on lifting Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip and reopening border crossings.

An Israeli aircraft attacked a car in the southern Gaza town of Rafah on the Egyptian border, killing one militant and wounding three other gunmen, medical officials said, identifying them as members of the Popular Resistance Committees.

The Israeli military said it targeted a squad that fired two mortar bombs into southern Israel. A police spokesman said the Palestinian attack caused no casualties or damage.

On Sunday, Israeli planes attacked a Hamas security complex and smuggling tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border.

There were no reported casualties in those strikes, the Israeli military said. The attacks followed the firing of about a dozen rockets and mortar bombs into southern Israel on Sunday, which wounded two Israeli soldiers and a civilian.

Israel and the Gaza Strip's Hamas rulers put a ceasefire into effect on Jan. 18 after a 22-day Israeli offensive that medical officials in the enclave said killed 1,300 Palestinians, including 700 civilians.

Ten Israel soldiers and three civilians were killed during the campaign, "Operation Cast Lead", which Israel said was intended to end cross-border rocket fire.

"Disproportionate" response

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert pledged on Sunday a "disproportionate" military response to continuing rocket salvoes that Palestinian militants have described as payback for fresh Israeli attacks.

But his defence minister, Ehud Barak, signalled Israel would stop short of all-out war.

"It is not our intention to have an Operation Cast Lead 2," he said in an interview with the YNet news Web site.

"We said there would be a response and there was a response last night," he said about Sunday's air strikes.

Barak's comments clashed with statements on Sunday by Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni who said that, if necessary, Israel would mount a new offensive in the Gaza Strip to end rocket attacks on its southern communities.

Both Barak, head of the centre-left Labour Party, and Livni, chairman of the ruling, centrist Kadima party, are candidates for prime minister in Israel's Feb. 10 election. Opinion polls forecast victory for right-winger Benjamin Netanyahu of Likud.

Since the ceasefire was declared, one Israeli soldier was killed and three others were wounded when a bomb exploded next to their patrol. Israeli air strikes have killed four Palestinians and wounded 13.

With U.S. backing, Egypt is seeking a long-term truce deal that would end Hamas weapons smuggling into Gaza and also lead to a reopening of border crossings, one of Hamas's main demands.

A Hamas official said a delegation from the group planned to meet Egyptian mediators in Cairo on Tuesday to deliver its response to truce proposals.

"We in Hamas accept a calm for one year, and also a year and a half can be discussed if the conditions are met to lift the blockade completely and open all crossings including the Rafah crossing (with Egypt)," said Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum.

A main sticking point to reopening the crossings is the role the Western-backed Palestinian Authority would play in supervising them.

"Hamas is ready to accept the PA at the crossings, including Rafah, but it would be a cosmetic presence," a senior European diplomat said. "The question is whether Israel would accept that. I don't see how this is going to work in practice."

Date created : 2009-02-02