Israel promises ‘fierce’ response to Gaza rocket fire

February 1st, 2009 - 9:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Tel Aviv, Feb 1 (DPA) Caretaker Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert threatened Sunday a “fierce and disproportionate” response to continued rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, saying the “old rules of engagement” in the salient no longer applied.Addressing ministers at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, after militants in the enclave fired missiles at southern Israel, Olmert said he had told the defence minister to order the military to prepare a response to the rocket fire.

Sunday’s rockets were the latest militants in the Strip have fired sporadically in the two weeks since Israel, and then the militias, unilaterally announced ceasefires ending Israel’s three-week-long offensive in the salient.

The rockets Sunday, one of which landed next to a kindergarten close to the Gaza Strip, caused neither injuries nor damage.

“We will act according to new rules which will ensure that we are not dragged into an endless shooting war along the southern border,” Olmert said at the cabinet meeting.

“The Israeli action and the Israeli response will be given at the time, place and according to the method we will decide,” he said.

An Israeli military spokesman confirmed that four Qassam rockets had been fired from Gaza, but that there were no reports as yet of casualties or damage.

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