Vice Premier Silvan Shalom on Tuesday said that continued rocket fire from Gaza has created an "unbearable situation" in the South and Israel was nearing a "dramatic decision" that would put an end to the attacks.

"If the rocket fire does not stop, Israel will act directly against the terrorist infrastructure and the heads of terrorist organizations," Israel Radio quoted Shalom as saying.

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The Likud minister stated that Hamas was exclusively responsible for the situation, despite the fact that most of the rockets are believed to have been fired by Islamic Jihad operatives.

Shalom added that Israel must regain its power to deter terrorist attacks, which he said has slipped since the time of Operation Cast Lead. "We cannot accept a situation in which the lives of millions of our citizens are in danger."

The vice premier's comments came as classes at schools in several southern cities were canceled for the third straight day, despite assurances from the Home Front Command that it was safe to resume studies given the current situation.

No rockets were reported to have been fired into southern Israel on Tuesday after nearly a week of hostilities.

Palestinian terrorists in Gaza fired at least seven volleys of rocket fire into southern Israel on Monday afternoon and evening, undermining reports of a cease-fire. No injuries were reported from the rockets.

Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.

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