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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Gaza conflict: Benjamin Netanyahu threatens to broaden confrontation with Hamas


Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, threatened to broaden the confrontation with Hamas, giving a defiant justification of his government's attacks on the Gaza strip.

Gaza conflict: Benjamin Netanyahu threatens to broaden confrontation with Hamas
Benjamin Netanyahu Photo: REUTERS

Defending a bombardment which has so far killed not only militants but five Palestinian children, Mr Netanyahu, in a typically combative press conference said: "In the past 24 hours, Israel has made it clear that it will not tolerate rocket and missile attacks on its civilians. I hope that Hamas and the other terror organisations in Gaza got the message.
"If not, Israel is prepared to take whatever action is necessary to defend our people."
The Israeli Defence Force's aerial bombardment of the Gaza strip continued throughout the day, with another seven deaths bringing the total to 15. In return, a continuous fusillade of rockets, more than 150 in all, was fired by both Hamas and the more radical Islamic Jihad from Gaza, one hitting an apartment block in the Israeli town of Kiryat Malachi, killing three civilians including an eight-month pregnant woman.
Later in the day, two rockets, claimed by Islamic Jihad, came close to Israel's commercial capital, Tel Aviv, which has not been attacked since being hit by Iraqi Scud missiles in the first Gulf War in 1991.
Both Mr Netanyahu and his Hamas rivals and its backers were last night weighing up the risks and gains to be had from an escalation of the crisis into a full-scale land war.

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