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Home >> World
UPDATED: 09:14, October 17, 2006
Israel escalating military operation in Gaza: DM
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Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz said on Monday that Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip was escalating.

"Operations are now being undertaken with the recommendation of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and intelligence bodies. These operations are of a much wider scale than they have been up until now," Peretz was quoted by Israeli daily Haaretz as saying.

He, however, denied before Knesset (parliament) Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Israel intended to carry out a broad ground operation deep into the heart of Gaza.

"We will not approve the transformation of the Gaza Strip into south Lebanon," Peretz asserted, vowing not to show any mercy to those who carry out rocket attacks against Israel.

The IDF was authorized to take ground and air actions in Gaza, including the densely populated areas, to stem rocket and tunnelling attacks.

Israeli army has stepped up military offensive in the Gaza Strip since last week as airstrikes and ground incursions occurred in both southern and northern Gaza Strip repeatedly.

Israel launched a massive military offensive in the Gaza Strip three days after abduction of an Israeli soldier by three Palestinian militant groups in a tunnel-born attack on an Israeli army post in southern Gaza on Jun. 25.

Source: Xinhua

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