Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said on Sunday that the violence in the South will continue in the near future.

"The escalation will continue in the coming days. The public should act accordingly. These will not be easy times," he said.

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The public security minister, speaking from Ashkelon during a visit to attack victims there, was referring the current barrage of rockets being launched at southern population centers from the Gaza Strip.

Also on Sunday, Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom said that, in light of the ongoing onslaught, the government will have to consider entering the coastal strip.

"We cannot continue in a situation in which one million Israelis are living under constant rocket fire. The deterrence from Operation Cast Lead has exhausted itself. We will need to respond and we are not excluding the option of a ground invasion," Shalom said.

The deputy prime minister made these statements from Beersheba's Soroka University Medical Center, where he was visiting people wounded in rocket attacks over the weekend.

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