Israel ready to act with "full force" to stop missiles: Netanyahu
Israel is ready to act with its full force to stop missile attacks launched from the Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday, dpa reported.
"No country could accept such attacks," Netanyahu told reporters as he met US Defence Secretary Robert Gates in the coastal town of Caesaria.
Netanyahu made the remarks at the end of the week in which Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired around 85 projectiles, including Russian Grad missiles, at Israel, hitting towns and villages close to the salient, but also the cities of Beersheba and Ashdod, located 45 and 25 kilometres respectively from the enclave.
The Israeli military carried out nine land and air attacks on targets in the coastal strip, in the worst week of violence between the sides since the winter of 2008-09, when Israel launched a massive offensive in the wake of concerted missile fire.
By midday Friday, however, no projectiles had been launched toward Israel since the previous evening, and there were no Israeli air or ground attacks.
At least 10 Palestinians, including four civilians, were killed in the Israeli attacks, while a British woman was killed and 38 other people injured in a bombing in Jerusalem Wednesday believed to have been carried out by Palestinian militants.
Netanyahau promised a "tough reaction" to the bombing attack, but said, however, that Israel would act "responsibly and wisely."
Taher al-Nounou, the spokesman of the de facto Hamas government in Gaza, has said de facto Prime Minister Ismail Haniya was "seeking to calm the situation on the ground" so as not to give Israel an "excuse" to launch a larger scale offensive in the strip.
And despite Netanyahu's statement Friday, the Israeli Ha'aretz daily quoted "sources close to the prime minister" as saying he was "not eager" to launch a comprehensive operation in the Gaza Strip.