About a dozen Israelis have been wounded by rockets from Gaza in the past week, prompting panic and leading Israel to partly evacuate the hardest hit town of Sderot over the weekend.
In Sderot, protesters called on the government to act to stop the attacks.
|In Sderot, protesters called on the government |
to act to stop the rocket attacks [Reuters]
Meanwhile, Avigdor Lieberman, Israel's strategic affairs minister, threatened to pull his party out of the government unless Olmert ordered a large-scale operation against Hamas.
"Either Hamas is going to be dismantled, or the government is going to be dismantled," Lieberman said in a statement. "This is not an ultimatum, but these are the options."
Also on Sunday, Israel moved an undisclosed number of tanks, armoured vehicles and ground forces into areas just inside the Gaza border.
The Israeli air raids came as a ceasefire, established late on Saturday between Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah, took effect after a week of fighting.
Hamas and Fatah fighters, who controlled the streets and took over apartment buildings last week, dismantled roadblocks and scaled back their ground presence.
Some in Gaza felt that the Israeli military action contributed to the establishment of the ceasefire.
"No one would condone fighting one another while the Israelis are shelling Gaza," said Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman.
More than 50 Palestinians were killed in factional fighting between Abbas's Fatah and Hamas.