Israel pulls troops out of Gaza, but vows more to come

( dpa )- Israel pulled its troops out the Gaza Strip early Monday morning after five days of air attacks and ground fighting and intensified rocket attacks on the Jewish state, but warned that more assaults were on the way unless militants put a halt to their missile launchings.

The Islamic Hamas movement, undeterred by the Israeli threats, claimed "victory" in the fighting, which had left 116 Palestinians and two Israelis dead, the highest Palestinian fatality toll since the 1967 Middle East war.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who froze peace talks with Israel because of the fighting, said Monday afternoon he was prepared to mediate a truce between Israel and Hamas.

"President Abbas renewed his readiness to work for a full and mutual calm with Israel to spare our people and to avoid suffering," a statement carried on the official Palestinian Wafa newswire said.

Abbas called on Israel "to accept this initiative."

Hamas, which does not recognise Israel's right to exist, has previously intimated it is interested in a long-term truce, but has attached a host of conditions, some of which were being negotiated as part of a final-status deal between Israel and Abbas' Palestinian Authority.

The Islamist organization held a victory parade early Monday afternoon, and said the Israeli actions had failed to prevent it from firing rockets at towns and villages adjacent to the salient.

"The enemy has been defeated," a Hamas spokesman said in a broadcast replayed on Israel Radio.

Hamas vowed a fierce response if Israel targeted any of its leaders, as Israeli officials have intimated could well happen.

Threats against Hamas leaders "do not "terrify Hamas or the Palestinian people," spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.

Speaking at a news conference in Gaza, he warned Israel against carrying out any assassination, and said, "the occupation must be ready and expect the volume of the responses."

The Hamas statements notwithstanding, the number of missiles launched Monday - 18 - was the lowest since the fighting began last Wednesday.

The missiles fired included two Grad-type Katyushas which hit the coastal city of Ashqelon, around 15 kilometres north of the Strip and, until the current round of fighting, an infrequent target for projectiles from the salient.

On Monday night another Israeli airstrike killed a Palestinian militant when it attacked a rocket-firing cadre in the northern Gaza Strip. An Israeli military spokeswoman said the strike also hit a cart loaded with missiles.

The tit-for-tat violence began last Wednesday, when Israel killed five Hamas militants it said were on their way to launch an attack, and then quickly escalated as militant groups responded by intensifying their rocket and mortar attacks on southern Israel.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warned Monday afternoon that the Israeli actions, which included airstrikes and ground troops sent into northern Gaza in an operation dubbed "hot winter", would not be the last against militant groups showering southern Israel with rockets.

"We are in a state of war; the operation was not a one-off. It is not the first time we will be going in or coming out," the premier was quoted as telling the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee.

"All the options are on the table," Olmert, for months under under increasing pressure to respond to the rocket attacks, stressed.

The Israeli Ha'aretz daily quoted an unnamed Israeli official as saying that Hamas should view the latest operation as a hint of future Israeli action should the rocket fire continue.

"This very limited operation was intended to show Hamas what could happen, what you may call a 'prequel'," he said.

The Jerusalem Post reported that the Israeli cabinet will wait until Wednesday - after a visit to the region by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice - before defining the long-term goals of the current offensive in the Gaza Strip.

One official quoted by the daily said these goals would include weakening, and possibly even bringing down, the Hamas administration in the Gaza Strip.

In the West Bank, meanwhile, an Israeli settler shot dead an 18- year-old Palestinian he said was part of a group which threw rocks at him.

He said he first fired in the air and then at the legs of the demonstrators, but one of them was felled by a bullet to the head.

Palestinians said a group of settlers opened fire on youth protesting the Israeli operation in the Gaza Strip.

Demonstrations also took place elsewhere in the West Bank, and in East Jerusalem two municipality workers had a narrow escape when their car was attacked by youth who threw rocks at it and smashing the windows.

