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Israeli FM: no hope for Palestinian state with rocket firing
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12:07, February 11, 2008

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Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said Sunday there was no hope for a Palestinian state that included the Gaza Strip, as long as Gaza-based Palestinian militants keep firing rockets and mortars into Israeli communities, the mass-selling daily Ha'aretz reported on its website.

"There is no hope for the Palestinian people with Hamas," Livni told reporters, adding that "there is no hope for any kind of peace or the vision of a Palestinian state which includes the Gaza Strip without real change on the ground."

Livni made the remarks one day after two Israeli brothers were seriously wounded in a Qassam rocket attack on the southern town of Sderot. ,

Livni also hinted an escalated Israeli military operation against Gaza, saying that "there is a need for the international community to understand that there are certain steps that Israel needs to take in order to stop it."

But she declined to say what those steps might be.

Earlier on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem that "we will reach all the perpetrators of terror, their superiors, their handlers and their dispatchers. We will not give special consideration to anyone."

Meanwhile, Israeli Vice Premier Haim Ramon said Israel should "rain fire" on areas of Gaza from which Qassm rockets are fired.

Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit said that Israel should order Palestinian civilians living in those areas to leave their homes and "demolish everything".

Israeli opposition party leaders strongly urged the launch of a large offensive in the Strip, following Saturday's Qassam attack.

The Israel air force killed a Hamas militant in the Gaza Strip early Sunday, hours after two brothers, aged 8 and 19, were seriously wounded when a Qassam rocket struck the backyard of a house in Sderot.

Source: Xinhua

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