Livni vows tough line on Hamas

Tzipi Livni, Israel's foreign minister, has said that if appointed prime minister, she will respond to any attacks on Israel by Hamas with retaliatory fire, Aljazeera reported.

Livni also ruled out negotiations with the rulers of the Gaza Strip, during a speech on Monday at an annual security conference in Herzliya.

Israeli holds its national elections on February 10 in which she is running for the prime minister's post.

"Terror must be fought with force and lots of force," Livni said.

"If by ending the operation we have yet to achieve deterrence, we will continue until they get the message."

Livni, who heads the ruling Kadima party, said that Israel should work with moderate Palestinians and Arab states for peace, in contrast to her election rival Benjamin Netanyahu, the leader of Likud, who proposes talking to the Palestinians only for economic reasons.

"The dove is on the window sill," Livni said.

"We can either slam the door or let it in. The choice is in your hands."

Livni's speech came on a day at least five people were injured after an Israeli missile was fired at a car in the town of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

"We targeted a car that carried rocket launchers, they fired rockets and we targeted them," an Israeli army spokesperson told Al Jazeera.

The Israeli military also confirmed it had bombed half a dozen locations in Gaza Strip overnight.

Palestinian witnesses reporting huge explosions. The targets included an abandoned police station in northern Gaza and suspected smuggling tunnels in the south near the Egyptian border.

The military said the attacks were the beginning of a new wave of raids over Gaza, but did not elaborate, Al Jazeera's Hoda Abdel Hamid said from Gaza City.

The Israeli military and rescue services said on Sunday that Palestinian mortars hit the village of Nahal Oz, next to the Gaza border fence, wounding two Israeli soldiers and a civilian.

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Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the military wing of the Fatah faction led by Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, told Al Jazeera that it carried out the attacks.

The Hamas faction seized control of the Gaza Strip from Fatah forces in June 2007, but several other Palestinian groups, including the Brigades, continue to operate in Gaza.

Israel, however, holds Hamas responsible for all rocket fire coming from Gaza.

Israel and a Hamas-led group of Palestinian factions declared separate ceasefires last month after a 22-day Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip that killed at least 1,300 Palestinians, many of them women and children.

Thirteen Israelis were also killed, three of them civilians, by Palestinian rockets and mortars.

Earlier, Ron Kampeas, an Israeli political analyst, said the underlying motive of Israel's recent raids on Gaza was that Kadima wanted "to show it is as hawkish as [their rival party] Likud".

He told Al Jazeera that Netanyahu appeared likely to win the February 10 election and that Livni was now trying to keep her job as foreign minister in a coalition government.

Kampeas added that it remained to be seen whether Netanyahu, if he won, would form a coalition with Avigdor Lieberman, who is seen as further right than Netanyahu, which "could mean an even more hardline stance towards Hamas".

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