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
Azerbaijan sends 100,000 vaccines to Burkina Faso
Azerbaijan sends 100,000 vaccines to Burkina Faso
Azerbaijani FM, US Assistant Secretary of State discuss latest situation in region
Azerbaijani FM, US Assistant Secretary of State discuss latest situation in region
Young grew up who did not see Karabakh, they liberated Karabakh at cost of their lives – President Ilham Aliyev (UPDATE)
Young grew up who did not see Karabakh, they liberated Karabakh at cost of their lives – President Ilham Aliyev (UPDATE)
Loading Bars
Latest
IOC respects US’ decision to boycott upcoming Beijing Olympics
Mixing Pfizer, AstraZ COVID-19 shots with Moderna gives better immune response -UK study
France extends mask mandate in schools, orders nightclubs to close
UN chief names US diplomat Stephanie Williams to run Libya mediation
Iran ready for resultative talks on nuclear deal - top diplomat
Israel reports 10 new cases of Omicron variant
New York mayor plans vaccination mandate for private-sector employers
Russia, India to expand energy cooperation, says statement
IRICA reveals data on Iran’s trade turnover with ECO member states
Raisi: Iran welcomes development of ties with UAE
Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan identify priority issues for cooperation
Saakashvili: reconciliation is the best option for everyone
Azerbaijan sends 100,000 vaccines to Burkina Faso
US announces diplomatic boycott of 2022 Beijing Olympics
Azerbaijani FM, US Assistant Secretary of State discuss latest situation in region
Armenia seen that, whole world seen that, no-one has been able to stop us - President Ilham Aliyev
Israel lifts tariffs on dairy imports to cut prices
Young grew up who did not see Karabakh, they liberated Karabakh at cost of their lives – President Ilham Aliyev (VIDEO)
Azerbaijani Minister of Youth and Sports talks about appointment of new deputy minister
I tell them to give us date of when Zangazur corridor will be opened - President Ilham Aliyev to Armenia (VIDEO)
Azerbaijan discloses volume of oil exported to Turkey in 10M2021
Azerbaijani deputy defense minister leaves for Moscow
Forecast of Azerbaijani State Oil Fund’s total management costs for 2022 revealed
Turkmenistan approves anti-crisis program for 2022
Volume of cargo shipment via Turkish ports from Morocco for 10M2021 revealed
Ministry shares data on volume of cargo shipment via Turkish ports from Belgium for 10M2021
Volume of cargo shipment via Turkish ports from China for 10M2021 unveiled
Turkey discloses volume of cargo shipment via its ports from Germany for 10M2021
Cost of goods transported via sea up in Azerbaijan
President Ilham Aliyev, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva visit monument to national leader Heydar Aliyev in Guba (PHOTO/VIDEO)
SOFAZ asset management revenue forecast for 2022 unveiled
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on December 7
Azerbaijan is creating social zone in industrial park of liberated Jabrayil district- ministry
Turkmenistan continues oil prospecting work on Cheleken peninsula
Uzbekistan shares data on import of potatoes in 10M2021
Price indexes of construction, trade sectors at Uzbek stock exchange fall
Galt & Taggart shares data on Georgia’s bonds on London Stock Exchange
Uzbekistan unveils volume of exports and imports
Georgia’s persimmon exports continue to increase
Russia remains main importer of Georgia’s tangerines
Uzbekistan reveals volume of tomato exports for 10M2021
Uzbek Statistics Committee shares data on foreign trade turnover
Kazakhstan’s oil and gas company opens tender to supply electric pump
Turkey discloses volume of cargo shipment via its ports from Albania for 10M2021
Eurostat reveals data on Czechia's import of petroleum oils from Azerbaijan
Vegetable pathogen detected in batch of pepper imported to Azerbaijan
Kazakhstan’s National Bank discloses inflation expectations
Turkmenistan talks demand on local aviation, lighting kerosene among foreign clients
Azerbaijan Academy of Sciences talks demographic indicators of Karabakh, East Zangazur
Kazakhstan talks forecasted growth level of GDP for late 2021
All 6 Israel policymakers voted to keep key rate at 0.1%
Iran reaches increase in load/unloaded operations at Amirabad port
Azerbaijan shares data on number of vaccinated citizens
Azerbaijan confirms 585 more COVID-19 cases, 944 recoveries
Iran's Bahar Azadi gold coin price continues to rise full speed
Eni Turkmenistan Ltd to purchase spare parts for pumps via tender
Azerbaijan talks 4G network coverage in liberated territories
Iran’s Nakhlak Lead Mining Complex boosts production
Kazakh-Chinese bitumen plant opens tender for vehicles rent
Act of amnesty covers 16 foreign citizens in Azerbaijan
Tesla did not want to wait on EU aid - German economy minister
Austrian President swears in Karl Nehammer as new Chancellor
Iran’s CBI general director talks foreign currency exchange activity data
Unemployment in Israel fell sharply in November
Oil and gas production dep’t of Turkmenistan’s Turkmennebit SC exceeds production plan
Volume of natural gas transportation via Serbian-Hungarian interconnector revealed
Field rearranging underway on Serbian-Hungarian gas interconnector route
Iran not to follow 'plan B' while in Vienna nuclear talks - FM
Georgian business sector sees increase in turnover
Kazakh National Bank announces its decision for base rate
Kazakhstan reveals GDP growth in 10M2021
Azerbaijan working on flight recorder of crashed helicopter - Prosecutor General's Office
UK to block poor-performing companies from winning public work
Croatia confirms its first two cases of COVID-19 Omicron variant
Balacans Agro Food LLC, Azerbaijan Investment Company sign agreement (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan to consider joining int'l documents on intellectual property protection
Oil majors to mitigate demand fluctuation with digital twins
SOFAZ sees significant increase in Shah Deniz revenues
Azerbaijan shares data on number of freed convicts as part of act of amnesty
Annual inflation rate slightly slows down in Kazakhstan
SOFAZ discloses revenues from Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli
Azerbaijan shares data on number of people covered by Act of Amnesty so far
TBC Capital publishes Georgia’s weekly economic review
Oil rebounds above $71 on Omicron hopes, Iran talks
President Ilham Aliyev, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva meet with residents of Gonagkand settlement (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Israeli firm to sell HSBC Tower in New York for $855 million
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for December 6
President Ilham Aliyev, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva view conditions created at secondary school № 1 in Guba (PHOTO/VIDEO)
President Ilham Aliyev, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva attend opening of Guba Abad Factory enterprise (PHOTO/VIDEO)
President Ilham Aliyev inaugurates Guba-Gonagkand highway (PHOTO/VIDEO)
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva view conditions created at Guba Olympic Sports Complex (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Crisis center discloses 32,136 new coronavirus cases in Russia over past 24 hours
Chevron to expand investments in Kazakhstan’s Tengiz field dev't
Famous scientist talks about significance of victory in Azerbaijan’s Karabakh (PHOTO)
Iran shares data on cargo transportation
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva arrive in Guba district for visit (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Azerbaijan prepares bill on repatriation of people to Karabakh – state committee
Azerbaijani State Oil Fund’s estimates on oil, gas transportation revenues for 2022 unveiled
Azerbaijan gives update on mine clearance work in liberated lands
Azerbaijan’s 10M2021 volume of goods exports via stationary vehicles increases
All news