Israel kills four in Gaza as rockets continue

November 16th, 2008 - 11:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Tel Aviv/Gaza City, Nov 16 (DPA) Israel killed four Palestinians in an airstrike near Gaza City Sunday morning, hours after Palestinians launched rockets at Israeli border towns.In a further indication that a five-month-old truce between Israel and the Gaza militias is fast collapsing, Israeli Premier Ehud Olmert said he has ordered the military to submit a plan to “restore full quiet to the south”, and the Islamist Hamas movement, which controls the Gaza Strip, said it would “respond heavily to any Zionist offensive or attacks against our people”.

The deteriorating situation on the Israel-Gaza border, where in the past 10 days Israel has killed 14 militants and Palestinians have launched around 170 rockets and mortars at the Jewish state, is expected to dominate a meeting scheduled for Monday between Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian al-Ayyam daily said Sunday.

Olmert told ministers at Sunday’s cabinet meeting that “we cannot tolerate the price that the terrorist organisations are trying to set for the prevailing situation there.”

“It is our right to prevent further terrorism, threats and the breaking of the calm (truce) that is harming - first and foremost - the residents of the area,” he said.

But Hamas, which Israel blames for the outbreak of violence, appeared unintimidated.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Bahoom, warning that the movement would respond to any Israel action, told reporters Sunday that “Israeli soldiers and settlers have no right to enjoy safety and security. They should live in blood and torn-off limbs to feel what the Gaza residents feel.”

Slamming ongoing peace talks between Israel and Abbas’ Palestinian Authority, he added that “resistance is the only solution to restore our people’s rights and principles.”

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