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Israel opts for scaled responses to Gaza firings
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09:21, December 22, 2008

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Israeli leaders decided to stage scaled responses to the continued rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip, a senior official was quoted by local news service Ynet on Sunday as saying.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak met secretly last Thursday after receiving various security assessments, and decided that Israel would no longer practice a policy of restraint in view of the nearly daily firings from the Hamas-ruled enclave, said the report.

"Israel will react with all due force to any provocation by Hamas," said the source. "Actions depend only on the tactical conditions and the operational possibilities."

Shortly after the secret meeting, the Israel Air Force struck a rocket warehouse and a rocket manufacturing facility deep in the Palestinian territory, said the report, adding that the Israeli army has also been instructed to attack targets of the Islamic Jihad movement, which claimed responsibility for recent salvos against southern Israel.

Another decision by Olmert and Barak was to create an "international umbrella" and secure support of the international community for Israel's scaled military responses, according to the report.

Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni agreed to focus the public relations efforts on the United States, the European Union and members of the United Nations Security Council, added the official.


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