Israel threatens Hamas leaders

Israel maintains Gaza strikes and says assasinations or ground invasion possible.

    Women from al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades said they would act as human bombs if the attacks continue

    Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas official, said in response in Gaza: "Any harm to Prime Minister Haniya or any Hamas leader would mean a change in the rules of the game and the occupation [Israel] must be ready to pay an unprecedented price."

    Further attacks

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    Al Jazeera reported that Israel fired on two Hamas camps in northern Gaza late on Tuesday in fresh attacks.

    There were no reports of casualties.

    Palestinian women from the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, the armed wing of the Fatah movement, have now threatened they will act as human bombs should the attacks on Gaza continue.

    Dressed in black, they said they "would strike at the heart of the enemy".

    Earlier before dawn on Tuesday, fighter jets fired rockets at two buildings in central Gaza, hitting two workshops in the areas of al-Bureij and Zeytonia.

    One attack hit a carpentry workshop which was completely destroyed but did not cause any casualties.
     
    In another strike, a rocket hit a metal workshop in Zeytonia, caused extensive damage to the workshop and adjacent homes.

    The air raids came after the Israeli woman and at least five Palestinians were killed on Monday.

    No distinction
    In yet another attack, an Israeli fighter jet fired two missiles at a post that Hamas's Executive Force had evacuated in the northern Gaza Strip, slightly wounding a passer-by, Hamas and local residents said.
     
    Hamas's armed wing said it fired two rockets at Sderot early on Tuesday.

    Amir Peretz, the Israeli defence minister, during a meeting with the European Union's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, called on the international community to take action immediately to try to persuade Hamas to stop firing the makeshift rockets at Israel.
     
    Eariler, Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, Israel's national infrastructure minister, told Israel Radio: "I don't distinguish between those who carry out the [rocket] attacks and those who give the orders. I say we have to put them all in the crosshairs."
     
    Tzipi Livni, the Israeli foreign minister, said: "It is our obligation to harm the rocket launchers and our obligation is to continue to harm Hamas."
     
    Islamic Jihad and Hamas both claimed responsibility for the Sderot attack.
     
    Internal conflict
     
    At the same time, Fatah and Hamas leaders have struggled to maintain calm among their own fighters following weeks of internal conflict.

    Mahmoud Abbas, the Fatah leader and Palestinian president, predicted that Israel's attacks would have "grave consequences for the entire region".
     
    He urged Palestinian fighters to stop their rocket fire "so as not to give the Israelis the excuse they use to justify their attacks that have killed innocent victims", Nabil Amr, his spokesman, said.
     
    Ziad Abu Amr, the Palestinian foreign minister, said that Abbas planned to go to Gaza later on Tuesday to speak to leaders about maintaining law and order.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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