Thursday, December 25, 2008

Israeli army chief says troops ready to strike Gaza

JERUSALEM, Dec. 25 (Xinhua) -- The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is prepared to take actions to restore security to the southern land bordering the Gaza Strip, said IDF Chief of General Staff Gabi Ashkenazi on Thursday.

"The current situation cannot continue and we will need to use all our might to hit the terror infrastructure and to create a new secure situation around the Gaza Strip," local daily The Jerusalem Post quoted him as saying at a graduation ceremony for military pilots, in reference to the continuing rocket attacks from the Hamas-ruled enclave.

The IDF is "ready and prepared" to carry out any operation that will be required to defend Israel against terror, said the lieutenant-general, while stressing that "we will act with wisdom, the correct considerations and responsibility... until calm and quiet are restored."

The remarks came as Gazan militants fired at least four rockets and several mortar shells at Israel on Thursday, a day after the Jewish state was pummeled by more than 60 rockets and mortar shells.

Israeli officials have been ratcheting up their rhetoric against the Islamic movement since clashes resumed in early November after the two sides had generally honored an Egypt-brokered truce deal for five months.

Here is the link to the original story:

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