Shaky Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire enters 2nd day (3)

08:09, April 12, 2011      

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The sun is seen setting over the northern Gaza strip as seen from the border near Kibbutz Nir Am April 9, 2011. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Sunday that the cease-fire was a ruse, implemented by Hamas in order to gain a respite in the fighting.

"Hamas is fighting a war of attrition against us," Lieberman told Israel Radio on Monday.

"We will not reconcile with a situation in which they decide when there is quiet and when the area is heated up."

Hamas "takes advantage of the quiet to smuggle more and more weapons," Lieberman charged, adding that he believed that a ceasefire with Hamas worked against Israel's national interests.

On Sunday he announced that his party, Yisrael Beitenu (Israel, Our Home), will, at it's quadrennial convention on Wednesday, demand Israel officially designate Hamas as a strategic national target, as per a coalition agreement with Netanyahu's ruling Likud Party.

An official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed to Xinhua that Lieberman will raise the issue this Wednesday at his Party's quadrennial convention in Jerusalem.

The Foreign Minister is expected to notify the government via a speech or as part of the ongoing consultations, the official said.

The latest surge in cross-border violence was precipitated by a Hamas anti-tank rocket attack on a school bus traveling near the coastal enclave Thursday afternoon, that critically wounded a youth, and hurt the driver.

Israel stuck back over the next two days with more than 50 sorties over Palestinian areas, in order to suppress rocket launching crews, to limited success.

The air force counter-strikes killed at least 18 Palestinians, including children, according to Gaza sources.

Source: Xinhua

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