Israeli officials talk tough on Gaza


Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak gestures as he attends a plenary session during the World Policy Conference at the historic Hofburg palace in Vienna on Dec. 11, 2011.
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — Israeli ministers warned of tougher military action on Gaza on Sunday, after five days of Israeli airstrikes on the blockaded strip.

Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak told a Vienna conference on Sunday that Israel might at some stage have to “take more assertive action” in Gaza, after Palestinian fighters fired rockets into southern Israel amid a series of Israeli bombardments that killed five people since Wednesday.

Interior Minister Eli Yishai said Sunday that there will be no way around military action if attacks from Gaza continue, Israeli daily The Jerusalem Post reported.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz told Israel Radio that Israel will be forced to act militarily in Gaza sooner or later as it cannot accept Iranian and Hamas missile bases in the coastal enclave.

On Friday Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh warned that the latest flare up in violence was preceded by threats of a new military action by Israeli leaders.

The premier said he was “pursuing intensive contacts with several Arab and international parties, and we stress the necessity of this aggression being stopped immediately”.

Cairo is trying to renew a truce to restore calm between its neighbors, Egypt’s ambassador to the Palestinian Authority Yasser Othman told Ma’an earlier this week.

( / 11.12.2011)

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